If you already have a pet, you may take it with you to Ukraine. The other option is to buy one here  - or adopt it from a Pet shelter.Compared to Western countries, the Ukrainian pet regulations, care products market and public attitude differ considerably.

Legislation on pets maintance

The regulation development may be defined as rudimentary. There are no laws defending animals and this leads to many dogs being abandoned on the streets.

Ukrainian legislation on keeping pets is behind its time, uncertain and being complicated with municipal normative documents, valid in particular areas. Besides, as an essential part of the Ukrainian legislation, it is just not fulfilled. If only an offence draws an enormous response, some legal act will be undertaken - but that is more about who will "pay the most".

The Law prohibits keeping dogs of fighting and agressive breeds (though media regularly tell about clandestine dog fights) - although quite how they tell which breed is which is difficult to tell. Some cities (e.g. Donetsk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk) have obliged their owners of the pets to registrate the animals (but that seems to be mostly ignored by the locals as well).

There are no defined places for walking of dogs (though sometimes you may come across the relevant signs). As regards indoor places, it is common to leave your pet outside while settling your deals in a shop, a pharmacy or a bank but forbidden to enter bars and restaurants. That said, if you get on with the owner - and spend enough cash - dogs can be allowed in discretely :-). It is also permitted to enter some public places with small dogs and cats, held in a handbag - but you would not want to do that. Would you?

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Pets care

The pet products market is rather developed in Ukraine, so you won’t face problems feeding and looking after your little friend. Premium European and American brands are not available in Ukraine, but if so, they are overestimated. You may also run up with false veterinary medicines even in specialized drug-shops, so it is better to purchase them abroad as well. Anti-tick medicines and colars are very expensive here - as generally the best are European and imported.

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Veterinary and identification system

There are a big number of veterinary services for pets provided by small private enterprises and self-employed specialists. The tricky question is to find English-speaking one. The Ukrainians never take their pets to just any specialist - the same as services for people: they opt for hairdressers, dentists, lawyers based on personal endorsement. As regards veterinary institutions, sometimes highly-qualified veterinarians operate in the ordinary state clinics. And - in opposite - promoted private institutions may be well-appointed, but lack high-rank specialists.

Ukraine joined the international network for identifying lost animals in 2003. Nevertheless a pet chipping is still not popular and widely-spread in Ukraine. 

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Where to buy a pet

The common ways to find a pet of a particular breed are the following:

  • specialised clubs (via Web or at the specialised exhibitions mostly)
  • at private breeders (poor garanty if is not the official club member)
  • a pet shop (very limited choice)
  • pet markets (no garanty on origin and healthy).

If you are not fussy you may take a pet from one of many special shelters, which are overcrowded and wil welcome your interest. If not, you may purchase a pure-bred dog or a cat at the private pet nursery. If you are addict of the very particular breed, as the range of species in local nurseries is rather limited, you’d be better off to bring it from abroad. 

To sum up, to keep a pet in Ukraine is easy and not expensive. But, if you’re conscious about the real quality of its life, this hobby may hit you in your pocket.

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Bringing pets into/ out from Ukraine

Regulation on entering Ukraine with a pet is rather simple. If you are a citizen of the country with appropriate (low) level of rabies, you dog or cat should have such documents as the following:

  • documental proof of taking all relevant shots not earlier than 30 days before entering the border;
  • Ukrainian International Health Certificate.

Dogs should be immunized annually against distemper, rabies, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and parainfluenza.

To leave Ukraine with your pet you should take care about two certificates availability:

  • A certificate of good health and vaccinations.
  • The final animal export certificate.

If you departure point is Boryspil airport, you should address Veterinary Inspection officer for your pet checking procedure and getting.  The final animal export certificate.

Many airlines allow their passengers to carry small-size pets in hand luggage. Otherwise the animals travel in baggage department in special boxes, aligned with international and airlines’ corporate standards. Extra cost for pets transporting is charged any case.

Some more info on Pets - on Forum!

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