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If you choose not to bring over a pet from your home country, there are opportunities to get one once you arrive. In general, birds are the pet of choice in Libya.  It seems that almost every business and home has a bird hanging outside their door or window. Fresh water fish such as gold fish, tetras, and guppies are becoming more common pet options.  Cats and dogs are also found at some of the stores.

On Fridays near the port, large outdoor bird markets can be found, where breeders display hundreds of budgies, cockatiels, love birds, finches, and various parrots, including African Greys.  Here, a wide variety of cages, water and seed feeders and accessories are also sold at reasonable prices. A pair of love birds including the cage and feeding accessories can be purchased for about 55 LYD.

Birds and other animals can also be purchased at pet shops located on “September Street” near Green Square and the Old Town Medina. However, these shops tend to be unsanitary and some keep animals in poor conditions.  They import animals from other continents without knowing how to properly care for them. Therefore, it is recommended that you select more reputable and respected pet stores.

One of these stores is located on the ground floor of “Tuesday Market.”  It carries fish, birds, turtles and kittens.  Although there is not a large assortment of pets, there is a wide variety of food and supplies for fish, birds, turtles, and cats.  You will find just about everything you need for the range of animals at that store.   There is a pet supplies shop on the ground floor of the mall. While it is small, it is well stocked and the Friskies at least are competitively priced! A good selection is stocked with sell-by dates nowhere near expiry.

Another reputable pet store is located on the south side of Gargaresh Road, just east of the bridge/wadi. This store displays a sign with a macaw and other pets, so it’s easy to spot.  They sell puppies, kittens, birds, hamsters and fish, as well as all the necessary food and supplies.  For cats, you can find kitty litter, Friskies brand and Kit-e-Kat brand of dry food and wet food packets, flea shampoo, flea preventative topical medications kitty collars, brushes and food bowls.  For dogs, you can find collars (flea and regular), leashes, food bowls and chew toys.

If you do purchase an animal in Libya, it would be wise to take it to the local veterinary clinic in order to have a full health check including any required vaccinations.

Veterinary Care

Rawasy Veterinary Clinic:

This clinic is located on Gargaresh Road, just outside the entrance to Regatta, the residential compound to the British oil companies.  They treat horses, dogs, cats and birds.  The services they provide include routine exams, x-rays, breeding services, neuter/spay surgery, micro chipping, preparation of travel documents and boarding.  They also sell dry dog and cat food, bird seed and supplements, leashes and carriers. 

Tel: +218217269835


Libyan Veterinary School:

There is a veterinary school in Libya, however, it is unclear as to the extent of the level of education provided compared to the US or the UK.  Students of the veterinary school are eager for training and welcome the opportunity to examine your pet at their school.  However, for more advanced procedures, including surgery, it is recommended that you use the services of practicing veterinarians.

Veterinary Treatment Outside of Libya:

For treatment of more serious medical conditions that require specialists or surgery, you may feel more comfortable finding a veterinarian outside of Libya.

Malta, being a 45 minute flight away, is a good option.  There are 19 veterinary clinics registered with the Malta Veterinary Association, which can be found on the following website:  The Maltese community also has a list of recommended veterinarians on the following website:  Allow enough time for any paperwork or vaccinations that may be required for your pet to re-enter an EU country, which includes tick and tapeworm inspections and a blood test taken up to six months in advance of travel.  Therefore, Malta may not be an option for expats from the US and Canada, but rather for expats from the UK where blood tests are already required for pet export.  More information on importing your pet into Malta can be found at the following website:

For expats from the US or Canada, bringing your pet to Italy for advanced veterinary care is a better option.  A direct flight from Tripoli to Rome is about two hours.  The EU998 form must be updated by a veterinarian within 30 days of travel, but does not need to be endorsed by a government agency.  Blood tests and tick and tapeworm treatments are not required for entry.  More information on importing your pet into Italy can be found at the following website:

More Resources:

Libya Pet Vet: A website created by an expatriate with pets living in Tripoli providing information on vet clinics and stores with pet food and supplies.

Pet Travel Store: A one-stop online store for resources, official pet importation documents and pet passports, airline approved carriers and travel friendly supplies.

United States Department of Agriculture: A government website with information on procedures for exporting and importing pets from the US, including locations of area offices to obtain the official endorsement stamp for health certificates.

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By Natalie Bentolila


June 2009