Bringing A Cat Or Dog To Argentina
When I originally planned on moving to Argentina, I had a choice of what to bring and what not to bring. I sold off most everything I owned including a very nice car I had worked years to pay off. One of the few items I did not sell was my 2 cats. And there was no place to leave them either. So, the cats came with me to Argentina.
Actually, Argentina is one of the more pet friendly places and very liberal about bringing in your cat or dog. There is no quarantine time, and only a small amout of paper work will be needed before you leave.
Here is what you will have to do in preparation for brining your cat or dog to Argentina.
1. Contact your vet and tell them about your trip. You will need to bring your animal in and get a quick check up, plus you will need to get paperwork to fill out. You do not need to have it completed in Spanish. And you do not need to have it signed by the state. But make sure that they complete it fully. They may need some time to do so so do this step first.
2. Contact the airline you are traveling with. You have to buy tickets for the little guys. Trying to get in touch with a representative to buy tickets for your animal means getting in touch with someone about cargo. It is best to store the cat or dog in the luggage compartment under the plane. At least it was for me because I was brining in 2 cats and didn’t have the money to buy them a ticket with a seat. And if you are flying during extreme temperatures in the summer or winter, some airlines will not allow pet travel under the plane. The cost was $100 per animal. It is a good idea to double check this reservation before you fly. I paid for the ticket when I checked the cats in at the airport.
3. Carrying case. You can go to just about any pet store and find a nice solid plastic carrying case for your animal. You will want to make sure it is of the highest quality so it does not smash. And you must be able to put a water dish and food dish somewhere in the case for the animal. When I checked the animals in at the airport, a guy actually drilled screws into the case for extra protection to ensure the carrying case did not open up during transit. For free, more or less. Also, put up signs on the case everywhere indicating live animals, handle with care, and your contact information in both countries. They will do more of the at the airport when you check your pet in.
4. Leaving. Make sure to have all your paperwork with you at the airport before you leave. Make sure you get to the airport about 3 hours early. Check yourself in first, then check your pet in. When I checked in, I had to actually take the animals out of the case so security could get a good look at both the cats and the inside of the case. My cats did not enjoy this, and I got scratched trying to put one back in. But you have to do what you have to do.
A man gave me a receipt and I was told to use this to confirm my animals had indeed been put under the plane before we took off. After I took my seat on the plane, I could look out the window and actually see the cats waitimg to be stored. They were the last items packed in cargo. Then I asked a flight attendant to verify the ticket stub, and she confirmed it.
5. Arrival. After I got myself through customs and security in Argentina, I found my cats stacked up near the baggage claim. I grabbed my luggage and a cart. Then I was sent to a special line where 2 people in white coats asked me some questions in Spanish. They wanted to see my paperwork for the cats, and needed to know where I was staying. I had an address. They looked at the cats, and at me, and charged me $11 for each animal as a tax.
Finally, I was cleared to go through. The cats where pretty shaken up that day. But they were glad to hear my voice again. The flight was 11 hours. You are not allowed to drug your animals because this can cause them to die at high altitudes.
The cats slept well for a few days and began to get used to the new smells and sights in Argentina. There are still with me today and we live in the deep city of Buenos Aires. They didn’t like all the noise at first but they have adjusted and are working on their Spanish.
Update on instructions for bringing your cat or dog to Argentina: If you fly Delta, you can carry your cats or small dogs in the cabin.
When heading back home to the united states from Argentina, you must go to a governement office in Puerto Madero to get a certificate. In order to get that, you must have a current health certificate and radies shot for the animal. Then you can get the international certificate at Puerto Madero. Call your airline in Buenos Aires for the address of this place.
Warning: This place is only open from 11am – 4 pm and has been known to go on strike. So give yourself a few days in advance. Once you get the international health certificate, you have 10 days to fly.
Letter from a cat owner
I have just read your blog on the internet regarding bringing pets into Argentina. It is one of the best sources of information that we have come across in our months of searching. We have a cat that we wouldn’t think of leaving behind, but have found nothing on the internet to help us learn more about what we have to do. Do you have a suggestion on where to start or what to do? Vets are not very abundant here in the area that we live in, and most of them deal with farm animals. I’m afraid that cats and dogs are a low priority in the overall scheme of things. Do you have any suggestions at all?
Thank you so much for any help that you might give us,
Reply from TangoTours
The first thing I would try and find out is if Argentina has special restrictions about animals from your country. My guess is that they do not. Argentina is one of the most open minded countries in the world in regards to allowing pets in. To be honest, I think a small bribe would get any cat in. But better to be safe than sorry. I feel confident that after a great deal of research and effort on your part, you will get you cat into Argentina without incident.
Contact the Argentina embassy in your country and see if they can give you any additional info about papers you might need. Getting my cats into Argentina was much easier than getting them back to the US. But no need to worry about that now.
You may want to find a very good vet in a rich neighborhood or something. You will absolutely need documentation of your animals rabies shot, and you will need it within a window of time, like 10 days before the flight. 30 at most. You should also try your best to get an international health certificate.
I have in front of me the vet papers I used to get into Argentina. The most important document you will need is a certificate of a rabies vaccination. Also 3 other vaccinations are documented. Panleukopenia, Calicivirus, and Rhinotracheitis. And if I remember correctly, these were given as an all in one shot. But one of my cats did not like shots, and we were unable to hold him down, so the vet just checked the boxes anyway. And the same thing was done in Argentina.
You will also need to make sure the airline you are flying will allow animals at the time of year you are flying in the cargo bay. Sometimes if it is too hot, they won’t put the animal there. Some airlines allow a small cat to ride with you under your seat, and some do not. Either way, there will be an extra charge for the animal to fly.
Always tell officials and vets that your cat is an indoor cat. And when you finally do get to Argentina with your cat, and get your baggage, you will see your cat sitting near by if you had it checked into cargo. Pick it up and go towards the exit. A couple of doctors will call you over to one side, and ask you questions, look at your rabies vac document, ask you where you will be living, and then charge you a very small fee. Give you a smile and then off you go.
It can be done, it is a process, but I promise you that if you go through the process, it will work out just fine.