Moving our Pets

We are planning to relocate to Nicaragua in the next year and we would love any help we can get on moving our pets with us. We have two older rescue dogs that we want to bring with us. We are not sure of the best way or if there is any service that helps move pets.

Any help in this area would be great.


Hello Joe and welcome on board :cheers:

While waiting for members to tip in, maybe you could find some useful informations here:

> Moving to Nicaragua with pets


Dear Joe,
    Familiar with process of leaving the US.  Struggling with the arrival forward process. Please do NOT rely on embassy info alone.  Make sure to use the USDA representative, (i.e. Vet), in your respective area. This guy will become a invaluable contactin the process.  I live in Jax, Fl and my USDA vet is in Gainesville, approx 2 hours away. Be advised that these people are your best source of UP TO DATE info.  Central America and South American countries are fickle regarding changing of requirements without notification.  Incorrect info can cost you time, money, and possibly quarantine. So here goes!  Please keep in mind that I have a service dog that flies at my feet, never in cargo. As such there may be additional requirements from the airline that affect your case.
     One of the biggest issues is the length of validity for your health certificate.  Many countries only
have a 10 day window.  You have to get your family vet to examine the pet, fill out the paperwork, get it to the USDA vet for "endorsement"  and back to you within a 10 day window. (A weekend can eat up 2-4 of those days) If you cannot go back to be the USDA office and meet your USDA vet eyeball-to-eyeball (as I prefer to do), count on several days of turnaround and please use expedited mail if you do not go directly to the USDA office.  I call my USDA vet and get an appointment  and he does it while I am in the office.   If you have to use mail, call and advise them of your tight timeline.   The USDA does not examine your dog, just the paperwork.  The endorsement is the final seal of approval in your exit from the US. Cost is $35.00 per endorsement per pet.
      I sent off to an online company for the health exam paperwork.  However the USDA vet told me that I wasted my money.   The paperwork that is necessary is the APHIS 7001, downloadable online.
It is imperative that it be completed exactly as required. Did I say exactly? My family vet is accredited by the USDA to complete the paperwork, so he knows exactly how it should be completed.  I believe a regular vet can do so, but they will need to be repeated contact with the USDA for much more specific instructions. Remember, time is NOT on your side.   Some vets also charge outrageous fees to do the APHIS, so shop around for a USDA certified vet and ask for pricing if you choose that option.
      My dog is going with me to Nicaragua next month.  I found out that Nicaragua does not
acknowledge the US 3 year rabies vaccine (only the 1 year) , so I had to revaccinate and now wait 30 days to enter Nicaragua.  Nicaragua also has concerns re fleas and ticks...I carry the boxes that the meds came in to prove I use preventatives.
      Let's move on to the airlines.   Check requirements BEFORE you book.  Again not a concern for me because of federal guidelines for disabled travelers, but a pet is different.   Some airlines require a health exam within 3 days of travel. A regular vet can do this!   Call and ask about the restrictions as they vary airline to airline. (ie. Carriers, multiple pets, temperatures).
      Do not be discouraged...but plan well in advance!  Keep multiple copies of paperwork and ask for originals to be returned, if possible.
      I am meticulous, so I err in over-preparation, rather than taking a chance and "hoping"for the best outcome. If you contact me after my Nov. trip I will have more info. about the process from landing in Nicaragua onward.  Good luck!

Hi Joe,

We know many people who have relocated to Nicaragua with their cats and dogs.

Here is the link to an article we published on my blog about Life with a Dog in Nicaragua. I think you will find the information helpful. … nicaragua/


Dear Joe,
    The health certificate noted in the last post is indeed the APHIS 7001 form (from the USDA).  I am glad to see that this appears to be the only form mentioned by poster that Nicaragua requires.   
     I have talked to other people who have used pet relocation services,  but not to Nicaragua per se.  In all cases it was costly,  and while some people raved,  there were a number who plan to do it themselves in the future.

Hi Elisha,
   I have previously posted regarding relocation to Nicaragua with my service dog.   I understand from your post to Joe that you know a number of people who have gone through the process.  I am looking for someone who might have done this recently, utilizing an airline.  I have already travelled to Mexico in late 2015, so I am not thoroughly unfamiliar with procedures we are to encounter, but more curious about Nicaragua specifically.  How do you notify the inspection people so they can examine the dog on arrival?.  I  saw that on the embassy website that 4 hours notice was required.  There is no contact information for the agricultural office at the airport and the embassy did not have that info.  A fax number would be great, or an e mail address would work.  I know better than to arrive after work hours, on Nica holidays, or on  Fridays because a delay could mean a weekend delay in processing.   
   Also, is there a pet relief station, or just the great outdoors?  If you do not have this information, perhaps one of your contacts might.  Any info is appreciated.

I researched this in 2013.  I found the only two cities that have such accomedations to fly pets overseas is in LA & Miami.  Miami was closer for me so I called that airline.  I think it was American or could be Conntental. Do a Google search on what airline will fly my pet overseas. 
They will tell you what you need to do.
Like papers documenting the health of your pet.  Cageing your pet is also a concern as there are international guidelines on the length,  width & height  of the cage.  Basically your pet needs to stand, sit  and lay down w/out the sides, front, rear and top interfering w/out interfering w/your pet.  Need turn around room for your pet also.
All paperwork should be done in English and maybe the country's language you are going to.  Check that out w/the councilet of entry before flying.
I will look up my notes and find phone numbers of the Airline's office for flying pets so you can call and get the info directly.

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