Shipping Pets to Puerto Rico

It’s not surprising that pet lovers to want to have their dogs, cats and other pets with them when they travel. After all,  pets are a member of the family. If you happen to be a pet lover and are looking for information about shipping your dog or shipping your cat to Puerto Rico, this page is updated with the latest about shipping your pets to the island.

Pit Bulls in Puerto Rico

If you’re relocating to Puerto Rico and own a Pit Bull, you may encounter some difficulties. American Staffordshire Terriers (Pit-bulls) are banned from entering Puerto Rico. You can adopt dogs that look pit bull-ish dogs once you are on the island and will find them fairly common.

Bill HB585 was introduced in 1998 banning the introduction, importation, possession, acquisition, breeding, sale, and transfer of Pitbull Terriers or hybrids resulting from a breed of these dogs or with dogs from other races, are all prohibited. The banned race of canine is defined as “a race of bull terriers that include the Stafforshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and combinations of these and other terrier races.”

Pit Bulls cannot be registered on the island and are illegal to possess. They will be confiscated and euthanized.

Import requirements

For all other breeds, this beautiful island of Puerto Rico does not quarantine dogs or cats that are healthy and meet the following requirements:

  • Your dog should have a Rabies Vaccine Certificate that shows, it has had its rabies shot not less than 30 days or more than 10 months (1 year vaccine) prior to entering Puerto Rico; or in the case of a 3 year vaccine, not less than 30 days or more than 34 months prior to entry.
  • It must have a health certificate from your licensed veterinary certifying to its good health status.
  • You’ll need to outfit your dog or cat with a sturdy collar with 2 ID tags that has your permanent address and phone number and the other tag should have an address or phone number where you can be contacted while on travel.

Airlines that ship pets to Puerto Rico

You will find that many airlines do not allow animals on board their flights and every company has their own policies and requirements. Where pets are allowed, there are 3 ways pets can travel in a commercial airplane: in-cabin, checked baggage and manifest cargo (shipping alone). Small pets can fly in-cabin while larger (about 20 pounds with carrier) must travel in the baggage or cargo area.

The following domestic airlines fly to Puerto Rico. Links go to their pet policies for more information and restrictions:

Check these International airlines for their individual pet policies for international flights from your country:

Heat restrictions for Animals

If your pet is too large to fly in-cabin, you will have a bigger challenge shipping your pet to Puerto Rico. Only one airline (United) has a temperature controlled area in the cargo hold specifically for pets. For the rest of the airlines, they will only allow transport of animals in current or forecasted temperatures at the arrival and departure airport below 84F (29C) at either location on the itinerary (75 degrees for snub-nosed dogs and snub-nosed cats).

Puerto Rico only has low enough temperatures to meet these requirements for 2-3 months of the year (December-February).

Other pets

If you’re bringing in birds or reptiles, rodents and rabbits, they should have a health certificate to enter Puerto Rico. Especially if your pet is a parrot or a turtle, you’ll have to make sure you carry documents saying they’re not protected under the Convention on International Trade in endangered species of wild Fauna and Flora.

Pet carriers and supplies

Each airline requires kennels and carriers of different sizes. Check the airline pet policy for the measurements before buying a kennel for your pet. Most require enough room for them to stand up and turn around inside the carrier.

Disclosure: Affiliate links below support Living in Puerto Rico Costs. 

Small and Soft Sided Pet Carriers

Hard Sided Pet Carriers


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