Few travel buddies are better than man’s best friend—especially if you are traveling to Panama, which offers a wide range of pet-friendly activities that you and your dog will love. However, traveling to the beautiful country of Panama with your canine companion can pose several unique challenges and requires an extensive amount of preparation. As such, it is important to prepare and do your research ahead of time to ensure that everything goes smoothly. To learn how to travel to Panama with your dog, read this helpful guide.
How to prepare for a trip to Panama with your dog
Proof that your pet has received certain vaccinations is a requirement for them to enter Panama. As such, your dog must receive the following vaccinations before you embark on your trip:
- Canine Parvovirus
In addition to the documentation that your dog has received all required vaccinations, you will also need to provide a variety of additional documentation such as:
- Health certificate: You must obtain a health certificate—also known as a form 7001—from a veterinarian following an examination of your dog. This certificate proves that your dog is healthy and free of disease. After obtaining this certificate, you have 10 days to gather all other necessary documents and arrive in Panama. The fee for obtaining a heath certificate will vary depending on the veterinarian you visit. After you receive this certificate, your state’s U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian must approve it.
- Certificate of origin: The certificate of origin provides evidence of where your dog was born. If you don’t already have this certificate, you can obtain it from your veterinarian.
You must send such documentation as well as vaccination records in an overnight envelope to the USDA. Inside this envelope, you need to also include two additional overnight envelopes. One of which you addressed to the Panama Consulate or Embassy of your choice and the other back to you.
At least three days before traveling to Panama, you must file an application for home quarantine. If you do not file this application, officials will quarantine your dog in a government facility for around 40 days or until you leave the country.
Transportation considerations when bringing your dog to Panama
If you are planning to fly to Panama with your dog, make sure to call your airline and ask for information regarding their regulations. It is important to be aware of requirements, fees, and other important information before booking your flight.
Your dog will likely have to remain in a kennel during the flight to Panama. As such, it’s important to choose a kennel that is comfortable and large enough for your pup. Your travel crate should include a metal door, strong lock, and shouldn’t have any wheels. It should also be large enough so that your dog can stand up and turn around in it.
Ways to fly
There are several different ways that your pet can fly on the airplane to Panama. Depending on their size and the requirements of the airline, the following options may or may not be available:
- Checking your dog as cargo: If you choose to check your dog as cargo, you can pick your pup up near the baggage claim after completing your final baggage screening.
- Flying with your pet: In some cases, if your dog is small enough, you can travel with your pet on the plane. To do so, you’ll need to purchase a crate that is small enough to place beneath your seat. If you carry your pet on the plane, you will simply proceed through customs as you normally would.
What to expect when arriving in Panama with your dog
After you have arrived in Panama with your dog, a veterinarian will have to inspect your pup. It is important to arrange for the veterinarian to inspect your dog before leaving the airport. Failing to do so could result in legal ramifications. During the inspection, you must provide all the documents listed above to the Veterinary Doctor of the Department of Zoonosis Control for them to verify everything. If you meet all the requirements, they will return your dog to you. If you have failed to meet all requirements, officials will send your dog back to their country of origin through the airline that they arrived with.
Once a veterinarian properly inspects your dog, they will place your pet on home quarantine, which requires that your dog remains quarantined at home. The fee for the Home Quarantine is currently $130 Baloba which equates to roughly the same amount ($129.95) in USD. You must pay this fee in cash, as credit and debit cards are not an accepted form of currency.
The home quarantine process will last for 40 days. If you are staying in Panama for 40 days or longer, someone will contact you around the middle of this period to make sure that your dog is still healthy. After the 40-day quarantine period has passed, your dog no longer must stay with you.
Tips for leaving Panama with your dog
After you return to the United States, you will need to present a certificate of your dog’s rabies vaccination. Depending on the airline you traveled through, they may also require you to present your dog’s health certificate, and your dog may need to go through another inspection. If an official discovers signs that your dog has developed an illness that they can transmit to people during the inspection, they may deny your dog’s re-entry. In this case, you may need to pay for a veterinary examination before your dog can enter the country.
If you’re thinking about traveling to Panama with your dog, consider booking your stay at Cala Mia Island Resort. We are an extremely pet-friendly luxury resort in Panama, Central America, where you can experience the vacation of a lifetime with your furry friend. Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, you can experience all of it at our beautiful beachside location. For more information about our resort, tours and activities, or retreats, contact us today.