I have a dog. Actually he belongs to my brother, but he acts like a family dog. His name is Romeo, and just as his name suggests he is extremely loving and affectionate. We could not imagine making Aliyah without him; he is as much a member of our family as any of us. It’s no surprise then that he will be a part of our Aliyah story. In preparation for this, I researched what it will take to bring him with us.
Luckily bringing your pet with you to Israel no longer means having to leave it in quarantine for a period of time. As long as all of the conditions are met before your Aliyah, moving across the globe with your pet should be relatively straightforward.
Common types of pets such as cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, and gerbils are allowed, with the approval of the Misrad Hachaklaut (Ministry of Agriculture). More exotic pets must also be cleared by Reshut Hateva V’haganim (Nature Reserves Authority- for pets considered wildlife).
According to NBN, dogs that unfortunately are not allowed entry into Israel include the Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff), Bull Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Staffordshire Bull Terrier (English staff), Tosa Inu (Japanese Tosa), Rottweiler, and the Argentinian Dogo.
You’ll need to make sure your pet is up to date on all of their immunizations and titers. They may also need to be microchipped (for dogs, cats, and certain other types of animals). The chip Israel requires isn’t usually used in the United States, so you’ll have to have your veterinarian special order them.
The last items you’ll need to get approval are a health certificate completed by a licensed veterinarian and an endorsement of the health certificate. The latter will need to be signed by a USDA Veterinary Services Officer.
The final hurdle in your pet’s Aliyah process will be El Al’s requirements for boarding the flight. There is a pet fee based on the size and weight of your pet and it’s carrier. Any pet weighing over 8 kg (including their carrier) cannot fly with you in the cabin. There is a special temperature-controlled cargo hold for pets; verify with the pilot that the temperature control is in fact switched on before take-off. Whether your pet is flying in cabin or cargo, there are set dimensions for their carrier that must be in accordance. You’ll want to be very clear on all of the rules when it comes to traveling with a pet. I recommend speaking with an El Al representative or researching their website.