Greece, a proud country, is famous for its history, earliest democracy, ancient philosophers, traditions, and many more. Its lush green forests with quiet lakes, endless blue beaches with crystal clear water, mountains, and islands make it a completely different experience for any tourist. Its Mediterranean weather attracts people from almost everywhere, not only for its tourism but also for relocating. More than 7 percent of Greece’s population is foreign compared to countries total population. Also, up to 11 percent of the greek registered labor force comprises foreigners. That is, of course, a significant number for any country.
Greeks’ friendly nature and reputation make this place heaven for ex-pats and tourists visiting Greece either to stay or to visit for a shorter period.
Traveling to Greece is generally an easy process; however, moving to Greece (or any country) may require hiring an agent, talking to people, searching for material online, and whatnot. You must meticulously study every process step and execute everything on time. Greece, being a part of the Schengen area, makes it much simpler for people traveling from within the Schengen states. In many cases, very minimal documentation is required, and many steps are required for people from other parts of the world to be exempted from being EU citizens. Generally, yes, once you have your documents ready, you are all set to make a move. A quick brief of the documents required if you are moving to Greece from any non-EU country will need a valid passport or travel document, a visa, two photographs, health insurance, a flight itinerary, and proof of accommodation. If you have a furry friend with you and are worried about how you would be traveling to Greece with your pet, then don’t worry; we have all the information needed for your move, and this article is explicitly focused on that.
Moving to Greece with pets can be a challenging process, but with proper planning and preparation, it can also be a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Tips To Consider When Moving To Greece With Your Pets
Before we delve into details, let us talk about some tips to consider when moving to Greece with your pets:
Research The Regulations
The more you are prepared, the better your chances of having a smooth movement. It is a good idea to read about specific regulations regarding the import of pets. Ensure you are familiar with these regulations and obtain all the necessary documents, such as veterinary certificates and rabies vaccination records.
Prepare Your Pet
While you probably cannot reduce the anxiety your furry friend will have during travel, you can complete health requirements comprehensively, and in time, so your pet does not have to wait during travel and feel more uncomfortable. Consider having your pet undergo a health check and any necessary treatments before the move to ensure they are in good health and ready for the trip.
Choose a reliable pet transportation company: Research and select a reputable pet transportation company specializing in international pet moves to Greece. They can help you with the logistics and ensure your pet’s smooth and stress-free move. Some of the companies that are in this business are:
- PetRelocation: 4 rating on Google and Facebook
- Happy Tails Travel: 4.6 rating on Google and an impressive 4.9 rating on Facebook
- IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association):
- Four Paws Logistics
- Pet Transport Pros
Pack A Comfort Kit
Prepare a comfort kit for your pet that includes their favorite toys, bedding, and food. This will help them feel more at home and comfortable during the move.
Get your pet acclimated to the new environment: Give it plenty of time to adjust to its new surroundings. Ensure they have access to plenty of water and a safe and secure resting place.
Take Your Pet To The Vet
Schedule a visit to a local vet soon after arrival to ensure your pet is in good health and up-to-date on necessary vaccinations or treatments.
Familiarize your pet with their new home: Gradually introduce them to their new home and surroundings, allowing them to become comfortable and familiar with their new environment.
Keep Identification Information Up-To-Date
Make sure your pet’s identification information, such as their name, address, and phone number, is up-to-date in case they get lost.
Plan For A Backup Caregiver
Plan for a backup caregiver in case you cannot care for your pet for any reason. This person should be familiar with your pet’s routine and have access to their necessary supplies.
Consider pet insurance: Pet insurance can help you financially in case of unexpected veterinary expenses. Research and compare different pet insurance options to find the best coverage for your pet.
By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free move to Greece with your pet. With proper planning and preparation, you and your pet can start enjoying your new life in Greece together.
Requirements For Bringing A Pet To Greece
If you have decided to move to greece along with your pet, you must be wondering what documents are needed; here is the detailed list:
According to Greece’s Pet Passport and Import Regulations, the minimum age for your pet to travel to Greece is 15 weeks.
The minimum age for your pet (puppies, kittens, and ferrets) to enter greece from the EU or countries without rabies risk is 15 weeks (minimum 12 weeks of age to administer the first dose of rabies vaccine and three more weeks to build immunity against rabies). The minimum age for your pet to enter greece from high rabies countries is seven months.
