Your Expat Guide to Pets & Animal Care in Zambia

When moving on contract there is always the question of our furry children and many of us would never go on contract without them. This brings with it some stress in finding out what it is exactly that we need to do in order to bring our pets with us. Transporting of pets needs to be looked at from two ways, in other words what documents are required to depart from our home Country and what does Zambia require. It is always good to check with your local vet on departure as legislation does change from time to time. If at all possible avoid transit via South Africa as their requirements are cumbersome and may cause you delays; if moving pets from South Africa it is also advisable to check what the requirements are on return as they can differ meaning after your contract you are faced with a problem you weren’t expecting. The good news is that Zambia does not require pets to go into quarantine.

As a general rule this is what needs to be done:

Departing CountryArriving in Zambia
Export Permit (check with your local vet)Import Permit (Director of Import & Tsetse Control)
Identi-Pet (always advisable to microchip your pet)Identi-Pet or any similar micro chip (as per departure requirements)
Rabies Certificate & International Health Certificate: These must be endorsed by a licensed veterinarian and a government official in your country of origin.Rabies Certificate & International Health Certificate (as per departure requirements)
Copies of Pets Documentation should accompany pet (at least you should ensure you have extra copies to be safe even if you are travelling with your pet)Copies of Pets Documentation should accompany pet (at least you should ensure you have extra copies to be safe even if you are travelling with your pet)
 May require stock movement permit if moving from province to province within Zambia

Pre-Arrival Checklist

International Health Certificate

This is issued by a licensed veterinarian and endorsed by a government official in your country of origin – timing is important; this document should not be more than ten days old at time of entry. You will need to provide details of the age, sex and colour of your pet.


All routine dog / cat immunizations should be administered at least 31 days, but no more than 180 days prior to entry into Zambia.

Carrier Box

Additionally, as your pet will be travelling in an IATA (International Air Transport Association) approved pet carrier, you will need to order their carrier boxes in good time. The bigger the pet the more expensive the box will be and something you need to budget for. Should you already have carrier boxes check with the agents concerned at the airport or a company who specialises in pet movement whether your box qualifies to be used.

Once in Zambia

Dog License

All dogs should have a dog license which can be obtained from Lusaka Pest Control in Sadzu Road. For first time purchase you should provide your import permit (unless bought locally), valid rabies certificate and your work permit. Thereon forward you need only to provide proof of a rabies certificate. Important: Please note it is important to license your dogs as, by law, inspectors can shoot your animals on sight if they do not possess a dog license. Although, in practice this doesn’t often occur but it pays to be safe!

Pet Care

In Lusaka you are spoiled for choice for pet care. It’s important to keep up to date with pet vaccinations and regular worming is a must to maintain your pet’s health. Flies are a nuisance factor all over Zambia, especially during the rainy season and the worst affected area is generally dog’s ears and can leave wounds. It is necessary to apply petroleum jelly or Shoo-Fly to affected areas frequently.

Putzi Fly

All animals (as well as humans) are susceptible to the Putzi (Tumbu) fly whose larvae burrow under the skin – to avoid this happening ensure that your pets blankets are not damp. In the advent that you find evidence of a putzi embedded under your pet’s skin apply Vaseline to the area and a plaster in order to starve the putzi from oxygen – the larva will rise to the surface to suck in air, remove the tape and gently squeeze out the maggot. Once removed destroy the maggot.

Tick Bite Fever

The most serious condition that causes the most deaths of pets in Zambia. Look out for the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums (can also be noted in the eye membranes)

If in any doubt don’t wait it out as the disease can prove fatal within a very short period of time. Ensure that you regularly dip your dog, use tick repellent and or collars.

Pet Friendly Accommodation

Please note that Zambia does not have many lodges that allow pets; it is best to contact a local travel agency at time of travel OR organise boarding with one of the listed operators below.

Pet Food Availability

Good quality pet food is readily available in most of Zambia and the capital city has everything you would require. Pedigree and Royal Canin are a couple of the name brands available and all the local grocery stores carry dog and cat food.

Dog Training

A fun activity for both owner and dog alike – Lusaka Kennel Club at the Showgrounds hold obedience courses on Sunday mornings, contact numbers: 0211 260081 or 096 200 1686.

Animal Welfare Societies

There are several animal welfare societies that deserve a special mention. Volunteers and donations re always welcomed and information can be obtained by contacting the Societies using the information below:

Kitwe Animal Welfare Society (KAWS)+260 964 931 168 / +260 977 289 157 / +260 966 433 566Website / Facebook
Livingstone Animal Protection Service (LAPS)lapslivingstone@gmail.comFacebook
Lusaka Animal Welfare Society (LAWS)+260 966 005 297Website / Facebook


For a list of popular veterinarians in Zambia, visit

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