Pet Transport to South Africa

What you need to know about shipping pets to South Africa from the United States

If you are looking to send your pet to South Africa, we can help you arrange this move. We offer door to door pet relocation, or you can select which services you need to fit your budget. Either way, we will guide you every step of the way!

What’s the process?

The steps below must be followed in detail in order for your pet to enter South Africa. We recommend discussing the requirements and options in detail with a pet relocation company

Import Permit

To be applied for 1-6 months prior to export.


Import Permit

  • All pets entering South Africa will need an import permit from DAFF Permit Office, which is valid for up to 6 months.

Health Requirements

Must be completed at least 30 days prior to export.



Health requirement

Must be completed at least 30 days before departure

  • Dogs, cats, and must be identified by microchip.  There are no exceptions to this rule. 
    • If your pet does not have a microchip in place, do this before any vaccinations and testing. An ISO chip can be implanted at any veterinary office.



Health requirement

Must be administered between 30 days and 12 months of export.

  • Rabies vaccination must be administered between 30 days and 12 months of export. This means that a 3 year vaccine vaccine will not be accepted. 
  • Other vaccines are not required, but the vaccines below are recommended, particularly if your pet may need to be boarded before or after travel. 
    • Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHLPP) and Bordetella.
    • Cats: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP).


 Lab Testing (For Dogs Only)

Health requirement

Must be completed within 30 days of export

  • Brucella canis: Serum agglutination (this is the ONLY acceptable test method)
  • Trypanosmoa evansi: BOTH Card agglutination test* AND Giemsa blood smear*
  • Babesia gibsoni: BOTH Immunoflouresence antibody test AND Giemsa blood smear
  • Dirofilaria immitis: Microfilarial filtration test (this is the ONLY acceptable test method)
  • Leishmaniosis: Indirect fluorescent antibody test OR ELISA test OR Direct agglutination test OR Western blot/membrane immunoassay

Import Health Certificate

Must be completed 2-10 days before departure.


Health Certificate

Health requirement

Must be completed within 10 days before departure

  • At this point in your move, one of our pet shipping specialists will pre-complete the correct health certificate and email it to you veterinarian for signature at the physical appointment. We provide all documents and are available to answer any questions and trouble shoot issues that may rise. 
  • The health certificate must be completed within 10 days of export.


USDA Endorsement

Health requirement

Must be completed within 10 days before departure

  • After your pet has been examined by your veterinarian and the correct health certificate has been completed and signed, the health certificate must be submitted to the USDA office to be endorsed.  FFexpress coordinates this process on your behalf. 
  • If a military veterinarian completes your pet’s health certificate, the USDA endorsement is not needed. A military veterinarian is a Veterinary Corps Officer or civilian GS-0701 series government veterinarian employed by the U.S Army Veterinary Service. 

Banned Breeds

South Africa does not publish a list of banned breeds.

Emilie Dejardin - Pet Owner

“Marck was really awesome. He took care care of all the paperwork and kept us updated. Great communication, great service! Our rabbit made it back home safely. Thank you!”

Emilie Dejardin, Pet Owner

Mark Romanchock, pet owner in Paris

“Despite trying to move our Labrador from Houston during a pandemic and then a historic power failure on Houston, FFE came through for us. The team kept us in constant contact and went out of their way to help our veterinarian get set up with the USDA portal. Would highly recommend them for anyone moving pets internationally”

Mark Romanchock, Pet Owner

Dominique Wakefield, Pet Owner in Holland

“Coco made it to Holland. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong but none of it the fault of Feathers and Fur. They were wonderful helping to fix the issues with my vet, FedEx and the USDA while time was ticking. Great communication in a very stressful time. Coco is settled in and happy.”

Dominique Wakefield, Pet Owner