If you are a current client, we will already have had lots of correspondence with you, so you should be aware of the process below, but for interested parties, the legal requirements for export of pets from Turkey are as follows:
1) Microchip - this must be recorded in the vaccination record book and dated, before anything else.
2) Rabies vaccination must be given and recorded in the vaccination record book
3) At least 30 days after the rabies vaccination, your pet must then have a blood sample taken by your vet.
4) Your vet must send the blood sample to Ankara for a titre test (results can take up to a month to be returned). The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml). Your vet must give you a copy of the test results
5) You must wait 3 calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel.
When you have date for travel you should apply to your local Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Gida Tarim ve Hayvancilik Bakanliği) in your area for the Veterinary Health Certificate. You will need help from a good vet who is experienced in the export of pets to Europe for this and all of the above.
NOTE: If you are returning to the UK and your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a European Pet Passport in the UK/EU before traveling to Turkey, then you do not need to wait to travel as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations have been annually kept up to date. A new blood test is not required as the original test will continue to be valid.
On the evening before travel you should not feed your pet, this is for their comfort. They will be fed or offered food later during the trip. You may also like to supply something with familiar aromas, to help them settle. The average travel time to Paws Bulgaria from most of the south west Turkish resorts is between 12-15 hours. Other popular collection locations are Ankara 7-8hrs and Istanbul 3.5 hours.
On the trips, we stop every 5/6 hrs during daylight hours only, to give the dogs a comfort break and us of course. We have set stopping places we feel it is safe to take the dogs out. We only do this one at a time, one dog per person, using slip leads. The water containers are checked and topped up and food is offered. The cats are checked and litter trays cleaned if required, and again water is replenished and dry food offered. That is the routine for the pets; otherwise we drive nonstop as the Crafter is fitted with a raised bunk-bed so one is sleeping and one drives. Other fittings are a fridge for our use and any pet medication, and of course the Great British item ‘the kettle’.
To transport your pet TO Turkey by road, you must have a European Pet Passport and a blood test. There is NO waiting period. We are however restricted in the number of pets we can enter Turkey with on one trip, with a maximum of 4 - either cats or dogs or mixed total of four. Pets going to Turkey will reside at PAWS until the next collection date. This maybe up to 3-4 weeks as this is to keep costs down and travel times. We have found that people who are relocating like this time pet-free to set themselves up in their new home and environment.
You will be issued with a password so that you can follow our progress online via the Webfleet tracker we have on board. You will also be updated by text and or phone on our arrival at the port of Calais. We take the same route through Europe every trip, so we do know it very well and where we can find a vet in an emergency. This has never been required, but there is a plan in place should it ever be the case.
We have a freight contract with P&O ferries. Prior to our arrival, we will have sent a manifest before we leave Bulgaria so it only remains for a check of passports and microchips. We have priority boarding as we have live animal cargo, plus we also have supervised access to the car deck during the 1.5 hour crossing to Dover should we feel a particular pet needs it.
Our business is customer lead and we endeavour to run trips 10/11 months of the year to meet demand. However, winter trips late November through to March are very weather dependent. We are usually confident to get your pets out of Turkey to PAWS but before the onward travel to the UK we must have a clear weather window to cross the Balkans. This means your pets may have an extended stay at our kennels in Bulgaria. We do not charge for boarding until the 10th day and then this is a minimal fee.
Arrival times at PAWS always seem to be the early hours of the morning. Your pets are exercised on arrival and kennelled with a good meal. The stay tends to be 2 days, maximum of 3. This time is spent getting to know your pets. This is important particularly with dogs, as we need to gain their trust for the onward trip as we will be getting them in and out of the vehicle. During the stop over our vet will exchange the Turkish paperwork for a European Pet Passport and the dogs will be administered an anti parasite.