Moving to Belize With Your Pets
Purging and Pets
Guest Blog by Ron Delvalle
Now that you’ve found a place to live, it’s time to start making it happen. One of the first things you’ll need to consider is deciding to purge or store your belongings. We’ve met folks of both persuasions here so it’s really a very personal decision. Our initial plan was to come for a year and then return to the states so we decided to hang on to things that we would want to set up home again. The rest was sold, thrown out, or donated to Goodwill. When it was all said and done, we rented a ten by fifteen by nine foot tall storage unit and stuffed it so full you could hardly fit a grain of sand in there. Two years later at $2000 per year, I’m questioning the wisdom of that decision but you have to work with what you know or believe at the time you’re making the decision and it’s hard to anticipate what such a dramatic change of lifestyle will cause you to do. My advice is simply to talk it out and make your best decision. As Annette always tells me, make a decision and then make it the right decision.
Bringing Pets to Belize
One of the non-negotiable items between us was our pets. If the pets were not joining us on this new adventure, neither was Annette. Choice made! The good news is that Belize does NOT require incoming domestic pets to be quarantined. They do require however that you have all of the necessary vaccinations and documentation. Google is a wonderful thing in trying to gather information but to be certain you have dotted and crossed everything required, you’ll need country specific information. The agency that regulates pet entry into Belize is BAHA, (Belize Agriculture Health Authority). Here is the link to their website and specifically, pet entry requirements: http://baha.org.bz/departments/animal-health/entry-requirements/. In addition to the usual shots and certificates, you’ll need a valid vet certificate for each pet dated within 14 days of travel. You’ll also need to complete the forms needed by BAHA to present to immigration upon arrival in Belize city.
How you transport your pets is another matter and there are multiple ways of doing it. The first thing I looked into was hiring a transport service to handle everything point to point since we were bringing four pets, a Siberian Husky and three domestic cats. They will pick them up provide carriers, transport them to a dedicated cargo plane that is climate controlled and deliver them to you in Belize. The cost for all of this was estimated by multiple services at a cool $8000. Bringing our pets on the flight with us was another option but rules vary from one airline to the next so you’ll need to check with your preferred airline. We used Delta and they require that all pets be accompanied by a passenger in cabin. We decided to ask another couple that we knew to accompany us and paid for their travel and lodging for 3 days. In addition to saving us considerable money, it worked beautifully and everything went smoothly due to extensive planning and preparation. Having another couple along really helped too and they got a nice little paid vacation out of it.
In the next issue, we’ll discuss healthcare, prescription refill planning and shipping options so check back for more information to help prepare for your move.