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Mérida, Yucatán Mexico

Driving To Mexico With Dogs

December 2021

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 may 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.

More from the CDC on bringing your pet in to the U.S.

NEW Visitors Permits Requirements (for humans)

Getting a FMM is not the same as it used to be. The Mexico Immigration Office no longer allows tourists to visit Mexico for up to 180-days automatically.

A FMM is a visitors permit, known as Forma Migratoria Multiple or FMM. It is what you need to enter Mexico legally.

When driving across the border you will be required to complete the FMM card at the immigration office.

Often times the desk for the FMM is in the same building where the desk is for the TIP (temporary import permit, for cars) is located.

The immigration official will ask how long you intend to stay in Mexico.

Be sure to let them know your plans so that they provide you with sufficient days for your visit.

The immigration official may ask for proof of how long you are staying; such as hotel, Airbnb, and VRBO reservations. If you are flying out, show the airline ticket.

Be sure to surrender your FMM and TIP when leaving Mexico!

Their new systems will keep track of your entry and departure. The officials will look you up on their system before determining how many days they allow you to stay in Mexico.

You can learn more about the FMM here.

Travel Resources

The GrinGO App for traveling in Mexico.

WAZE is the best app for directions and up-to-date information on accidents and where the police are. All information is supplied by other drivers. It is also a great resource to contact other drivers around you to find out why you find yourself stuck in traffic.

Another great resource is the private Facebook group called On The Road To Mexico.  Even if you are not a fan of FB, this private group is well worth joining.

There are 56K+ members who can help to answer your questions real-time with up-to-date travel information all throughout Mexico.

Google Translate, as it allows you to use your phone’s camera to translate menus, signs, ads etc if you are not familiar with Spanish.

WhatsApp for free texting and internet phone calls all over the world.

Uber and DiDi for ride -share services. Very inexpensive in Mexico. Note: not all states in Mexico allow ride-share services.

As always… safe travels!

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Columbia Bridge Border Crossing – Details on crossing from Texas to Mexico

My Reviews on 10 Pet Friendly Airbnb Lodgings

Flying WITHIN Mexico with Dogs

Thinking of Moving to Mexico? Read the 2021 Immigration Guide

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Hi my mom will be traveling with her yorkie/chihuahua mix dog by car to Mexico. I spoke to vet and they said they will need international health certificate. Has it changed recently? Website didn’t really helped. It has listed for when pets are coming in to US but I’m confused. Would those rules apply likewise even though her dog is traveling from US to begin with? We are in GA so it will be a drive but excited!


Hi thank you kindly for responding! Her dog is up to date on vaccines so coming back to US shouldn’t be a problem then?


Thank you so much for your help!! Our vet insisted that we needed a health certificate and they called to check. Saved $225! Thanks again 😄


Hi there we are traveling to Merida Mexico from Laredo Tx around Oct 8 or 9. It looks like you went to Merida. I would love your route and what pet friendly places you stayed in. It looks like the Las Palmas Hotel would be great. Any info you have is greatly appreciated. We have an 80 lb. 2 year old. Thank you Terese


We are looking at driving to rocky point from AZ. When looking up rules and regulations for bringing a dog with us I see that they have to be crated. Is this correct? We have 100 pound rottie who does not have a crate, can we bring him? Thanks for your help.

Mischell Ramirez

Hello and thank you so much for this information! It was very helpful 🙂
I need to cross to tijuana from San Diego and I have a puppy he’s only 2 months and a half, he doesn’t have his rabbies vaccine yet, can he still cross back to SD?
Thank you so much


Thank you for providing many details, your knowledge is very appreciated.
What route do you recommend …
I’m looking to travel from St. John’s Canada to playa Del Carmen with 1 dog.
What will I need to cross the boarders ??


Dear DLWright,
Thank you for all the great information that you have provided.
May I ask this question?
We are moving permanently from Los Angeles to Baja California Sur, we’re driving and entering the border in Mexicali. with our 2 labradoodles who have all the necessary documents from the veterinarian. You mention we don’t need Temporary Vehicle Import Permit? do we need a FMM?
Thank you


Hello, we want to take my husky mix to Tijuana, Mexico to the Veterinary so he can probably get chemotherapy over there since is cheaper than here in the US. We need to cross back and forth either in a car or by walking. I have an aunt over there and she said sometimes is faster to cross the border by walking that in a car. What type of documents etc does my doggy needs so he can travel with us back and forth? Please help us, I don’t know where else to ask…


We are making plans to hopefully take him to TJ this week so Thank you so much for your help, we really do appreciate it!!! 🙏🏻❤️🐶


Hi Yeny and DLWright, I just wanted to follow-up on your experience with crossing the SD-TJ border with your husky. I find myself in a similar situation with my own husky and am seeking more less expensive treatment in TJ than the one being offered to us here in the States. Was the crossing back-and-forth fairly straightforward? (I hope you didn’t have any issues) Also, do you recommend the vet you took your husky in for chemo? I hope your husky is recovering well 🙏🏼


Hello Carlo, We never made it to Tijuana because unfortunately our Balto got worse, his tumors of cancer were really big already and he had like 7 of them. He had the worse cancer so he passed away 😭 I think maybe you could get some medicine first from Mexico to see if that helps because we did got some medicine that we wish would had gone the medicine sooner because the medicine helps with cancer but we got it way too late like if we would had got it right away when they discover the cancer maybe he would… Read more »


Thank you for this helpful article! We are traveling to Baja by RV with our dog, we are US residents. Do we need to find an OISA office to have him inspected upon arrival in Baja? Do they give us some proof that he passed inspection? He is in good health and up to date on all vaccines/fleas meds, etc.
Thanks for any insights!

Olivia N

Hola! First I would like to say thank you for your website!! I have searched so many articles and they are always so complicated. Yours is simple to understand, just what I was looking for! I am moving to Guaymas, Sonora, from Canada for a while with my two Labradoodles. I can’t bring my dog food into the US because it is lamb biased, but if I buy the same one in the US can I take it across into Mexico? Also, do I need to take them to an OISA facility or is that only for flying? Thanks so… Read more »

Andre Embersics

Hola Deborah, You cannot imagine how happy I am that I found your website! Thank you so much for having such a simple yet thorough place where this (sometimes) confusing information can be found! My wife and I are moving from Canada to Mexico City with our two dogs (a boxer and a lab) in early October and we are travelling by car. Would you recommend any specific point at the US-Mexico border that we should consider for getting into Mexico? Our two main concerns are safety and “smoothness” of the process to cross by land with two dogs. Thanks… Read more »