If you are going to move to Cyprus for a long period of time (or for the rest of your life) you will need to take your small friends with you. In fact, it is not so difficult to bring a pet to Cyprus, but you need to start preparing for this event in advance.
1. Preparation (at least 2-3 months before your trip)
Why so early? Unfortunately, in many countries there is no compulsory vaccination and microchipping. Foreign pet owners often neglect these procedures, or even do not know about them at all. But Cyprus is a European country and has different laws. All pets must be microchipped and get into an international database, as well as vaccinated against common diseases.
If your pet did all the needed vaccines and is already microchipped, you can skip this chapter and have a sign with a relief as the half of your job is done. The only limitation is that the rabies vaccine quarantine (the rabies vaccine usually goes with other vaccines) lasts 30 days. Therefore, please remember that the animal cannot be taken anywhere right after the vaccination. If you do not meet your deadline, move the schedule 1-2 weeks earlier.
1.1. Contact Veterinary Public Health Division
You can get comprehensive advice fr om a Veterinary Public Health Division by phone or in person. They will tell you in detail if your animal is on the list of pets prohibited to be brought to Cyprus, they will tell you which vaccinations are needed and how to get the appropriate certificates and other documents.
It is better to get advice from them as the rules periodically change. If you or your friends brought your animal to Cyprus 3 years ago and didn’t have any problems, it does not mean that this time everything will be the same. Be sure to ask all your questions to the Veterinary Public Health Division at your place of residence or contact the Cypriot one.
All animals in Cyprus must be microchipped. Thanks to microchipping we have the international pet database, we can search for lost animals and get information about the pets owners.
Many pet owners are afraid that a MICROCHIP will be implanted under the animal's skin. In fact, there is nothing to worry as the implantation and the microchips are not dangerous for animals. And the operation is inexpensive (€10-20).
In the veterinary clinic, the animal is examined (only healthy pets are allowed to be microchipped), then a chip is inserted into the withers. The "operation" takes no more than a few seconds. Cats and gods have a very few number of nerve endings at the withers, so they don’t feel pain.
To get to Cyprus, you need to order an ISO 11784 or ISO 11785 microchip with a 17-digit code. If your pet already has an old-style 10-digit microchip, then you need to purchase a device to read it and take it with you, or you can remove the previous microchip and ins ert a new one. Sometimes the latter is easier to do than the former.
1.3. Vaccination and obtaining a veterinary passport
Ideally, each kitten and puppy should be vaccinated at 2.5-3 months old and then be vaccinated annually. Alas, many owners don’t do it, especially if they have a mongrel animal. But before you go to Cyprus, you have to vaccinate your pet, otherwise it will not be allowed to come into the country.
Keep in mind that 10-20 days before vaccination, all animals are dewormed. You can use both drops and tablets. Without this preliminary procedure, your pet will not be accepted for vaccination.
Important: don’t throw the sticker that the manufacturer puts into the pets anthelmintic drugs. When you come for the vaccination, you will need to give this sticker to the veterinarian and he will glue it into the veterinary passport, he will put the date of deworming and certify everything with a doctor’s seal. You will need all this to obtain a veterinary certificate (see below).
If this is the first time you give your pet a vaccine, then keep in mind that you will have to give 3 injections:
- The first injection is a complex vaccine. Cats are vaccinated against distemper, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus, dogs are vaccinated against a wider range of diseases. It is better to choose a European vaccine (for example, Nobivac), because some non-European vaccines can not be approved by EU authorities.
- The second injection is given simultaneously with the first one. It is a rabies vaccine.
- The third injection is the same as the first one, it is scheduled usually 3-4 weeks after the first injection (the exact time depends on the vaccine).
Be sure that your veterinarian gives you certificates of vaccinations after all the process. In addition to the certificates, he should issue an international veterinary passport for your animal and also put marks on vaccination there.
Some information about the veterinary passport. The passport is issued in a veterinary clinic. The cost of the document is often already included in the price of vaccination or microchipping, but sometimes you need to pay extra fees. The veterinarian should issue it, fill out all the forms, put all the necessary stamps and add some information about the pet and its owner.
