Travelling to Turkey with your pet

Moving with your pet to Turkey
Updated 2020-05-25 14:55

Pets, and cats in particular, are fondly loved by most Turkish people, who prove incredibly caring to street animals. In large cities, you will find veterinary clinics and pet food or toys retailers at every corner. Therefore, taking care of your furry or feathery friends will not be much of a challenge once you are settled.

However, bringing your pet to Turkey from abroad to will require you to follow specific procedures.

General entry requirements

Whether you are entering Turkey for a short or a long stay, you are allowed to bring a total of 2 pets (cats, dogs, or birds) or 10 aquarium fish with you.

All pets are required to carry an identification device - a microchip for cats and dogs, a ring for birds. Note the microchip must be a 15-digit ISO 11784 compliant. Otherwise, it is suggested that you bring your own microchip scanner since the microchips that are not ISO 11784 compatible will not be readable by the authorities at Turkish customs.

On arrival, you will be asked to present the Turkish border control services with a certificate of health (one per pet) guaranteeing that your animal is fit to travel and that it does not suffer from any contagious diseases. The certificate should have been established by an official, government-certified veterinary in your home country, 2 days prior to the scheduled time of departure at the latest.

Turkish border services will also have your pet examined by a local official veterinarian to double-check its good health.

Good to know:

If your pet does not fall within the aforementioned species, do not hesitate to reach out to the Turkish Embassy or Consulate of your home country for further information before moving.

Do not forget to check your chosen transportation carrier's policy on pets. Here are for instance the applicable rules with Turkish Airlines.

Cats and dogs - Pet passports

Additionally, cats and dogs should have an updated vet passport or an identification card, including, for animals aged over 3 months, the dates of the latest vaccinations against rabies. Note that both cats and dogs have to undergo a test assessing the efficiency of anti-rabies vaccination at least one month before the scheduled date of departure.


A few dog breeds (Pitbull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro) are considered dangerous by the Turkish authorities and are prohibited from entering the country.

It is really important that you comply with all the legal requirements listed above. Otherwise, your pet will be quarantined. The whole process may sound like a bit of a hassle, but it is just a minor inconvenience when you remember that Turkey is a paradise for pets!

Pets travelling alone to Turkey

In case you wish to bring more than two pets or cannot travel with your pet, you will have to apply for an import license with the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture before shipping your pet.

A pricier alternative (that may ultimately be more comfortable for your pet) is to contract your pet's journey to a specialised company that will attend to the whole process on your behalf.

Useful links:

Pet transportation Turkey
International Pet and Animal Transportation Association
Animal Airlines
Animal Couriers

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.