To start your journey with your dog, cat, or ferret, your pet must have a microchip installed.
The 15-digit microchip should conform with ISO 11784/11785. If you still have to get your pet microchipped, you should get it done with the requirements set by the greek passport ministry.
It’s mandatory to microchip your pets, whoever is re-marked since July 3, 2011. If your pet is already marked, then they are allowed to enter with a tattoo or alphanumeric code with clear visibility. The condition of the microchip is for the owner’s safety. If the pet gets lost, then it is easy to find out your pet. Secondly, if someone else claims the dog or cat, you can give proof of a microchip installed in the pet.
If in case your pet is not microchipped in compliance with ISO 11784/11785 standards, you are left with these three choices in hand:
- You can carry your microchip scanner.
- You can go to the Border Inspection Post, enter the EU, and ask the officials there if they have a scanner that can read your pet’s microchip.
- You can get your pet implanted with the ISO-compliant chip by your veterinarian if its current chip is still readable. You must document the number and implant date of two microchips in the EU health certificate.
A Rabies Vaccination
Every pet traveling to greece must have proof of the latest rabies vaccination administered after the microchip was implanted.
The first rabies vaccination, the primary vaccination, is given after implanting the microchip, and its validity is for one year unless specified by the manufacturer. If your pet’s last vaccination expires before the next dose, it will become the primary vaccination. Otherwise, vaccination administered after primary vaccination is known as a booster vaccination.
Suppose your furry friend kitten, puppy, or ferret is entering greece from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled region. In that case, primary vaccination should be given at most three weeks before entering greece.
As long as you have been given a booster dose, you are not required to wait unless:
- The earlier vaccination was given after implanting a microchip, and
- The booster vaccination was given before the expiry of the previous vaccination
Greece facilitates its travelers visiting greece with pets by honoring three-year rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and ferrets, provided its booster vaccination. While in greece, keep the health booklet of your pet maintained.
If your pet is entering from high rabies country, then the pet should wait at least 30 days after getting primary or booster vaccination before getting the rabies titer test.
Rabies Titer Test
If you are traveling with your pet from high rabies country, you must first implant a microchip and get a rabies vaccination. Once the pet is vaccinated, either a primary or booster dose, you must wait thirty days for a rabies titer test, FAVN.
You must process your pet’s blood sample in an approved laboratory for a rabies titer test. Assuming the results of this test are in an acceptable range, the pet can enter greece not earlier than three months after the blood is drawn. This process is only if you are coming from high-risk rabies countries.
Tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) Treatment For Dogs Only
Some EU countries ask for tapeworm treatment before entering their respective countries. But luckily, if you are entering greece with your pet dog, you do not need tapeworm treatment.
Unvaccinated Dogs, Cats, And Ferrets
The pets, dogs, cats, and ferrets that are not vaccinated against rabies are strictly not allowed to enter greece from any part of the world. Rabies vaccinations should not be given before 12 weeks of age.
Animal Health Certificate (For Non-EU Countries)
The animal health certificate required for your furry friend depends on the type of travel that you are doing. Will you accompany your pet, or it involves some sale, purchase, or transfer of ownership?
For non-commercial transport that is either pet is traveling with the owner or the owner will travel within five days of pet transport; no sale purchase or transfer is involved; the following regulations apply:
- A licensed veterinarian issued a non-commercial EU health certificate for greece. A government vet further approved it within ten days of arrival in greece.
- Suppose you are traveling with your pet from the U.S. In that case, the veterinarian must be authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture, and the united state USDA office should endorse the required health certificate. Alternatively, you can also get the certificate from a military veterinary corps officer.
- Suppose your pet travels from Canada; the Canadian food inspection agency must approve forms that Canadian veterinarians issue.
- If the pet is traveling to greece from the rest of the world, the relevant government body responsible for the import and export of animals should issue the form.
- This process allows the transportation of five or fewer pets, provided it’s not a commercial move. You must have signed a declaration for a non-commercial move of your dog, cat, or ferret.
Animal Health Certificate (For EU Member Countries)
For non-commercial transport of pets from an EU member country to greece is simple. According to EU regulations, your pet will already have a microchip implanted and an anti-rabies vaccination record maintained. You need an updated passport of your pet traveling with you.
