If you’re planning on taking a pet to Mexico, here’s the latest on what you need to know. I obtained the information last week at the agriculture health inspection office at Puerto Vallarta’s Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport.
First, be aware that this information on taking a pet to Mexico only pertains to cats and dogs. If you wish to bring a live animal that is not a dog or a cat, such as a canary, reptile, ferret, hamster, guinea pig, click here.
For those of you toting your fine feline(s) or distinguished dog(s), be prepared to stop at an Office of Agricultural Health (OISA) at all points of entry into the country, including maritime ports, borders, international airports and crossing points throughout the country. In Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find the OISA office located after immigration and right before baggage claim.
SAGARPA-SENASICA (Mexico’s health authority) personnel are quite vigilant so it didn’t surprise me to see dogs that are trained to detect any organic product that may represent a health or safety risk walking around sniffing people and luggage at the airport in Puerto Vallarta.
When taking a pet to Mexico
When you arrive to Mexico with your pet, you must contact SAGARPA-SENASICA personnel who will conduct a brief physical inspection and verify that your pet is in compliance with the following requirements:
1) A Health Certificate in original and simple copy, issued by either a private or official medical Veterinarian indication (you may have more than one pet on a single certificate)
- Name and address of the exporter and importer (address or origin and destination address in Mexico)
- That the animal has been vaccinated against rabies, indicating the state of application and expiration date of the vaccine. Pets under three months of age are exempt of this requirement.
- That the inspection prior to travel found the animal to be clinically healthy.
- That the animal has undergone a preventive treatment against internal and external parasites, at most six months prior to travel and is currently free of ectoparasites (THIS REQUIREMENT DOES NOT APPLY TO PETS FROM OR ORIGINATING IN THE USA AND CANADA)
- Name, signature and professional license number of the Medical Veterinarian issuing the Health Certificate
If the above requirements are not met, you may request the services of a Mexican licensed medical Veterinarian of your choice and at your expense, to issue a new valid health certificate and/or apply the treatment required.
2) Your pet should arrive to Mexico in a container, kennel, carrier of any sort, that is clean, without bedding, cloth material or accessories, for these will be retained by the OISA official for destruction. The container will then receive a preventive spray treatment by the SAGARPA-SENASICA official.
3) You may bring a day’s ration of pet food in a plastic baggie or container, accompanying your pet. You are allowed to bring unopened pet food that is packaged with labeling in Spanish and English that does not contain any ingredients of ruminant origin (such as lamb or beef) and stamped by the Health Authority of the country of origin. For your information, there is pet food available in Mexico that is registered and authorized by Mexico’s Health authority, SAGARPA-SENASICA.
4) If you send your pet in cargo, it is important that you verify all requirements of the airline of your choice and consider the need to utilize the service of a Customs Broker to clear Customs prior to compliance with SAGARPA-SENASICA tariff free regulations.
Please note: The Health Certificate issued by a private Medical Veterinarian should be printed on letterhead, with the professional license number or a photocopy of the license, signature in original and simply copy form.
If you are transporting one to three pets, the Animal Health Import Certificate process is free of charge. if you are importing four or more pets, the fee of the Import Certificate would be $1,817.00 pesos (this amount may vary in conformance with the Federal Tax Law.) This payment can be made using the e5cinco form via bank window or internet.
Remember that compliance with the regulations established by SAGARPA-SENASICA do not exempt you from compliance with regulations of other authorities at the point of entry into Mexico.