TLDR? If you want to travel with pets to Medellin, make sure that your pet is at least 15 months old and that you bring a health certificate and vaccine certificate.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I plan a trip, I always think about the most important member of the house: my kitty.
Now, the obvious choice is to find a pet sitter to watch her while I’m gone. But, what fun is that? A much better plan is to bring her with me!
If you’re planning on bringing your four-legged friends with you on a trip to Medellin, there are a couple of things to know first. Here’s a quick guide on how to travel with pets to Medellin, Colombia.
Requirements for Bringing Animals to Medellin from Other Countries
Each country, not just Colombia, has specific laws regarding the entry of animals for both health and protection issues.
The Colombian ICA (Colombian Agricultural Institute) is what monitors bringing animals in and out of the country.
They’ve got a couple of pretty specific requirements you’ll have to adhere to if you’re wanting to bring animals to the country. Here are the main requirements.
In order to get into Colombia, you’ll need to obtain an original health certificate issued by a vet in your home country. This can’t be more than 10 days old.
The health certificate needs to include:
Characteristics of the animal such as breed, sex, age, and coat color, among others.
That the animal is free of infectious, contagious, transmissible, and parasitic diseases.
The pet has been dewormed a maximum of 60 days before the trip.
That the animal does not have fresh wounds.
These requirements are just as important as tackling your own vaccines and COVID-19 requirements for travel to Medellin if you plan to bring your pets.
There are some specific vaccination requirements depending on what animal you’re bringing into Colombia. If you’re traveling with dogs, they’ll need specific vaccinations against:
Carré’s disease (Distemper)
Leptospirosis (canícola and icterohemorragiae)
The vaccination list for cats is a bit shorter, but you’ll still need to make sure they have a few shots:
Once you arrive in Colombia, you’ll need to have an immigration officer inspect and verify your pet’s vaccines and health certificate.
Once you pass the inspection, they’ll give you an inspection certificate with which the pet can freely enter Colombia and Medellin. Just be prepared to pay a fee!
In the event that this inspection is unsuccessful, immigration officers may detain your pet for up to five days in order to get the proper documentation or medical care.
Pets that don’t arrive with a health certificate from their country of origin but do have vaccine records may be subject to a15-day quarantine. Two visits by ICA veterinarians will be made and you’ll be responsible for any associated expenses.
In the event that an animal is sick (especially with a foreign disease), your pet may be sent back home.
In other words, make sure you get the right documentation. It’s not worth doing without it!
Other Requirements to Consider
Although these are the most important requirements, they’re not the only things to be aware of. There are a few other things to keep in mind. Let’s take a look.
The Age of Your Pet Matters
Pets must be at least 15 months old to enter the country. If they’re younger than that, they may not be allowed to enter Colombia.
Rabies Vaccines Have to Be Up-to-Date
Your pet’s rabies vaccine must have been applied more than 21 days before attempting to enter Colombia.
On top of that, if your pet’s rabies vaccination wasn’t performed in your country of origin, you’lll need to carry a certificate stating this information.
In this case, the animal will likely undergo a quarantine during which it must be vaccinated by an ICA veterinarian.
Additional Vaccine Requirements
For other vaccines different from those of rabies, you have to present a certificate proving all current vaccines. Without it, your pet will have to stay in a mandatory quarantine.
USA Pets Have Special Requirements
Pets from the USA must arrive in Colombia with a health certificate stamped and signed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or USDA APHIS. Without this, Colombian immigration won’t accept the health certificate for your pet.
Bringing Service Animals to Medellín
If you have special needs and are bringing a service animal to Medellin, the requirements are slightly different.
In this case, you’ll need to provide a Service Animal Relief Attestation Form, which clarifies what your service animal assists with. You will also need to provide a certification showing your pet is a service animal.
For pet owners coming from the US by air, you’ll also need:
US Department of Transportation Service Animal Air Transportation Form
United States Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form
These must be valid and should have been generated after the date you booked your flights to Medellin.
What to Know About Traveling With Your Pet
Pets can travel both in the cargo hold and the cabin of the plane. If you choose to bring your pet in the plane, make sure that they’re calm and won’t disrupt your fellow passengers.
It’s also important to bring the pet with a crate, a muzzle, and food and water containers. Only domestic animals such as dogs, cats, and birds are allowed in Medellin.
Getting Around Medellin With Your Four-Legged Friend
Getting around Medellin with a pet is actually pretty easy. The streets are super walkable, so you can get outdoors and stretch your legs and your pet’s legs without a problem.
Additionally, you can get on public transport systems with your pet. There are tons of pet-friendly restaurants and activities around the city, too.
Just remember that asistance animals must have a certificate proving they are a service animal and a distinctive vest. On top of that, even pets may require health documents.
Make sure to have your pet’s documentation on hand just in case.
Explore Medellin With Your Furry Friends
Travel with pets can be a rewarding and comforting experience. And, with this guide, you’re now ready to jet-set to Medellin with your fluffy pals in tow!
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