Traveling and animals don’t exactly mix well, especially if you are traveling to Iran with pets. We are so emotionally attached to these beautiful creatures that we can’t simply let go of them, even for a few days which reminds me of the words of Colleen Paige, founder of “National Pets Day” organization, author, animal advocate, and in general a true animal lover that really moved me and brought me to the realization that people would do so many things to travel to Iran with their pets: “Many people believe that humans are superior to animals, but is that really true? We’re not able to come close to possessing the pure & perfect unconditional love that animals offer.

If we could, we’d have no need for this national pet day, because all the shelters would be empty”.

While the Iranian people absolutely admire pets and quickly fall in love with them but, what does the Iranian government has to say when it comes to dealing with pets being airlifted to Iran? What are the rules of this Islamic government that sometimes take harsh measurements in dealing with people having pets? How can you make sure that pets, your best friends, don’t get deported or confiscated at the Iranian international airports?

Documents for traveling with pets to Iran

Like any other country with international flight laws, there are airline rules and pet policies you need to obey when you are traveling to Iran with pets. In order to transport your pet to Iran on a plane, the first thing you need to know is the necessary documents you have to provide for the officials at Iranian international airports to check. Although you might see some minor changes in these rules depending on the Iranian city you are planning to visit but, the core requirements are as followed:

  1. Original pet health certification issued by a government veterinary seven days before the trip to Iran.
  2. An import permit from Veterinary services is another document needed to bring a pet on a trip to Iran. It should be filled in person, not online.
  3. Original and copy of your pet identification documents (pet passport) including owners name and inoculated records (Especially rabies certificate).
  4. Original and copy of the owner’s passport (First page).

Pet microchip: make sure that your pet is implanted with a microchip and you register your contact information before getting on the plane as a mean of identification should your pet get lost.

What is a microchip?

traveling to Iran with pets

Traveling to Iran with pets

A microchip is an identifying integrated circuit implant placed under the skin of a pet which reveals the health records of that animal. The implant is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for injection. No surgery or anesthesia is required—a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. If your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure, such as neutering or spaying, the microchip can often be implanted while they’re still under anesthesia. In dogs and cats, chips are usually inserted below the skin at the back of the neck between the shoulder blades on the dorsal midline. Be sure your pet is implanted with one of these microchips before traveling to Iran. here is the guide to Iranian’s hospitality.

Which pets can be brought to Iran?

  1. You can simultaneously bring two cats, two dogs, and ten birds (of five different species) on board.
  2. Fish and Reptiles are strictly forbidden.
  3. Animal food and drugs are strictly forbidden.
  4. Exotic species can only be transported under the permission of natural environments organization.

All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease transmissible to humans when examined at the entry airport. If your pet is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense. Having a kitten or a puppy is OK if it is at least 10 weeks old. Other animals like Birds are not required to have vaccines but they should have health certification.

If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).  You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations. If you want to know when is the best time to travel to Iran, check out this article: The worst and best time to travel to Iran

There are three ways to bring your pet by plane:

  1. In Cabin: By Iran’s airline rules, pets can be brought on the plane as baggage as long as they are accompanied with an adult passenger, have the necessary paperwork, are placed in a standard cage, and the owner has made the necessary arrangements with the airline and bought a ticket.
Dogs on the Plane

Dogs on the Plane

What is the standard cage? 

Traveling to Iran with a pet requires you providing a standard cage for the animal. A standard cage is a crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. By Iran’s standard, the crate must have ventilation holes on three sides, leakproof floor, no wheels, and a sticker filled with the necessary information about the animal and its owner.  The container must have “live animal” stickers on the top and sides in letters at least one inch tall as well as directional stickers.  Also, there must be a sticker adhered to the top of the crate called a Shipper’s Declaration stating when your pet was last watered and fed. Some of the Iranian airlines have these crates ready for passengers in the event they are unsuccessful in finding them in the local veterinarian shops. Here are the 9 things you must to consider before traveling to Iran.

Animals cage for traveling by plane

Animals cage for traveling by plane

2. In Cargo: Transporting pets in the cargo section is considered illegal by Iran airline rules. Unfortunately, the rules about this mean of pet transportation are really clear. Contact your airline for more detailed information on this matter.

No pets allowed sign

No pets allowed sign

3. Manifest Cargo: large pets can travel on manifest cargo. In order to transport your pet via cargo planes, you need to hand over your pet, in the described cages, to the airline and state the name of the receiving person.

traveling to Iran with pets

The parrot in the cage is entering the plane

Carefully following these instructions will make clearing customs easier and quicker and traveling to Iran with pets even more fun. The instructions will also help to avoid having your pet denied entry, put into quarantine or returned to your country of origin. The isolation of pets goes up to 21 days.

Be sure that your pet is not hungry to bother and be bothered during the flight. It’s better to feed your pet 6 hours before the flight to avoid vomiting. Make sure your pet has enough food or water in its cage if the flight duration is more than 2 hours. Having some sedative pills in a case of emergency will help your animal relax during the flight but make sure you’ve checked it with a veterinarian.

After you get through the waiting gates with your pet, you will find that traveling to Iran with pets is a pleasant journey. Iranian absolutely adore pets and immediately start asking you questions about your pet. Having pets, even some unordinary ones, runs deep in Iranian people history and many of Iran’s Shahs or Sultans (kings in general) kept some exotic pets in their chambers, animals like cheetahs or fascinating lions. Pets are welcomed in Iran and veterinary doctors and shops can be easily found all over the major cities of Iran. Iranian people can just stop petting animals and showering them with pleasant words!

Lovely dog with his owner

Lovely dog with his owner


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