Advice for Mexican Snowbirds and Expats, Traveling With Your Pet to Mexico

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds and Expats, Traveling With Your Pets to Mexico

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.

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds and Expats, Traveling With Your Pet to Mexico /MyBajaKitchen.com

 

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Discuss your individual pet’s tolerance for travel and ask if there is anything you can do to help your pet travel stress free.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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Advice for Mexican #Snowbirds and #Expats, Trvaeking with your pet to Mexico



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Easy Healthy No Cook Meals For Camping or Travel in Mexico

Hiking Loreto, Baja Sur/MyBajaKitchen.com

A shopping list and menu for 3 days of healthy no cook meals.  Perfect for an end of Summer, Labor Day camping trip, or exploring and surfing trips all year-long in Baja Mexico.

One of the best reasons to travel is to explore the local cuisine but eating out for every meal can be expensive and unhealthy. There are limited dining choices in many places in Baja. By all means try the local taquerias, the expat hot spots and the occasional fine dining restaurants but plan for a few “go to” healthy, no cook meals that you can put together with store-bought shelf stable foods.

Eating out when you travel is not your healthiest or cheapest option. Your pesos will go farther at a grocery store or an outdoor market and you can control the calories and the nutritional value of your meal.

If you have access to a barbecue and refrigeration then your options are almost like home and I hope you will try to buy all fresh real food but if not, you can still make healthy meals with minimal fuss and maximum Mexican flavor on a budget using shelf stable mostly nutritious foods. In general canned foods are high in salt and may have some scary ingredients but simple canned meats and beans can be found. Just say no to Spaghetti O’s, I’ve actually seen them in Mexico. Yikes.

Planning is especially important for vegetarians, vegans and anyone with food restrictions while traveling in rural Mexico. You will have to ask a lot of questions and your choices may be limited. Don’t be surprised that the sauces, frijoles and tortillas may not be vegetarian.  If you can buy foods with labels and you know a few key Spanish words, then you can be in control of your diet.  Lard is manteca (de cerdo). Learn the name and every variation of your food allergens in Spanish. I found several places on the internet that give away or sell “Allergy Translation Cards”. They look like this.


This article is about healthy no cook meals but the same strategy will work if you have any dietary restrictions and you have a kitchen or a campfire. 

Be flexible and shop wisely:

Most of the ingredients for these healthy no cook meals are available at the local grocery store.

Start with tortillas, flour tortillas seem to be the most versatile without needing to be cooked.  Look for shelf stable protein sources for example: canned tuna, chicken, shrimp and beans. Nuts are usually available, especially peanuts. Peanut butter should be on your list for quick breakfasts and lunches. Honey or jams can be used to sweeten any meal and you won’t need to refrigerate them.

Market Fresh Mexican Produce

Buy easy to prepare fruits and veggies that you can quickly wash or peel, and can be eaten raw, for example: carrots, cucumber, onions, zucchini, peppers, jicama, avocados, limes, cherry tomatoes, mangos, melons, bananas, oranges. Buy the freshest fruits and vegetables that you can find because they are the nutritional stars in these no cook meals. Canned fruits and veggies can be used in a pinch but avoid the high salt and sugar versions, which is what I see in my local grocery store.

Skip the lettuces, chard and other dirty vegetables that take lost of time and water to clean. It is rare to find pre-washed and packaged salad mixes as you leave the bigger cities. If you find them then I would re-wash them before eating.

Food safety and safe drinking water should always be a concern and a priority wherever your travels may take you. The water you wash produce with should be safe drinking water. Nothing ruins a trip faster than a food born illness.

Be Prepared:

You’ll need a knife, cutting board, a can opener and ziplock bags for leftovers or to pack your lunch.

 

3 Day Sample Menu

No Cook, Healthy Meals

Easy Breakfasts

  • Peanut butter and banana tortilla wraps or sandwiches
  • Almond milk overnight oats with nuts and fruit:  Combine quick cooking oats, non-dairy milk, a drizzle of honey or jam in a ziplock and let sit overnight. Add fruit and nuts in the morning and breakfast is ready.
  • Breakfast burritos: Spread pinto bean frijoles in a tortilla with salsa and red pepper strips.

Healthy Lunches

Easy Mexican Corn and Chic Pea Salad

  • Tuna fish wraps: Buy oil packed tuna, drain and flake, combine with thin slices of cucumber, carrot and red pepper and wrap in a tortilla or eat as a salad. Add a squeeze of lime. A few jalapeño slices would give you a spicy tuna wrap.
  • “Waldorf” fruit salad: Combine rough chopped walnuts, celery, and apples. Make a dressing with olive oil, orange juice, honey and lime juice. Serve with a hummus wrap and remaining vegetables.
  • Hummus wraps: Smash cooked garbanzo beans with a fork, add a tablespoon of olive oil, a squeeze of lime, and thinly sliced onion and zucchini. Use in a wrap or as a dip for other vegetables or tortilla chips.

 

Satisfying Dinners

Vegan Chorizo Burrito Bowl, Make it Mexican

  • Canned chicken, honey lime chipotle salad: Combine 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of minced jalapeño or to taste, a teaspoon of honey, squeeze of lime and whip with a fork. Combine canned chicken, 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, diced mango and serve in halved red pepper cups for a gourmet touch.
  • Baja shrimp wraps: Rinse canned shrimp. Mix with garbanzo beans, olives, diced celery and tomatoes, olive oil, lime, and any combination of peppers. Wrap in a tortilla.
  • Burritos bowls: Combine drained and rinsed black or pinto beans, canned corn, diced red or green pepper, olives sliced, sliced avocado and chunky red salsa.

 

Healthy No Cook Meals Shopping List:

[lt_recipe name=”PRINTABLE SHOPPING LIST, HEALTHY NO COOK MEALS ” print=”yes” ingredients=”flour tortillas;peanuts;walnuts;peanut butter;honey or jam;quick oats;non-dairy milk or shelf stable cow’s milk;;canned tuna;canned chicken;canned shrimp;canned or bags of vegetarian pinto, black and garbanzo beans;oregano or cumin;canned salsas;olive oil;;limes;oranges;mango;melon;carrots;celery;zucchini;cucumber;red bell peppers;onion;;crispy tostados or tortilla chips;dark chocolate for a healthy treat;;tequila for obvious reasons” ]Minimal gear packing list, sharp knife, can opener, cutting board, safe drinking and food prep water, ziplock bags, silverware, plates, bowls, wash basin and dish soap [/lt_recipe]

 

Do you need Baja camping advice? Check out these books for sale at Amazon.

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Easy Healthy No Cook Meals For Camping or Travel in Mexico/MyBajaKitchen.com