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Guide to bringing your Pet to Turkey

10th September 2015

We all love our pets don’t we? But with more and more people choosing to live in another country later in life the question of what we do with our furry companions is not always easy to answer.

Some people may try to find a new home for them before they leave, or leave them with an animal protection charity, however some people who simply couldn’t imagine leaving them behind will want to bring them with them.

But how exactly do you go about doing that? More expats are moving to Turkey for a variety of reasons but some of them will no doubt want to bring their cat or dog along so what do they do?

Bringing your pet to Turkey
Actually bringing your pet to Turkey is a relatively straight forward process although it’s long and must be done to the letter, so you can’t risk cutting any corners.

Step 1 – Microchipping
Your first step is to make sure your cat or dog is microchipped, the microchip should be an ISO11784 type chip or ISO-compatible microchip - you should ask your vet if you’re unsure what type of microchip will be used.

Step 2 – Vaccinations and Vaccination Certificate
Your cat or dog must be vaccinated for rabies between 30 days and 12 months prior to entering Turkey. You should also procure a vaccination certificate that reflects the routine vaccinations that your pet had administered by your vet.

Step 3 – Blood Titer Test
No sooner than 30 days after the rabies vaccination has been given to your pet, your pet should then have a blood titer test with the sample processed in an approved laboratory. If you get acceptable results back from the test then your pet will be free to enter Turkey 3 months from the date the blood was drawn.
If you can’t meet this requirement then your pet will still be allowed entry into Turkey but it will require it to be quarantined for the 3 months period.

Step 4 – Health Certificate and Passports
Once all the previous steps have been completed an accredited vet will then need to complete the Veterinary Certificate for Turkey for, the Governing Authority of your country  is responsible for the import and export of animals and should endorse the forms alongside the vet. (for UK see DEFRA, For USA see USDA & APHIS) 
If you’re travelling from an EU country you will need a pet passport.

Step 5 – Entering Turkey
Domestic dogs and cats must be free of any evidence of disease that could spread to humans when they’re examined at the port of entry into Turkey. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health then a further examination by a vet may be required before it will be allowed entry into Turkey. This further examination will be at your expense.

Other things to know
Some airlines may not permit certain species of dog so you should check with your airline beforehand. If you want to take a pet with you that isn’t a cat or a dog then you’ll still need to obtain a valid health certificate and should make sure they have all their up to date injections.

You might also need to meet other requirements before your pet is allowed entry into Turkey, you should seek further advice from your countries relevant governing authority for more information or from the country you’re going to.  In this case contacting the Turkish airlines or governing authorities might be of help. (Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs)

You should also make sure that your cat or dog has enough space in its carry case different airlines may have different rules and guidelines so you should check with them first. For example Turkish Airlines standard cage size is 23x40x55 cm (width x height x length)

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