Traveling With Six Or More Pets
As we discussed when you are moving to greece with five or less than five pets. If you are traveling with more than five pets for non-commercial use, the age of dogs, cats, and ferrets should be six months or older. Also, you must show the supporting documents for which your pet is traveling: some training, a competition, a show, or a sports event. If you cannot show this to the authority, then the pets will fall under the commercial transport category.
Which Dog Breeds Are Banned In Greece?
Well, as Greeks love dogs much, an equally large proportion of the population feels unsafe around dogs, especially with those who are aggressive breeds. Over time Greece also banned some of the breeds like:
Pit bull terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
…and some like Staffordshire bull terrier, English Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Japanese Tosa, and Fila Brasileiro. So if you are planning to travel to Greece and want to know whether you can bring your dog with you, it would be a good idea to do your research first, talk to some of the Greek locals, and plan well before taking your dog with you.
Traveling Greece From Malaysia And Australia
If the pet is entering from Malaya, peninsular Malaysia, the pet should meet the following criteria.
- Dogs, cats, or ferrets should not be in contact with pigs in the last 60 days before travel.
- The pets should not have lived in place of Nipah disease during the last 60 days.
- The pet should be tested negative for the Nipah virus in an authorized laboratory within ten days of travel.
Cats can only travel from Australia, provided they have not been living in the area of Hendra disease in the last 60 days.
Suppose you are traveling to greece with amphibians, ornamental fish, spiders, and invertebrates from EU member countries or rabies-controlled countries. In that case, you are not required to carry any veterinary certificate with no health restrictions. On the other hand, if you are traveling with rodents, rabbits, and reptiles from an EU member country or a rabies-controlled country, you need to have a veterinary health certificate.
Birds should have 30 days quarantine in their home country and a ten days isolation period with negative test results for avian influenza from the authorized laboratory.
Entering Greece By Air
Dogs, cats, and ferrets entering greece from non-EU countries by air should go to the Border Inspection Posts at mainland airports in Athens and Thessaloniki. Other airports in greece to travel with your pet are Rhodes, Kos, Kalimnos, Mitilini, Mirina (Limnos), Chios, Ermoupolis (Syros), Crete (Iraklio and Chania), and Corfu.
Suppose you have a transit in high rabies country. In that case, you need to show the Transit Declaration stating that your pet has been in no contact with rabies carrying animal and it remained secured during travel in the airplane and airport.
Pets coming from EU countries can enter greece directly.
If your dog is not a pet, and a turtle or a parrot, then you need to verify that it is not protected under CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. If this is the case, you must apply for additional permits, though only 180 countries have signed, participated, and enforced CITES.
Blood Test (Not Always Required)
If you are entering greece from high rabies country, you will be required for your pets’ blood tested.
What Happens If You Need To Follow The Requirements?
Suppose you are planning to visit greece with your pet without any document or health certificate issued by your veterinarian. In that case, your pet will be confiscated by the customs department at the airport. Later the pet will be moved to a local animal shelter house for quarantine.
Depending upon the missing document to enter greece, the quarantine time can vary from one week to six months. The worst situation can be missing a rabies vaccination certificate.
Before boarding a plane, complete all the documentation related to your pet’s travel to greece; otherwise, it will put you and your pet in danger.
Being in an animal shelter house for extended periods can traumatize your pet’s mental health. Along with that, it can have a heavy impact on your pocket as well. We suggest you get and prepare all the documents before your travel date.
8 Tips For Flying With Your Pet To Greece
If you need help with how to fly with your pet to greece, the following tips and tricks are for you.
Book A Pet-Friendly Flight
Before booking your flight, ensure that the airline has a pet-friendly policy. Make sure your dog, cat, or ferret is allowed to travel in the cabin with you, or if there is any need it can travel in a particular cargo area. Check with the airline about the size and breeds allowed in the airplane and the carrier you will be flying with. The requirements for big dogs are also specific for different airlines.
During the online reservation of your ticket, all airlines do not offer you to reserve a pet spot. So it’s better to make a reservation for yourself and your pet on a phone call. Not only this, but some airlines also limit the total number of pets allowed in any aircraft, so it’s ultimately essential to get confirmation about your dog, cat, or ferret first so that it can travel with you on the same flight. So do thorough research before making any reservation.
Train Your Pet To Like The Pet Carrier
When moving to greece, most of the time, your pet will be in a carrier. So it’s equally essential that your pet develops a positive association with the carrier. The pet should feel comfortable in the carrier to eat, relax and sleep. You can also add some of your pet’s favorite toys to the carrier. Something with your pet’s scent will add to your pet’s sense of security.
