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What is a Pet Passport?

An EU Pet Passport is a small blue booklet containing various sections for your vet to complete about your pet, such as, microchip details, rabies vaccination, rabies antibody titre blood test (if required) and result and tapeworm treatments. It can also be used to record general vaccinations. Domestic cats, dogs and ferrets can travel around Europe and/or back into the UK, with an EU Pet Passport. Passports are available from any vet. Please call your local vet for more information.

I’ve got a French Bulldog, I’ve heard airlines won’t ship him as he’s snub nosed

Many airlines won’t ship bracheycephalic (snub nosed) dogs or if they do, they put restrictions on when they can travel. As Thomson’s main pet agent in Cyprus we ship many snub nosed dogs, the only stipulation is that they are transported in a crate one size larger than if they were not snub nosed. In warmer months, extra care is taken on departure to ensure they are cool and comfortable in their travel crate.

I want my pet to come in the cabin with me

Unfortunately, on flights entering the UK, animals must travel as manifested cargo. This means that they must travel in the hold. On some internal flights within the EU, ie Cyprus to Greece, pets can travel in the cabin with you, and are charged as excess baggage. However, in such circumstances, there are limits to the size of travel box allowed in the cabin, which is very small. If too large, your pet must travel in the hold. As a rule, pets can only travel as “excess baggage” if accompanied by a full fare paying passenger.

Won’t my pet get cold if it’s in the hold?

Most aircraft are suitable for the transportation of live cargo, very few are not. The cargo hold is heated during the flight and the lights dimmed to ensure your pet travels in comfort.

Help! I’ve had to travel earlier than expected and I cannot take my pet on the same flight. What can I do??

The first thing that springs to mind is DON’T PANIC! Annie’s Animal Ark offers a home from home dog boarding service. I can easily board your dog until it is ready to join you. If you have a cat, there is a nearby cattery who can board your cat before I transport it to its departure airport. Don’t worry about the paperwork, sort yourself out, I will sort out your pets!

My pet doesn’t like travelling, can I give him a sedative?

Pets must NOT be sedated prior to travel as adverse reactions and breathing difficulties may occur due to the change in air pressure. If it were sedated and were to wake up in unfamiliar surroundings, it could cause your pet a huge amount of stress and cause it to panic. Sedation also dehydrates which is not recommended. Cats, in particular, usually sleep the whole way. Annie’s Animal Ark will spray Feliway™ in your cats travel crate prior to travel. This is a pheromone spray and has been proven to de-stress cats. One owner, having collecting her cat whose box was liberally sprayed with Feliway™ prior to travel, reported him as being “extremely chilled” upon collection.

What documentation do I need?

Cats, dogs and ferrets travel under the Pet Passport Scheme. This allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets to travel easily between member countries (both European Union and some Non-EU countries) and return to the UK without undergoing quarantine – providing all the rules are adhered to. Please follow the link to the DEFRA website for more information. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-quarantine
If travelling more than five days before or after the owner or are going to anywhere within the EU to be re-homed, different paperwork is required – please ask me for details.

What do they need to get a passport?

Cats and dogs need to have a micro-chip and be vaccinated against rabies. One to five days before travel dogs require to be treated against tapeworm using an approved tapeworm treatment. Cats and dog must also be declared “fit to fly” by a vet who will stamp and sign the Clinical Examination page of their passport. Whilst it is not an entry requirement for many countries, it is also a good idea to ensure your pets’ yearly vaccinations are up to date.

Will my pet have enough space in their travel crate?

Yes. The regulations ensure that your pet will be able to stand up, in a normal position, lie down with ease and turn around comfortably. The size of your pet AND the size of crate is checked prior to booking to ensure they comply with IATA regulations. If your crate is too small, it can run the risk of being refused travel.

How long do pets wait before they fly?

Pets being transported have to be at their departure airport between three and four hours before their flight’s scheduled departure time. Crates are x-rayed and placed on the cargo trolley and then the dogs placed in them. Cats can be x-rayed but it is not recommended. It is preferable for the owner or Annie’s Animal Ark to remove the cat from their travel crate and place in another box whilst the travel crate is x-rayed. This removes the need for the cat being subjected to x-ray. There may be a brief time when dogs can be taken for a quick walk once the crates have been x-rayed, however, once secured in their travel crate NO pets are removed.

How long after arrival into the UK can I collect my pet?

