Pets in Ecuador

Hello everyone,

Many of us in Ecuador have four-legged friends. What about you? Do you have one or more pets? Share your experience with us!

What are the formalities to import pets in Ecuador? What about pet adoption procedures in the country? Did you bring your pet from your home country to your host country? If so, did everything turn out fine?

What do Ecuadorians think about pets? Are they comfortable with dogs, cats or unusual pets?

Share your advice!


Ecuadorean love pets and many in Quito have them especially dogs. Almost everyone I know has a pet and those that don't can't because it's forbidden in their residence. As for the formalities of importing/exporting, it can vary if it's a cat or dog and whether the pet is carry on or cargo. But in general, you need 1.) certificate of health from a certified vet and this certificate will include details of the pet and also a statement that the pet is clear to be imported/export from/to X country. This certificate has to be valid between 7-10 days prior to travel. In Ecuador if you are exporting a pet then it must be at least 7 days prior to travel. The airlines may say otherwise but the Agrocalidad (part of ministry of Agriculture) has the final say and they literally count the days to see if the certificate remains valid, and it’s 7 days in our experience. 2.) Certificate of Vaccination and this is general info because the law requires that some pets are vaccinated 30 days’ prior to travel for rabies, so it's important to get updated information on a specific pet. Some pet breeds can't be imported or exported at all for example.

There are also specific requirements by airlines whether the pet is traveling as a carry-on or cargo. Personally, I recommend carry-on if it's possible because I've read horror stories by pet owners who used cargo. For carry-on the requirements will vary from airline to airline but basically the kennel has to meet specific requirements not only of the airline but also the airplane(s) as some have more/less space under seats. It’s better to get a soft kennel if you can as it is can be compressed, using one airline on the first flight the allowable height was 11 inches for example, and the second flight only 9 inches were permitted. So I don’t think anyone wants to be in that situation where you either have to buy another kennel at the airport or worse the airline doesn’t permit the pet as carry-on. Additionally, one carry-on pet counts as 1 checked luggage on some airlines. There is also a limitation on how many pets can be on one flight so it's important to reserve ahead of time. Costs for carry-on are basically $50 for vaccine and certificate of health, $25 agrocalidad, $200 (this varies on destination) airline fee, $50 kennel.

Lastly, have all your paperwork in order because airlines explicitly warn that custom authorities have no reservations about putting down a pet if compliance with the laws of pet importation are not met.

One also needs to check into what kinds of pes are acceptable. For instance, one's beloved parrot or parakeet may not meet the requirements for exportation. And yes, I echo vs's advice that cargo is NOT the safest way to go. Unfortunately, many US airlines require cargo vs. carry on. Restrictions apply. See for relevant info on scams and specific airline requirements.


Update: the website I furnished in the preceding email,, is no longer accessible. There are some other websites that appear legitimate and look similar in name but I stumbled across an important read on "FAKE ANIMAL TRANSPORTERS." Basically, if you are asked to remit a sum of money via Western Union to a third party handler, you can be sure it's a scam.

I attach a link to an informative article on transporting pets to Ecuador (dated Feb. 2015). Regulations can change at any time with the airlines. The article addresses some important considerations before you decide to export your pet, e.g.,
*if renting, will the landlord allow pets? 
*Pets may only be exported during certain times of the year due to temperature restrictions.
*According to the below article, no Ecuadorian airline will allow pets to fly IN CABIN. Cargo is costly, not very safe and during the Customs process, your pet may be sitting in his/her crate on the tarmac.
*The American airlines require shipping pets via cargo due to TSA's updated regs. 
*Some pets may not be exported.
*Most importantly, remember that simply because an airline will allow you to transport your pet, it does NOT mean they have employed trained handlers.): … o-ecuador/


There is a serious discrepancy in the Cuenca article.

Cargo is NOT synonymous with Live Luggage

Most pets, who´s combined weight with their crate equals or is less than 50 kilos (110 pounds) travel Live Luggage.

