I just realized we’ve been bringing Wrigley to Abaco for more than ten years! Over that time, we’ve learned a lot about bringing a pet to the Bahamas, and I’m happy to share with you some of what we’ve learned.

Today, we’ll focus on the Bahamas Pet Import Permit.

Everything you need to know about bringing a pet to the Bahamas.
Wrigley at Coco Bay, Green Turtle Cay
Bahamas Pet Import Permit

The first step in bringing a pet to the Bahamas (temporarily or permanently) is to obtain a pet import permit from the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture.

The application process is pretty straightforward. Essentially, you fill out an application form and mail it, along with an international money order for $10 + VAT to the Ministry of Agriculture’s office in Nassau. Once your application is processed, the Ministry mails (or for $5 more, faxes) your permit to you. A separate permit is required for each animal and each trip, and a permit is valid for a year after it’s issued.

Until recently, this was the process we followed for Wrigley — with varying degrees of success. Sadly, the Bahamian post isn’t always as reliable as one might hope. Once, our application apparently never reached the Ministry of Agriculture. Another time, they mailed a permit to me in the U.S., but the document never arrived.

I began sending applications from the U.S. to Nassau by FedEx and paying the extra $5 to have the permit faxed to me. It was a more reliable system, but insanely expensive — usually well over $100.

A Faster, Easier Option

Fortunately, a few years back, Bahamian entrepreneur Wellington Saunders launched Bahamas Pet Permit, an online service that helps people apply long-distance for pet permits. (I should point out that beyond being a satisfied, repeat customer, I’m not affiliated in any way with Wellington or his business.)

To use Wellington’s service, visit the Bahamas Pet Permit website. Print off the pet import permit application, complete it and return by email to Wellington. He’ll review your application to make sure all is in order, then send you an invoice that can be paid via Zelle or credit card.

Wellington then submits your application to the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture office near him and collects the permit, which he scans and emails to you. Total cost per animal is $57, including Wellington’s services and the application fee.

Not only is Wellington’s service considerably less expensive than the FedEx/fax route, but it’s easier and faster. No more trips to the post office for money orders, or to the FedEx office. And we usually receive our permit in less than a week. (I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the Ministry of Agriculture’s processes, so allow as much time as you can for permit processing.)

Bringing a pet to the Bahamas? Here's what you need to know.
Wrigley at Gilliam Bay, Green Turtle Cay

Whether you obtain your import permit through Wellington’s service or direct from the Ministry of Agriculture, here’s what it will look like:

Sample Bahamas Pet Import Permit

Sometimes, a second page (shown below) is also included with your permit. It’s a Form IMP/1B (also known as Form AGR/VS/1A or the Veterinary Health Certificate), which must be completed by your veterinarian no more than 48 hours before your trip.

If a Form IMP/1B doesn’t come with your permit, you can click HERE to print it off.

Arriving in the Bahamas With Your Pet

When arriving in the Bahamas, you’ll need to present to the customs agent:

  • A hard copy of your import permit
  • A hard copy of Form IMP/1 B completed by your vet no more than two days before your trip.
  • A vaccine record, to demonstrate that your dog is current on all required shots listed on the import permit

For more information about the Bahamas Pet Import Permit, contact the Ministry of Agriculture at (242) 325-7502 or (242) 325-7509.

To learn more about Wellington Saunders’ services, contact him by phone or Whatsapp at (242) 544-1698 (between 9am and 7pm Eastern time) or email him at bahamaspetpermit@gmail.com.

Next time, I’ll tell you a bit more about the necessary pre-trip vet appointment.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll share your own experiences travelling to Abaco with your pet — or your questions about doing so — in the comments section below!

6 thoughts on “Bringing A Pet to the Bahamas

  • January 12, 2023 at 4:42 am

    The pre-travel veterinary appointment requirement is not very clear. While I see many references that state, the form need signed by a licensed veterinarian, I could not find a veterinarian in Tampa who would touch this form with a 10 foot pole for less than around $300. It seems like a wellness check and a simple signature but the big part is whether it Hass to be filed with the USDA or not. I saw some thing that said it did not need USDA approval but, the veterinarian I am seeing is insisting on filing it, which is costing an arm and a leg. I hope I’m not throwing money away and it would be wonderful. If there was a clear statement, the veterinarians could see about the requirements. Thank you.

    • January 12, 2023 at 9:06 pm

      Hi, Terry. You’re right — Bahamian guidelines are not terribly clear. Here’s what you need:

      – a Bahamas Pet Import Permit (here’s a blog post I wrote about this: https://abacosun.com/2022/01/31/bringing-a-pet-to-the-bahamas/. It includes samples of the documents you’ll need.)

      – the permit comes with a second form, which your vet needs to complete, basically certifying that your pet complies with all the conditions listed on the import permit itself. This form SHOULD BE completed no more than 48 hours ahead of your arrival in the Bahamas, although I believe that customs is a bit flexible about that, especially for folks arriving by boat.

      – note, one of the conditions on the permit is that your pet not have any parasites, which is tested via a stool test… so you’ll have to arrange this with the vet so you get the results in time for them to complete the second form. (With our vet, the test results are usually back in 2-3 days.)

      – OPTIONAL – although these are not strictly required by the Bahamas, we also bring along a full list of our dog’s vaccines, and we have our vet prepare an international health certificate, because airlines sometimes ask for that. (Having travelled with our dog for 11+ years, I’ve learned that airline employees often do not know their own company policies, and so I bring everything, just to make life easier.)

      There’s no need for filing with the USDA… this is a permit to enter the Bahamas.

      We’ve done this process a dozen or more times with vets in California, Washington, D.C. and Vancouver, Canada with no issues. Our regular vet usually charges about $85 for the exam and completion of pet permit second page and an international health certificate. On top of that is the cost of the parasite test, which I THINK is about $60. $300 is insane! Find another vet.

      For the vet, the “statement” you require is actually the pet import permit itself. It outlines what is needed in terms of shots, tests, etc. The vet needs to read the import permit, then sign the second page, certifying that your pet meets the requirements outlined on the permit. That’s all that’s needed.

      Hope this is helpful!


  • May 20, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Information is no longer valid for help securing a permit for animals to Bahamas😖

    • May 20, 2023 at 12:39 pm

      Hi, Cheryl. In what way? Let me know and I’ll update it.



  • June 15, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    How many pets can I bring, do you know? I have 4 (I know, crazy, but they are family and we travel everywhere with them. 2 cats and 2 dogs. most countries have a limit of 4 or 5.)

    • June 17, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      Hi, Byrdi. As long as you get the proper permits for each, I can’t imagine that would be a problem. Wellington Saunders at Bahamas Pet Permit (https://www.bahamaspetpermit.com/) would likely know for sure. I’d suggest you check with him, or with the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture. But I definitely know people who bring two pets, so if there are at least two people travelling in your party, each of you could bring two…



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