So You Want To Move Your Dog To Ecuador?

Morty in Ecuador

 Morty In Ecuador ! 

If you want to move your dog to Ecuador-- Good News! You can, we did,
but we almost didn't make it

We had been researching and preparing for months. We knew the rules.
For Ecuador, the vaccinations have to be correct, within a certain timeline, and
approved by the USDA within 10 days of leaving, this was gut wrenching and rash- producing.
Mistakes were made, but not by us.

Below are the steps currently required for moving your dog to Ecuador.
and don't miss the section appropriately titled
"Now The Fun Begins" 

Morty at Airport

Morty at airport, ready to go!

  • First, select your airline. Check out the rules according to your dog's size and situation (i.g. service dog, emotional support).  Note any breed restrictions, size of crates (inside cabin or cargo). Every airline has this information, if they don't, I would move on. We chose American Airlines.  You do need to fill out and return a couple of forms. Here is the link: American Airlines
  • Second, locate your nearest USDA office. There is a good chance you will be driving there. Yup! More on this below.   Here is a link to find a USDA office near you, and more USDA INFO
  • Third, locate the forms you need for your pet move. You can find them at this link for Ecuador or any country. Here:  Health Certificate
  • Fourth, Look over Health Certificate-Print Health Certificate ( 2 copies ). Go to an area where the light is good- (maybe put on glasses? take off glasses?). Turn the music or TV down, are the kids napping? Now Read Health Certificate. It will be a happy day if your vet gets everything right. They're human, they make mistakes, but you only have Ten Days to get everything done and it has to be perfect.
  • Fifth, ask your vet if they are currently licensed  as a USDA veterinarian for international travel, if not, it's time to find one. I just called around, make sure you confirm that they are certified for "international travel". 
  • Sixth, email your completed (and signed by the USDA) form to Ecuador 72 hours before your arrival. See details below. 


The information above is what you need to prepare for your trip to Ecuador.
Morty says "Here's what you need to do to MAKE SURE you make it".

Morty In Van

Your Veterinarian

Ask your vet if they are familiar with your particular health certificate and have successfully filled one out. 
If they say "Yes", well great, so did ours and it was still a bit of a nightmare.
At this point, just stay with them, but stay on top of E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. 
You read the Health Certificate right? 
Next, ask your vet if their license is active. If you feel uncomfortable asking them that 
(I did), then call your selected USDA office and they will have a list of active USDA vets. 
✱✱ We did have a friend that found out their vet's license was expired and it cost her $400 to expedite the process with a new vet ✱✱. 

Your Vet Appointments

Once you find your USDA vet, make the appointments for the vaccinations a month to two months ahead. Some vaccinations are applied in two parts, some need to be completed just before you leave AND you have schedule when your USDA vet is available.
For Ecuador, the form needed to be typed ( can be done online ) and signed in blue ink.
✱✱ When making your appointments, make sure the receptionist understands your health certificate and how they need to be scheduled, if not try to schedule directly with your vet. ✱✱.

Morty's Vaccinations For Ecuador

You will find these required vaccinations listed on the health certificate.
They are: Rabies, Distemper, Leptospirosis Parvovirus, Parainfluenza.
These need to be administered at least 21 days before arrival in Ecuador. 
Fecal test and Bordetella vaccination was not required.
The endo/ecto parasite treatment needs to be done 10 days before leaving.
For the endo parasite treatment, the vet performed a de-worm treatment and for the ecto parasite treatment, I brought my Bravecto (flea and tick chewable tablet) that he ate in the presence of the vet.  
✱✱ Fecal test and Bordetella vaccination was not required✱✱ . 

Call Your Friendly USDA Office

Hoping your USDA office is as wonderful as ours-- or did I just get lucky?  
The day I called to verify the status of our vet, the front receptionist was away and Dr. Harper picked up. 
A caring, retired veterinarian who not only checked the status of our vet, but offered to review the completed health certificate via email before it was sent to him. 
He was the person who ultimately signed off on the form. He informed me the Ecuador Health Certificate could be tricky. 
A wave of relief flowed over me.
✱✱If you decide to sent the form FedEx, you need to include a payment of $38 and a prepaid FedEx label to get it to you FAST ✱✱.

The Unexpected Drive To The USDA Office

Two hours after our vet appointment, I got a call that Dr Harper found some mistakes on the health certificate. I needed to go back to the vet and get the revised copy.
Time to make a decision. The plan had been to FedEx (overnight) the paperwork to the USDA, however....
I decided to rent a car (we had just sold both of our cars) and make the two hour drive to the USDA. This way, I could make sure they received and approved it.
I called the USDA office and they squeezed me in the next day.
You know what?! One more error was found at the USDA, but with power of the fax machine and another hour of prayer, it was finally signed off.  
We were leaving in two days. 
✱✱ Dr. Barry did state that communication is key and coming to the office directly, if possible, can help with last minute corrections ✱✱. 

Another Time Crunch
Email Ecuador 72 Hours Before Your Arrival

Okay, this is another reason to make sure all your requirements stay "time aligned" to the very end. 
As stated above, your final health certificate needs to be emailed to Agrocalidad in Ecuador 72 hours before your arrival.
Along with the certificate, they are require:  
Your name/Flight No./Date of flight/Country Of Origin/Which Airport You Are Arriving/Breed of dog (s). 

Send the above information to this email :
They will send you a confirmation of receipt. 
If you want to chat and confirm this email or anything else, they do have a responsive Facebook page. Here:
You will also find the Agrocalidad website on their Facebook page, always good to review for any changes to policies.
They will probably respond in Spanish, just ask for an English speaking representative.
✱✱Note: when they refer to the Zoosanitary Export Certificate this is the same as the health certificate, it is one in the same, confusing for many of us.  At the time of this writing, Ecuador does require a pet quarantine. ✱✱.

The Flight And The Welcoming Committee

Finally, Morty flew in the cabin. American Airlines was wonderful from start to finish.
If you have a larger dog who needs to travel below the main cabin, there is a small fee of $26.17 upon arrival. Check for updates to policies and read more here: Agrocalidad
Again, if you need to chat with someone, use the Facebook page messaging.
We arrived in Guayaquil and believe it is a similar process in Quito. After you finish with customs; collect your luggage and finish your final luggage scan, someone will wave you over for your paperwork. It took 10 minutes for the review. 

Morty at Park

It Was Worth It!

Basically, you just have to get through it. My "stress rash" is gone and we are so happy to be in Cuenca, Ecuador and Morty loves it too!

Here are my other two posts on Ecuador
 First Impressions Are Good ( We're Still Smiling)
Expat Life! why we landed in Ecuador

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Much more videos and Ecuador posts on the way.  

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