Costa Rica News – Pets are generally considered members of the family and thus people often want to take them along on travels, whether for company or because of not wanting to leave them behind. Last year, the National Animal Health Service (Senasa) processed 3,000 exit authorizations. In the first five months of 2018, 1,200 were processed.
An animal may be considered a service animal to aid in certain conditions. Even normal pets tend to provide a type of emotional support. If one is going to study abroad, for example, he or she may want to bring a pet along to aid in the transition.
There are very strict procedures in order to bring a pet from one country to another. It’s recommended that you look into requirements five months in advance to be sure you meet all of them. Some countries require sending blood work abroad.
I once had to catch a later flight for a discrepancy in paperwork. Not all veterinarians know the rules but most will happily charge you and give you a random form that doesn’t count. Check official websites for the country of origin and destination country as well as the airline.
Some common requirements, although there are variations depending on air carrier and country, include a certificate of good health and a rabies shot. Some documents and shots must be within a certain window of time, for example, more than 24 hours before the flight but less than 5 days before the flight.
Each carrier also has specifications on the type and size of carriers allowed. If the pet is under a certain weight it can ride under the seat in front of you but over that size it must fly with the luggage. Pets usually go with the person through security and must be taken out of the carrier to go through the metal detector.
The cost can range from about $200 to $1,200 depending on the country you are traveling to. Europe is the most difficult, with a 4 month long process and high fees.