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Requirements for Bringing Dogs and Cats to Panama

January 1st, 2020 | Bringing Pets to Panama

No matter whether you are planning to spend a vacation in Panama or relocating there as a resident, the thought of leaving your favorite pet behind gives you a headache. We admit that bringing pets into Panama is an overwhelming project if you fail to plan properly.

Preparing the paperwork in time, obtaining official clearance, and making travel arrangements for the pet are some of the basic but essential tasks. Further, bear in mind that government agencies remain closed during the weekends. Hence, you need to start executing your plan keeping enough time in hand.

Which Certificates Do You Need to Carry?

1) Health Certificate: Before departing the country, appoint a vet who can thoroughly examine your pet and provide a health certificate ensuring that the pet is in sound health.

2) Vaccination Certificate: Your pet needs to get the rabies vaccine at least 30 days before entering Panama. The last rabies shot must not be more than 12 months before traveling. Other than rabies, cats need to be vaccinated against Calicivirus, Viral Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis. Also, dog shipping requires you to vaccinate the dog against Hepatitis, Distemper, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis.

3) Certificate of Origin: If your pet doesn’t have the origin-certificate, contact your vet to get one.

4) USDA Verification: The vaccination and health certificates need to be certified by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

How to Get the Pet’s Health Certificate Endorsed?

1) Local VS office: The officials of the VS (Veterinary Service) office review all the documents along with the health certificate. Therefore, you need to carry all these documents to obtain a certification for endorsement. However, if you seek to save effort and time, you can simply mail the documents via overnight services of FedEx or UPS. Also, ensure to enclose a prepaid envelope along with it. You don’t need to carry the pet to the VS area office.

2) Panama Consulate Endorsement or Apostille Endorsement: The health certificate, USDA certificates, and vaccination certificates need to be certified by the Panamanian Consulate in the country of origin. You can also get the certificates apostilled by the state authority.

But remember, this is a mandatory step before taking dogs to Panama. So keep enough time in hand to accomplish all the tasks. Also, you better send the health and vaccination certificates to the Panamian consulate with a return envelope and a money order of $30 for each document.

Why Should You Get Pet Home Quarantine?

Home Quarantine: Basically a home quarantine indicates that you will keep the pet quarantined at home for 40 days. This prevents the contamination of any diseases. You can submit the home quarantine form to the Panama Airport authorities.

The home quarantine option is relatively cheaper as well as less stressful for the pet than the regular quarantine. While the regular one charges $10 per day for 40 days, you have to pay a fee of $130 for home quarantine for the same number of days.


We believe these tips will effectively help you while bringing pets into Panama. However, if you require any more assistance regarding this, you may contact Panama Pet Relocation – a leading pet travel agency. With long expertise, we can help you to have smooth travel experience. Visit our website to know more about us.

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