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Moving with a Pet to Panama 2024 | Expat Exchange
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Bocas del Toro, Panama


Moving with a Pet to Panama

By Betsy Burlingame

Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama

Summary: Prepare for your move to Panama with a pet. Understand the vaccination needs, travel details, and item restrictions in Panama. This essential guide helps you navigate the process of moving with your pet and reduce the chance of unnecessary complications.

Moving to Panama with a pet involves a series of steps to ensure your furry friend can join you in your new adventure. Panama is generally pet-friendly, and it is not uncommon to see locals and expats alike enjoying the company of their pets. However, bringing a pet into the country requires adherence to specific vaccination and paperwork requirements. While the process may seem daunting, understanding the regulations will help make the transition smoother for both you and your pet. There is no mandatory quarantine for pets arriving in Panama as long as all the health and documentation requirements are met, but we will delve into the details of these requirements later in this article.

Can I bring my dog to Panama?

Yes, you can bring your dog to Panama. The country allows the entry of dogs as long as they meet the health and documentation requirements set by the Panamanian authorities. This includes having a valid health certificate, proof of rabies vaccination, and other vaccinations that may be required. It's important to ensure that all paperwork is in order and that you understand the process before traveling.

Can I bring my cat to Panama?

Similar to dogs, cats are also welcome in Panama, provided they comply with the necessary health regulations. Cat owners will need to present a valid health certificate and proof of vaccinations, including rabies, to bring their feline friends into the country. As with dogs, it's crucial to have all the required documentation prepared in advance to facilitate a smooth entry into Panama.

Pets that are Prohibited from Coming into Panama

Panama has restrictions on certain types of animals that can be brought into the country. Generally, these restrictions apply to exotic pets or species that are considered endangered or a threat to local wildlife and ecosystems. It's important to check with the Panamanian authorities for an updated list of prohibited pets before planning your move. Traditional domestic pets like dogs and cats are typically allowed, but there may be breed-specific regulations to be aware of.

How do I bring my pet to Panama?

To bring your pet to Panama, you must start by obtaining a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian in your home country. This certificate must be issued within 10 days of travel and should certify that your pet is free from contagious diseases and has been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before travel but not more than 12 months. You will also need to have the health certificate authenticated by the nearest Panamanian consulate or embassy. Upon arrival in Panama, the health certificate will be reviewed by the Department of Quarantine of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA). Additionally, you should have your pet microchipped for identification purposes, although it is not a mandatory requirement.

Upon Arriving in Panama

Once you and your pet have arrived in Panama, you'll need to ensure that your pet is comfortable and legal in its new home. While there is no specific pet license required, you should register your pet with a local veterinarian for regular check-ups and any additional vaccinations that may be required for Panama. Finding a veterinarian is typically straightforward, as there are many clinics available, especially in urban areas. Dogs and cats are generally well-liked in Panama, and you can find dog parks and pet-friendly spaces in cities, although they may not be as common as in some other countries. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with local pet etiquette and any housing restrictions regarding pets to ensure a harmonious living situation for everyone involved.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama

Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama

Bocas del Toro, Panama

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama
Kovalenko & Vera Attorneys at Law in Panama

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