Shutterstock.com
Updated last year

Like most countries, Ecuador has certain rules and regulations regarding traveling with pets. It is better to be aware of them in advance so that the transition goes as smoothly as possible for your pet.

If you're bringing your pet on your Ecuadorian adventure, ensuring a smooth transition for it starts in your country of origin, and the sooner the better. This process is not one where you can cram all the procedures into a last-minute frenzy as your departure approaches. Rather, such an upheaval requires the responsible pet owner in you to step up to the plate and plan like a pro. For example, some vaccination shots, such as the one against rabies, should be given to your pet 60 days prior to arrival in Ecuador. At present, 2 pets is the maximum that an expat can bring to Ecuador. A couple can thus bring in 4 pets.

Look into airline policies

It is crucial to look into airlines' policies regarding pets. They don't all have the same regulations regarding pet transportation. Things like temperatures at the time of flight need to be taken into account. Some airlines may allow small animals as hand baggage inside the cabin. Others allow them only as cargo. It's important to determine whether your pet will be coming into Ecuador as hand baggage or as cargo.

Hand baggage

The best scenario is the one where your pet, most commonly a cat or small dog, travels as hand baggage. What's needed in this case is that, within ten days prior to your departure for Ecuador, you have your pet examined by an accredited vet. Once he deems all required tests and shots have been performed satisfactorily, the vet will give you a Health Certificate (it must be typed or done by a word processor). You must get this Health Certificate stamped and signed by the Department of Agriculture of your country of origin. Afterwards, the Ecuadorian Consulate that serves your area must, in turn, legalize it.

Important:

Remember that all of the above must take place within ten days of your departure.

Cargo

And that was the easy scenario. Does your pet fall into the cargo category (it often features exotic animals or cats or dogs too heavy to comply with cabin regulations)? In addition to all of the above, it will need to have an import permit and to cleared through customs upon arrival. Said import permit, needs to be applied for ahead of time from your home country at the Ministry of Agriculture in Ecuador (usually via a third party such as an Ecuadorian broker). You must present this import permit to the vet before they start the required examination 10 days prior to departure. Furthermore, if your pet's coming by cargo, all its accompanying paperwork will need to be translated into Spanish and apostilled. If your dog happens to be a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, or Doberman, it should also be micro-chipped. Then, 72 hours before arrival time in Ecuador, you are required to call the staff of the Ecuadorian Agency of Quality Assurance in Agriculture, "AGROCALIDAD", in your port of entry (Phone # 5939 565 0556). Then depending on the time your flight arrives, there is a possibility that your pet might have to spend one night in the airline's cargo warehouse.

Whether your pet flies in cabin or cargo, don't forget to ask the airline for precise information about things like the size of carrier kennels and weight allowed. Also be aware of where in Ecuador you will be landing. Most domestic airlines do not allow pets, so you may need to drive to your final destination after you land. However, if all of your pet's paperwork is in order upon landing, there should be no reason whatsoever for your pet to be quarantined at the airport.

All of the above information is subject to change so, for the sake of your pet, please check and cross-check what the current regulations and requirements are at your time of travel.

Useful links:

Agrocalidad ' pet entry requirements
The US government page on pet travel to Ecuador
A local take on why not to bring your pets to Ecuador
Dog-friendly places, including hotels in Ecuador

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.