Rio de Janeiro is a dog-friendly city. Copacabana and Ipanema, the zona sul (South Zone) where most tourists stay are especially amenable to dog owners. Wouldn’t it be a memorable experience for you and your pet to walk along the beach in Copacabana each evening?
Well, getting your dog into Brazil is not as difficult as you may imagine. I have witnessed a few small dogs on trips to Rio.
The path to Rio de Janeiro for a dog:
1. 10 days prior to departure you need to visit a USDA-certified veterinarian. When setting up an appointment, inquire if the vet is USDA certified and make sure he/she has a current copy of the travel certificate required for your dog. If not, ask the vet to order one from the state USDA office. They require this visit be done during this time frame to ensure the accuracy of the details. Brazil does not want your dog entering the nation based on outdated medical information. The vet checkup card needs to display the dog’s name, color, breed, rabies shot records, and gender.
2. Mail the vet certificate, via express mail, to the Brazilian Consulate serving your area (Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, District of Columbia, Houston, Hartford, San Francisco). There is a fee of around $40 along with express mail service fees.
3. Using a self-addressed return express envelope you should send along with the certificate in step 2, the Consulate will return the certificate to you via express mail.
4. Call the airline to inform them of your pet’s upcoming journey. Make sure you are clear on exactly what type of air carriage you need to transport your pet.
5. Arrive in Rio, get to the beach, and walk that beautiful stretch of sand with your friend!