When you are deciding to relocate or even if you’re planning an extended stay in Mexico, taking “all” the immediate family members, including your pet into consideration is a given. Your four-legged companion, either it’s a dog or a cat, needs you as much as you need them; pets not only are a part of our life, but an important benefactor in making a home feel like a home.
So, if you’re planning a trip and want your furry friend to come with you, having all the proper certifications and required physical exams will guarantee your pet’s accessibility into Mexico. Implementing and following some of the information below will save lots of time and agonizing headaches. Please note that starting on January 1, 2017, there have been some changes in the regulations set by Mexico to bring in your pets into the Country, so make sure to check out the most recent information regarding the topic.
First things first: the main changes
There is the main difference to the previous requirements that you should note. This difference is that, in addition to the rabies vaccination certification, now you need to obtain a valid Health Certificate. In this certificate, the veterinary must certify and provide proof of treatment of two additional health conditions.
First, that your pet is free from internal parasites (worms) and has received treatment within 6 months of the date of your trip. The medication used must be noted on the Health Certificate.
And second, that the pet is free from external parasites, such as fleas and ticks, and has been treated for these parasites within 6 months of the date of your trip. The products used to treat these parasites must be reflected on the Health Certificate.
Now let’s address bringing a pet across the border from the United States
There are some stipulations regarding a number of pets traveling with you, and sometimes it depends on the airline, so make sure to double check the conditions of your airline before booking your tickets.
This link to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) not only instructs dog and cat owners but also other common pets allowed to cross into Mexico and will explain in detail your exact needs. This link is also a good reference for traveling with pets to Mexico.
In any case, having the proper Health Certificate(s) is a very big part of the process on both sides of the borders, and if you want to avoid unnecessary delays in the border, make sure you are fulfilling all the requirements.
Here are a few quick reference points:
- Make sure the certificate is typewritten on a word processor and/or computer format. No handwritten documents will be accepted!
- Every word and/or description has to be completely written out. No abbreviations, slang and/or abbreviated industry wording will be accepted. This includes dates and addresses – examples; January 20, 2017, & Somewhere in Florida, 80001 United States, etc.
- All paperwork needs to come from an official and in good standing operational Veterinary Service Veterinarian.
This is just a brief outline that will give you some information telling you that every “i” needs to be dotted and every “t” needs to be crossed. Make sure to communicate these requirements to your veterinary.
Also, you need to consider that there are two options for certification: Option A and Option B. In order to see these options, make sure to click on the Pet Dogs and Cats button on the USDA link provided above.
- ‘Option A’ is a pre-filled out form that carries a fee. It will need to be accompanied with all the necessary documents requested. This form provides detailed categories explaining the paperwork needed.
- ‘Option B’ needs to be filled out and signed off by a USDA accredited Veterinarian on their clinic’s official letterhead.
Please note that all the paperwork needed is non-negotiable. All the forms are set to meet Mexico’s government regulations and policies. You cannot edit, add and/or omit any of the requested information, so make sure to get all the paperwork you need in advance of traveling.
We would suggest that you make certain your pet’s doctor is well versed in making sure there are no problems when transporting your companion across the border. Don’t be afraid to also do some research on your own. Talk with other expats who have brought pets over from North America so you don’t have to worry about delays, overnight stays in quarantine and/or worse, deportation. Treat the arrival into Mexico with your pet as importantly as yourself.
Another important fact to consider, and which is often overlooked, is assuring your pet’s mental ability to handle the relocation. Dogs and cats can sense the change and other happenings; they know when something is going on or coming their way. So, it would be a good idea to consult with a veterinary doctor regarding how to make your pet comfortable during this semi-traumatic repositioning in their life. Being either by land or air, different breeds have different needs when traveling. There are also several groups and forums that can advise you from their past experiences.
All in all, the process of bringing your pet to Mexico, either by fulfilling the health requirements or for preparing your pet for the big change, could take a while so don’t procrastinate or hesitate on getting everything in order ahead of time. Plan your trip around completing your pet’s “Passport to Paradise”. When the day comes to where you will start living your new adventure, both you and your traveling buddy will enjoy the exciting experience that you are about to embark on.
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