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Costa Rica – Importing a Pet

Costa Rica is a popular destination for tourists and expats looking to enjoy the country’s tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and diverse wildlife. If you are planning to move to Costa Rica with your pet, you will need to be aware of the regulations and requirements for importing pets into the country.

Pet Import Regulations in Costa Rica

Costa Rica does allow the import of pets, but there are certain restrictions and requirements that must be met. These regulations are in place to protect the health of humans and animals in the country, and to prevent the spread of diseases.

Types of Pets Allowed

Costa Rica allows the import of dogs and cats as pets. However, certain breeds of dogs are prohibited in the country, including Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Vaccination Requirements

All pets entering Costa Rica must be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccine must be administered at least 30 days before the pet’s arrival in Costa Rica, but no more than 1 year prior to arrival.

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Microchip and Health Certificate

Pets must also be microchipped, and a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian must be presented. The health certificate should state that the pet is in good health, and is free from any infectious or contagious diseases.

Import Permit

To import a pet into Costa Rica, an import permit must be obtained from the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The application for the import permit must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the pet’s arrival in Costa Rica.


There is no quarantine period for pets entering Costa Rica, as long as all of the requirements have been met.

International Travel Scheme for Pets

Costa Rica is not currently part of any international travel scheme for pets.


Individuals do not need to obtain a license for their pet in Costa Rica.

Government Website

The Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock provides information on the importation of pets to Costa Rica. Their website (in Spanish) can be found here: https://www.mag.go.cr/tramites/servicios-en-linea/pet-travel/

It is important to research and understand the regulations and requirements for importing pets into Costa Rica before making travel arrangements. Following these regulations will help ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your pet.

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