Close

Traveling to Costa Rica with your pet

Recommend

Wondering how travel to Costa Rica with your pet? Find some tips in this article for a safe expatriation.

If you are planning to move to Costa Rica, you will probably want your pet to accompany you during the trip. It is best to inquire about related formalities before proceeding, but these should not be complicated. Like most countries worldwide, Costa Rica is also very open towards pets, whether these are dogs, cats, etc.

Conditions

First of all, your pet must have a pet passport or a health certificate for the transportation of pets. The pet passport must be signed and stamped by a licensed veterinary and the health authorities in your home country provided your pet's vaccines have been updated. In this case, you do not have to produce a pet health certificate.

The pet health certificate, if it applies, must state that your pet is healthy, that it is not suffering from any infectious or contagious disease, and that it has received treatment against internal and external parasites.

 Important:

The following vaccinations are compulsory before traveling to Costa Rica: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies (for more than four months old pets). Note that the rabies vaccine must be administered at least one month before your pet's scheduled arrival date in Costa Rica. The rabies vaccination in the country is valid for one year.

Costa Rican veterinarians also recommend pets to be vaccinated against the corona-virus. The vaccine's validity generally varies according to the pet's age and international regulations that are known to veterinarians.

Transport

You do not have to apply for a pet import permit if your pet has been declared as personal or hand luggage. However, local health authorities will request you a pet import permit issued by the Costa Rican Ministry of Health if the animal has been transported by air freight.

To apply for the pet import permit, you have to produce a duly filled and signed application form Departamento de Cuarentena Anima before departure (it can be faxed or mailed). Thereafter, you are required to call at the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal (SENASA), within 48 hours following your arrival, to recover the pet import permit. Note that you will have to produce the international health certificate for the transit of pets issued by a licensed veterinarian in your home country. Fees of US$ 15 apply.

 Good to know:

If these steps seem complicated to you, you can also seek the assistance of an intermediary.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Moving to Costa Rica with pets Forum 
Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal (SENASA) www.senasa.go.cr

Recommend
expat.com Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
Write a comment

See also

You are advised, when moving to Costa Rica, to keep a list of useful contacts within reach before you actually get used to living there.
Life in Costa Rica is more than just the sun and the beach. It is also about a vibrant lifestyle that should be interesting to discover as an expat.
What does living in Costa Rica have to do with the current uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East? Should we join in and set our self on fire or remain in paradise and hide our head in the sand?

Expatriate health insurance in Costa Rica

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Costa Rica

Moving to Costa Rica

Find tips from professionals about moving to Costa Rica

Travel insurance in Costa Rica

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Costa Rica

Flights to Costa Rica

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Costa Rica