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|Importing Pets To Chile|
|Chile Relocation and Retirement Articles|
Relocating to Chile does not mean you need to leave your favorite pet behind. Many people that move to Chile, do bring their pets. Obviously, the more exotic the pet the more complicated, but for your average cat or dog moving to Chile things are fairly easy. Chile for the most part is a pet friendly country and there is a well established culture of pet ownership, as it is also one of the richest countries in Latin America. Thus, you will find veterinary clinics, pet stores, and all the major international selection of pet foods in most super markets.
If you are relocating to Chile you will find modern animal hospitals and everything you need for your beloved pet. To import dogs and cats into Chile is not difficult. You will never have to worry about finding a good doctor or well known food brands in Chile. Chile is very up to date with vaccines and medical procedures. Healthcare is reasonably priced and reliable.
The first step is to research the requirements of bringing your pet into Chile. The authority for importation of animals into Chile is called SAG or Servicio Agricola y Ganadero. From the SAG website www.sag.cl you can go to “Ingreso/Salida de Chile” then to “Ingreso Mascotas” and find all the requirements and forms. The standard form lists dogs, cats and ferrets together with the same requirements. Other animals need special permits.
The most critical requirement is rabies and all dogs and cats must be vaccinated before importation unless they are traveling from a place that has formally been declared rabies free. The vaccination must be done between 30 days and one year prior to travel. You will need an original health certificate which can be obtained (in the States) from a APHIS or Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service accredited Vet and stamped by the authorized sanitary department which is the State USDA office. The certificates should be done 15 days before travel from United States or 10 days if coming from a country other than United States. This should be translated into Spanish. As stated on the Chile SAG website the pet should be visibly healthy and free from all external and internal parasites as well as vaccinated against rabies. More information is available at the USDA website. Information can also be obtained from any Chilean Embassy and the airlines. You cannot bring a large amount of dog food into the country.
There is no shortage of veterinarians in Chile. Chile has several highly rated veterinary universities. In Temuco the Catholic University has a fully equipped and modern animal hospital open to the public. You will be attended by several students along with an experienced doctor to oversee everything. It is not as personal as a neighborhood vet and so shopping around is always a good idea. You should find out the policy on after hours calls because many do not offer urgent care. There are many mobile vet services and the prices are very reasonable. A standard consultation in a clinic will cost around 10,000 pesos and mobile vet will be around 15,000. Most mobile vets offer urgent care around the clock but the service after hours will cost more.
Dog food is one of the biggest costs if you want imported food. Some of the imported brands are Bil Jac, Eukanuba, Purina, ANF, Hills and Pedigree. A bag of Eukanuba large breed will cost around 3,200 pesos per kilo. ANF costs around 2,500 pesos per kilo. Pedigree is less expensive at 1,100 pesos per kilo. Champion, Dog Chow and Generic brands run around 1,000 pesos per kilo. Some of these American brands are actually made and imported from Argentina and Brazil and not the United States. To groom a dog can cost around 15,000 pesos and boarding can be around 5,000 a day. Food is sold in Supermarkets or Home Improvement Centers like Easy and Sodimac but the high end brands are sold in Pet Stores or Mascoterias. Most Veterinary clinics sell both low end and high end food and other medications like worm pills. For external parasites Frontline is sold in Chile. There are several Veterinary Pharmacies which sell everything including vaccines without a prescription. The only thing you cannot buy is rabies vaccine. These Pharmacies are a great place to buy everything you need.
In Chile many common vaccines are used. The standard vaccine for dogs covers parvo, distemper, parainfluenza, hepatitis, leptospirosus and corona virus. This is usually a combination shot known as quintuple, sextuple or octuple. It seems the current trend in the States is individual shots but in Chile the multi vaccines are the norm. These are given at 3, 6 and 12 months then once a year. Rabies is given at 6 months and can be given as early as 4 months. To import a puppy too young for rabies vaccine you can obtain a certificate for the mother of the dog to show that she is rabies free. For cats there is a triple vaccine that covers panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. There is another vaccine for feline leukemia and rabies. Cat vaccines are given at 2, 3 ,6 and 12 months. Rabies vaccinations are obligatory in Chile and are administered free of charge at certain times of the year.
One pet item that can be difficult to find and costly is an underground fence with electric collars. This is one thing to consider bringing if it is a system you are currently using.