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Bringing Your Pet To Rwanda

To bring your pet into Rwanda, you need a contact within Rwanda to complete the import permit. We recommend Justin who is local vet tech. His phone number is +250788843318 or +250738843318 or email: canivetdomicile@yahoo.fr. He is experienced at importing and exporting pets in Rwanda. With the help of Justin or your contact in Rwanda, following these steps:

Step 1

The following documents are requested from the owner:

  • Valid and recent Health Certificate
  • Vaccination Certificate / Proof of vaccination
  • Confirmed flight itinerary
  • Payment of 15000rwf /Per pet (this is for the import permit)
  • Copy of the owner’s passport
  • Full Residential Address from (origin) and to (destination)
Step 2

The payment of RWF 15,000 and all documents need to be taken to the RAB (Rwanda Agriculture Board)/Animals Resources Department. Then RAB provides the Import/Export Permit. This takes about 2-3 days to process.

Step 3

The scanned import/export permit is sent to the owner. You’re then able to bring your pet into Rwanda!



Taking Your Pet Our Of Rwanda

The requirements for taking a pet outside of Rwanda vary depending on the country which you’re travelling to. Compulsory requirements regardless of where you are going are:

  • Health certificate completed by an authorised vet
  • Export permit, granted by Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) no more than 5 days before the date of travel

The health certificate must show that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies and is in general good health, including evidence of deworming.

The Export Permit requires the following paperwork:

  • A signed letter to the deputy general of RAB
  • The original health certificate, plus a copy
  • The original vaccination record, plus a copy
  • A copy of the passenger’s travel itinerary
  • A copy of the passenger’s passport

For travelling to Europe, there are additional requirements. A blood titer test to prove the Rabies vaccination must be performed, and currently there is no authorisation for any Rwandan clinic to do this. Therefore, blood must be taken and sent to Europe where it is analysed. This must be done at least three months before travelling, and at least one month after the Rabies vaccine has been given.

WAG recommends Mediatrice, from Clinivet clinic, to complete the health certificate and the blood titer test. Her clinic is authorised by RAB to issue health certificates for export purposes, and she can also apply for and obtain the Export Permit on your behalf from RAB. The following timeline might be useful for when you are getting your dog ready to travel.

1. Rabies Vaccination

  • Europe - At least four months before you travel
  • USA - Within the past year and no more than 30 days before travel

2. Blood titer test

  • Europe - At least three months before you travel
  • USA - N/A

3. Health certificate from authorised vet

  • Europe - No more than 5 days before you travel
  • USA - No more than 5 days before you travel

4.Export permit

  • Europe - No more than 5 days before you travel
  • USA - No more than 5 days before you travel



Transporting your pet

Not all airlines are licensed to carry dogs on commercial flights.

WAG recommends the following airlines:

  • KML
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Qatar Airlines

Please note that when flying to the US, Delta and United do not permit dogs. Therefore, when flying from Rwanda to the US, do not take a codeshare flight; i.e. ensure that your entire journey is with KLM, Brussels or Qatar. Always check with the airline before buying the tickets!

Please note that due to new regulations on bringing in animals to the United Kingdom, you are unable to fly into the UK with your pet. For those bringing their pets to the UK, fly to either Amsterdam or Brussels and travel the rest of the journey by road and ferry. There are dedicated pet travel agents who can help you with this part of the journey.

How do dogs travel on planes?

Dogs travel in the hold of the plane. You will need to call your airline and make sure they have room in the hold before you reserve your flight for you and your dog. You will need to purchase a crate which meets airline regulations, with metal nuts/bolts. You’ll also need to know the crate dimensions and the weight of the dog and crate. A dog should be able to stand up and turn around in their crate, so before you buy it is worth taking your dog along to try out a few different sizes to make sure you buy the most comfortable. Agrotech, the pet/agricultural store in the town centre of Kigali, stocks crates but allow plenty of time before you fly as sometimes they will need to order them in advance.

Brussels Airlines has crates you can buy if you are flying with them.

What do I do to make sure my dog is ready to travel?

Your airline will have specific requirements, so check well in advance what they are. Generally, you will need to put a few old towels in the crate and two food dishes and a water bottle. A good tip is to freeze one of the dishes full of water and put it in the crate right before you fly so it will slowly thaw over the duration of the journey.

On the outside of the crate, you will need to put:

  • A bag of food taped to the side with feeding instructions
  • A picture of the dog and contact information
  • A Ziploc bag with a copy of all papers, permits and vaccine records

What Happens on a layover?

When your dog is booked all the way to your destination, the airline will take care of your dog and make sure he or she is checked over and given the opportunity to stretch his or her legs on a layover. However, if your layover is longer than X hours in Europe, you will need to meet the European requirements for importing a pet, otherwise your pet may have to be quarantined. Check with your airline to find the best flight combination when booking to avoid this.

Vet Information

in Rwanda


New Vision Veterinary Hospital, Kimihurura, Kigali.

New Vision have a clinic in Kigali which is equipped with lab equipment and an x-ray machine. They are able to deal with a variety of issues and the lead vet, Jean Bosco, specialises in orthopaedics. The clinic sees animals on an appointment only basis and they do house calls as well if necessary.

Vets + Veterinary Clinic, Kicukiru, Kigali. Reception: 0782 824 489

Vets + Clinic offers veterinary services in addition to grooming, dental scaling and boarding. The clinic is well equipped and they can deal with a variety of problems in dogs and cats. There is also a shop at the clinic stocking dog supplies such as leashes, shampoo and parasite treatments as well as Royal Canin food for dogs and cats. Animals can be seen by appointment only and house calls can also be made.

Other vets in Kigali who can deal with minor issues and vaccinations:

  • Laurent: 0788 881 804
  • Justin: 0788 843 318


New Vision Veterinary Hospital, Musanze. Reception: 0781 204 364

This is New Vision’s main hospital and it is a good option if you live in the north of Rwanda or need more major procedures for your pet. They have excellent facilities including x-ray machines, ultrasounds and a well-equipped lab and pharmacy.

Walking + Training Support

in Kigali


Pets + LTD – Follow & Lead. 0782 866 081

Follow & Lead provide dog training and dog walking and is run by a certified dog trainer. They can advise and train on specific problems, or just come and walk your dog during the day. There are different packages that you can discuss and consultations are always the first step to ensure that the right approach is used.

Dog walkers in Kigali

  • Ngabo and Daniel: 0788 705 101

Owning A Pet

in Kigali

There are a few shops that stock pet supplies in Kigali. Agrotech is the main supplier of the Royal Canin food, shampoo, deworming medicine and other parasite treatments. Location: Town, next to City Market. Vets + has a shop at the clinic and has a good stock of Royal Canin food for both dogs and cats, as well as collars, leashes, shampoos and parasite treatments.

WAG also sells some items and the proceeds go towards the dogs in our care. We usually have toys, collars, leashes, shampoo and treats. If you’d like to see what we have in stock, please send us an email enquiry.

Some cafes let well-behaved and friendly dogs visit, though usually only in outside seating areas. Try Brioche in Gacuriro!