10 Years of Blog Archive

Thursday, January 28, 2016

How Difficult Is It to Rent with Two Small Dogs in Cuenca Ecuador?

A Reader Asks:  If you live in Cuenca (in town) how does one shop for groceries and transport back to your home? We went to the Philippines last March, environment bad news. My main question is how difficult is to rent with two small dogs. Thanks.

Pets and Rentals in Cuenca

Almost anything is doable in Cuenca as long as you have the money.  These days so many foreigners are bringing their pets that the owners that do allow for pets in their rentals now ask for a pet deposit in case something gets ruined by the pet. 

Some expats have stated that Landlords do not give back deposits, even if the pet did not do any damage to the home. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get any deposits back once you have handed over the money.  That is why we recommend negotiating, i.e. writing out a fair and equitable contract so that all parties are not at risk of loss, including you, the renter.  But at the end of the day, if the landlord isn't convinced, she won't accept you with your pets.

People who have brought pets to Ecuador have told us there are lots of details and some paperwork to take care of; most people we have talked with that have brought pet(s) to Ecuador have said it was a difficult process. We do not have any personal experience to talk about since we did not bring pets with us when we moved here. We acquired our German Shepherd puppy from an Ecuadorian breeder in Cuenca Ecuador. 

Our German Shepherd Puppy
If you do bring a pet, it’s going to be a lot easier (more variety of rentals and less expensive) to find and to rent an unfurnished home or apartment. However, just because it is unfurnished doesn’t mean the landlord will even allow pets. Some home owners have had bad experiences in the past with pets and will not budge. Smaller breeds are much more appreciated here as companion dogs, while the bigger breeds are treated as a guard dogs, and for good reason.

This from Ecuadorian landlords: Some of the nicer rentals have beautiful hardwood floors and pets with long nails scratch the hardwoods with their claws when they walk and run on them. We're told that some dogs scratch on the beautiful wooden doors to go in and out, which can also cause damage to the wood. It’s very understandable that folks with pets will pay a deposit. Deposits start at $50 and can be as high as the rent itself. 

Note: We know that your pet wouldn't cause any damage but we have also been informed by expats that their pets, after traveling and being in new surroundings, behave differently, and they might, out of anxiety and stress damage something when you are not in the apartment, just something to think about for all pet owners. 

We say, bring your pet but be prepared for the costs to get them here and for procuring a rental and possibly not getting your deposit money back when you move. 

And now to answer your other question...

Cuenca Public Transportation & Taxi Service

You will not have any problems whatsoever getting to and from a grocery store by either bus or taxi. Buses from all directions in Cuenca go directly to the grocery stores. Taxi cabs in Cuenca Ecuador are safe and have meters in them. Fares are fair! You can hail a cab from almost anywhere in Cuenca.

Cuenca boasts four Supermaxi grocery stores and five Coral Hipermercado department stores strategically placed throughout the city of Cuenca. There are also numerous (too many to count) small (tiendas) grocery stores.  

Until we write again… If you liked this article, you will like these ones too.
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!


  1. Saludos, Frank and Angie

    I brought my 72-lb. ChowChow mix from Miami to Quito in November 2015 and found the process to be very straightforward, although it involved a good deal of paperwork (in the U.S.) and preparation.

    Make sure that you check directly with the AIRLINE to find out their rules and requirements; I used American Airlines and printed the rules from their website as well as called their 800# to make sure of the rules for my specific origin and destiation. Small pets can fly in an underseat cabin carrier in most cases, but larger amimals will be required to be kennelled and treated as extra luggage or cargo.
    A shipment expert in Guayaquil advised me to do all possible to have the pet carried as extra baggage, NOT CARGO, as the Ecuador authorities might consider your cargo-carried pet as an import item, subject to addition paperwork, import fees, and anxiety-producing delays in re-claiming your pet at the airport in Ecuador. Althought this meant I had to secure a new, lighter-weight kennel at the last minute for my dog--rather than the sturdy, expensive kennel he had used as his home "den" for 10 months--it was welcome and necessary advice for me and my pet.
    Your veterinarian should be able to assist you with the necessary pet health documentation, which needs to be authenicated by authorities in your state government...all within a time period no longer than 10 days before your arrival in Ecuador. This can be a bit expensive, due to rush shipping to and from the state, but your vet should have experience doing this ( or be able to refer you to another local vet who can! ). I also obtained a year's worth of meds for my 15-year-old canine just to be sure, although veterinary services are wide-spread in Ecuador. You may also want to obtain an anti-anxiety medication for your pet, depending on how well they travel, how familiar they are with their kennel, length of the flight, etc.
    Airport arrival for me was straight-forward as well; flight arrived early afternoon and puppy kennel was waiting for me in baggage claim well before suitcases appeared--there was no expected "health check" by Ecuadoran authorities at the airport ( none that I witnessed, at least ).
    Be sure to contact your vet about 6 weeks before flight, as some required medications may need to be updated no more than 30 days BEFORE arrival in EC.

    1. Thanks for sharing this good information and your experience about bringing pets into Ecuador!


HMFamilyLife and Discover Cuenca Ecuador Comment Policy
We welcome applicable and respectful comments. Off-topic comments may be removed.