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Bringing a pet to Panama

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annabanana
10/13/2016 12:14 EST

Hello we have a 12 yr old doxie we would like to bring down with us. We keep hearing different things of what is needed. Is there one place with the actual info?

Also we are making her a service dog for my medical condition. Does anyone know what the procedure is for this (if any different)? We are hoping she goes on the plane versus cargo. We are afraid she is too old to make the flight in cargo.

We are wanting to take Copa. But are any other airlines better for traveling with pets?

Thanks!

CarrieW
10/13/2016 13:18 EST

Hello,
We just brought our dog down from California to Panama about 9 months ago. We flew on Copa. Our dog, Jordy, was too large (30lbs) to bring in the cabin, so he flew cargo. He did very well in cargo. I actually called the cargo folks in Copa. They guided me through every step. The trick is getting the documents you need on time. 10 days before you fly, you must get a vet to sign a form (the vet should know which form for Panama). This forms says the dog is healthy. Then you take that form to the USDA. We were fortunate enough to have one in San Francisco, so I could actually take the form in. Depending on where you live, you might have to Fed-ex the form. Then, you must get it to a Panamanian consulate. In our case we did have to fed-ex the form. You must pay with a money gram and provide a paid fed-ex (or maybe a USPS envelope)... Check with the consulate.
It is a nail biting experience but in our case it worked well. Be sure you are not flying in on a holiday because once you arrive in Panama, your dog will have to get through customs...which involves a lot of paperwork and a quick vet check. The vet is on-site at the airport but you need to check the hours. And they are NOT there on weekends and holidays.
I do not know the procedure for having your pet as a service dog...but the forms to get him/her through Panama customs will be the same...no matter how he/ she flies in.

Good luck!

Carrie

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tombseekers
10/13/2016 13:57 EST

Pets with container can't weight more than 20 lbs. My cat didn't make it by about 2 lbs but American had no problem. Hopefully your dog is small and can fit into a soft-sided carrier. If not, PTY has restrictions if the flight lands when it is very hot so consider an early morning or late evening arrival. When we came to Panama 3+ years ago, no animals were allowed in the cabin on Copa.

freebreezin
10/13/2016 14:54 EST

I have a small dog that weighs 18-lbs. I understand their is some problems with flights for animal over 20 lbs, including the soft sided keep? Any with information or comments?

LUCINDA

XSMEMORIES
10/13/2016 17:06 EST

If you are flying in from Canada, Air Transat is allowing dogs now it flies into Rio Hato airport. The dog will still have to fly cargo, and you will still need all the paperwork, and there is my vet within 5 mins., and it is a much faster, and less crowded Good Luck Sheila

SAY
10/14/2016 09:01 EST

Depending on your medical condition, you may want to fly your dog as an emotional support animal. COPA has no cabin restrictions on ESA. Unless, of course, she has already done the training as a service animal, and you have the documentation, I had no problems flying with my dog on COPA. Just have all your paperwork in order, And I would suggest using Jose with the Golden frog pet relocation to take care of the paperwork and vets at the Panama end

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