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Bringing Your Pets With You When You Move Here

Internet Shopping and Mail ForwardingWe've discussed the details and requirements of moving to Panama with Pets on the email groups at least a dozen times. I've collected up some of the most salient points and included them in this recap. Importing Pets

On Behalf Of manuel landron
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 2:54 PM
To: (all the groups)

Group; I just helped a new ex-pat to clear his dog at the airport and I learned all the requirements from the horse mouth.
First, wile in your country, you need to take the pet to the vet and get a health certificate and shot records. Them you take the certificate to a Panamanian consulate and get it certify. When you arrive in Panama you need to pay $19.00 for inspection fee, $130.00 quarentine fee per animal and $50.00 for the vet in the airport if you come after duty hours. If you come after duty hours let me or someone here know so we can arrange for the Vet to come and clear your pet that night or it will stay at the airport until the next duty day. After it is clear you can take the dog with you. This prosses take about an hour. Hope this info help someone...manny Landron VFW Post 3822,Panama Public Relations Officer

Saturday, December 18, 2004
12:12 PM

From:  Laura Kelly
Date:  Fri Dec 10, 2004  7:48 pm
Subject:  importing pets to Panama

I am hoping to relocate to Panama City to attend Florida State University there. I would likely plan to drive there from the U.S. Can anyone tell me what is currently required to import a dog to Panama. I have read that an in-house quarantine is possible but that local permission is required, and I would imagine this has to be obtained in advance. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Pasted from <>;

Subject: Re: Bringing your Pet to Panama
I brought in my dog. Here is how it MUST be done (without regard to whether or not it seems "inconvenient" to you):
A licensed vet must fill out a state health certificate (every state has one) indicating the dog has:
1) Had a complete check up and is disease free. This must be dated to show the check up occurred within 10 days of the dogs arrival in Panama.
2) Had a Rabies vaccination. This must be dated to show the vaccination occurred more than 30 days, but less than 180 days prior to the dog's arrival in Panama.

This completed health certificate must be taken to a Panamanian Embassy or Consulate in the States where it will be authenticated and stamped accordingly. Costs $30. You will then bring the Certificate along with yourself and the dog to Panama.

The vet at the airport (I assume you're flying) will take the Certificate from you and issue new papers allowing your dog to remain with you on "In House" quarantine for 40 days. Costs $130. If you have no authenticated certificate the dog must be held at the airport in quarantine for 40 days at $10/day.

BE AWARE OF SOMETHING: The vet at the airport is only on duty Monday thru Friday 9AM to Noon and 1PM to 5PM. Saturdays 9AM to Noon. If he isn't there when you arrive, the dog is impounded at the airport until he returns. DON'T ARRIVE AFTER 5PM WEEKDAYS OR AFTER NOON SATURDAYS OR ANY TIME SUNDAYS. Unless, of course the thought of Fido in a box in an un-airconditioned cargo storage area doesn't freak you.

These are the rules and they bend them like never. Mike You skipped a step (IF the person inquiring is from the USA). That step is this: After your vet signs the certificate, it must
be "certified" by the USDA. Thee are offices all over the US. It is the doubly certified certificate (certified by the vet AND by the USDA animal health office) that must be sent to the Panamanian consulate for "authentication."

AND: If you want a "home quarantine" (you do) you must also send a letter TWO WEEKS before the animal arrives, to the Panama Dept of Health. I recommend using a "facilitator" for bringing in pets, we use Jose Saenz but there are others, someone named Tammy comes to

I have brought in 4 cats within the past few months so I know all this from experience. HOWEVER: Rules sometimes change so to be safe contact the local Panamanian consulate for any updates or changes to the requirements.

By Susan

Pasted from <>;

Q: Hi all,
Thank's for your reply's to my question's about Cr verses Panama. Got another question. Has any off you ever driven through Central America? Im thinking about driving an RV down and taking my time to find the perfect spot.I will also be bringing my dog. If any of you out there has done this or can give me any advise on this that would be great!

