Crossing the border with animals in 2023: import regulations for Turkey

Turkey is a widely popular country among foreign tourists, migrants and investors, who often cross the border with their favorite pets. And it is absolutely natural that in case of staying in another country for some time or when moving to a permanent residence, every caring owner will think about how to prepare his pet for legal importation into the country.

This topic is especially relevant now, when buying a home in Turkey and moving to a permanent place of residence is so popular among residents of CIS countries and other foreigners. In this regard, many people have a legitimate question, how to be with their cat or dog? Is it possible to take the animal with you?

Of course, in the Republic of Turkey, as in any other country, there is a set of rules concerning the importation of pets. If you follow all the recommendations specified in them, there will be no problems. We tell you about the rules of importation and other peculiarities in this review.

Rules for importing animals into Turkey in 2023

In 2023, the rules for importing animals into Turkey have become even stricter and more demanding. Now for transportation of pets it is necessary to have electronic identification in the form of a readable microchip, an international veterinary passport in English and a veterinary certificate in form No. 1.

In addition, it is necessary to comply with the rules of vaccination against rabies, conducting it not less than 30 days and not more than a year before importation into the country. Deworming and insectocaricidal treatment 24-48 hours prior to travel is also mandatory.

Comprehensive vaccination is not compulsory, but it is advisable to do it to avoid unpleasant surprises at the border.

For transportation of animals only special containers that meet the requirements of the International Air Carriers Association are allowed, and the size of the box should be calculated based on the size of the animal. The dimensions of the container shall be chosen based on the parameters of the animal in such a way that it can comfortably rise and change its position.

The bottom of the cage must be covered with absorbent and moisture-absorbing material. Free access to oxygen is also provided. Such containers are often sold in pet stores, airlines and airports. The carrier cannot be constructed of wood. If any of the above characteristics are violated, the pet will not be allowed on board.

Traveling with a dog to Turkey or traveling with another pet will be charged as excess baggage. The amount of the fee depends on whether the airline uses a weight-based system or a per-seat system.

All these rules and requirements are aimed at protecting the health of animals and preventing the spread of infections.

In addition, before traveling, you should be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules of animal transportation of the chosen airline, as well as with Turkish customs regulations.

Don’t forget that the cost of shipping animals to Turkey depends on their weight and size, as well as the distance between the point of departure and destination.

As for the actual process of the flight itself, bringing animals to Turkey by airplane involves the use of pet transportation services from airlines. Some companies allow you to bring your pet in the cabin of the airliner,

others do not. Therefore, check the rules of pet transportation with each specific carrier in advance to prepare and tune in to the process, not to worry and be nervous.

If the airline allows you to transport animals to Turkey in the cabin, you will need to book a seat, as the maximum number of animals allowed will depend on the type of airliner, as well as the layout of the cabin. In addition, the weight of the animal is important: up to 5 kg or up to 8 kg. All other pets will fly in the luggage compartment in a specially designated place.

For many citizens, transportation of animals abroad in the luggage compartment may cause some anxiety. However, this is a fairly comfortable way for pets to travel by air, as all such compartments are heated and subject to the same level of sealing as the passenger compartment.

In the absence of a large separate luggage compartment, pets are transported in the cabin, in containers covered with dark-colored cloth.

If you have a large dog (weighing more than 40 kg), a separate ticket with a separate seat is purchased for it. The tariff will correspond to the selected class of the airplane cabin. You should arrive at the airport in advance in order to fully formalize such transportation.

There are special rules for the transportation of guide dogs traveling with blind and deaf people. In this case, the airline staff will decide in which part of the cabin to place the dog during boarding. At the same time, a muzzle will be put on the pet and it must be next to the owner. According to the rules, such assistance dogs are transported absolutely free of charge. However, the carrier’s employees will need to see documents confirming the passenger’s lack of hearing or vision.

How to transport a pet to Turkey: important information

If you plan to bring your pet to Turkey, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules of animal transportation. According to local legal requirements, each foreign citizen can bring only one cat, one dog, one bird and no more than 10 aquarium fish. Moreover, the animals must be over 4 months old and have the appropriate veterinary documents, including a veterinary certificate and an international certificate.

In addition, it is worth taking into account that the rules of transportation can change, so before traveling, be sure to check the latest information on the website of the airline you plan to travel with. If you need help transporting your


It is worth using the services of a PetsCar pet cab. And don’t forget that if you are going to stay in Turkey for more than 3 months, you will need to re-issue a certificate at the local veterinary clinic to take your pet out.

In addition to the above information, we have collected the basic rules and peculiarities of pet transportation.

Ask in advance if the airline transports animals. For example, transportation of pets by Turkish Airlines is allowed. According to the rules of Turkish Airlines, you can transport animals in the cabin with weight and size restrictions. In the case of budget airlines, most likely, you will not be allowed into the cabin with dogs and cats.

If the pet will fly with you in the cabin, you can keep it with you almost until the flight. If it will be in the cargo hold, you will have to hand it over to the company staff during check-in.

Just before departure at the airport, go to the veterinary control, where you will get a stamp of permission to take the animal abroad.

When you arrive in Turkey, if your dog or cat traveled with you, you can go through customs together. If all the necessary documents are in order, they will let you through without any problems.

Not all representatives of fauna can be transported to another country, including Turkey. Thus, turtles, pythons, monkeys are not subject to transportation. This will require a permit from the State Committee of Russia (or the same institution of another country). There you will need to provide documents confirming the legality of purchase or birth of the pet in your country.

Additional recommendations:

You will most likely be required to pay a fee at customs in Turkey. Make sure you have enough cash on you.

If your cat or dog will be around, don’t forget food. When handing over your pet to the cargo hold, give the officer the food and feeding instructions.

There may be a delay at the airport due to a paperwork check on your pet. The time of delay varies and depends on the season.

It is a practice in Turkey for foreigners to ask to visit a veterinarian sometimes to make sure that the pet is healthy. The veterinarian must issue a certificate showing the condition of the pet.

Pet products in Turkey

You don’t have to worry about whether you can buy the usual food and care products for your pets in Turkey. They are available in every town and there are many veterinary clinics and pet stores. Large supermarkets Migros and Tansas always have dry food and canned food. High quality feeds from leading manufacturers are not cheap, as in any other state. Many breeders, especially those who have more than one animal, take as a rule to buy food in bulk. It is cheaper this way, and the sellers themselves from time to time arrange special promotions for bulk purchases. Specialized stores sell inexpensive meat and by-products, cheaper in cost.

About animal welfare in Turkey

Turks treat animals well and love them. Small towns and villages have their own specifics concerning pets. Dogs are bred to protect the neighborhood. For the most part, animals in villages live in freedom, not in the walls of an apartment, as is customary in European countries.

Today the issue of stray animals in the Republic of Turkey is becoming more and more discussed, special funds and shelters for cats and dogs are created. They also organize special parks where street cats can come and they will be fed there. There is such a park in the center of Alanya, next to the city administration building. Everyone can come and donate some amount of money and the food will be purchased. And the most interesting thing is that the cats live here in comfortable conditions, in specially built houses.

How to bring your car to Turkey