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Pets Pack Your Bags for Mexico

Bring all your pets with you to Mexico.Yes...You may bring cats, dogs, and other household pets into Mexico.

In order to bring a pet (dogs and cats) into Mexico, the following documents must be presented at the Office of Animal Health Inspection (OISA) at international airports and ports of entry into Mexico: 

  • If the pet is less than three months, a "Certificate of Good Health" issued by an official authority or by a licensed veterinarian provided that his or her signature is approved and issued not more than five days before the animal enters Mexico. (Note: To show signature is approved, Vet must provide letter on his letterhead, with professional license number printed or photocopy of the same and signature.)
  • If the pet is older than three months, the "Certificate of Good Health" must also states immunizations against rabies, distemper, hepatitis and leptospirosis. Any immunization must been administered at least 15 days before pet's arrival to Mexico, but not more than one year.

At the OISA your pet will be physically checked and that office will determine if the animal is allowed immediate entry or must remain in custody for an additional inspection. In the first case, it will be issued a zoo-sanitary importation certificate, which must be carried when leaving Mexico. In the second case, if the above said authorities retain the animal, they should also give you a voucher. (Here is the government website:  

  •  Note: on the rare occasion when flying in, a pet has been detained, but this is the exception, not the rule.  
If you transport from one to three pets the procedure for issuance of Health Certificate of Import is free. If you bring four or more, you will incur the cost of Health Certificate for Import ($1,817.00 pesos, may vary in accordance with the Federal Law). 

No consular certification is required and it is not necessary that these documents be translated into Spanish.brining my cat to mexico 

However, in the numerous times we have driven from Mexico, through the U.S. into Canada and back again, we have never experienced anything more than slight interest in our pets. Many clients also report no issues when they frequently drive in and out of Mexico. And the best thing is there is no standard quarantine in Mexico!

Flying pets in does have its trials and tribulations and also depending on the airline and we usually recommend driving them in, if at all possible. 

Beware! Whether you bring pets with you from north of border or not, once you are living in Mexico, be prepared for some big brown eyed dog or cat to decide to adopt you and worm their way into your heart. In Lake Chapala we have several animal rescue groups that are great places to adopt your new friend.

For those of you that have allergies and can't have a dog or cat in your home but still love them and are okay for short periods, you can volunteer to walk the dogs from the Animal Shelter or hang out and keep the kittens and cats company.

Our readers are our best support. One friend wrote us and said:
"People need to know that Mexico requires a rabies vaccine every year, not every 3 years as in the US."

And, yes, she's right...the USA now has a 3-year rabies shot, but a rabies shot is required every year in Mexico. It's just a difference in the vaccine. Has nothing to do with standards. One nice story about this is that some of the villages give free rabies shots. They gather in a different barrio (neighborhood) every day and people bring their dogs to get a shot. They even round up the street dogs and give them rabies shots! Even Bill and I (as foreigners in the village) get a free shot. We were reluctant the first year, because we felt foolish. But the lady at the local abarrotes (grocery story), said, "of course you're pay your taxes!" Of course, this was all said in Spanish!

Other Animals

If you are transporting any other type of live animal, please visit: Other special animals.

Although you can bring some kinds of birds and other animals, there are a lot more requirements, time and costs involved. They may also be subject to 40 days quarantine and tests and vaccines and additional health certificates. In the event you cannot locate the requirements for your pet Módulo de Consulta de los Requisitos Zoosanitarios de Importación here , or your pet is currently undergoing medical treatment, you can send a request for support to   or contact us directly the Ventanilla de Contacto Ciudadano de la Dirección de Importaciones y Exportaciones located at Av. Cuauhtémoc, 1230, P.B., Col. Santa Cruz Atoyac, C.P. 03310, Benito Juárez, México, D.F. between Monday and Friday from 9:00 to 14:00 hrs., or, if calling from Mexico City 5-905-1000, ext. 51071, 51247.

If you want to enter Mexico with an animal, other than a dog or cat, like canary songbird, reptile, ferret, hamster, whose, etc.., Must meet the requirements outlined in the Consultation Module Zoosanitarios Import Requirements 

If the animal is not in the module or in medical treatment, you must send your request to reqzoosan.dgsa @ or to the Animal Health Directorate, at Av Cuauhtemoc No. 1230, Col. St. Cruz Atoyac, Del. Benito Juárez, CP 03310, Mexico, or call Tel: 01 (55) 5905-1000 ext. 51066, 51071 and 51219 or 01800 98 79 879. In the case of aquatic animals, you can call 011 52 (55) 5905 1000 ext. 51046, 53224 or write to 

You must cover the cost of Health Certificate for Import ($ 1,817.00, may vary in accordance with the Federal Law). The payment can be done by the format window or e5cinco via internet. 

If you send an animal documented as cargo, it is important that you check the requirements on the airline of your choice and consider the need to use the services of a customs broker for release before the Customs, after complying with the non-tariff by the SAGARPA-SENASICA.  

Remember that compliance with the regulations established by SAGARPA-SENASICA not exempt from compliance with regulations of other authorities at the point of entry.


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