Traveling with your pet to Mexico requires advanced planning especially if you fly.
All of the regulations apply to land and air entries but when you drive, often times there is no one around to check your pet’s papers. I’ll tell you why I comply anyway.
Pets, moscatos, for the purpose of this discussion includes cats and dogs. You will have to research further for regulars on chickens, rodents, birds and etc.
This is my beach dog, Biscuit.
We use the term beach dog loosely because he hates water, sand, sea creatures, especially crabs, birds, feathers, seashells, and getting his paws dirty. He refuses to kayak or paddle board. But you can see that he is a very enthusiastic packer.
Biscuit rides down the Baja in an elevated and secure car seat. I wanted to comfortably protect him from injury in the event of sudden stops and potential rollovers while traveling. This seat helps prevent car sickness also because he can see out of the windows. I bought a soft harness and attached it to the lead that holds him in the seat. He weighs 25 pounds and this jumbo seat gives him just enough space to move around. A larger dog would not fit.
Here are affiliate links to Amazon. I can highly recommend this seat for long car trips.
Be prepared for traveling with your pet to Mexico
If you are not prepared, you could encounter delays at the border and even have to call a vet in Mexico to certify your pet’s health and the pet could be treated for external and internal parasites again if you can’t prove that your vet treated them. I have never had to show Biscuit’s papers at the Tecate crossing but one of my neighbors had to show his this year. Be prepared when taking your pet into Mexico, its your legal and moral obligation. In my opinion you should see your vet once a year anyway and make sure that your pet is safe to travel.
Here’s a link to Baja Bound Mexican Insurance which has done a good job of discussing traveling with your pet, under “before you go”. This is an affiliate link so feel free to look around and buy Mexican auto insurance for your road trip. I get a small commission if you buy insurance but it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
The benefit of complying with the regulations includes, avoiding delays and hassle but more importantly you have a chance to discuss your pet’s health with his personal vet, in English, before you leave the U.S.
Everyone has a story about how they never comply with the pet certificates when driving into Mexico but that doesn’t means it’s ethical or wise for your pet’s sack.
Comply with Mexican Law. You’re a visitor, as is your pet.
Important issues to discuss with your vet before traveling with your pet to Mexico
- Vaccinations for rabies and distemper must be up to date and be given at the latest 15 days before entering Mexico. There are special rules for puppies so read the guidelines. Consider waiting until your puppy can be vaccinated before they travel.
- Does your dog need to be tested for heart worm and started on heart worm prevention? Heart worm is carried by mosquitos and you may not need it in some northern locals in the U.S. and Canada but it is present in Mexico. You would treat your dog year round if you travel every year to endemic areas of heart worm.
- Ask about flea and tick protection. We give Biscuit prescription oral medication while we are in Mexico but there are topical preparations and collars that can be purchased over the counter. Ask you vet about the risks and benefits of treatment.
- Discuss your individual pet’s tolerance for travel and ask if there is anything you can do to help your pet travel stress free.
- Ask you vet to certify that your pet has been treated for external and internal parasites on official letter head with his name, signature, license number and details about vaccinations and parasite treatments. It should be specific and list the names of the drugs that were used to treat your pet. They must not use any abbreviations.
- The International Pet Passport or Health Certificate templates can be found online by you and/or your vet. Baja Bound has a link to the Health Certificate. Always verify resources for the most up to date information. This does not mean ask your friends or random strangers for legal advice on Facebook.
Translation directly from the Mexican government concerning transportation of your pets to Mexico at SAGARPA-SENASICA.
To import a pet you must have a certificate issued by an official veterinarian of the competent authority or if it is private, on letterhead, with the printed professional identification number or photocopy of it (or its equivalent). Name and address of the exporter (in the country of origin or origin) and the importer (address of destination in Mexico). Date of application of the vaccine against rabies and its validity (animals under 3 months of age are exempt). That in the pre-trip inspection, the animal or animals were clinically healthy. That the animal or animals have been internally and externally dewormed, within the previous six months
and are free of ectoparasites. If you do not comply with the above, you must contact a Veterinarian (of your choice and by your account
in Mexico), who will issue the health certificate and apply the corresponding treatment.
Specifics for flying your pet into Mexico
Inspection and handling your pets at the airport seems to be fairly consistent where as when driving, you literally can’t find the inspection office at many small border crossings and the border agents usually ignore your pets. But be prepared anyway when traveling with your pet in Mexico.
Your pet must enter in container (kennel), clean, without bedding, without implements or accessories (toys, treats, prizes or other objects, made with ingredients of ruminant origin), otherwise, they will be removed for destruction. The conveyor or container will receive preventive treatment by spraying by the official personnel of SAGARPA-SENASICA; you can enter with your necklace, strap, etc. You can enter the ration of the day of balanced food in bulk. We remind you that in Mexico there is a type of food that has the Registration and Authorization of SAGARPA-SENASICA. My understanding is that you can’t bring raw meat or large quantities of pet food into Mexico.
Upon returning with your pet to the U.S., the regulations are simpler. Your pet must appear to be in good health and not carrying any disease. You need proof that the rabies vaccination is current.
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