Costa Rica Pet Import Rules and Requirements

Retiring, traveling for work, or making another big change? Arranging pet transport to Costa Rica may not be as difficult as you think it is, however this process will require at least a month of planning if you're starting at the very beginning.

Shipping pets to Costa Rica safely means following all the import requirements correctly, and pets will need a microchip, an up to date rabies vaccine, and various vaccinations depending on the type of pet and your country of origin. It's also a good idea to crate train your dog or cat in the weeks before your move. When pets feel comfortable spending time in their kennel, they'll be much more calm during the flight itself because they'll be in a safe and familiar place.

Have questions? Read on for more information about bringing pets to Costa Rica and contact a PetRelocation Specialist if you need assistance.

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Regulations for Importing Pets to Costa Rica

Attention: This information is to be used as general guidelines and may not be updated to meet the current requirements. Before you travel, be sure to contact the appropriate authorities for your destination country.


Though a microchip is not required for pets traveling to Costa Rica, we recommend microchips for all pets traveling internationally.

Rabies Vaccination and Certificate

All pets must have an original Rabies Certificate signed by the vet. This should be a one year rabies vaccine administered at least 30 days prior to the day of departure.

Additional Vaccines

Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHLPP) and Bordetella.

Cats: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP).

These should be valid at the time of import and administered no less than two weeks before export date for maximum effectiveness.  Note: additional vaccines may be needed -- please check with your PetRelocation Specialist to find out more.

Vet Health Certificate (Form 7001)

This is the standard Health Certificate to be filled out by your USDA accredited veterinarian and it must be issued within 10 days of the flight.

Additional Details

In order for us to successfully clear customs we will need the following prior to the pet’s arrival:

  • Copy of pet owner's passport

Pet Travel Stories

“I have no doubt that we would not have been able to do this without PetRelocation and I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to relocate their furry family members. ”

— Georgina

Moving Across the Pond with a Dog: Vinny’s Story

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