Flying within Mexico with your dog
Nowadays more people are traveling with their pets in the cabin of the airplane. It is becoming more common in the U.S. to see dogs at the airport gate waiting to board the airplane. Many airports have Relief Areas for dogs, which is nice to see.
But what about Mexico? Do the same in-cabin guidelines that apply in the U.S. also work in Mexico? Good question!
What you need to know
In Mexico “pets” are defined as either a dog or cat, nothing else. Airlines will charge a fee for bringing your pets on board the airplane. Pets must be small enough to fit in an approved airline pet carrier. They are usually soft-sided carriers that fit under the seat in front of you. Some airlines will limit the number of pets per flight.
Do I need a health certificate?
The answer is YES. Even though you did a health exam and certificate before entering Mexico with your pet, you still need another one. If you are driving throughout Mexico you do not. The airlines are the ones that dictate how close to the departure date you need to get the new health certificate.
To find a veterinarian start by asking the locals who they recommend. I have personally gone to the veterinarians ahead of time to check out their facilities and find out the price for a health certificate. Some veterinarians will charge a hundred dollars or more while others will charge as little as $25. This does not mean their service is any less.
How close to departure date do I need a health certificate and Rabies immunization?
Aeromexico – Health certificate within 10 days of your departure date. Rabies immunization must be done within 30 days of departure,according to their website. However, this does not make sense because you would be giving your dog a rabies shot every other month if you flew a lot with your dog. Note: we traveled with AM and our dog’s rabies vaccine was older that 30 days, but less that a year. We had no problem. AM Pet Policy
Volaris – Health certificate within 5 days of your departure date. Rabies immunization must be older than 30-days but less than a year. Volaris Pet Policy
Interjet – Rabies immunization must be older than 30-days before departure. They do have a height limit (no more than 10”) and weight limit (11 lbs or under). I called to see if these restrictions pertained to SA or ESA dogs and they said “yes”. Interjet Pet Policy.
If you are flying with a Service Animal (SA) or an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
Flying with a Service Animal or an Emotional Support Animal the airlines will not charge a fee. The pet can go in the cabin with you. They do not have to be in a carrier nor go under the seat in front of you. You still need a health certificate and rabies certificate. You will also need supporting documentation stating your dog is either a SA or ESA. Since you do not need to pay a fee, I still recommend calling the airline to let them know you are bringing a SA or ESA pet. Especially if you have made your reservation online.
What is the difference between a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
A service animal is trained to provide specific aid to a person with a physical disability. The airline may require a Certificate of Service Animal accreditation
Emotional Support Animal – Is a companion animal that a medical professional says provides some benefit for a person disabled by a mental health condition or emotional disorder. Airlines require a letter from a mental health specialist stating the need for the ESA. It must also have their license number, business name, address, phone number, and signature.
Read more about the FACTS of bringing your dog to Mexico