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Bringing Pets into Mexico

Bringing a Dog into MexicoAccording to the Mexican Consulate, you must have and carry with you the following documents in order to bring your cat and dog into Mexico and ensure a safe return. Please get a copy of the CBP brochure Pets and Wildlife. You should also check with state, county, and local authorities to learn if their restrictions and prohibitions on pets are stricter than federal requirements. Importing animals is closely regulated for public health reasons, and also for the well being of the animals. There are restrictions and prohibitions on bringing many species into the United States.

Advance notice for bringing Pets into Mexico
The official veterinarian at the port of entry shall be notified of the pending arrival of animals at the authorized facility by the importer or his agent 24 hours in advance of the arrival of the animals.

Documentation for Bringing Dogs and Cats into Mexico:

  • The animals must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Health certificates for personal pets do not need to be endorsed by a Veterinary Services
  • The animals must be inoculated against rabies (unless younger than 4 months old) and Distemper (dates of vaccination must appear on the health certificate).
  • The health certificate must be in duplicate and bear the name and address of the owner, a description of the animal (species, age, sex) and attest that the animal has been examined and found free of any contagious disease.

Commercial shipments of dogs and cats:

  • The animals must be accompanied by a health certificate (such as the APHIS form 7001 or old VS Form 18-1, or a State health certificate) issued by a USDA-accredited
    Veterinarians and endorsed by a Veterinary Services veterinarian.
  • The animals were inspected and found free of any evidence of infectious
    diseases and parasites.
  • The animals originate from kennels where no outbreaks of hemorrhagic
    gastroenteritis have occurred.
  • The animals were vaccinated against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis,
    and parvovirus. Show date of vaccination and product used - a vaccination
    certificate must accompany the animals

Bringing Cats into Mexico

Bringing a Cat into MexicoIf you plan to bring your cat into Mexico, your cat must be free of evidence of diseases communicable to humans when they are examined at the port of entry. If the cat does not seem to be in good health, the owner may have to pay for an additional examination by a licensed veterinarian. There is no rabies vaccination requirement for cats. Following entry into the United States, all cats are subject to state and local vaccination requirements. As a rule, both cats and dogs must be free of fleas and ticks, and have a health certificate that was issued by the country of residence.

Bringing Dogs into Mexico

If you plan to bring your dog into Mexico, your dog must also be free of evidence of diseases that could be communicable to humans. Puppies must be confined at a place of the owner’s choosing, which can be a private residence, until they are three months old and then they must be vaccinated against rabies. The puppy will then have to stay in confinement for another 30 days following the vaccination.
Dogs older than three months must get a rabies vaccination at least 30 days before they come to the United States and must be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate if coming from a country that is not rabies-free. This certificate should identify the dog, show the date of vaccination, the date it expires (there are one-year and three-year vaccinations), and be signed by a licensed veterinarian. If the certificate does not have an expiration date, CBP will accept it as long as the dog was vaccinated 12 months or less before coming to the United States. Dogs coming from rabies free countries do not have to be vaccinated

Bringing Birds into Mexico

Bringing a Bird into MexicoIf you plan to bring your bird into Mexico, your bird may be imported as a pet as long as you comply with APHIS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife requirements. These requirements may include quarantining the birds at one of the three APHIS' Animal Import Centers at your expense. You must make advance reservations at the quarantine facility. If you intend to import a bird, contact APHIS for complete details.

Bringing Other Pets into Mexico

Other common pets such as rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs may be imported if they are in good health. The importation of reptiles and invertebrates is restricted; please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for additional guidance. Most species of snails are not admissible. Contact APHIS for additional information.

Preparation for bringing your pet into Mexico

You should start to prepare documentation and inoculations at least one month before visiting Mexico

  • If you don't already have one, get a pet identification tag for your dog. It should have your dog's name, your name and phone number. Consider using a cell phone number, a home number and possible the number of where you will be staying.
  • Get a first aid kit for your dog. The kits are usually available at a pet store, a veterinary office or on the Internet.
  • If you do not already have a dog harness for riding the car, consider purchasing one for your dog's safety. They are usually sold at pet stores or on the Internet.
  • A current rabies tag for your dog's collar. Also get paperwork with proof of the rabies vaccine.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding current regulations for exporting animals or animal products to Mexico, you should contact APHIS Animal Plant Inspection Service

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