Updated 2 months ago

Many people want to come to the Dominican Republic with their pet and this article will explain exactly what you need to do.

Before you leave

It is possible to bring most animals, but not all, into the Dominican Republic, and before you leave you need to ensure you have the following:

  • Your pet should have a signed health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian not more than 14 days before the scheduled date of departure
  • The health certificate should clearly indicate that the animal is in good health, and should also include your name and address, and your pet's identification details, namely its name, breed, sex, colour, and age
  • Your pet must have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before the scheduled date of departure and no more than 12 months before
  • Your pet must be examined by a veterinarian within 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure date. It must be free from any infectious diseases and must have been treated against external parasites
  • If the above requirements are not met, your pet may be held in quarantine for up to 30 days, depending on your country of origin
  • The Dominican Republic does not require that your pet be identified with a pet microchip, but it is still recommended that you microchip your pet and register your contact information prior to travelling as a means of identification should your pet be lost or separated from you. If your pet does not have a registered micro chip, make sure they are at least wearing tags that identify them and contain your contact information
  • Puppies and kittens are not allowed to enter the Dominican Republic without the relevant vaccinations including against rabies

Arriving in the Dominican Republic

Upon arrival at any Dominican Republic Airport, ask for the Animal Control Person (‘Sanidad Animal’ in Spanish). This person will review your Veterinarian certificates and fill in the official pet entry permission form required at a cost of approximately US$10.

Additional information

If you are coming from the USA, your pet's health certificate has to be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian and approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). This certificate should mention your name and address, as well as your pet's details such as its name, breed, sex, and age.

Your pet must also have been vaccinated against rabies, and the rabies vaccination certificate must have been dated on the vaccination day and must specify the product's name and its serial number. Note that the vaccination certificate has to be produced along with the health certificate.

You are allowed to bring in up to 5 pets at a time. Any more than this and you will be considered to be an importer of animals and there are considerably more requirements.

What about the airlines?

Some airlines do not transport pets at all, or if they do, may have limitations on the number they will carry, the maximum size (weight), and periods of time when pet transport is permitted (many do not allow carriage during summer due to higher temperatures). Some will allow small pets to be carried in the cabin as long as the carrier fits under the seat. Make sure you check the requirements with the airline before booking your ticket.

When you arrive in the Dominican Republic

Before you arrive, make sure the accommodation you are going into accepts pets. There are many rental homes and hotels that do not accept pets. Additionally, even if you purchased your home, there might still be restrictions, such as in apartment complexes.

Also bear in mind that vets are mostly only available in areas where there are expats, so if you are planning to live off the beaten track, chances are there will be no veterinarian service readily available.

What about other animals?

Birds entering the Dominican Republic will need an import permit, which is hard to obtain. Rabbits will need testing for rabbit hemorrhagic disease, myxomatosis, and tularemia. Invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals such as rodents are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to be able to enter the Dominican Republic. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country.

If your pet is not a dog, cat, or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations.

 Useful links:

Dirección General de Ganaderia
Ministry of Agriculture
Pet Travel
Pet Relocation

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.