Many travelers and owners think of their pet as part of the family. They wish to have their dog or cat with them at all times. If you want to take pet with you on your Mexico vacation or to live with you in Mexico, there are a few steps you need to take before your departure.
You are allowed to enter Mexico with up to two dogs or cats. If you are traveling with more animals, it is recommended to contact the Mexican consulate or embassy nearest you for more information. Dogs and cats three months or less may not legally enter Mexico.
Before you take your pet to Mexico, they are required to be examined by a veterinarian and have up-to-date immunizations as you may be required to present the following documents when entering Mexico with your pet:
- A certificate of good health issued by a licensed veterinarian within ten days of travel and;
- Proof of vaccines against rabies and distemper administered at least 15 days before the pet's arrival in Mexico.
Be sure these documents are dated and that you keep an extra copy for your records. It is also important that they clearly state your name and address, include a complete description of your pet’s species, age and sex and state that your pet has been examined and found to be free of all contagious diseases.
If you are traveling to Mexico by air, check with the individual airline about their rules for transporting pets. Airlines may have different requirements regarding how pets may travel according to their size. It is also a good idea to check with your hotel or vacation rental manager as many places do not accept pets.
Airlines charge a fee that usually varies between $125-$250 USD one way for transporting your animal.
Your animal may be placed in quarantine when entering Mexico if you do not have the proper paperwork with you. Even if all of your paperwork is in order, if your dog or cat does not look like it is in good health, further examination by a licensed vet (at your expense) will be required.
For more information on bringing other animals and birds into Mexico, visit the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services website (US) or the CFIA Services website (Canada) to find the latest requirements.
If you are traveling back to the U.S. or Canada from Mexico with your pet, and if it has been more than 6 weeks since you entered Mexico with your animal, you will need to see a vet in Mexico to get another letter of certification made for travel.
During your stay in Mexico with your pet, some other tips for a stress free stay include:
- Bringing a first aid kit for your pet. These can be purchased at your veterinarian's office or local pet store. If your cat or dog gets a tick and you are not near a vet, this kit will help you remove it.
- Put your pet on heartworm medicine. Dogs pick up heartworms quickly and easily when they are running around in rural places.
- Give your pet flea control medication. Especially if you are hoping to keep your pet with you in the hotel or vacation property. This will prevent your dog from picking up fleas from the last guest.
If you are traveling to or living in a tropical area, read our article here about How to Keep Your Dog Healthy in the Tropics.
All in all, it is easy to travel to Mexico with your pet. There is some hoop-jumping. Remember to double check your airline's website for any specific paperwork required. But by following the above steps you will find it very easy to take your pet to Mexico. Both you and your furry friend will have a wonderful stay!