Going Abroad

If you wish to take your dog with you when going for holidays abroad, relocating or any other reason, there is some procedure to be followed:

As a first step, you should make sure that your dog is healthy and fit to go on a journey (sick, very young or very old dogs may be better off left at home or a kennel). If you decide to take your dog with you when going abroad, you should first head to a vet to get your dog ready.

Your dog has to be properly identified, i.e. bear a microchip (your vet will take care of that). Make sure that microchip is implanted before the vaccination against rabies, as otherwise you will have to vaccinate your dog again.

Have your dog vaccinated against rabies after implanting the microchip and at least 21 days (but not more than 12 months) before travelling. Your dog must be at least 3 months old to be vaccinated.

Your dog has to have an up-to-date tapeworm and tick treatment.

Your vet should certify that your dog is fit to travel and had the necessary treatment by certifying so in pet's passport.

In order for your dog to be able to travel, s/he will need to get an EU pet passport, which should be issued and completed by your vet. This document bears a picture, an information about the owner, the date when your dog was microchipped, microchip number, your dog's vaccination records etc.

EU pet passport must be issued in addition to a Health Certificate.

Pet passports

Travelling by air

In case you travel by air, your dog will need a proper cage. The requirements for the crate might and in most cases do differ depending whether your dog is allowed in the cabin or has to go in the cargo hold. The main criteria though is for the crate to be big enough for your dog to be able to stand and turn around (see the illustrative picture below).

Dog measurements for crate


The criteria for the crate for dogs travelling in the cabin are less strict. The main criteria to meet are the weight (usually airlines require for the weight of the animal (including the transport crate) to not exceed 6-8kg). There are also maximum measures and other criteria to be met, wich differ depending on the airlines, so make sure you check beforehand.


If your dog travels in cargo hold, the crate will have to fulfil the requirements of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) specifications – you can find very detail explanations here.

In general, the crate has to be big enough, made out of solid materials to prevent the dog from escaping, should have a water container with outside access for filling etc. Ask for assistance in the pet shop to find the proper one for your dog.

Even though it is not required, you should put a note on the container with all the relevant information (name of your dog, age, destination, flight number, your address, telephone number etc.) just in case the crate is left behind. You could also put the same information somewhere on your dog's collar too just in case...

Travelling by sea

If you travel by sea, which is very unlikely, the ferries usually have their own kennels for dogs, so you shouldn't worry about that. A more difficult task would be to find a ferry from Cyprus and then to find the one that would allow dogs. Let us know if you do!

Sure enough, travelling by air (which for your dog means to be locked out in the cage for a long period of time) can be quite stressful, especially if you cannot take him/her with you in the cabin. Therefore, you should do anything possible for your dog to be as relaxed as possible.

As a starting point, you should arrange for a crate as early as possible and get your dog used to it. Your main goal would be for your dog to treat his/her crate as his/her own house (blanket, an article of your clothing, toys and treats inside will help). Do not force your dog to get into the crate, stay there if s/he is not willing to. Never lock your dog inside as a way of punishment. Only good emotions have to be associated with the crate.

Don't feed your dog during the last 2 hours before the flight as otherwise s/he might get an upset stomach.

On the day of travel get your dog his/her share of exercise so that s/he gets on the plane tired and willing to rest. Let your dog to go into the crate on his/her own – do not force. Close the crate door only when your dog gets comfortable inside. It will help to reduce the separation anxiety, if you leave your dog locked in the crate and then come back after 15 minutes (but do not let him/her out).

Let your dog to go for a final toilet walk as late as possible (you will have to put a blanket in the crate to absorb the "moisture" if accident happens).

You may also consider giving your dog sedatives, even though the ideal solution would be to avoid them. Use them only as a last resort and make sure you check with your vet on what sedatives can be given to your dog.

The procedure will vary on the size of your dog, airport and airlines rules.

Call the airlines and inform them on your plans to take the dog with you when booking the tickets. The time needed for each airlines is different, but it is always better to act as early as possible. You should also call at least 24 hours before the flight to make sure everything is still in order. Take a notice if the flight is shared and operated by other airlines – you will need to double check with them too if your dog is allowed and what is the exact procedure.

In most cases, you will pay for your dog as an extra baggage at the airport and not when booking your tickets. Some airlines do not allow the extra baggage of over 32 kg and apply the same rules for when transporting your dog, so, again, make sure you miliarize yourself with the airlines rules.

Arrive at the airport as early as you can so as to save you from any stress. You will need to go through check-in, pay for extra-baggage, maybe go through additional procedures because of special baggage etc. And imagine the situation if there are problems with the crate, dog etc. Some of the airlines have specific rules on when you should check-in if accompanied by the dog.

