Panama Country Guide

Everything you need to know about moving to Panama

How to Safely Relocate Your Pet to Panama

Your pet is a member of the family. Here’s how to get them to Panama when you make the big move.

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Overview of Pet Relocation to Panama

Pets can be brought to Panama from other countries. They must have a Health Certificate completed by veterinarian that is licensed by the appropriate national health office (the USDA in the United States, the CFIA in Canada), and endorsed by your local USDA or CFIA office.

 

All cats and dogs entering the country are required to be microchipped and have current rabies vaccinations. There is no quarantine requirement. ​

General Preparation and Considerations When Relocating Your Pet to Panama

Before diving into specific requirements, consider these general tips:

 

  • Consult Your Vet: Start by consulting your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s overall health and suitability for the move. Your vet can advise on vaccinations, microchipping, and other crucial aspects.

  • Pet’s Age and Health: The age and health of your pet will play a significant role in determining their readiness for the journey. Puppies and senior pets might have different requirements.

  • Breed Restrictions: Some breeds are restricted by Panama, or there may be breed restrictions imposed by your airline.

  • Plan Your Timeline Carefully: You will need to carefully schedule your pre-travel vet appointment and health certificate endorsement to fall within 10 days of your pet’s departure, while allowing enough time to get your health certificate back before departure.

Would you like support bringing your pet to Panama?

StartAbroad offers Pet Relocation support

Requirements for Relocating Your Pet to Panama

  • Microchip Identification:
    • Your pet should be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip. Ensure the microchip is registered with your contact information.
  • Rabies Vaccination:

    • Ensure your pet is up-to-date on its rabies vaccination. The vaccination should be administered at least 21 days before travel but not more than 12 months before arrival in Panama.
  • Health Certificate:

    • Obtain an accredited veterinarian-signed health certificate issued within seven days of travel. The certificate should state that your pet is free from contagious diseases and fit for travel.
  • Tapeworm Treatment (Dogs Only):

    • Dogs must receive treatment against tapeworms within 120 hours (but not less than 24 hours) before entering Panama.
  • Leptospirosis Vaccination (Dogs Only):

    • Some airlines and countries may require a leptospirosis vaccination. Confirm with your airline and check Panama’s specific requirements.
  • Import Permit:

    • Obtain an import permit from the Panamanian Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA). Check their official website or contact them directly for the most current application process.
  • Quarantine:

    • Panama typically does not have a mandatory quarantine period for pets. However, this can change, so verify the current regulations.
  • Airline Requirements:

    • Confirm the specific requirements of the airline you’ll be using. Airlines may have additional regulations or documentation needed for transporting pets.
  • Entry Points:

    • Be aware of the designated entry points for pets. While Tocumen International Airport in Panama City is a common entry point, check if there are specific requirements for your chosen port of entry.

Options for Relocating Your Pet to Panama

There are several main options for bringing your pet to Portugal:

  1. In-cabin: Most airlines allow cats and dogs under 20 lbs to ride in-cabin. If you have a service dog they may also be able to ride in-cabin.
  2. As baggage: Some airlines (most European carriers) allow passengers to check pets as extra baggage 
  3. As cargo: Work with a cargo freight forwarding company to ship a pet to Portugal. This is especially convenient if your pet needs to travel after you leave for Portugal.
  4. In a private jet: By far the most expensive, but most convenient option.
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