Bringing Pets to Panama

By Karyn Saunders in Coronado

If you’re nervous about bringing your pets to Panama with you, don’t be!  We did it twice: we came to Panama and went back only to return eight months later with our cats, Max and Kyle, who are now Panamanian Gatos.  Like anything else, there’s a process for transporting your pets, but it is fairly straight forward whether you are coming from Canada or the U.S.  I have included the step by step instructions that were sent to me by the embassies in both countries.  If you do have any questions please feel free to contact me at  Our cats have never been happier and our dog has the run of the beach during our morning walks.  Do not leave them behind–they are worth it!!

panama usa europe real estate pet mascota

Bring your pets to Panama with you!

panama usa europe real estate pet mascota

Canadian Pet Relocation Process:

1. Obtain a Trilingual International Health Certificate and Vaccination Certificate from your vet for each pet traveling to Panama. The International Health Certificate must be issued no more than 10 days prior to the date of travel.

2. Take the International Health Certificate to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency nearest you. They will stamp the certificate for you.

4. Bring the documents to the Consulate of Panama for Authentication. The cost is US $30 for the first page, and $2.00 per additional page attached.

5. Three days prior to arrival to Panama, send the Domestic Quarantine Form to or fax the  completed Quarantine for Domestic Animals form to (if you are calling from Canada) 011507 238-3855 This document will let the authorities in Panama know that a dog will be arriving to Panama, and will assure that an officer will be waiting at the airport to inspect your pet.

6. When you arrive to Panama with your pet, you will have to pay US $130 for Domestic Quarantine. This fee allows you to take your dog home with you, and will avoid overnight stays in quarantine.

7. If the owner fulfills the requirements, the animal(s) must be given to the owner. If the owner doesn’t fulfill the requirements, the pet will be sent back to the country of origin using the airline used when arriving in Panama.

Take note of the following ministry working hours in the Tocumen International Airport in Panama:

  • The schedule of attention is from 8:00 a.m to 11:00 p.m Monday to Friday.
  • The pets that come on weekends or holy days will be kept on the canil area of the airport.

If you do not arrive in Panama during these times, please make the necessary arrangements with the above mentioned authorities.

United States Pet Relocation Process:

1. Vaccination Certificate provided by your veterinarian showing the pet has no rabies.  Last shot must be at least 30 days and not more than 12 months before entering Panama.

2. Health Certificate (also provided by your veterinarian) showing the pet is disease free, which must be issued within 10 days of leaving your home country.

3. Health and Vaccination certificates must be certified by the USDA who have offices all over the U.S.

4. These Vet & USDA Certificates must then be authenticated by the nearest Panamanian embassy or consulate, or apostiled by the U.S. government or Secretary of State.  You can send them to the nearest Panama consulate or embassy by courier with return envelope and a money order for $30 to cover the fee.

5. Certificate of Origin showing where the pet was born.

6. Completed Import Form.

7. The Panama Airport Health Department will review the papers and inspect the pet.  There is a $16 pet-entry fee.  The vets are in the airport on weekdays only from 9am to 3pm and from 7pm to 10pm.  If your flight arrives on the weekend or during hours when there is no vet scheduled, you can make arrangements to have a vet come meet your flight.  You must make these arrangements through either the Panama Ministry of Health or the Panama Agriculture Ministry.  You will be expected to pay an extra fee to have the vet come meet you after hours.  If you don’t make arrangements to have the vet meet you ahead of time, your pet will have to stay at the airport until a vet is on shift.

Ministry of Agriculture

Fax: 212 9449 / 238 4059

Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm  & 7pm – 11pm

8. A fee of $10 per day must be paid if your pet is quarantined by the Panama Health Department for 40 days.

9. Panama Home Quarantine option is available for a $130 fee where you promise to keep your pet inside your home for the required 40 days.  This request must be made to the Panama Ministry of Health at least 14 days prior to arrival.  The request must include arrival date, flight number, time, pet information, name & passport number of owner, and length of time the pet will remain in Panama.

10. The $146 fee must be paid for quarantine expenses to the Panama National Bank, located on the first floor of Tocumen International Airport, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

11. Present the bank’s receipt and all the other documentation to the veterinarian of the Panama Quarantine Department of Panama Tocumen International Airport, in order to get the pet.

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