Colombia—A Haven for Animal Lovers
Whether you adopt a pet or bring your furry friend with you when you move, Colombia is a welcoming country for animals and animal lovers!
Something that I have observed since moving to Colombia is that Colombians LOVE their pets and they are truly part of the family. As an owner of two cats myself (adopted in Colombia) I want to share a few of my favorite reasons I love being a pet owner in this country.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Cafes
Stop by La Gatoria Cat Cafe for a coffee and a cuddle! by Erin Colton-EnbergSomething that surprised me when I moved to Colombia is that Colombians allow dogs into restaurants and cafes. They are true animal lovers!
While this may seem strange to some at first, it is perfectly normal to see dogs hanging out with owners at cafes.
Ciclovia – an Animal Lover’s Dream
Every Sunday cities like Medellin and Bogota shut down some of their largest streets and highways to make room only for bikers, rollerbladers, cyclists, walkers, and runners. On Sundays I always see hundreds of people enjoying the beautiful weather with their families and you guessed it, their dogs!
Along the Ciclovia people offer free water and food stations for dogs and dog treats like popsicles and other dog desserts! In Medellin, not only is there the weekly Ciclovia but also nearby hikes with incredible views to enjoy with your pet!
Cost of Boarding and Pet Care
As a pet owner myself, something that is important to me is the quality of veterinary services and care. In any neighborhood in Medellin, you will find multiple veterinary clinics with passionate veterinarians ready to give you exemplary service!
Something else I love is that they often offer ‘domicilio’ services (delivery or at-home animal care). When I had my cats vaccinated, the vet and her assistant came to my home, vaccinated my cats, and clipped their nails! I also do all of my cat food and cat litter orders online, and they deliver it to my house within hours!
Besides great veterinary care, there are also places to board your pet in case you need to travel!
Travel into Colombia with a dog or cat
Whether you are traveling into Colombia with your pet, or in my case leaving for your home country with your animals, there are some important regulations to keep in mind. Within 10 days of traveling into Colombia, your vet must issue an up-to-date health certificate for your animal that is endorsed by the USDA (if traveling from the United States).
It is crucial that your pets be vaccinated with an up-to-date record of all vaccines. Also, in order to enter Colombia your animal must be vaccinated within 30 days of travel, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead.
When you arrive in Colombia, you will also have to register with ICA Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA) which will verify your pet’s health and the documentation to enter the country (health certificate and vaccination card). If your animal does not meet the health inspection requirements, they may be required to do a quarantine before you can take them home.
There are different requirements regarding traveling with your pet in the cargo or in the cabin. Each airline offers its own guidelines and regulations.
*Colombia does NOT allow certain dog breeds into Colombia, so check before you go to make sure your loved one can travel with you!
Traveling out of Colombia with a pet
Having acquired two recent additions to my family, I will soon travel to the United States with my cats. Just like traveling into Colombia, leaving Colombia requires certain preparation. Certain airlines and even states have different regulations regarding the animal’s health certificate, so I will need one 30 days before travel into my home state of Oregon, and one within several days of travel Delta Airlines and Avianca.
Because my airlines only allow one animal per person in the cabin, I will travel with a friend who will take one cat. I also got my cats micro-tagged with internationally recognized chips to keep them safe!
Whether you are traveling into Colombia or back home, it is important to prepare! I guarantee you and your fur friend will feel more than welcome here in Colombia! Bienvenidos!
by: Erin Colton-Enberg