Bringing Pets to Turkey
Bringing pets to Turkey from the UK and other countries around the world may seem like a daunting process, but, clear set procedures by the Turkish government, and pet transportation companies, go a long way into ensuring your pet has a stress-free journey. Thousands of people have transported their dogs and cats into Turkey, and for those who only stay here a few months of the year, getting them out again is just as easy.
This article details things you need to know but procedures always change so double check with the Turkish consulate in your home country or use the services of a professional pet transportation company. Also start the procedure at least four months before travelling, to make sure you adhere to required time frames and dates.
Bringing Pets to Turkey: Need to Know
You can bring in 2 cats, dogs, or birds, or 10 aquarium fish. Birds must have an identification ring, and cats and dogs must be micro-chipped. The chip should be a 15-digit ISO compliant. Ten days before you leave your home country, get a health certificate from a government-certified vet in your home country. This certificate should show that your pet is vaccinated against internal and external parasites.
Before you leave, get a pet passport or identification card. If you want to bring in over two pets or are not accompanying them on the journey, get an import licence from the Ministry of Agriculture in Turkey.
Additional documents include a rabies vaccination certificate, showing all vaccinations, of which the latest should be no longer than 12 months before arrival, and no shorter than 30 days. Turkey does not accept the three-year rabies vaccination.
Also, get a titer blood test by an approved lab 90 days before entering. If all the above is adhered to, there is no need for quarantine of your furry friend. Upon arriving, Turkish border staff will call a Turkish vet to verify the certificate and complete their health check on your pet.
Prohibited Breeds and Restrictions on Pets
Turkey prohibits pet dogs from entering the country including Pitbull Terriers, Rottweilers, Japanese Toga, Dogo Argentine, certain breeds of Mastiff, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Fila Brasilein. If your pet is something other than a dog, cat, or ferret, check it is not CITIES protected.
This is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna and if they are covered by this protection status, you need additional permits. This status applies to African grey parrots. If bringing in a pet from the United States, you need a state USDA Veterinary certificate.
Travelling to Turkey with Pets Via Road or Air
At present, Turkish Airlines is the only airline bringing pets into Turkey via air travel. They do not allow pregnant animals, breastfeeding mothers or puppies and kittens under ten weeks onto their flights. If your pet weighs 8 kilograms or less, they can travel in the cabin if they are within a cage. However, parrots, larger animals and pigeons must go in the cargo hold within a travel crate.
Many people transport their cats or dogs via road. Reasons include more comfortable travel arrangements, less stress for their four-legged friends, they do not have to be separated for any length of time, and they often make a mini road trip out, by staying in pet-friendly hotels and stopping to see towns, cities, and attractions on route.
Pet Transport Services to and From Turkey
Pet Transportation Turkey: This professional pet relocation company has been in business since 2011, and for people who want to bring pets to Turkey, they help with door-to-door destination delivery and entry clearance procedures. Their speciality is transporting your pet via flights, and they have bases in both Istanbul airports, but work in airports across the country. https://www.pettransportationturkey.com
Paws Bulgaria: If you do not want your pet to travel by air, Paws Bulgaria has transported over 2000 animals to and from Turkey and the UK via road. http://www.paws-bulgaria.com/
Also read: If you are moving here full-time, our expat guide is full of useful information, from getting residency permits to banking to learning Turkish and useful apps.