Taking a Pet Into Mexico

Many families in Mexico keep song birds as pets on their patios. However, don't bring yours along with you! The US does not allow birds to enter from Mexico- even your own.
Many families in Mexico keep song birds as pets on their patios. However, don't bring yours along with you! The US does not allow birds to enter from Mexico- even your own.
Mari age 7 with "Dooper", a cat she made friends with in rural Michoacan. Remember, even if you don't bring your own pet, substitutes may be available :)
Mari age 7 with "Dooper", a cat she made friends with in rural Michoacan. Remember, even if you don't bring your own pet, substitutes may be available :)

So, I've convinced you to visit Mexico, but you want to bring little Fido, huh? Or perhaps you'd just rather not shell out hundreds of pesos for a dog sitter? Whatever your situation, taking a pet to Mexico doesn't have to be a big pain. Follow these simple steps and you'll soon hear your dog say gua gua (Spanish for woof woof!).

If you are entering Mexico via plane, check with your chosen carrier first. Each airline has different rules regarding policies for entering animals. If pets are allowed, there is likely to be an extra charge for the flight. Sometimes animals are not allowed in the cargo hold and need to ride in the cabin, or vice versa. Please be cognizant of flight time when deciding your travel plans. When it comes to chauffeuring Buster in the cargo hold, maybe a day's layover is a good idea, especially if your flight is long.

Flight all set? Next, head to your pet's veterinarian. They will provide the paperwork citing proof of the required vaccinations, along with a health certification form that is required documentation at the border. For dogs and cats the current (2007) vaccination requirements for a trip to Mexico include rabies, hepatitis, pip, distemper and leptospirosis. However, these kinds of rules are always changing, and your veterinarian should be a good source. Most of these vaccinations must be administered more than 15 days prior to your arrival in Mexico. The state government of Agriculture or the USDA will be able to provide the appropriate paperwork should the local veterinarian not have the correct certificate on hand.

Some other issues you may choose to cover with your vet include your dog's health in relation to flight times and cargo travel, along with some information on the water supply in Mexico. Are dogs subject to the dreaded Montezuma's Revenge? I don't know, but I do know my puppy has "troubles" adjusting to the water supply at my dog sitter's house! Perhaps filtered water is in order for our pets in Mexico, too. Check with your vet!

Pet birds don't require any specific shots for entry into Mexico, but it is very difficult to have them allowed back into the U.S. upon your return. Therefore, the U.S. Department of State advises against taking your pet birds with you on your trip.

Taking horses across the border requires research and paperwork from the USDA, via the link below. Horses are required to be vaccinated and have a negative Coggins test (a blood test used to detect certain diseases). The linked form is then filled out by an issuing authority of the USDA. Here is their address: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ncie/

Here is a PDF of the form: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ncie/iregs/animals/mx_eq.pdf

As with any trip, taking your pet to Mexico just involves a little planning. PS- Want to know how to say pet in Spanish? Mascota. (MAHS KO TUH)

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Comments 1 comment

jgpopcorn 7 years ago

I want to drive from Vancouver to Panama. What are the rules and costs for my pets (two cats) to come along with us. My vet do not give any information and tells me to find out on the internet. Do I have to pay fees for driving through just as if we would stay there for a longer time?

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