Driving to Mexico with a dog is less stressful now that Mexico has new pet requirements for entering Mexico from the U.S. and Canada by car.
In November 2019, Mexico relaxed the regulations about bringing pets to Mexico.
Bringing Pets to Mexico – US/Canadians only
Note: Only dogs and cats are considered pets by Mexico’s definition.
What changed for driving to Mexico with pets?
As of November 2019, driving to Mexico with your dog or cat, you do not need to spend the money to go to a veterinarian and get a health certificate.
You do not need to have a veterinarian provide proof that the pet has had parasite prevention.
You do not need to provide a rabies certificate for your dog or cat.
What has not changed
- Only a small amount of dog food is allowed to be brought into the country (enough for a week or two is OK)
Here is a link from the USDA confirming the new requirements for bringing pets to Mexico.
Will my dog be inspected at the border?
Mexico border agents are not OISA officers. Therefore they are not part of the SAGARPA-SENASICA which oversees the importation of animals.
There is not an OISA office at the border. No one is there to inspect your pet.
Documents to have while traveling
Although Mexico does not require a health certificate to enter with your dog, it is always a good idea to have following documentation with you:
- An up-to-date rabies certificate. You may be asked to present it when entering back into the U.S.
- Vaccination record of vaccines and due dates
- Record of medications for flea/ticks/mites and lice. Plus, heart worm prevention.
Crossing the border back into the U.S.
UPDATE June ’21: Although Mexico no longer requires proof of the rabies vaccine for your dog or cat you will need to bring the up-to-date rabies certificate with you in order to enter back into the U.S. with your pet.
Reason: On July 14 2021, the CDC put a temporary suspension on dogs entering the U.S. from countries that have a high risk of dog rabies.
113 countries are on this list – Mexico is NOT on this list. View list
However, when you enter the United States, they will ask where your pet is coming from. At this time you will provide a verbal statement that your dog(s) lived in a country that is NOT high risk for at least 6 months.
They may ask to see your passport for proof.