Bringing Pets to Ecuador: Daisy and Alicia’s Excellent Adventure (Episode 85)

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We’ve had LOTS of questions about Bringing Pets to Ecuador and about how pet-friendly Cuenca Ecuador is, so we thought we’d record a quick video talking about our experience bring Daisy and Alicia here. It was quite the adventure!

For our fellow vegans, we’re using the term “pets” in this post and in the video for SEO value. More people search for pet travel and pet services than they search for companion animals or fur babies so we don’t want to miss out on that search traffic.

If you’re planning a move to Ecuador, you may find our Ecuador Expat Info page helpful.

USDA APHIS – Bringing Pets to Ecuador from the USA

If you’re bringing pets to Ecuador, the first thing you need to do is read through all the guidelines and certificate paperwork on the USDA APHIS website: APHIS stands for “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.”

Here’s the page with the Health Certificates for Dogs and Cats, specifically for Ecuador. You need to have this paperwork with you at all times while travelling internationally with your pets.

The very next step is to find a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. They will help you fill out all the paperwork and plan your vaccine schedule. They’ll also work with the USDA to make sure everything on the paperwork and the vaccine schedule is correct. We used Town & Country Veterinary Clinic in Marietta, GA. They were very helpful and we highly recommend them if you live in the Atlanta area.

You’ll also need to find the nearest USDA APHIS office to get all the certificates endorsed. You need to make an appointment with them, and it could take a couple weeks to get on their calendar so plan accordingly.

The vaccine schedule is complicated, especially if you have multiple dogs at varying stages of their vaccine schedule. Daisy and Alicia both had some vaccines that had not expired yet. That meant we had to get boosters for some vaccines while making sure others were given during a specific window of time.

Even working with an accredited vet, we still messed up on one of the vaccines, which caused us to delay our trip by two weeks. Thankfully for us, but not for millions of other people, Hurricane Irma passed through Atlanta on the day we were supposed to leave and closed the airport so we were able to change our flights without paying any fees.

Pet Friendly Air Suites Hotel in Guayaquil Ecuador

The hotel we mentioned in the video is the Air Suites Hotel in Guayaquil. It’s only a few blocks from the airport, it’s very affordable and they accept pets. We’ve stayed their several times and it typically costs about $35/night. The rooms are small, but they’re very clean.

They don’t have much for vegan breakfast; mainly coffee, toast and fruit. We usually bring a PB&J with us when we stay there. You can walk to Mall del Sol, which is about 10 blocks away. That mall has a delicious sushi restaurant with several vegan options.

Bringing Pets to Ecuador: Air Suites Hotel Guayaquil

Renting a Home that Accepts Pets in Cuenca Ecuador

We talked about finding a rental house in Cuenca that would accept pets in our Cost of Living in Cuenca Ecuador + Rental House Tour. Not all landlords will accept pets, and some will only accept small dogs like Alicia. Daisy is considered a large dog here, and she’s only 30 pounds.

Pet Services in Cuenca

We’re going to record a full video on pet services in Cuenca, but for now, here’s who we use:

If you have any other questions, please let us know in the comments and we’ll try to answer them in our next Pet Care video.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

2 replies
  1. Alexandra
    Alexandra says:

    Hi there!

    We are wanting to bring our chihuahua and border collie mix with us to Ecuador for 2 months. We are planning to stay in an air bnb in montañita. Is this a horrible idea? Is everywhere pretty pet friendly? I just want to make sure that they will be safe and that (with it being okay with our host) we are allowed to bring them with us or leave them at our stay. Do strays ever cause problem? Thank you!!

    • JP
      JP says:

      That’s a tough question. There are a lot of street dogs in Montañita. Some have homes, but some don’t. Most are very nice and sweet, but some are very mean. We’ve found that the homeless street dogs are mostly very sweet and cute because they know that gets people to feed them. The mean ones have homes. The Ecuadorian attitude about dogs is much different than the American attitude. They’re mostly viewed as guard dogs so the locals don’t see anything wrong with their dogs barking, growling and biting people who walk too close to their property, even if they live in town.

      If you do bring your dogs, you’ll want to also carry some treats to make friends with the other dogs, and a walking stick or loud noise maker or spray bottle with ammonia to scare the mean ones off. The gringo community is working very hard to improve the street dog situation in that area but they have a long way to go. Cuenca is much more dog friendly, but we have friends who have had the same issues here in the outlying neighborhoods.

      Have you also checked into taking your dogs back to the States from Ecuador? We’ve heard that can be a challenge with lots of requirements and you may need to take them to a vet in La Libertad to get all the necessary shots and paperwork.

      If it were us, we wouldn’t bring them unless you’re planning to move here. With the stress of flying and the sketchy street dog situation, they might be happier at home. With that said, a lot of snowbirds do travel here and back with their dog(s) every year so it’s really a personal decision.


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