I would like to share my experience with bringing my two beloved mini schnauzers to Costa Rica from Canada in April 2008.
There is no Quarantine. YAY!
For importing pets timing is very important. Especially if they have to go in cargo. Airlines have cutoff dates (blackout dates) because of extreme cold and extreme heat depending on the time of year. Also, some airlines don’t allow pets, some airlines only let a few pets on per flight and some airlines have regulations regarding flying with your pet under your seat while some only allow pets in the cargo. Your airline will have all the details.
I found the info and forms I needed to import them from Canada to Costa Rica from these sites:
For information and forms for importing pets from the USA contact the Embassy of Costa Rica and the US Department of Agriculture:
Here are the steps that I had taken prior to traveling:
- Booked flight with dogs (Air Canada charged $250 per dog) needed hard kennels.
- Downloaded and printed form from Canadian food inspection agency.
- Went to vet and got shots within the time frame as outlined on the forms and had the vet fill out the forms.
- Went to Canadian Food Inspection Agency and handed in form (As I recall it was $40 per dog)
- Returned a few days later and picked up the signed and stamped form.
At the airport in Canada:
- The dogs went thru the special items line so their kennels could be x-rayed and they were searched. It was a simple search and not like the “Your putting that thermometer where??” ordeal they endure during there annual physicals!
At the airport in Costa Rica:
I picked the dogs up at the special item carousel.
I went thru security quite quick and painless. The guys wanted to pet the dogs more than to check my paperwork.
I then exited the building. My great friends Steve and Marzena were waiting to pick us up.
It wasn’t too painful of an ordeal. The hardest part for me was having to put my girls in the cargo. I am not sure if the rules have changed but when flying internationally from Canada, Dogs must be stowed in the cargo. I have a friend who’s father worked for a big airline for many years in cargo and he said that they are treated well and workers like to give them attention rather than to give the attention to the baggage!!
This was my experience with my dogs. If you plan to bring other types of pets such as birds, snakes, fish, elephants or tigers, the regulations are different. Check out the links above for the correct up to date regulations and rules.