By Erin May
Many people think of their pets as part of the family and wouldn’t think about taking an extended vacation without them. If you want to take a pet with you to 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 younger than three months may not legally enter Mexico.
Before you take your pets to Mexico, they are required to be examined by a veterinarian and have up-to-date immunizations and 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. This certificate must be on the stationery of, or show the contact information for, the veterinary practice that prepared it. You must supply a Spanish translation of this certificate.
- If you are bringing your pet from the U.S., you could skip the certificate and have your veterinarian record all the necessary information on the USDA’s form, APHIS 7001, provided you can get the USDA veterinarian for your state to countersign it. The form says the signature is “if needed,” but the guidelines say it’s required. This form must be translated into Spanish as well.
- 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 in Canada or the U.S. and your address at your destination in Mexico, 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 airline about their rules for transporting pets. It is also a good idea to check with your hotel or vacation rental manager as many places do not accept pets.
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 as if it is in good health, further examination by a licensed vet (at your expense) will be required before it is allowed to re-enter the United States or Canada.
Some countries mandate that any certificate issued by a Canadian or US veterinarian have an official stamp.
For more information on bringing other animals and birds into Mexico, visit the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services website (US) www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/home or the CFIA Services website (Canada) http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/exports/eng/1300388920375/1300388985791
to find the latest requirements. 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.
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!
Erin May is the owner/operator of Mexico Vacation Rental and a distributor for Seacret Direct. She has a passion for travel, the outdoors and all things Mexico. She spends her time traveling, living and working in Calgary, Alberta, and Huatulco, Mexico.