As you start thinking about moving to Costa Rica, your mind might be preoccupied with thoughts of what you’ll do with income, where you’ll live, and how easily you can get by with limited Spanish. But, eventually, your thoughts will come to the possibility of leaving a beloved four-legged family member behind.
Should you cancel the move/trip/vacation to Costa Ricabecause you can’t bring Fido/Spot/Fluffy along?
Don’t dismay, because your family dog, cat or other pet can come with you to live in Costa Rica – if you’re willing to follow the correct procedures and regulations. Here are some tips and resources for bringing the family pet into Costa Rica as you make the move:
So you want to transport your dog down to Costa Rica, but where do you start? If you’re from the U.S., one of the best resources you’ll find that spells out all of the procedures is the United States embassy to Costa Rica’s website.
According to the Costa Rican authorities:
“The dog or cat must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, and endorsed by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) veterinarian.”
You’ll also need a certificate statement from a vet that says, “The dog/cat was examined and found to be healthy and free of any clinical signs of infectious disease.” This should be done within 2 weeks before you leave for Costa Rica.
That includes treatment for ticks and tapeworms. For vaccinations, dogs should be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, Leptospirosis, parvovirus, and rabies, while cats need to be vaccinated against rabies.
The rabies vaccination certificate must be included with the health documents and be valid for 1 or 3 years.
Use the International Certificate (APHIS FORM 7001) for Small Animals. Within 14 days of arriving, a licensed vet must complete the pet’s Veterinary Certificate for Costa Rica. You’ll be required to have a copy translated into Spanish.
That form must be endorsed by your state USDA office (if you’re from the US) or local CFIA office (if you’re coming from Canada.)
The animal’s health certificate needs to be stamped by the Costa Rican Consular office but doesn’t need to be signed by a Notary Public. However, don’t make out the certificate in duplicate.
All of this documentation will be carefully reviewed once you arrive in Costa Rica, so make sure it’s correct.
You’ll want to notify veterinary officials at your arrival airport so they’ll be ready to inspect your pet upon landing without a big wait. All dogs and cats must be free from any signs of communicable diseases and in good apparent health. If not, you’ll be ordered to have them inspected further by a Costa Rica veterinarian at your expense.
It’s also not a bad idea to carry a personal letter that documents your pet’s market value.
You’re allowed to bring up to five personal pets into Costa Rica without an import permit.
A blood titer test is not required to enter Costa Rica and there are no banned breeds that cannot enter the country.
If you have a pet other than a dog or cat, like a rabbit, guinea pig, etc., you’ll need an import permit to transport them into Costa Rica.
Unfortunately, exotic pets are not permitted entry to Costa Rica. Make sure the species is not protected under including turtles, parrots, and many others. Consult the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to find out.
Of course, you should carefully research your airline’s specific policies and procedures for transporting pets.
Even if you’re sending your pet along on a different flight or any other class of service, you’ll need to obtain an Import Permit.
While it’s not required, you may consider getting your pet fitted with a microchip before you travel, so it can be found and identified if ever lost in its new environment. Remember that pets will be a little freaked out by their new surroundings, too, and may bolt or get lost, so even if you don’t get them micro chipped, get tags made with your name, new address, and contact info in Spanish and English.
The hot and humid tropical climate may be a big change for you, but it can be an even bigger shock to your pet’s system. So make sure they always have a cool place to take shelter and hang out, especially in the first few weeks, provide lots of water, and help them explore their new environment by taking them on walks every day.
However, keep dogs on the leash at first until they’ve grown accustomed to their new home, as cars (not as merciful as drivers in the US), stray dogs, and even different plants and critters like poisonous frogs could pose a threat.
While most pet supplies and foods can be found in stores in the bigger cities, it may be hard to get familiar things when you’re living in the countryside or smaller coastal towns. So plan on bringing any essentials, and making supply runs as needed when you go to San José or the city.
No matter where you end up relocating in Costa Rica, it’s a good idea to locate your neighborhood veterinarian and bring your pet in just to say hello, meet them and get their contact info/hours of operation, etc. and get the pet’s medical history on file.
If you think this information was helpful, you'll find WAY more of the same in
The Official Expat's Moving to Costa Rica Handbook.
Enjoy your move to Costa Rica!
Want to work virtually from Costa Rica and still make big money? Check out this exclusive interview with Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs.com
The dream is to live on a white sand beach in Costa Rica, but to do that, you still need to make a living.
