Moving to the Dominican Republic with a pet

Moving with your pets to the Dominican Republic
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Updated 2022-04-22 11:40

Many folks wish to bring their dogs and cats to the Dominican Republic, and this article will explain exactly what you need to accomplish.

Before you start your adventure

Most animals, but not all, can be brought into the Dominican Republic, and before you depart, make sure you have the following:

  • Your pet must have a signed health certificate from a registered veterinarian no later than 14 days before the intended departure date.
  • The health certificate should clearly state that the animal is in excellent health and contain your name and address and your pet's identification information, such as its name, breed, sex, color, and age.
  • Your pet must have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before the anticipated departure date and no more than 12 months prior.
  • A veterinarian must evaluate your pet within 72 hours of the scheduled departure date. It must be clear of infectious disorders and have been treated against external parasites.
  • According to your home country, if the stated conditions are not fulfilled, your pet may be quarantined for up to 30 days.
  • Although the Dominican Republic does not require your pet to be microchipped, it is nevertheless suggested that you microchip your pet and register your contact information before going, as a way of identification, should your pet become lost or separated from you. If your pet does not have a registered microchip, make sure they wear identification tags with your contact information.
  • Puppies and kittens are not permitted to enter the Dominican Republic unless they have had the necessary vaccines, including those against rabies.

Arriving in the Dominican Republic

Ask for the Animal Control Person ('Sanidad Animal' in Spanish) when you arrive at any Dominican Republic airport. This individual will evaluate your Veterinarian certifications and complete the requisite official pet entrance authorization paperwork for a fee of about US$10.

Additional information

Suppose you are traveling from the United States. In that case, your pet's health certificate must be provided and signed by a certified veterinarian, as well as authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This certificate should include your name and address, as well as information on your pet, such as its name, breed, gender, and age.

Your pet must also have been vaccinated against rabies, and the rabies vaccination certificate must be dated on the day of immunization and include the product's name and serial number. It should be noted that the immunization certificate must be supplied in addition to the health certificate.

You may bring in up to 5 pets at one time. Any more than this, and you will be classified as an animal importer, with significantly additional regulations.

What about the airlines?

Several airlines do not transfer pets of any kind, or if they do, they may have restrictions on the number of pets they will transport, the maximum size (weight), and the periods when pet transport is permitted (many do not allow carriage during summer due to higher temperatures).

Some airlines may accept tiny dogs in the cabin as long as the carrier fits beneath the seat. Before purchasing a ticket, double-check the airline's criteria.

When you arrive in the Dominican Republic

Make sure the place you're staying welcomes pets before you arrive. Pets are not permitted in many rental houses and motels. Furthermore, even if you bought your property, there may be limits, such as in apartment complexes.

Also, keep in mind that vets are typically only available in places where there are expats, so if you want to live off the main path, chances are you won't have access to a veterinarian.

What about other animals?

Import permits for birds entering the Dominican Republic are challenging to get. Rabbits need to be tested for hemorrhagic illness, myxomatosis, and tularemia. Invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals such as rodents do not need to be vaccinated against rabies. Still, they must fulfill other conditions and have a health certificate to enter the Dominican Republic. Pet owners are strongly recommended to obtain further information from their country's competent authority.

your pet isn't a dog, cat, or ferret, and especially if it's a turtle or parrot, be sure it's not protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). If this is the case, you will need to apply for extra permissions. CITES standards are followed and enforced by over 180 nations.

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.