Even if you meet all the requirements and did everything correctly from your side, the airlines still have the final saying whether your dog will be allowed in the plane or not for whatever, if any, reason.

If your dog is flying with you in the cabin, you will most probably be allowed to go through the security check together. Often you will be asked to let your dog out of the crate and walk through the security check with him/her on lead while the crate being scanned. In case of dogs flying in the cargo hold, you will have to check-in your dog at the old airport if flying from Larnaca and at a different station of Paphos airport if flying from Paphos airport (at the last roundabout go straight (first exit) and look to your right). The dogs flying in cargo will have to be checked-in at least 3 hours before the flight - that means they will stay in their crate for this much extra time!

In case of connecting flights, you may have to check-out, claim your baggage (and your dog) at the connection point as if arriving at the final destination and then perform the procedures for boarding again. In other cases, the airlines personnel will take care of your dog at the connecting airport and you will be able to reunite only at your destination point. When you arrive, you will have to claim your dog at the counter for a special baggage.

Different and much more simplified rules and procedures apply for service dogs.

A very important note is to make sure that you meet the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to. There might be more complications when taking your dog to a non-EU country. Here is a short list of the entry requirements for Cyprus:

  • The only points of entry are (1) Larnaca and Paphos airports, if travelling by air, or (2) Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos ports and marinas, if travelling by sea;
  • The dogs must be properly identified (microchipped) and vaccinated against rabies;
  • No dogs aged less than 111 days old are allowed to enter to Cyprus regardless of the country of origin;
  • The following breeds of dogs are not allowed into the Republic of Cyprus regardless of their country of origin.
    • American Pitbull Terrier; Pitbull Terrier;
    • Japanese Tosa; Tosa Inu;
    • Dogo Argentino; Argentinean Mastiff;
    • Fila Brasileiro; Brazilian Mastiff;
  • The dogs must travel in cages that meet the specified requirements (IATA, if travelling by air, or legislation in force, if travelling by sea).
  • If you are coming from an EU Member State, you are allowed to bring your pets to Cyprus provided they possess either a passport or an Animal Health Certificate. But, if you are coming from a non-EU country, you will also need a Vaccination Certificate (especially showing vaccination against rabies).
  • The date, time of arrival and flight number of the aircraft or the name of the vessel with which the animal is due to arrive in Cyprus must be communicated to the District Veterinary Officer at the point of entry, 48 hours prior to arrival.
  • Dogs and their accompanying documents are inspected on arrival by the Veterinary Officer or by the duty Customs Officer acting on behalf of the Veterinary Services.
  • Dogs that fulfill the relevant veterinary provisions will be allowed to enter without being subject to quarantine.
  • The Veterinary Officer in charge decides on the basis of the relevant veterinary provisions whether the animal will be quarantined or not.

Most of the low cost airlines do not accept dogs.

Below is the list of airlines that accept dogs and fly to/from Cyprus, make sure to check their websites for special conditions and rules:

Oh, get ready...especially if you are proud owner of a "giant" dog.

The costs of the vet, treatments, microchip and documents will seem like a joke. The price of course depends on the vet, but you could assume that microchip, documents and treatment (each separately) should cost somewhere €20 - €30 each (maximum).

The cost of the crate will depend on the size, the type and from where you are going to buy it. Just as a comparison, the starting price for crates for small dogs would be somewhere from €40 and the one suitable for Buddy (mere 34kg) would be around €200 - €250.

The biggest expense will be the airline charges, which depend on the size of the dog and whether the flight is within Europe and third countries or inter-continental. On average, the fees for small dogs vary between €40 and €125, medium dogs (up to 25kg) - €80 - €150 and giants from €150 to €300.

Some airlines charge for dogs as an extra baggage, i.e. specified extra charge for each kilo (of your dog and crate).

You may also consider using agents that provide pet travel services (like Pet Air UK, PetsawayUK and other), especially if you cannot travel together with your dog. In many cases, when travelling to/from UK, the airlines themselves will demand you of using the agents instead of transporting your dog by yourself. This of course will cost you some extra cash as well.

The Veterinary Services - Animal Health and Welre Division (AHWD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment provides information regarding the transport of animals to and from Cyprus.

Animal Health and Welre Division (AHWD)

Veterinary Services Headquarters

Tel: +357 22805152/5/253

Fax: +357 22805174

Email: animal.health@vs.moa.gov.cy

To be honest with you, we are too scared to take Buddy with us when travelling abroad, especially because the flights to our main destination are not direct and take around 10 hours... As sorry as we feel to exclude him from our life for a week or two, we believe that he will enjoy himself better with temporary "nannies" (he is not keen of kennels either...).

But if you do travel with your dog abroad, please share your experiences in the comments below – please tell as much as you can to enlighten people like us Smiley.