Animal handling agents in the UK say that you can collect your animals approximately two hours after their flight arrives if it is coming from an EU country. If arriving from a non-EU country, clearance can take up to five hours. This gives ample time for all documentation and clearances to be obtained. Some provincial airports ie Bristol / Doncaster may have a slightly less waiting time.

I’m travelling on the same aircraft, how long do I have to wait?

Pets are off-loaded once all the passengers have disembarked. You then collect your pet from the Animal Reception Centre which is nearby. If your pet is travelling unaccompanied, it will be cleared through Customs by a handling agent and then you collect it from the Animal Reception Centre, approximately two hours after arrival.

I’ve found an adorable kitten/puppy I want to take to the UK – what can I do?

As you may know, there are many, many unwanted and stray animals throughout the EU and especially in Cyprus. Very often people come on holiday and a kitten or puppy may adopt them and then they don’t want to leave it.

For a pet to travel under the Pet Passport Scheme, it needs to be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies vaccinations cannot be given to any animal under 12 weeks of age, there is then a statutory 21 days wait after the rabies vaccination before it can travel. Theoretically, the youngest an animal could travel is when it is 15 weeks and one day of age. Annie’s Animal Ark can arrange to care for your kitten or puppy, take it to the vet to receive all the necessary vaccinations, source a suitable travel crate and then ship to you. Please contact me to discuss costs involved.

I always treat my dog for tapeworms, will it have to be done again before he/she flies?

The answer to this is YES. A vet must give an approved tapeworm treatment 24 to 120 hours ie one to five days before travel, they have to sign and stamp the Pet Passport to confirm this has been done. Before giving your dog its tapeworm treatment, the vet will always check the microchip number in your pet corresponds to that shown in the Pet Passport.

I’ve got two cats that are best mates, can they travel together??

A maximum of two cats or dogs, puppies or kittens that are used to being together are allowed to travel together. Each pet must weigh no more than 14kg.

What animals can we ship?

Any pet can be moved as long as the destination country is prepared to accept it. Annie’s Animal Ark has shipped many types of dogs, cats, rabbits, chinchillas, snakes, reptiles and birds/parrots. With regard to larger animals, please contact us in the first instance and we will be happy to advise.

Feeding and watering?

Animals are not fed during the flight and it is advised that they are only given a very light meal on the morning of travel if travelling in the evening, otherwise only feed them the night before. They do not need food in their travel crate. Animals that are house trained do not wish to soil their bedding so it is kinder not to give them too much food. It is also advised that dogs are exercised as near to departure from home as possible. Water will be given by Annie’s Animal Ark prior to departure and a bottle of local water is always left with your pet for airline staff to top up

Collars and Leads

Dogs can wear collars when they travel, although it is not recommended that cats wear them (they can be attached to the handle of their travel crate). A slip lead should be attached to the outside of your dogs travel crate as he/she may be taken out at the Animal reception Centre upon arrival but before collection.

Bedding

It is recommended that a puppy pad is placed in your pets travel crate and then either a towel or pet blanket may be placed upon it. A pet bed can be included as long as it does not compromise the height of the crate ie cause the cat/dog’s ears to touch the inside. If you would like to provide, for example, an old t-shirt or pillow case of yours, this can also be placed in the crate as your scent will make them feel “at home” during the flight.

Toys

It is not recommended that any toys travel with your pet.

Medication

If your pet requires medication upon arrival at its destination, you will need to attach the medication AND a letter to the crate detailing the time and dosage of the medication. This letter needs to be signed by your vet and yourself. If it is NOT signed by you both, Animal Reception Staff may refuse to administer. Airlines CAN refuse to take medication, so it is advisable that you arrange for a supply to be sent to the Animal Reception Centre at the arrival airport for administration when your pet arrives.

Cat Litter

Cat litter must NOT be placed in your cats travel crate.

Is there access to my pets during the flight?

Neither passengers nor crew have access to the cargo hold during the flight and passengers will not have access to their pets during any refuelling stops.

Can our pet travel on the same flight as us?

If you can inform us which airline you are using and on what date; as long as there is space available and the airline have a license to carry animals we will endeavour to book your pet onto your desired flight.

How much notice is required?

As long as there is availability for your pet, flights can be booked up to 3 days before they travel. However, it is preferred that several weeks notice is given as during busy periods, many routes are filled to capacity.