Before going on longer trips, you can also arrange shorter trips for your pet to get used to such an environment; if your cat is not leash trained, then you may need a giant pet carrier so it can stretch in the bag.
Prepare For The Airport Security Procedure
During your travel, you must also carry your pet outside the carrier to pass the metal detector. In some airports, you can get a private screening room, so you do not need to worry about your pet getting nervous in the loud environment. For that matter, you should get a harness and leash for your pet.
Ask For Relaxing Medication (Only If Necessary)
If you think your pet can get stressed during the travel, you can also ask your veterinarian about relaxing medication. It will help your pet on a smooth journey. And try this medicine beforehand in your home to observe its effect on your pet. Sometimes, the pet may have developed some allergy issues with that medicine, or even sometimes, the medicine does not work. So in all such instances, you know the alternative available to you.
Feed Your Pet At The Right Moment
According to a safe estimate, stop giving food to your pet at least 6 to 9 hours before flight time; it will reduce the risk of pooping or vomiting on the flight. You better give a bigger meal to your pet a night before travel. Also, pack your pet’s favorite food with you so you can feed it its favorite food when you arrive in Greece.
Keep Your Pet In A Safe Place Before Leaving Your Home
The pets may also get nervous while you are packing stuff for yourself and taking their carrier out. So please move your pet to a safe place in a bathroom with its favorite comfy blanket to relax. Later, you will know exactly where your pet is instead of searching the whole house just before your flight.
Pack Essentials For Your Pet
Along with packing food for your pet, you need to pack some other important stuff for your pet as well. It includes:
- Disposable foil and litter tray: before boarding the plane, get a quiet corner at the airport and let your cat do its business over there.
- Baby wipes: always carry wipes with you so if something unfortunate happens, you have something handy to clean up.
- Plastic bag: some extra plastic bag to clean up litter if some mishap happens, before throwing it into the bin.
- Water and food bowl: carry your pet’s food and water bowl.
- Absorbent toilet training pads: if your pet wants to do its business, it will save you and the rest of the passengers from the uncomfortable smell.
Check Airport Regulations
Whichever airport you are landing on, check out if they have pet relief areas, or in some airports, they allow the pet to be outside the carrier, but it should be with a leash.
Prepare For Customs And Immigration
After landing in the country, you will have to go to the customs and immigration department to show your furry friend’s documents; after that, a veterinarian will examine your pet, and after a successful examination, you will be allowed to enter greece.
If you are sending your pet through cargo it may take some time for your friend to be united with you.
Some FAQs For Moving To Greece With Pets
Pets Can Travel On Public Transport?
Provided they have a harness and are leashed. Hellenic train buses have specially designated seats for pet travel; your pet can travel in a special transport box. These particular buses have three seat maximum for pet travel at a time.
How Long Must A Pet Stay In Quarantine When Moving To Greece?
If pets are microchipped and vaccinated at the right time, and the owner has all the documents, then there is no restriction on your pet’s quarantine.
Does My Pet Need A Passport To Move To Greece?
It would help if you showed your pet passport and health certificate while traveling to Greece.
How Much Does Bringing Your Pet To Greece Cost
The cost of having a dog depends on your furry friend’s breed, size, and age. Usually, if you are flying to greece from the united states or Canada, the international dog cabin fee is around 200 dollars for one way. Some airlines offer cabins for pets up to 8 kg, costing the owner 60 euros on international flights and 30 euros on domestic flights.
Some airlines will charge you an extra seat and another 1500 euros each way. So the fee varies with your travel route and your pet’s weight. Even if you are traveling on British airways, it can cost you 800 pounds to 3500 pounds.
Life With Your Pet In Greece
Once everything is all set and you with your furry friend are ready to board, make sure the hotel you have reserved for your stay allows pets. If you have booked an apartment, you can ask your landlord whether they allow pets.
Once you are in greece with your furry friend, you are all set to explore greece. Just follow the instruction while going to public places and never leave your pet without a leash; otherwise, you will have to pay a heavy fine.
It always boosts confidence whenever you are with your friend or a companion. So being in a new place with your furry friend gives you a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Here we have discussed the process of moving to Greece with your pet. We wish you to have joyful moments while staying in greece.