And that is a very safe method.

Please, reserve the traveling of Service Animals for REAL service animals.

Hi, Susan,
Most airlines in the US these days do NOT allow CARRY ON pets any longer (exception: service animals). Instead, they must be transported via CARGO STATUS, which is very expensive and not very safe. There are also season restrictions (temperature control).  Many airlines, particularly in the US, do NOT have trained personnel to handle animals. They treat them like another piece of luggage. Then there are crate requirements based on the pet's weight and the airlines dimension specifications. If one is connecting to a flight on a different airline, the pet owner must take that into account. Each country has its own regulations.

It used to be that passengers could transport their pets in the "cargo hold" as EXCESS BAGGAGE and pay a nominal fee.  This is no longer the case in the U.S. on international flights per TSA regs.  Also, what some pet owners don't know is that whether your pet flies EXCESS BAGGAGE or CARGO, they are in the SAME holding area. The difference is in the price. CARGO is a ripoff as to cost, but either way, it is a precarious experience for your dear pet. And please let me add that it is NEVER a good idea to sedate your pet. One can google "sedation and international transport" to know why.

Many US airlines are not pet friendly, unlike KLM and Lufthansa where I had very positive experiences overseas, but those days are gone, at least in the US.



We had no issues taking our pet on a US airline to the states as carry-on, and also no issues on a domestic connecting flight. I think it depends on size of the pet and whether the weight and kennel meets the requirements of not only the airline but also the specific airplane(s) as some have more/less space underneath the seats. From airlines flying from Ecuador, it's not an issue, but anyone planning to fly with their pet from here, contact your airline and they will give you the right information, and contact them locally.

I wasn't speaking about domestic flights but international flights. Yes, domestic is completely different.

Does anyone know of a good airline that can transport pets to Ecuador safely?  My folks could drop off the pets and we can pick them up.
If so does anyone know about what it costs?

Another question: We would like to get a dog when we get to EC.  Are there kennels that raise dogs (labs or German Shepherds)?

Thanks for any info!
Robin and Joel

Hi, Joel,
Not sure if your pet is traveling within Ecuador or from the US/Canada to Ecuador (international). Requirements vary by airline and especially differ for international transport.

Here is some helpful information:

Good luck!

Contact Lord Gua here in Ecuador about transport

Their most famous dog was Arthur, you may have heard of him: … stmas.html

To find a list of breeders of specific AKC and UKC recognized breeds, you will want to look at the breeders (criadores) listed on the AERCAN website. the Association of Ecuador Canine Kennel Club, which is a part of the International recognized clubs. the people who breed professionally for the enhancement of breed health and who support those of us who work in Street and Pet Rescue.

You will see many advertisements for animals claiming to be pastor aleman on OLX, Mercado Libre and like online marketplaces, but there is no promise they are in fact the breed. 

I traveled with my boxer (a brachiocephalic breed requiring special care) call name: Poochie (kennel name: Top Hat´s Intermission of Top Hats Farm, Havana Florida, a Show dog) in 2008 (he was almost 7) via LAN from Miami to Guayaquil.  My current rescue dogs are Flaca (Twiggy - 2) (a street galgo type who recovered from distemper) and Payaso (Clown 14 months ) from a litter of 3 who´s mom, and two siblings were successfully rehomed.  I also have three cats.


Thank you for the information!  We will check into it.

We will check into this site when we get formally moved there - this summer I think.
We would love to have another lab or maybe a German Shepard this time.  I used to train Labs so I know them best but I think I would do well with a German Shepard, too.

Robin and Joel

Irrespective of whether one can or cannot take a pet within the cabin, I fail to see how a cat container, even a soft one, can be placed under the seat in front. Sometimes it's a problem just getting feet positioned comfortably.

Just another consideration :

Some airlines will allow a soft carrier, but others not. A real problem with connecting flights.

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