Guide: Bringing Pets From Ukraine To Norway

Norway plans to open up to as many as 120,000 refugees from Ukraine in the coming years, and many of these obviously wants to bring their pets with them when they are coming. So what’s the procedure of bringing pets to Norway for Ukrainian refugees?

The short summary is that Ukrainian refugees can bring their pets to Norway, but must contact Mattilsynet either when they cross the border, or when arriving at a shelter. Dogs, cats and ferrets need vaccines and sometimes a 120 day quarantine, while other animals require a health check. This is all free.

Norway wants to make it easy to bring your pet to Norway, but since the country is free from rabies and a few other pet diseases, all pets need to be checked and registered whenever you arrive in Norway. Dogs, cats and ferrets who do not have a rabies vaccine will need to be quarantined for 120 days while the vaccine takes full effect.

Let’s take a closer look at what to do when bringing your pet to Norway from Ukraine, who to contact, and what you should be thinking about.

PS. this article is only about refugees from Ukraine, and other rules will apply for regular travelers.

Borzoi dog
All dogs need vaccines and a health check before entering Norway. Photo by Nicklas Iversen /

Contact Mattilsynet before you get to Norway if possible

If you know that you will be arriving in Norway, please contact Mattilsynet before you arrive if you have the chance. This will allow them to meet you at the border and do the medical check and registration when you get there.

If you are not able to, the next best thing is to contact them after arriving at where you will be staying. If you got a dog or cat, pick up any waste and throw it away in a thrash bin. Make sure to get it all since this can have worms and parasites that are not currently a problem in Norway.

You can get in contact with Mattilsynet on their website or by calling (+47) 22 40 00 00.

Mattilsynet will do a health check of the animal

All animals that enter Norway together with refugees from Ukraine will get a free health check by a veterinarian. This is to make sure that it does not have a disease or anything that could potentially spread to other pets.

Dogs, cats and ferrets have a bit stricter rules than all the other animals, and will need to get a vaccine for rabies if they don’t have one. During this time the pet will need to be in quarantine for 120 days. It is possible to apply for home quarantine if you live in a place where it’s possible to do this.

All dogs, ferrets and cats also get an ID-chip if they do not already have one. Dogs also get a deworming pill.

All of this is free, so you don’t need to worry about payment for any of this.

Why do dogs, cats and ferrets need to be quarantined for so long?

Most animal owners would agree that 120 days of quarantine is a lot, and no one wants to be separated from their pet for 4 months. So why do Mattilsynet require this?

The reason is that we do not have rabies in Norway, and the government fear that dogs who enter Norway is the most likely way of getting the disease to Norway. To prevent this, all dogs, ferrets and cats who enter the country need to either have a rabies vaccine certificate, or need to be quarantined for 120 days while getting the vaccine.

What about banned dog breeds and banned exotic animals?

Norway has pretty strict rules about which animal species and breeds that are allowed to be kept as a pet, and there are a few banned dog breeds. These are generally not allowed, but Mattilsynet can make exceptions from this rule. They usually don’t for most people, but they have claimed to have more leeway with refugees from Ukraine, so you could potentially bring a banned dog breed to Norway.

American Staffordshire terrier
American Staffordshire terriers are a banned dog breed in Norway. Photo published with permission.

The same goes for non-legal exotic animals. Norway only allows for 19 different reptile species, and all other are illegal. However, as with the banned dog breeds, you can apply for an exempt from this regulation.

There has been a few examples of reptiles that have been allowed to stay with their owner, so make sure to apply for an exempt to Mattilsynet as soon as possible. The general rule for exceptions is that you can provide a shelter that will guarantee that the animal will be unable to escape into nature. This should be fairly easy for reptiles, as long as you keep it in an enclosure indoors.

You can learn more about brining pets from Ukraine to Norway on Mattilsynet’s website about the topic.

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