There are many ways to earn a healthy income while living in Costa Rica, but my favorite is to still work virtually from the U.S. or Canada, where you’ll enjoy time flexibility, higher wages, and you’ll never have to change out of your flip flops for business shoes again.
In order to bring you a rare inside look from one of the world’s authorities on virtual work, I had the honor of personally interviewing Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of Flexjobs.com.
I hope Ms. Sutton Fell’s insight and wisdom answers a lot of your questions and encourages you to build your virtual career!
Norm Schriever from CRexpat.com: Sara, how would you define virtual or stay-at-home careers?
Sara Sutton Fell: Virtual or stay-at-home careers include a wide variety of terms that all come to the same conclusion —a job where your primary place of work is NOT a traditional office, but your home office. Other terms that essentially mean the same thing include telecommuting, virtual job, telework, and remote job.
CRexpat: Do you see a rise in virtual careers?
Sara Sutton Fell: Absolutely!
As technology makes it easier and easier for people to work from a variety of locations away from the office, virtual careers are becoming more popular and more mainstream. According to the Telework Research Network, there has been a 60% increase in the number of people telecommuting for work since 2005. At FlexJobs, we’ve seen the number of open telecommuting and flexible job listings increase over 50% since the end of 2011 and now, going from around 7,000 active listings to 14,800 currently.
CRexpat: What is the best way to go about finding these jobs?
Sara Sutton Fell: Of course, we think FlexJobs is a pretty great resource!
Unlike other job search websites, FlexJobs specializes in finding, screening, and listing only telecommuting and flexible jobs, and we pre-screen every job and employer before adding them to our site.
No matter where a job seeker searches for virtual or telecommuting jobs, they should know to use keywords like telecommuting, virtual job, and remote job. Phrases like “work from home” and “work at home” are commonly associated with scams.
CRexpat: What is the biggest mistake people make or pitfall in getting a virtual job?
Sara Sutton Fell: The biggest mistake people can make when looking for virtual work is to not pay attention to the scams in this niche. While many legitimate at-home jobs do exist, there are a huge number of scams out there, so job seekers need to stay alert and educate themselves on those scams and how to spot them.
At FlexJobs, we help job seekers identify the legitimate, professional- level virtual jobs amid all the scams. Our team of job researchers scour hundreds of job listings every day to weed out scams and find the legitimate listings, which get posted on our site for job seekers to view.
CRexpat: Can you give us a little more information on that?
Sara Sutton Fell: Some examples for job seekers to steer clear of scams: Jobs that sound too good to be true, that promise easy money for no work, that ask you to “invest” or pay to get the job, that require wire transfers through Western Union, or that just sound “off” should be avoided
CRexpat: Where/who are your employers?
Sara Sutton Fell: We have over 3,300 employers with open job postings on our site, and over 20,000 who have posted jobs in the past. They are large and small, from Fortune 500 companies to start- ups and nonprofits.
We mainly have employers from throughout the United States, and we also have companies based in Canada, Australia, the UK, and other international locations. Some of the most widely recognized names of employers who use FlexJobs to recruit virtual job seekers include: IBM, Capital One, AT&T, Rosetta Stone, the IRS, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, TripAdvisor.com, and Kelly Services.
CRexpat: And where are your clients?
Sara Sutton Fell: Like our employers, our job seekers are located throughout the United States, with some living internationally as well. According to a survey we did last year, 77% say they live near a big city, and California (11.7%), Colorado (7.7%), and Texas (6.6%) had the most respondents, though we do have job seekers from all 50 states.
CRexpat: What advantages do job seekers get by using your company?
Sara Sutton Fell: To put it simply, we make searching for a legitimate virtual job easier, faster, and safer.
Because our team of job researchers is doing the hardest work for our job seekers -- spending hundreds of hours every week searching for, screening, and verifying virtual job listings -- our members can spend the majority of their job search time crafting excellent applications, rather than scouring through hundreds of job listings every day.
On FlexJobs, job seekers have access to thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level telecommuting and flexible jobs, as well as our Company Database where they can research thousands of employers who offer telecommuting and flexible jobs, and our Community area with hundreds of articles, videos, and advice columns to help their job search and career development.
FlexJobs is the leading job search service of our kind, and we are 100% dedicated to our job-seeking members.
CRexpat: Thank you, Sara - and I'm sure all of the people living in Costa Rica and working virtually would love to thank you, too!
Ready for more life-changing insights that will help you move down to Costa Rica, find virtual work, and start living again?
Go to CRexpat.com for the full handbook.
Don't miss the #1 resource for moving to Costa Rica and living the dream here.
Download for free here.