By Carla Chinski, Content Marketing Manager at Vamos Academy
Traveling to Argentina with pets can be kind of complicated, as each country has its own legislation. If you plan to travel with cats or dogs to Argentina or, more specifically, Buenos Aires, take a look at these useful general tips, the documentation you’re going to need, and how to fly with a cat or dog in Argentina.
Before we begin, you should know that it’s way easier to travel to Argentina with house pets like dogs or cats, that are allowed to board the plane, instead of being in a dark, cold plane cabin, though some international associations think it best for the dog or cat to be in the cabin, as it can be safer. According to Argentina’s regulations (and, specifically, the regulations and restrictions that apply to the City of Buenos Aires), your pet “must have been vaccinated against rabies between 30 days and 12 months before arrival. An accredited vet from your home country must also complete the Certificado Veterinario de la Argentina (Argentine Veterinary Certificate) and include a copy of the rabies vaccine certificate.” If you have any other pet or animal (i.e., for sale or commercial purposes), you should look into your own country’s current legislation.
Also read: Traveling to Argentina With Your Kids
Because we’re guessing importing pets most likely won’t be your case, we’ll only provide general information for traveling with pets like dogs or cats (leave those anacondas at home!), and specific information on regulations from the US and the UK–yes, we know many of you are flying from these locations.
There are some general regulations in place that must be complied with, and these come from the International Air Transport Association (IATA)–you can check those rules in detail here. There is an exception whereby your dog cannot fly with you internationally. You should also know what to do when flying to a country where rabies is a high-risk disease:
“Effective December 1, 2021, dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:
- has a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
- has proof of a microchip;
- is at least 6 months old;
- is healthy upon arrival; and
- arrives at an approved port of entry”
In all other cases, you need to take into account the following features, tips and rules for traveling to Argentina with a pet:
- When do you want your pet to travel? This is important to take into account because each country has its own regulations, as we’ve said, and you need to plan at least 30 days in advance when traveling with a pet to make proper acommodations
- What is your pet’s size and weight?
- What are the specific container requirements for your pet’s size and weight? To solve this issue steadfastly, there are worldwide standards for containers. The generally acceptable rule is that “each animal in the container must have enough space to turn about normally while standing, to stand, to sit erect, and to lie in a natural position.” Some of the recommended materials (apart from their having a proper ventilation system in place) are fiberglass, metal, rigid plastic, solid wood or plywood. Other important standardizations:
– The floor must be solid and leak-proof
– There must be handles included on the top or on the sides of the cont
– You must include “Live Animals” and a “This way up” labels
– The door should take up one whole wall or part of the container
NOTE: If you’re flying with Aerolíneas Argentinas in particular, the maximum size allowed for the crate is 44 centimeters deep, 17 centimeters tall and 30 centimeters wide. Also, having a flight reservation does not necessarily mean your pet will be able to get on the flight. There is a two-pet-per-person maximum.
General Tips About traveling with Pets
LAR’s Worldwide Standards for Traveling with Pets
LAR stands for Live Animal Regulation. LAR’s website provides all the information you’ll need regarding pet transportation. These are the key things you should know about traveling with a pet to Argentina according to LAR–including some tips and tricks!
It’s not advisable to sedate your dog or cat; it is not forbidden, but there can be adverse effects and so it’s best not to. If your pet loses its ability to move inside the bag or crate, it might injure itself. Also, it’s a good idea to contact the airport about 48 hours before your flight to reconfirm you’re traveling with your pet to Argentina.
You should also reduce your pet’s food intake a day before, and feed your cat or dog a meal about two hours before, as it reduces stress. Before boarding, take your dog or cat for a walk, and also before leaving the airport.
Documentation Needed to Travel By Plane With a Dog or Cat in Argentina
What is the CIV (International Vaccination Certificate) for flying to Argentina and why is it so important for pet travel? The SENASA is an independent agency of the Argentine government who is not only in charge of overviewing and surveilling these kinds of procedures, but also authorizes which pets, and animals overall, get to fly and which ones do not.
For your pet’s transportation to be approved by SENASA, you’ll need to show the CIV 30 days prior to your departure date, and make sure that during that time your pet doesn’t show any symptoms of diseases of any kind. Do not take this requirement lightly: if your pet exhibits symptoms, it will have to quarantine. Keep in mind the CIV can be replaced with a valid veterinary passport.
You must contact SENASA beforehand to ensure they are ready to expedite your pet’s official authorization for entry into Argentina. Nonetheless, SENASA staff are available 24 hours a day; alternatively, you can phone (+54) 9 11 4480 – 0582 if you’re calling from another destination other than Argentina (if not, dial without any area codes).
So, this can be confusing: your pet has to have gotten a general veterinary exam 10 days before the trip (and no less than that), but the certificate itself–showing no signs of disease, as we’ve said. But the actual proof of vaccination against rabies is different. Your pet has to get the vax against rabies 30 days before the trip–except if it’s less than three months old, in which case this doesn’t apply. And so the order you should do things in has to be: first, have your pet get the shot; then, get the general exam.
Proof of Vaccination and Certificates for Dogs and Cats
What kind of information does the CIV provide?
- Name and identification: breed, sex, date of birth, fur, size and particular signs.
- Owner’s name and ID
- The actual CIV
- The sanitary certificate
The sanitary certificate comes with a small fee; but traveling with your pet itself in Argentina or elsewhere can cost you a pretty penny, which anyway varies from one airline to another (though we haven’t included actual costs, because of the changing rates and inflation in Argentina).
Traveling with Pets to and from Argentine Provinces
For traveling with pets within the Argentine jurisdictions, what you’re essentially going to need is the CIV (International Vaccination Certificate) and proof of the anti-rabies vaccine (vacuna antirrábica in Spanish.) According to the Argentine government website: “Also, you must travel through Argentine territory with by any other documentation issued by SENASA personnel involved in the entry of the international traveler to Argentina.”
If you’re traveling to Tierra del Fuego specifically, you’ll need the CVA (Certificado de Vacunación Austral), which is valid for thirty days straight. You’ll even need to show up with printed documents, apart from other information (like deparasitation). View all the requirements on the official website.
You can view all of the Argentine government’s recommendations regarding flying within Argentina here.
Coming to Argentina with a Pet From the US, UK or EU to Argentina
There is a general rule, which is that whatever documentation you provide has to be translated and certified legally (an original document + a certified copy) and apostilled by a sworn translator. For instance, for the UK “it is suggested to legalise all the UK documentation to be submitted in Argentina, with the Apostille at the British Legalisation Office, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and translate them into Spanish.”
If you’re coming from the EU-Switzerland or EU-Norway, you don’t need to request a solicitud de ingreso temporal (request for temporary entry into Argentina)–some of those rules are detailed here, at the top of the page–if your pet has a valid EU (Swiss or Norwegian) animal passport.