A: I don't recommend traveling through Central America with your dog. For one thing, your dog will probably get pretty stressed with this kind of trip. Number two is that you may have to quarantine your dog in each country for a set amount of days. You will also need paperwork to get your dog through all the countries. Dogs in Central America are not normally on leashes and kind of run wild. If your dog got loose you may never get the dog back. I would recommend that you ship your dog to your final destination once you get there. I have traveled from Washington state to Florida with a dog. Also did it half way across the states with a cat once but I would not do it traveling through Central America. Just my opinion.
A suggestion. Talk to a veterinarian about it.


Pasted from <>;

I hope that is accurate, if it is, it means that they changed the time limits to a much more reasonable 30 days.  Up til now, you have had only 10 DAYS to take the animal to the vet, get the certificate, get it to the US govt office for "certification," and then get it either authenticated by a consulate or apostilled.  I advise you to make sure by getting the new instructions IN WRITING.  Do not rely on a "verbal" that is different from that which has been published in writing.
I also urge you to go ahead and review the requirements in the FILES because it sounds like you were not told about the home quarantine requirement.  That requires you to present a letter to the Panama Dept. of Health requesting home quarantine.  You have to do that 10 days before you arrive.  I am also concerned because he did not tell you of the "dual certification" requirement:  the statement of good health and rabies vaccination (which is actually a US government form) must be signed by the vet AND "certified" by the local USDA office. Unless that requirement has been abandoned, and I would not be sure if I didn't see it in writing.  I am concerned because this was left out.  It makes me wonder if the fellow you talked to was
talking off the top of his head and not with the written requirements in front of him.
Also:  Your documentation can be apostilled at your state's secretary of state's office instead of being authenticated by a consulate if that is easier for you. Again, it may be that the old requirements have been replaced by easier ones.  But you really can't be sure unless it is in writing. Call the consulate back and ask for a written instruction sheet.

--- In, "donmarquis"
<donmarquis@s...> wrote:
> I spoke with the consulate in New York on Friday regarding my
dog's trip to
> Panama in January. The following is required for me ( my dog:)
> 1. vaccination record
> 2. Report from vet stating :
>     - detailed description of animal
>     - vaccinations
>     - overall standing of good health
> 3. I must go to the consulate with report and $30 for
> 4. must be done within 30 days of travel
> he assured me it is that simple...we'll see

Be aware that the majority of animals who die during air travel were tranquilized.  If you give them anything it should be an extremely small dose of something very mild, like an herbal remedy prescribed by a vet.

We have brought four cats to Panama.  The first two traveled in underseat carriers in the plane with us.  These two cats were selected because both were experienced traveling cats who enjoy car travel and have a lot of experience with it.    They did fine.  I took one on one flight and my husband came a month later with the second cat.

The second two were not good travelers.  One of them is so large he cannot fit into an underseat carrier comfortably.  This pair of cats are very attached to each other so Izzy shipped them together in one
kennel in Copa pet cargo.  They did fine too.

You might want to do the same thing with your two:  Put them in the same kennel (get a dog sized kennel) so that they can snuggle together and comfort each other.  It will give them something familiar to hang onto during this very scary experience.  It will make the experience easier on them (be sure that they are cats who get along well together.)

Also most airlines will only allow one animal in the cabin at the same time, so you probably can't fly with two in cabin anyway. 

--- In, "Sharon" <laureld42@y...> wrote:
> I at one point years ago tranquilized my cats for travel and it was awful for them and me. My vet gave me acepromezine tablets which gives them the I dont cares and they either slept or were quiet the whole
way. They did not seem traumatized. I used only 1 tablet of the ten he gave me. This seems to be a good choice.

Thanks Sue,
Here's the issue My 2 cats are brother and sister and they tolerate each other and that's it. To make things worse Linus the male weighs a good 20 lbs the female normal weight. I know the 1 for 1 rule so I was thinking of getting a round trip ticket for a friend for the other cat. The other thing is Linus is very very timid. Do you really think they would do better in a large kennel?


On 12/13/2004, "Randy Muscarella" <> wrote:

You can give them acepromezine from your vet but I wouldn't do it.  It lowers their blood pressure and with the change in pressure, even in a pressurized cabin, they could die.  Also, some cats react just the opposite; instead of calming, they get extremely upset.

