Instructions For Bringing Your Cat or Dog to Argentina.

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.




27 Responses to “Instructions For Bringing Your Cat or Dog to Argentina.”

  1. 1 mindyhardwick October 9, 2006 at 12:39 am

    Very interesting information. Did your cats learn to speak Spanish?

  2. 2 scarlett March 26, 2007 at 8:28 am

    You do need to have the dog or cats health certificate, that the vet fills out , done in Spanish and English.
    The USDA will send / fax the paperwork that you need to your vet.
    The vet must be certified and the USDA can tell you if they are..otherwise, you have to get a vet who is.
    The USDA is very helpful with all questions regarding taking animals to other countries, but if you have one paper wrong or missing, you won’t get the ok from them and the pet can be quarantined on the other side so be sure you talk to them before starting this process.
    They know if laws or requirements have changed.
    I have just finished this process myself ( all but the flight) so I am very up-to-date on this.

  3. 3 pkay May 4, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    were do you find a certified usda vet….

  4. 4 tangotours October 16, 2007 at 12:10 am

    So, again, before leaving your country of origin, get a international health certificate, and a rabies vaccination document. You will need to do this within a window of time before your flight, so work on obtaining these documents first.

  5. 5 Kim May 23, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Great information, Thanks, I am moving to Rosario in October, once I’m settled I want to bring both my dogs down.
    What airline did you fly with and what time of year?

  6. 6 Bob August 17, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Kim let us know here how it went. Im moving there from Canada in the next 2-3 years and also have 2 dogs. thanks a bunch Bob

  7. 7 Amanda November 1, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Hi, I have a guide dog and my grandma wants to take us to Argentina. What do I need to do in order to beable to take my dog with me? What paper work and what shots do I need. He already has his rabies shot. So, I know I need the health certificate, but, whats else and how much time do you recommend?

  8. 8 Ryan Nagy November 11, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am in the planning stages of a long trip to BA and I was not sure how to go about bringing my cat. The next step will be to figure out how to bring her back! Thanks again – Ryan

  9. 9 Alex November 26, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I had contacted 2 pet travel agencies in Buenos Aires but cost estimates of around 2000 USD are far above my budget. So I will just take care of the transport myself. I was just wondering: is it true that I cannot bring them in when on a tourist visa? Thank you very much for all the advise!

  10. 10 daphne December 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    so if I’m planning to bring my cat over to argentina, it has to ha e more than the rabies shot?

  11. 11 Yvette April 21, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I am trying to get info on what I need to do to bring a cat from Argentina to the U.S. – Your info has been very helpful – are there any recent updates? It sounds like all the cat needs is the rabies vaccines.

    Many thanks.

  12. 12 Henning Anderson June 25, 2009 at 2:53 am

    We want to bring our two Sheltie’s to Buenos Aires in January 1-2-3 2010 through March 31, 2010. They are both about 10yrs old and in excellent health. One is 14-lbs, one 19-lbs.We would most likely come by Delta and would be staying in the Recoleta area, if we can find an apartment with two bedrooms and two baths which will accept dogs. We want to come this fall to find a place and have all the necessary paperwork for the trip in January 2010. Who would you suggest we contact to first find a place, second find someone who speaks English who could assure us we have done everything correctly to bring the two Shelties in January. Third, I need high speed internet to conduct my business in the USA and reliable international phone service in the apartment we would lease. If you can direct us to a party who might be able to help us it will greatly appreciated.

    Henning And Arlis Anderson

  13. 13 anna June 6, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Where did you fly from when you brought your cats to Argentina? If we move there we will be flying from Hawaii. It’s a lot of hours, and for our two dogs’ sake I think it would be best to break up the flights. They are smallish (15&25lbs) and hopefully we could bring them in the cabin, but I do worry about one of them barking.

    • 14 tangotours June 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      When you are flying long distances with your cat or dog into or from Argentina, or anywhere else in the world, my advice is to get long layovers when you change planes. Rent a hotel room, and allow the animal to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, and feel comfortable for a few hours before the next leg of the trip. When I flew from San Francisco to Buenos Aires, I stopped in JFK for an 8 hour layover. I found a hotel near the airport that took pets. I caught a taxi to it, and let the cats relax before the next 10 hour flight. As for taking the cat or dog into the cabin with you, the rules on most international flights do not allow this. They will be fine in the cargo area and it will be far less stressful for you and those around you. Tip – only fly with pets when the weather is not at extremes at your destinations.

  14. 15 Michael July 19, 2010 at 1:00 am

    I will be flying COPAAIR from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires (via Panama City) and they accept pets in the cabin. Of course there is a weight limitation.

  15. 16 Lia September 13, 2010 at 3:11 am

    We have vast experience with relocating pets around the world and we are the most experienced pet relocation agency in South America.

