How to bring a pet on Aliyah

How to bring a pet on Aliyah

by Joe Grob
December 31, 2022

Bringing a Dog to Israel.

I was asked to give an outline of what is required to transport a dog as a pet when making Aliyah because we made Aliyah on December 14, 2022, and we were successful in bringing two dogs with us. I wish I could say that I have all the answers, but I don’t. I will endeavor to give some pointers or guidance, but this is by no means a complete list of what needs to be done. You will get anxiety from the process, so be prepared.

We started by looking at the Nefesh B’Nefesh (“NBN”) site with their instructions here:

We also looked at the NBN follow up here:

There is a very important checklist on the NBN website here:

You should also look at Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture website for pet importation information: (use google translate to see the requirements in English).

Specifically, and in no particular order:

• The dog will need to be more than 4 months old. 

• Your dog will need an internationally complaint microchip. If your dog is not chipped, you will need to get the dog chipped. If the dog has a non-international chip (you might get away with that, if you bring your own chip reader), get the dog re-chipped if possible. NOTE THE DOGS MUST BE CHIPPED BEFORE YOU VACCINATE THE DOGS FOR RABIES AND GET THE RABIES TITERS TEST – SEE BELOW.

• You need to notify the airline and make a reservation for each pet with the airline, and you will need an air travel certified pet carrier unless your dog is eligible to travel in the cabin. If making Aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh let them know you are coming with pets so that the flight coordinator can make the reservation for you for each of your pets. Check and double check to make certain this was done.  The last thing you want, is to find out that the dog has no reservation when you get to the airport.   

• You will have to pay for the pets to fly at the airport. It is weight based. We went with a 14-pound dog and an 87-pound dog. It was $100 (US) for the small dog and $200 for the large dog.  

• VACCINATION AND TITERS: The dog will need to be vaccinated against rabies no more than 1 year and no less than 30 days before you fly. The dogs will need a serological exam taken not less than 30 days after the vaccination. (Israel requires rabies vaccines every year so if you have a USA three-year vaccine you may still need to have the dog re-vaccinated before the serological test). Remember, the dog must be chipped before this gets done or you will have to do it all over again.

• Israel has a list of dangerous breed dogs that are not generally allowed in the country without special permission. Double check to see if your dog is considered a dangerous breed or a dangerous breed mix. Dangerous breed dogs may need to fly as special cargo as well. 

• You will need a veterinary health certificate indicating the dog is in good health and reflecting its vaccinations. Our vet had experience in exporting pets and filling out the paperwork and was authorized to certify animals for export from the USA and Import to Israel which made the process easier for us. The form must be filled out online by an approved Vet and submitted to the USDA no sooner than 10 days before the flight. (Look at their site: Not every Vet can do this, and you may need to go to a special Vet to get this done.   Again, the USDA needs to give you approval (this is done by the Vet online). I am attaching a copy of the online form so you can see what it looks like. The USDA will often not provide the certificate until 2 days before the flight (this will cause you much anxiety) and then the form must be transmitted to the Israeli Authorities for the permit to be issued to you by the Israeli Authorities before you can fly. The USDA charges for this service. I am uncertain of the exact price, but it is not cheap and may cost up to $1000 per pet. (This may have included out Vet’s fees so I can’t say for certain).

• NOT ALL AIRLINES have climate-controlled cargo areas for pets and very few allow pets to fly. Check with your airline BEFORE you reserve your tickets. ELAL does allow for pets to fly on board and in cargo, depending on regulations.  

• KEEPING YOUR PET CALM: You may want to get your pet a thunder-shirt (, and a calming collar (, and calming medication. Get your pet used to these items before the flight. Also ask your vet about anxiety medication for the flight and what they recommend. (We were given Trazodone and we were required to test it out on the dogs before the flight).

• Once in Israel – within 30 days of arrival – you will need a dog license. (Possibly earlier if the dog is determined to be a dangerous breed).  

We were very overwhelmed by the multitude of requirements, and we did not want to make any mistakes, so we hired a company to help us. They gave us guidance every step of the way including the size and type of crates we needed. They made sure the form we got from the USDA was submitted to the proper place and they helped us obtain and fill out all the paperwork we needed, including the forms that need to be annexed to each kennel/pet crate. They were also very patient with us and the many questions and repeat questions that we had. The company we used is and we were very satisfied. There are other companies that are available. Google search is your friend.  

Best of luck!

Joe Grob