Do you wish to take your pet along with you to Saudi Arabia? Here is some information on related procedures.
Saudi Arabia is governed by the Shari'a, which is the Islamic Law. According to Wahhabism, animals, and dogs in particular, are deemed to be impure creatures. Thus, Saudi authorities have prohibited dogs as well as cats from entering the country for years. However, foreigners having settled there have managed, for some time, to take their pets with them. In fact, local authorities have set up a series of conditions and regulations so that you can travel there with your pet, whether it is a dog, cat or bird.
Prohibited dog breeds
First of all, you should know that some dog breeds are strictly prohibited from entering the country. Below is a non exhaustive list:
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Moreover, exotic animals such as lizards and bonobos are not considered as pets in Saudi Arabia. Hence, you will have to find a new family for them.
There are many risks around traveling with your pet to Saudi Arabia. One of these obviously is the heat, which can be unbearable, particularly in summer. Old pets might find it difficult to adapt to high temperatures in summer. If you think you can leave it inside your apartment or villa, with aircon, during your absence, especially if it's a dog, won’t he be bored and keep barking all day?
Moeeover, will you be able to get up early in the morning or go to bed a little late so that you can take it for a walk to enjoy more reasonnable temperatures?
Is your pet well trained? Does it ever escape to discover the surroundings? Note that in Saudi Arabia, although customs change gradually, stray dogs are sometimes victims of malicious acts.
Are you sure that the compound or independent housing where you will live accept pet animals? If dogs are not welcome in most cases, cats can sometimes be treated in the same way. You are advized to talk about it to your employer so as to find the accommodation where pets are allowed.
Dogs are not allowed in public transport.
If you are taking a dog to Saudi Arabia, it should be classified in the following categories on the health certificate issued by the veterinarian: guard dog or hunting dog, even if it is a Chihuahua! If not, it will not be allowed on Saudi territory. Obviously, guide dogs and assistance are welcome, but only under the working dog category.
Custom formalities for cats and birds are simpler. However, make sure to check if these are classified as authorized breeds by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development of Saudi Arabia. In fact, some birds can transmit viruses and diseases.
Dogs and cats coming from Europe must be treated against ticks and worms before traveling to Saudi Arabia.
Quarantine is not required for pets which are in good health and in presence of supporting documents.