Our advice: The best schedule for all veterinary procedures before travel is:
1. Microchip the animal exactly 3 months before your trip. Then wait for 1-2 weeks as microchipping is a light form of operation, and you should not immediately overload your pets body with other medical procedures. But this time you can apply for your pet passport in a veterinary clinic if you don't already have one.
2. Deworm your cat or dog 2.5 months before your departure. Wait for 10-14 days.
3. Take your pet to the veterinary clinic for the first vaccination, now it is 2 months before departure.
4. Wait for 3-4 weeks, make your pet vaccinated one more time (if needed). Make sure you have 31 days or more before departure, but not less!
If you start all the procedures earlier, you will have to deworm your animal again a couple of weeks before the flight as this all is necessary to obtain a health certificate.
1.4. How to choose the pet carrier
You need to purchase a hard-sided carrier to transport your pet on an airplane. Not fabric, but plastic, iron inserts are acceptable.
It is important to first choose the airline you will fly with, and only then to buy a carrier. Because each air company has its own requirements for pets carrier dimensions.
It is better to start looking for a carrier in advance: at least a couple of months before your departure. Firstly, you may not find a container that is ideal for the requirements of the airline even if you live in a big city. What can we say about small towns? If you don’t find it, you will have to order it in the online store and wait for it to be delivered.
In addition, the carrier should stand for 1-2 weeks in the house, soak in the "domestic" smell. Ideally, if the cat or dog lies down and sleeps in it at home for a short period of time. And if you buy an unfamiliar thing that smells of plastic, put your pet in there and take it to another country, your pet will have twice as much stress.
2. What animals cannot be brought to Cyprus
Four breeds of dogs are not allowed to be brought to the island and are forbidden to breed:
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- Tosa Inu.
These dogs are considered especially dangerous, so it is not possible to take them with you to Cyprus. Other dogs, as well as cats and ferrets can fly to Cyprus after they have all vaccines done and microchipped.
Handsome pitbull. Alas, it cannot go to Cyprus with you.
Also you will not be able to bring a pet that is younger than 3 months.
Because the vaccine can only be given to a two-month-old pet baby, plus you need to wait a month of quarantine after. So it turns out that a kitten or a puppy must reach 3 months of age to travel abroad.
More exotic animals like a hamster, chinchilla, fish, frog or lizard, snail and bird, are difficult to transport. Firstly, there are no conditions for transporting them on the plane (although some airlines take cages with birds and rodents on board). Secondly, they cannot be vaccinated and, therefore, nobody can be sure about their health. Thus you must consult the Contact Veterinary Public Health Division regarding these pets.
It is also worth noting that you can take to Cyprus your brachycephalic dog, but you cannot take it by plane.
Brachycephalics are dogs with short snouts. Their features of the structure of the skull are so unique, that they cannot withstand pressure drops, therefore, many brachycephalic dogs die during takeoff and landing. These dogs have to be transported only by land and water transport.
3. Pets air transport rules
Strong recommendation: try to book non-stop flights! First, the pet has less worries. Secondly, you don’t need to worry about pet carriers, if it suits the rules of different air companies.
Each airline has an animal transport service, at least cats and dogs. But not all companies allow travelers to take pets into the aircraft cabin, some companies place pets only in the aircraft hold. What is better?
If possible, always choose the cabin. Even if it is more expensive, your pet will feel safe and calm next to the owner.
Now some airlines offer an amazing service: buy a separate seat for a pet. The option allows you to take a larger animal into the cabin and keep it next to you, and not under your seat.
This is great, because it is almost impossible to carry a large Maine Coon in the cabin under the seat as a large cat cannot fit into a small carrier. The same applies to dogs of the Corgi breeds, Scotch Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, etc. But if you buy a separate seat for such a pet, the spacious carrier will fit perfectly on the chair.
Most cats and small dogs (toy terriers, chihuahuas, dachshunds) can safely be transported in small containers under the seats. If there is an empty seat next to you, you can take out the carrier and put it on a free seat as the plane has gained altitude. But be sure to return it when your plane is going to board.
