Planning to Move? How to Bring Your Pets to Panama

To bring your pets to Panama, start by understanding government rules from the USA and Panama, then look into airlines’ pet policies. 

First, get the right health checks and paperwork. Next, pick an airline like Copa or Delta, each with different rules for pet travel, ensuring your furry friend meets their requirements.

Our blog helps you understand how to Bring Your Pets to Panama for moving to Panama . But remember, our law firm in Panama, NDM, can’t do this for you.

Dog Panama Entry Requirements and USDA Documentation Process

When taking your dog to Panama, you must comply with specific entry requirements and documentation processes. Initially, acquire a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian in the USA, which the USDA must endorse. 

Your dog Panama must also have a valid rabies vaccination certificate. Check for other needed documents, like vaccination records against common diseases.

Health certificate

For your Dog Panama move, a health certificate is crucial. It confirms your pet’s health status and fitness for travel. This certificate should be issued close to your departure date.

Rabies vaccination certificate

Your Dog Panama needs a rabies shot certificate, showing vaccination within a set period before travel. It’s essential for entering Panama.

Other certificates

Other vaccinations are necessary for your Dog Panama. Ensure you have certificates for all required shots to avoid entry issues.

  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Certificate of origin

Having these documents in order will streamline your process of bringing your dog to Panama. 

How to Send, Track, and Receive Your USDA Documents 

When preparing to bring your Panama dog, you need to handle USDA documents carefully. First, there’s a fee for the USDA to approve your pet’s health certificate. You can pay this fee in different ways, like online, by check, or with a credit card. 

When your vet gives you the signed health certificate, send it quickly to the USDA office using an overnight service like FedEx or UPS to avoid delays. Here’s a simpler explanation of the process:

Paying USDA Fees

The USDA charges a fee to endorse your pet’s health certificate. You can pay this fee via a USDA APHIS user fee account, check or money order (payable to USDA), or credit/debit card. 

For expedited health certificates, use the credit card information sheet to provide your payment details. If you have questions about the cost, payment method, or if your pet travels to multiple countries, contact your USDA Endorsement Office.

Sending Papers for Approval

Send your veterinarian-acquired health certificate to the USDA Endorsement Office via an overnight courier like FedEx or UPS to minimize delays. Include a prepaid shipping label with your address for return, all original documents required by the destination country (international health certificate, vaccination certificates, lab test results, import permit if needed), a completed pet owner’s checklist, and the credit card information sheet if paying the endorsement fee by card.

Preparing the Return Label

Ensure the return express shipping label has your name and address in the FROM and TO sections, with no mention of the USDA. If size and weight are needed on the label, use dimensions of 12.5 x 9.5 inches and a weight of 1 pound. 

The return label must be prepaid and provide a tracking number. Avoid ground services like UPS Ground or FedEx Ground, as they may delay the return of your package. If no return label is included, and contact for an alternative return method fails, your documents will be sent back via USPS First Class Mail.

For more information, you can visit the APHIS Pet Travel – Panama page.

Apostille your document at Embassy of Panama

After obtaining the certificate with the two required signatures, you should send it to a Panamanian Consulate for authentication. If you reside in a state without a Panamanian diplomatic office, the health certificate can be apostilled by the Authentication Office of the Secretary of State in the state where the document originated.

The consular fee for this service is $30.00 per document, payable by a money order made out to the Consulate of Panama. Additionally, please include a self-addressed prepaid envelope for the return of your documents. If you choose to send the documents by mail, we recommend using Express Mail (USPS), Priority Mail (USPS), or Fedex to avoid delays and ensure the safe delivery of your documents.

Lastly, kindly write “TRAVELING WITH PET” in clear print on the outside of the envelope you are mailing to us. This will help expedite the processing of your request.

Send your package to this address:

Consulate of Panama
2862 McGill Terrace, N.W
125 Sussex Drive Washington, D.C. 20008

Before traveling with your pet, it’s essential to consult your airline for specific guidelines. Keep in mind that airlines typically mandate a U.S.D.A. Certificate that remains valid for at least 10 days from the date of issuance. This certificate ensures compliance with airline regulations. 

Best Airlines for Bringing pets to panama from the USA

Bringing pets to Panama involves selecting airlines with specific policies for pet transport. The options vary between Copa Airlines and Delta Airlines, United Airlines: Does not offer PetSafe cargo service for Panama pets anymore. And not all airlines offer the same services for cabin, hold, and cargo transport.

Airlines and their pet transport options include:

  • Copa Airlines
    • Cabin: Small pets under 20 pounds allowed.
    • Cargo: Copa Mascotas service for larger pets​ (Copa Air Help Center)​.
  • Delta Air Lines
    • Cabin: Currently, Delta has an embargo on pet shipments in the cargo hold, but service animals and certain exceptions apply​ (Delta)​.

For transporting Panama pets, check the airline’s detailed pet policy to ensure compliance and safe travel for your pet.

Pet Travel to Panama Airport Arrival and Veterinarian Inspection

When you get to the airport, a vet needs to check your pet. So, make sure you arrive when vets are there, usually from 8 am to 11 pm on weekdays and not during Panamanian holidays.

If you arrive outside these times, your pet will stay at the airport’s kennel until the vet’s office reopens.

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