Traveling With Your Pet from the U.S. to Panama

If you plan on visiting Panama and want your small pet to accompany you, here are the steps you must follow.

Once you arrive at Tocumen International Airport with your pet, you will be expected to submit a Certificate of Good Health of Exportation for Small Animals from the country of origin’s Sanitary Authority. If you are in the United States, the Certificate of Good Health will be issued to you by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.).

This certificate has to be approved by the pet’s veterinarian as well as by a U.S.D.A. veterinary official. You can download the form from the U.S.D.A. webpage using this link.

After downloading the form and obtaining the required signatures, send it to the Panamanian Consulate for authentication. However, if a Panamanian diplomatic office is not available in your state, you can have the form authenticated by the Secretary of State’s Authentication Office in the state from where the document came.

You will be required to pay a $30 consular fee per document paid to the Consulate of Panama via money order.

It is important for you to include a prepaid envelope with your address to help get your documents back. If you are using mail to send your documents, it is advisable to use FedEx, Priority Mail U.S.P.S., or Express Mail U.S.P.S. to ensure the safety of your documents and avoid delays.

On the cover of the envelope, write “TRAVELING WITH PET” in clear and capital print to speed up the processing of your documents.

This is the address you should send your documents to:


2862 McGill Terrace, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20008

That is not all. Before you travel, make sure to consult the airline to learn about their guidelines concerning traveling with pets.

Most airlines will ask you for a valid U.S.D.A. Certificate no older than ten days from the date of issuance.

Together with the documents mentioned above, you will be required to submit a Domestic Quarantine Form to the Department of Zoonosis Control at the airport. You can simply download the form here. This certificate should be sent by email between 3 and 5 days before you arrive in Panama: and so that, by the time you arrive, an officer is waiting to inspect your pet.

If you have fulfilled all the necessary requirements, you will be allowed to take your pet with you. If not, they will be sent back to your country using the airline you arrived on.

Once you are in Panama, you will be expected to pay a U.S. $130 fee for domestic quarantine.

It is important to note that the working hours for the Tocumen International Airport’s Department of Zoonosis Control are from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, Monday to Friday. The officers do not work on holidays.

This knowledge will prevent your pet from having to spend the night in quarantine.

Traveling with your pet from Canada to Panama

If you wish to travel with your pet from Canada to Panama, the procedure is pretty much the same.

First, you need to acquire an International Health Certificate and have it stamped by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

After that, have the form certified by the Panamanian Consulate.

Before you arrive in Panama, submit your domestic quarantine form to This document will alert the authorities regarding your pet’s arrival and give you the assurance that an officer will be waiting to inspect your pet.

At the airport, you will be required to pay $130.00 for domestic quarantine.

If the owner fails to meet the requirements, the Panamanian officials will send the animal back to Canada, and the owner will be responsible for the expense.

Papers you’ll need to get your pets into Panama

To ensure a speedy and hassle-free paperwork process, you should follow the following guidelines:

  • Prior to your arrival, submit your Home Quarantine Application together with your Panamanian ID or passport image. Other documents you should post include:
      – Consular or Apostille authentication
      – Exportation Certificate
      – Vaccine Record (certificate or card)
  • When you arrive at the MIDA MINSA offices, only one person will be allowed to do the paperwork, and that must either be the owner or the person in charge of the pet.
  • Persons who are COVID-19 positive and those with communicable diseases are not allowed to handle the paperwork for pets going to Panama.
  • During the paperwork process, you should keep your luggage and other possessions in a designated area outside the office.
  • If your pet arrived in a bag or a kennel, you are not permitted to take them out during the paperwork process.
  • Your pet should remain in the designated area until an official tells you the way forward.
    You should carry the exact amount in cash for MINSA ($130) and MIDA ($16).
  • Observe the COVID-19 guidelines, which include washing your hands frequently or using alcohol-based sanitizer, observing a social distance of two meters, and wearing a mask.
  • Ensure that you use a dose of alcohol gel before entering the office. The gel is available at the entrance to the office.

Other Requirements

Some of these requirements are mandatory, while others are voluntary. They include the following:

A Microchip

Although it is not a requirement that your pet be microchipped when visiting Panama, it is strongly encouraged. An ISO 11785 microchip registered with your contact information can help find your pet if they go missing.


At the airport, you will be asked to show proof that your pet has been vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days before your visit. This vaccination should be given once your cat or dog has lived three months of age.
Dogs should also be vaccinated against hepatitis, distemper, parvovirus, and leptospirosis, and cats should receive calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia vaccines.

Tapeworm and Tick Treatment

Before you can visit Panama with your cat or dog, you must submit evidence of tapeworm and tick treatment. The products used should be indicated on the health certificate.

Entering Tocumen International Airport

Pet owners accompanied by their pets are allowed to arrive at the airport during regular working days or between 8.00 am and 11 pm on the weekends if they have notified the pet department beforehand. During the journey, pets stay in the checked baggage, air cargo, or cabin.
If your pet has a communicable disease that can be passed to human beings, it is important that they do not travel with you because they may be denied entry. If your pet appears sick, a licensed veterinarian may be authorized to examine them at your expense.

Kittens and Puppies

It is not advisable for pet owners to travel with kittens and puppies that are not yet three months old. As mentioned above, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies.

Other Animals

Cats and dogs are not the only animals you can take with you to Panama. If you want to travel with a bird, you will be required to present a permit from Panama’s National Environment Authority.
For mammals, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits, and rodents, you must submit a vaccination certificate to show that they have been vaccinated against rabies.