Large dogs (from 15 kg) have to be carried in the luggage hold. Choose a reliable company, preferably a European one, because they are much more careful with the animals on board. Read the reviews of other people who have traveled with animals, cat and dog lovers willingly share this information. Lots of forums have detailed discussions about airlines which love animals and which are negligent and inattentive.
If you have several pets, only one will be allowed to be taken to the salon. Some airlines make an exception and allow two family members to take two pets.
However you decide to take your pet (in the cabin or in the luggage hold) make sure that:
- the carrier doors are tightly closed
- inside the carrier there's water in a sippy cup
- a disposable and well-absorbent cloth (if suddenly the fluffy pet does not endure to the toilet) does not move along the bottom and does not get knotted
- the pet has a warm blanket, this is especially important for those animals that fly in the luggage hold.
While many advise putting in food for a long flight, it is hardly worth doing. Firstly, the animal will definitely lose its appetite from stress, and food will not interest the pet, even if it has not eaten for 12-14 hours. Secondly, the pet may vomit during takeoff or landing, and it is better that it is not a plentiful vomit mass, but a small puddle.
Try to avoid crowds at airports and choose a distant corner for waiting. Do not let your pet out of the carrier (except for passing control): the animal can feel panic and start running away. In addition, many tetrapods perceive the home smell carrier as a refuge, and are much calmer inside it than outside.
Be sure to check with your airline before traveling. Ask them as many questions as you need. The main thing is to find out everything in as much detail as possible in order to prepare yourself and prepare your pet.
4. Veterinary control at airports
2-3 days before departure, you need to bring your pet to the veterinary service unit in your country. Don't forget to take a veterinary passport and certificates of vaccinations. There the pet should be examined, confirmed that it is healthy, and then they issue a veterinary certificate.
4.1. Preparation and visit to the veterinary control service
It makes no sense to go to the state veterinarian before as the certificate is valid for 3 days. Make an appointment in advance and explain to the doctor that you need the Animal Health Certificate. The certificate confirms that the animal is healthy and is not dangerous to citizens and the ecosystem of Cyprus.
Please note: the classic frequency of deworming is once every three months. If you gave the pill 4 months ago and earlier, it is better to deworm the animal again 1-2 weeks before the vet control. The certificate may not be issued without deworming.
4.2. Some pets may need special permission to leave the country!
In some countries the pedigree animals cannot be taken out of the country just because the pet owners want it. The owners need to confirm that the pets are not stolen and they don’t have special value. Yes, like works of art!
In advance (preferably one month in advance) you need to visit the club of the breed that your cat or dog belongs to. If you bought a pet along with documents, take them with you: both when going to the club and on a trip.
In the club, the owner will receive a certificate stating that the animal does not represent breeding val ue if the animal is not allowed for breeding (pet class). If the owner and his animal fly to mate or to an exhibition, then the certificate will be of a different type. In any case, it will indicate the characteristics of the animal's exterior, as well as the owner's data.
4.3. Border control in Cyprus
If you managed to easily leave your country, it actually does not mean that all the problems are over. You and your furry friend have to go through veterinary control at the airport in Cyprus.
Pets traveling in the luggage hold are given to the owners in another place, not in the baggage carousel. Therefore, manage to pick up your pet in one place, and your luggage in another one.
Important: 48 hours before arrival, you must notify the veterinary service of Larnaca or Paphos airport that you plan to arrive with a pet. The veterinary service staff speaks English and sometimes other European languages.
Telephones for communication: +357 24 304275/276 (Larnaca), +357 26 306269 (Paphos).
At the Cyprus airport, you will be invited to a special office wh ere a veterinary control officer should check the veterinary certificate and the health of your pet. The service costs from € 45 (at midday) to € 60 (at night). If everything is correct, then you can safely go to your new Cyprus home or to the hotel.
If the vets suspect that something is wrong with your cat or dog, veterinary control can send the pet to quarantine. The quarantine time can last as long as 6 months, but it cannot be longer than the time of your journey in Cyprus.
During the quorontin time, a specialist of the control service will visit you at the place of your stay several times to make sure that the pet follows the quarantine rules and that it is not dangerous to people and other animals. Quarantine must be paid as € 213.75 for six months or € 34.2 for each month of stay. The amount does not include taxes.
