How do I transport my dog to Puerto Rico? Here’s What to Expect

Dogs and cats coming from areas not free of rabies must be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate. If a vaccination has not been performed, or if the certificate is not valid, the pet may be admitted if they are confined immediately upon arrival at a place of the owner’s choosing.

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:

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).

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.

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.

We can take care of:

  • Microchipping the pet for identification. (Preferred, yet not required)
  • Rabies vaccination should be given at least 30 days before but less than 3 years before entry if the pet received the 3-year vaccine. If your pet received a 1-year vaccine, travel must be within that 1-year time span.
  • Booking your veterinary appointment for an interstate health certificate within 10 days of flight arrival in Puerto Rico. The health certificate does not require USDA endorsement.
  • The recommended vaccinations are: DA2PPL/DAPPL (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis) for dogs and FVRCP (feline rhinotracheitis, calcivirus, and panleukopenia) for cats.
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