Import health requirements for dogs and cats:

Dogs and cats entering Costa Rica must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, and endorsed by a Veterinary Service (VS) veterinarian. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to travel to Costa Rica.

Health Certificate Statements:

1. The dog/cat was examined and found to be healthy and free of any clinical signs of infectious disease.

2. The animals were vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus.

Vaccination Requirements:

  • distemper
  • hepatitis
  • leptospirosis
  • parvovirus
  • rabies for animals 4 months or older

General Requirements:

1. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within the two weeks prior to travel to Costa Rica.

2. Please use a State of Federal US Interstate and International Certificate for Small Animals.

3. Enclose rabies vaccination certificate.

4. Pet Immigration Form.

5. Pet Quarantine Permit.


*The Health Certificate does NOT need to be signed by a Notary Public, nor does it have to be authenticated by the Consulate of Costa Rica.

*Animals exported in commercial lot numbers must be accompanied by an import permit.

General Information

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the greenest country in the world.

Costa Rica is located on the Central American isthmus, 10 North of the equator and 84 West of the Prime Meridian. It borders both the Caribbean Sea (to the east) and the North Pacific Ocean (to the west), with a total of 1,290 kilometres (800 mi) of coastline, 212 km (132 mi) on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km (631 mi) on the Pacific.

Costa Rica also borders Nicaragua to the north (309 km or 192 mi of border) and Panama to the south-southeast (639 km or 397 mi of border). In total, Costa Rica comprises 51,100 square kilometers (19,700 sq mi) plus 589 square kilometers (227 sq mi) of territorial waters.

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