Everything you need to know about how to bring your pet to Mexico including the documents you need to take your pet to Mexico.
After reading this post, you will know the necessary documents and entry requirements for pet owners traveling to Mexico with their pets from:
- United States
- European Union
- All other countries
You will also know how many pets you can bring to Mexico, what to expect at the Mexican ports of entry & tips for traveling to Mexico with your pet.
How many pets can I bring to Mexico?
You don’t need to be a temporary or permanent resident to bring your pets to Mexico. Even if you’re visiting Mexico as a tourist, you can bring your pet to Mexico.
The limit is two pets per person. If you’re traveling as a couple, you can import up to four pets.
If you have more pets, you can still import them but there will be a fee & you may need to hire the services of a customs agent in Mexico to get the Animal Import Certificate on your behalf.
In addition to dogs and cats, other common pets that you can bring to Mexico are:
- guinea pigs
- Australian parakeets
If you want to import an animal other than the ones I just listed, contact your Mexican consulate for more information.
What is required to bring your dog or cat into Mexico?
If you’re traveling to Mexico from the United States or Canada, the Mexican government doesn’t require a health certificate. There’s a chance they won’t ask for proof of rabies vaccination either, but it’s a good idea to have those records just in case.
If you’re traveling by plane, double check the requirement of the airline in case they want to see a health certificate.
Will you be flying into CDMX? This guide is packed with tips for navigating the Mexico City Airport—it’s notoriously confusing.
If you’re traveling to Mexico from a country other than the United States or Canada, you must have a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian issued within 15 days of your travel date. It must be typed on the veterinary office letterhead and include:
- Veterinarian’s professional information
- Name of the pet owner
- Address of the pet owner in country of origin
- Destination address in Mexico
- Rabies vaccine application date & its validity
- Statement from vet that pet was examined and found clinically healthy
- Statement that the pet has been dewormed within last six months and is free of ectoparasites like ticks and fleas
Kittens and puppies under the age of three months are exempt from the rabies vaccination requirement.
How to Avoid Quarantine When Moving to Mexico With Pets
When you enter Mexico, your pet will be examined for fleas and ticks.
If your dog or cat has any skin disorder that could potentially be misconstrued as parasitic, bring documentation on veterinary letterhead explaining the condition and treatment.
Personally, I would get the explanation translated into Spanish to hopefully head off any misunderstandings or confusion–you don’t want your pet quarantined unnecessarily.
Tips for Traveling to Mexico With Your Pet
It’s important that you have a pet carrier specifically designed for pet transport. Cardboard or plastic boxes won’t cut it. On the inside of the carrier, have absorbent lining (you can use shredded newspaper).
Write your full name, address in Mexico, telephone number and email address on the container somewhere it’s easily visible. Have an arrow pointing which way is up & the words “LIVE ANIMAL” on the carrier.
Your pet should have tags that identify them and have your current contact information. If you’re going to be switching phone numbers, I recommend using your email address instead.
What to Expect at the Mexican Port of Entry
When you arrive at the port of entry, proceed to the zoo sanitary kiosk for the inspection and documents check. Look for signs with these acronyms:
You can have water and food ready for your pet (Mexican authorities let you import a small ration of dry food), however at the time of the inspection, the pet carrier should be relatively clean. No toys. No snacks or bones. No bed.
There will be a documentation check as well as a short physical inspection of your pet. Your pet should be free of infectious or contagious diseases and not have any fresh or healing wounds.
Again, if there is anything going on with your pet that could be misconstrued, be sure to have a letter from your vet explaining the situation & it would probably be a good idea to have that explanation translated into Spanish.
If you know you’re going to be traveling to and from Mexico a lot, consider registering with the Frequent Traveler Program for Pets.
Airports vs. Land Border Crossings with Your Pet
I want to note here that the inspections and documentation checks at airports seem to be much more strict than border crossings via land.
Helen, who is part of the Move to Mexico Membership, has driven to and from Mexico with her dogs several times & reports that no immigration or customs official has ever asked her anything about her dogs. Regardless, she still travels with their vet health records.
Final Thoughts on Moving to Mexico With Your Pets
If you’re moving to Mexico and feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do, you need the 11-point Move to Mexico Checklist which you get for free when you download the also free (and completely updated) Move to Mexico Quickstart Guide.
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