If you were going to do it, you'd want to do a test run at home to see how they react.

Better to start driving them around in a car.  I just took a Maine Coon cat to Germany that hated riding in the car, but in the plane he was quiet and no one knew he was there.  I always carry my cat on in a soft carrier that fits under the seat in front of me.  I never put them in cargo.

Marilyn Bryant
Sacramento, CA
Isla Solarte


  "Harvey Edelman" <>
Date:  Fri Dec 17, 2004  2:16 pm
Subject:  Re: [viviendo_en_panama] Re: Customs Broker and Pet Facilitator

TX for the info. I hope they speak english.
----- Original Message -----
From: Susan Guberman-Garcia
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 1:32 PM
Subject: [viviendo_en_panama] Re: Customs Broker and Pet Facilitator
Be warned:  Aeroperlas does not monitor its email often and your
message may languish for days or weeks before you see a reply (if you
see one at all).  If you want information you need to phone them up.
As I said, dogs fly on Aeroperlas all the time, including big ones.
They can handle the largest approved airline size kennel.  Of course,
its possible that they may have blackout periods, I don't know.  But I
doubt it.  People in Bocas send their pets to David by air all the
time, because there is no vet here. 
--- In, "Harvey Edelman"
<hedelman3@c...> wrote:
> I've just sent an email to Aeroperlas. I'm awaiting a reply to see
if this is feasible.
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: Susan Guberman-Garcia
>   To:
>   Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 11:21 AM
>   Subject: [viviendo_en_panama] Re: Customs Broker and Pet Facilitator
>   Ali flew from Bocas to Panama City in the large kennel and they
>   managed to get it on the plane.   This was on Aeroperlas, I don't know
>   if Mapiex (the other airline) can or will accommodate a large size
>   kennel.  Their planes are smaller and their baggage areas presumably
>   are also.

Pasted from <>;


  "Susan Guberman-Garcia" <>
Date:  Fri Dec 17, 2004  9:11 am
Subject:  Re: Customs Broker and Pet Facilitator

You can probably find someone to drive you and the dog to David but I
suspect the cost will be prohibitive. First of all, the size of the
dog and kennel will require a van or a truck (I know because Ali the
Giant Puppy, who last weighed 87 pounds and is still growing at 11
months, uses the largest size kennel and you can't get it into most
cars.) So you will probably have to use someone who will make a
special trip just for you, with a large vehicle. Jose Saenz, who runs
one of the more reliable transport and tour services, charges $20 to
pick you up from the international airport, so you can just imagine
how much it would cost to take you to David if he would even do it.
He has a large van but he doesn't let any of his guys drive it. You
might also want to contact Tammy Liu and see what she says.
Or, you can make arrangements with a car rental agency for a one-way
drop off, rent something big, and drive yourself. You will probably
pay less for the rental than you would for a driver.
Or, you can get into Panama City, find a place that accepts pets, and
spend the night there. Give the dog and yourself a break from the
travel for a night, then take a plane the next day to David. Make
sure you have reservations in advance if you are coming in January or
February as the flights fill up.
Both Jose and Tammy are experienced with pet facilitation and can
easily help you with that part of the task even if they can't get you
to David:
Jose Saenz email:
Tammy Liu email:
Good luck!
--- In, "Harvey Edelman"
<hedelman3@c...> wrote:
> I'll be relocating to David in about a month and I'm in need of a
> customs broker and a pet facilitator. I will be shipping my dog (100
> lbs.) via Copa Cargo plane the night before I leave via passenger
> plane. I'd like somebody to facilitate getting the dog out of her
> shipping crate when she arrives and then driving me and the dog from
> PC to David. Any recommendations?
> TIA,
> Harvey Edelman

Pasted from <>;

From:  "donmarquis" <>
Date:  Mon Dec 13, 2004  4:06 pm
Subject:  RE: [viviendo_en_panama] Re: Importing pet-new Regulation

