For pet lovers
Having the family pet with you when you move overseas can be an enjoyable experience. Many people love their pets as if they were family members and the pet’s presence in a new country can ease cultural adaptation. Likewise, you may consider adding a pet to your household.
Can I bring my pet with me when I move to Santo Domingo?
If you are traveling with traditional pets, such as dogs or cats, it is relatively painless to get them into the Dominican Republic. Cats require proof of a rabies vaccine indicating inoculation 30 days prior to the animals arrival. Dogs need to have certificate of inoculation against rabies, distemper, lectropirosis, heptatitis, parvovirus given at least 30 days before departure and a certificate of health issued 15 days prior to arrival. You must then get a health certificate from your veterinarian. Take both documents to the Dominican consulate for certification. Quarantine is not required for dogs and cats. You should check with Vida Silvestre Department of the Ministry of Agriculture or Sanidad Animal at Las Americas International Airport prior to bringing in any exotic animal.
What kinds of thoroughbred dogs are available in Santo Domingo?
Many people who purchase dogs in Santo Domingo want them as guard dogs first and foremost. Therefore, German Shepherds, which are good guard dogs and adaptable to the climate, are probably the most common type of dog bred here. There are also Doberman Pinschers, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Dalmatians available from some breeders. A veterinarian will be able to recommend a reliable breeder.
When buying pedigree dogs, be sure to check their papers, which should document three generations of family history. Champion dogs should be registered internationally. Pedigree dogs can cost between RD$4,000 and RD$15,000. Prices are lower for dogs that will be pets, rather than show dogs.
Once you own a dog, there are clubs for owners of certain breeds. Your veterinarian can put you in touch with the Doberman Pinscher or German Shepherd Clubs of Santo Domingo. There is a third known as the all-breed club, as well. The Federación Canina Dominicana governs the pedigree dog clubs.
Dr. Jose Raul Nova operates Servican, a hotel and training center for dogs at Plaza Flor on Av. Lope de Vega. Dr. Nova is a prominent breeder of champion German Shepherds and can provide you with information on the German Shepherd club of Santo Domingo. He also is knowledgeable about the importing and exporting of pets. In addition, he can give you information about other dog breeders.
Can you recommend any veterinarians?
If you buy a pet here in Santo Domingo, you should take it to a veterinarian immediately (preferably directly from the sale) to get it vaccinated. Also, because of the tropical climate, many pets are susceptible to skin irritations and infections. These can be treated easily if caught early.
At the Hospital Veterinario Arroyo Hondo, veterinarians Manuel Pelayo Mallén and Sandra Moré speak English and French and they operate the most highly recommended, full-service veterinarian hospitals. They offer animal pick-up and delivery.
The Dr. Piñeyro Veterinary Clinic is located on Calle Radial, off Av. Charles Sumner. It offers 24 hour emergency service, boarding, and a supply of pet accessories for sale. The doctors at the clinic speak English.
Are there any dog trainers in Santo Domingo?
Discipline training can begin when your pet is six months old. Servican, a hotel and training center for dogs, has a program that takes two months for your pet to complete. Training is offered in basic obedience, attack, and exhibition.
Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on trainers that can come to your home. Several veterinarians suggested that the dog's owner, or the person responsible for the dog, actively participate in the training.
Where can I buy food and other pet supplies?
The most convenient place to purchase food and pet supplies is right in your supermarket. Most carry a variety of dog and cat food, as well as other necessary items to keep your pet happy and healthy. Several of the veterinarian hospitals mentioned will have pet shops and specialty shops for purchasing the better pet supplies. La Jungla, at Paseo de la Churchill shopping center, Tel. 227-2777, carries birds and supplies.
I would like to help with the many homeless animals in Santo Domingo. Who should I contact?
Contact Padela, the Patronato Amigo de los Animales, Tel. 732-5915 or Calle Victor Garrido Puello 134.
We will be vacationing in the DR? Do you have any suggestions regarding who we could leave our dog with?
You could book your pet into one of the reputable veterinarian shops. But, for not much more, you could probably get the maid/handyman to come in and feed the pet. Or if you are lucky, you can make friends with a neighbor who will feed your pet.
What should I know about getting my pet out of Santo Domingo when I leave?
One week before your date of departure, your veterinarian will examine your pet and provide you with a health certificate. This certificate is only valid for a week, so it is important not to get it too far in advance. On your travel date, you will need to take the certificate to the Animal Health office (Sanidad Animal) in the airport, where you will be required to purchase stamps. Check with your veterinarian for any recent changes in Dominican law.
If your pet is not a traditional household animal, there are more steps involved. Depending on the type of animal, you may need to prove it is not an endangered species. The Wildlife (Vida Silvestre) office of the Department of Agriculture will provide you with the permit you need to export the animal. If your pet is not an animal that any veterinarian can examine, the National Zoo and the aquarium have well-qualified specialists that can examine the animal and testify to its health. The zoo staff will then notify the Department of Agriculture and recommend that they approve granting the export permit. Animal Health must then issue a certificate of no-objection for the exportation of the animal. The permits and certificates are valid for different amounts of time, depending on the type of animal.