May 30, 2023

Puerto Rico Implements New Pet Entry Rules

Air Animal Pet Movers is reminding pet parents with travel plans to/from Puerto Rico that as of May 1, Puerto Rico has implemented several significant changes to its pet import rules. Pet parents should carefully review the new rules because they apply to all dogs and cats. Pet parents will be charged to return dogs and cats to the US that have not met regulations.

Under the new rules, pet owners must arrange for a US accredited veterinarian to examine their pets and issue an interstate health certificate. According to Walter M. Woolf, founding veterinarian of Air Animal Pet Movers, “Not all veterinarians hold USDA accreditation. Setting up a veterinary appointment for a pet can be tough without guidance from the pet’s regular veterinarian or an experienced pet shipper.”

Air Animal Pet Movers has updated its Puerto Rico Resource page on to assist pet parents. Air Animal Pet Movers specializes in dealing with the details of transporting dogs or cats between the United States and Puerto Rico.

Steps for entry:
1. Microchip the pet for identification.
2. Ensure the rabies vaccination was administered no more than 6 months before entry. This rabies certificate must accompany the pet.
3. Book an appointment with an accredited United States veterinarian to obtain the interstate health certificate. The appointment must take place no more than 72 hours before arrival in Puerto Rico. USDA endorsement is not required.
4. Ensure the pet has received an external parasite treatment no more than 72 hours before entry. The veterinarian must record the treatment on the health certificate.
5. Dogs should receive the following vaccinations: DA2PPL/DAPPL (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis). Cats should receive FVRCP (feline rhinotracheitis, calcivirus and panleukopenia) vaccinations.
6. Different regulations apply for birds, exotic pets and all pets from other countries.

“Pet parents should always register with a local veterinarian in their new locale to keep their pets’ rabies vaccinations up to date. Veterinarians typically send reminder notices when vaccinations are due. If another move is in their future, they will be ready,” Woolf added.

For more information on Air Animal Pet Movers, visit Air Animal.

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