Puerto Rico Overhauls Pet Entry Travel Rules

Puerto Rico Overhauls Pet Entry Travel Rules

by Donald Wood
Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Tue May 30, 2023

Government officials in Puerto
announced a new set of pet import rules that apply to all dogs and
cats entering from the mainland United States.

According to Air Animal Pet Movers, the new pet import rules
require animal owners traveling to Puerto Rico to arrange for a U.S.-accredited
veterinarian to examine their pets and issue an interstate health certificate.

If the cats or dogs do not meet the standards or do not have
the proper accreditation, owners will be charged to return the animals to the
U.S., with the new rules officially going into effect on May 1.

“Not all veterinarians hold USDA accreditation,” Air Animal
Pet Movers founding veterinarian Walter M. Woolf said. “Setting up a veterinary
appointment for a pet can be tough without guidance from the pet’s regular
veterinarian or an experienced pet shipper.”

To ensure an animal will be approved for the journey to the
Caribbean, pet owners are advised to microchip for identification, ensure
vaccinations are up-to-date and obtain the interstate health certificate from
an accredited veterinarian.

Different regulations apply for birds, exotic pets and all animals
from other countries.

“Pet parents should always register with a local
veterinarian in their new locale to keep their pets’ rabies vaccinations up to
date,” Woolf continued. “Veterinarians typically send reminder notices when
vaccinations are due. If another move is in their future, they will be ready.”

In March, Discover
Puerto Rico
(DPR) revealed the island was one of six Caribbean Tourism
Organization (CTO) members to surpass pre-pandemic visitor arrivals numbers last
year, with the visitor surge continuing into 2023.

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