I spoke with the consulate in New York on Friday regarding my dog's trip to
Panama in January. The following is required for me ( my dog:)
1. vaccination record
2. Report from vet stating :
- detailed description of animal
- vaccinations
- overall standing of good health
3. I must go to the consulate with report and $30 for approval/notarization
4. must be done within 30 days of travel
he assured me it is that simple...we'll see
-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Guberman-Garcia []
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 3:45 PM
Subject: [viviendo_en_panama] Re: Importing pet-new Regulation
I am not aware of any "new regulation" re bringing domestic pets to
Panama. The rules are in the FILES section, but its always
advisable to contact your local Panamanian consulate to check if
anything has been changed or added, as the regs can change
I never received a document called "import permit" when we brought
our 4 cats in, but when Izzy took Ali the Giant Puppy to California
for football season, we had to get an "expert permit" for him to
take him out of Panama. More paperwork was required to take a dog
OUT of Panama than to bring one in! The USA only wanted to see the
health and rabies certificate, didn't require any other paperwork.
I suspect that the reg you are speaking of has to do with commercial
import and export of farm animals rather than pets, but to be sure,
check with the consulate.
--- In, "Randy Muscarella"
<panamavolcan@y...> wrote:
> I will be bring 2 cats with me down to Panama...
> Does anyone know about this new rule requiring an import permit..
> ******************************************************************
> PLEASE NOTE: Regarding the exportation of animals to Panama the
> following is required: a) an import permit prior to the shipment
> the animals; b) the amount of animals to be exported has to
> with the number of animals indicated in the import permit; c)
> additional animals will not be allowed into the country; and d)
> importer must secure available space at the quarantine station
> to importing the animals.
> ******************************************************************
> I have never heard of a "import permit"
> Thanks in Advance
> Randy

Pasted from <>;

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Bringing Your Pets With You When You Move Here | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Bringing Your Pets With You When You Move Here
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 27 2006 @ 06:54 PM EDT

Hey I'd like to give anyone considering bringing a pet to Panama the very latest info from my own experience, simply because there is a lot of dog-gone misinformation out there. As of October 2006, here's the lowdown. I have brought 3 cats to Panama..and Panamanians, as a rule, are not cat people as I have found out...the stores are light on good cat food...that may be a consideration when thinking of old Puss. Anyway, the trip of a lifetime for your animal begins at your vet with an exam and a rabies vaccination certificate. The exam results are filled out by your vet on a USDA Plant and Animal Inspection Service Form 7001. Your reputable vet has this form. Once filled out, you need to call and set an appointment with the USDA-PAI vet that services your area. The form will be stamped by the USDA for $28.00. The form is good for up to 10 small animals. You must watch your time-frame...the exam and the USDA countersignature and stamp must be within 2 weeks of travel. After you have the USDA stamp, immediately contact the Panamanian Consulate in your area and tell them you are sending them the USDA form for an "apostilla." This is a stamp from the Panamanian government authenticating the document. It will cost $50.00. Depending on the airline, we chose Delta because the cats could ride internal with us and from our stateside location it was only a 3 hour want to schedule your arrival during business hours and NEVER on a weekend. I did make after hours arrangements with the vet at Tocumen and to his credit, even after a 3 hour delay, he still waited for us...The Customs Vet, Dr. Paz, will review your paper work, while the MEDA vet will examine your pet in a very cursory manner..nothing strenuous for anyone. The entrance fee is $130.00 and if it's after hours be prepared to pay a little extra for the 2 vets.You will be given an in-home-40 day quarrantine certificate..that's it...end of cat or dog oddyssey...Our guys are total inside types so quarrantine was a moot point for us...but, you dog people may have a different, let's recap shall we?..remember the timing of the documents, that's very important, be sure and call the consulate to give them a heads up that your document is coming so they know, and they will, and they do look out for it...they understand the timing involved. The Tampa consulate was very good to deal with...and finally, be sure and schedule your arrival as early as you can and NEVER on the weekend. My enduring thanks to this site and the VFW's Manny Landron for personally contacting the Tocumen vet and arranging for a late me it was worth the extra money to just get it all done in a night and get these guys to their new home...buenos suerte!
Russ S.