5. How to reduce your pets stress
Travel is a big stress for both pet and its owner, even if they often fly on airplanes. In order to reduce stress and avoid its consequences, it is worth preparing in advance.
When you visit your vet, ask him to recommend a sedative for the trip. Usually, veterinarians prescribe herbal sedatives with a cumulative effect, which means that you need to start giving them 5-7 days before the trip and stop giving only 2-3 days after the flight. Too shy animals should take strong drugs, but you need to strictly observe the dosage.
If you know that the animal gets sick on the road, ask the doctor to prescribe an antiemetic: it can be given 2-3 hours before leaving the house. Some sedatives already have antiemetics, so ask your doctor about all this in detail.
Try to make your cat or dog get used to irs carrier. To do this, leave the carrier open in the room, put a cozy blanket inside. You can play with your pet by removing the door of the carrier: let the pet jump over the carrier. The most important thing is that the smell of plastic, which will be painful for "sniffers", should disappear. The carrier should have the aroma of your own home.
Do not feed the pet immediately before leaving, it is better that the pet goes "with an empty stomach".
The ideal time for pet lunch is at least 3-4 hours (maximum 7-8 hours) before the trip.
Do not worry that your pet gets hungry, because of the stress it will not remember that it did not eat. In addition, both cats and dogs are predators, their digestive system is designed for situations when they cannot eat for a day. Abstaining from food will definitely be better than constantly feeling nausea, heaviness and vomiting while traveling.
At the same time you must give water to your pet. Attach a special sippy drinker to the carrier if the journey takes more than 4 hours. If your pet flies with you in the plane salon, you can just take an empty drinking bottle with you, these bottles are sold in pet stores. The stewardess will fill it with water at your request.
While the animal is in the carrier in a taxi, airport or plane, do not get it out. An exception is to take the dog to the toilet if there is a suitable place near the airport building. Stay with the animal all the time, but do not let it go.
Soothe him with your voice and try not to be nervous as the pets are very sensitive to the anxiety of the owner. You can let the animal sniff a finger through the carrier's bars, the pet will understand that you are near and do not abandon it.
6. How to leave the animal at home?
Of course, the four-legged-mustachioed-tailed friends are almost like children. We love them and consider them our family members. And they become attached to us with all their small souls.
But sometimes it is better to leave the pet at your previous home: don’t bring it to the animal shelter, bring it to your relatives, perhaps find new good owners. Not because you want to, but because your animal needs it. What reasons can be for a sad breakup? These:
- The dog belongs to the breed prohibited in Cyprus. Here, no tricks help you and you will have to find new good hands for the dog.
- The animal is strongly attached to a family member who remains in his homeland. Moreover, cats can be no less faithful than dogs. If you love an animal, but it considers another person to be the owner, it is better to leave him with him. Otherwise, the pet will simply get sick (and even die) from stress and melancholy.
- The pet has a dangerous disease or is brachycephalic. About brachycephalic dogs it was said above: that cannot be taken on board the plane. They can be transported by train and ferry, but this requires a more extensive list of veterinary permits and certificates. Also, if a cat or dog suffers from diseases of the heart, blood, or they have head problems), it is better not to take animals as they can die on the road.
- The animal is too shy. If your cat or dog was taken from the street intimidated or suffered from trauma, it may become very fearful. Some pets are afraid of people, some are afraid of a change of home. Count the risks and think: will your pet tolerate the road, or is it easier for him to stay in his previous country?
- The animal is more than 13-15 years old. Carrying an "old man" to distant lands is a dangerous undertaking. It may get sick and never recover.
- The journey will take over 14 hours. If you do not have the opportunity to take a break on the road (for example, stay at a hotel and rest for a day) and have to fly for a very long time, and even with transfers, maybe it is better to leave the animal at home. For long travel you can take a small dog that is allowed into the salon. A large dog will have to fly in the luggage hold all the time, and it will experience a lot of discomfort and stress. Cats are basically not travel enthusiasts, and such a long journey can be fatal for them.
But, if you really, really want to bring your pets with you, you can find a way out of almost any situation. The main thing is to get down to your plans in advance and responsibly! Then the paperwork and the trip will be as easy as possible for you and for your small friend.
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