    Please do let us know of any questions we can help answer. You can call anytime at +1 (818) 627-6256 or +54 (11) 4836-2290 to discuss your pet’s relocation process.

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  16. 17 milagros November 13, 2010 at 12:17 am

    queria saber como hacer para traer un perro desde inglaterra.
    lo dan en adopcion y queria asegurarme de que no era una estafa, averiguando las aerolineas que los transportan.
    queria saber todo lo posible, y los precios, si es posible pagar al recibirlo y esas cosas.
    muchas gracias.
    por favor comunicarse a mi mail:

  17. 18 Ruud November 16, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Is there some change in bringing dogs to Argentina?

    Today or yesterday?

  18. 19 patty belisle December 13, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I am very interested in moving to Buenos Aires….I am a registered nurse and have had the opportunity to specialize in many different areas of nursing. Do you have any advice on how I can obtain information on working as a nurse or any organizations I can contact.Patty

  19. 20 Zakiya January 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    My husband and I are moving to Buenos Aires. He is already there and I would like to ship our puppy over there to him, she is 4 months old. No one will be flying with her so she will be shipped as cargo. I have checked with Delta Cargo and got a price for the transportation of Antoinette. However I am still somewhat fuzzy on what I will need to get into Argentina if my husband is not flying with her. I have all the forms that I will need and they are in Spanish and English. I plan to also get an extra one from my vet. When she arrives will he be able to pick her up or will we need to contact a company to do that for us. I really want everything to go smoothly with no problems and a happy puppy and happy pops reunited at the airport.


    • 21 RayBrown January 30, 2011 at 12:23 am

      We have a home in Mendoza and live here 3 months a year. We bring our 2 dogs with us. We always fly Continental because of their 24 hour kennel services and the excellent pet safety they have. Getting the dogs out of the U.S. or back to the U.S. is a simple procedure requiring a state and federal health certificate from the U.S. with shot records and a similar SENASA certificate when bringing them back. If the vets are not familiar with th edocuments you can get them from the U.S. vetinary service in your city.
      Once you get to Buenos Aires, the adventure starts. It is a muti-hour process. You start in the Continental cargo office where you pay (I think) about $140.00 U.S. and get their shipment records. From there you go to SENASA in the cergo section of the airport where you get the SENASA papers for payment of additional fees. You take these to the bank about 200 yards away and make the payment, then return to SENASA where they will give you the documents to provide to to the Particulares office about 250 yards from SENASA. Take a number until called and present your documents and passport and they will stamp your records and send you to another office a few feet away in the same building to customs, first door on the right where another payment of fees is made and you receive your final receipts to take to the customs office in the building about another 100 yards away where your dog will be. Take the papers to the customs office there and they finalize the documents and then you can get your pet. The problem is that all offices close at 12:00 and re-open 1 hour later for lunch. If you only get part of this process completed and noon comes, you have to wait until 1:00 to finish.
      Hope this helps.

  20. 22 tangotours January 3, 2011 at 1:41 am

    I strongly recommend you fly with your animal. If this is not possible, then the biggest concern is making sure your husband is able to pick the dog up in Buenos Aires. You can check your animal in from the destination point. And attach all the paperwork needed to the cage carrier, or place it inside in Tupperware. When the dog is unloaded in BA, it will be placed on the floor next to baggage claim. I’m not positive that your husband can enter that area without a plane ticket, you will have to check at the Buenos Aires airport. But if he can get to baggage claim, he can simply pick up the animal, then go to customs and show proper paper work, pay the small fee, and your puppy is now a Argentine resident.

  21. 23 Monica June 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Where do you get good healthy cat food around here in Buenos Aires. I feed my cat Pet Guard, Wellness or 365 from Whole foods. All of the food here is byproducts and my cat cannot eat byproducts or she will get sick with her kidneys. The pet food here is just awful. What do you feed your cat?

  22. 24 sam June 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    There are several very large pet stores that may have some better cat food. There are small wet food cat products they sell at most pet stores as well. I feed my cat chicken and salmon that I cook off and refrigerate as well as leaving dry food out.

  23. 25 susan June 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    If you feed your cat freshly cooked meat, you can supplement it with grass that you can grow inside in a container. The acid from the grass is helpful to their digestive system. And you can get vitamin supplements in liquid form at a good vet.

  24. 26 Elfia Martinez Way September 23, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Yo viajo desde toronto , Santiago, Mendoza,, el certificado para mi perrita tiene que ser Espanol y Ingles?, lo puedo llenar yo al espanol? muchas gracias,,, Elfia

  1. 1 Delilah (AKA - Bringing Pets to Buenos Aires) Trackback on July 25, 2008 at 3:06 pm
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Tom Wick is an American expat living in Buenos Aires. An expert travel consultant and tour guide offering free travel inforamtion and private guided tours of Buenos Aires.

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