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 onboard the airplane unless it is an ESA or Service Animal.
Yes, airlines flying within Mexico accept ESAs.
Here is a list of airlines that still allow ESAs – August 2021
“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! And an up-to-date rabies certificate.
Although the Mexican government does not require a health certificate for your pet traveling from the U.S. or Canada, some airlines do.
If you are driving into and throughout Mexico, you do not need a health certificate.
Your pet will need a rabies certificate.
Read about the updated rules for bringing pets to Mexico.
How close to the departure date do I need a health certificate and Rabies immunization?
The airlines are the ones that dictate how close to the departure date you need to get the new health certificate.
Within five days of departure obtain a Health Certificate with a list of current vaccines. Include the date of the last deworming Bring one original and a copy.
Rabies vaccination certificate is required. The rabies vaccine must be issued more than 30 days before travel.
Within five days of departure obtain a Health Certificate with a list of current vaccines. Include the date of the last deworming (you must return within 5 days otherwise you will need another health certificate)
Rabies certificate. The rabies immunization must be older than 30-days.
Flying on Volaris with an Emotional Support Animal
A vaccination card or health certificate with vaccine information.
Traveling with emotional support animals is free on VIVA, both for your national and international flights.
How To Find a Veterinarian In Mexico
To find a veterinarian in Mexico, start by asking the locals who they recommend.
I have personally gone to the veterinarian’s office ahead of time to check out their facilities and find out the price for a health certificate.
Some veterinarians will charge $100 USD or more while others will charge as little as $25 USD. This does not mean their service is any less.
Flying with a Service Animal (SA) or an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
Beginning in January 2021 the U.S. airlines were allowed to reclassify ESAs as “pets” – essentially banning all Emotional Support Animals from the airline cabins.
The good news is, if you are flying within Mexico, many Mexican airlines still allow ESAs to travel in the airline’s cabin with their owner.
VIVA – Within Mexico and from Mexico to Miami. VIVA info
Volaris – ESAs can travel on flights within Mexico and from/to Central America only. Volaris ESA link
Aeroméxico – accepts emotional-support pets onboard their flights, in compliance with Air Carrier Access Act. Aeroméxico ESA link:
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Thinking of moving to Mexico? Check out the new 2023 Immigration Guide from Mexperience.
Do you know the ADA (Mexican legal equiv) for certified service animals. In regards to buses and Uber etc. ? l
Hola Kate… good question! In summary, ADA type laws for service animals do not exist in Mexico. If it is obvious you have a disability (blind, wheelchair) and have a service dog with you, they may allow the dog. However, it is up to the individual manager, driver, owner etc… They can turn you away if they wish. Mexico does not recognize Emotional Support Dogs either. Our bus adventure: A few years ago we took a bus from Guanajuato to Guadalajara with our two dogs. Note: they are pets not service animals. We had our dogs in soft sided carriers.… Read more »
Thanks for the confirmation. That is the gist of what I’d arrived at as well. Jalisco does have some laws for ADA service animals for rentals etc – but it’s hard as finding chicken with teeth to find data for other states. 🙂 I’ve advised the person that asked, to consider a personal driver. Their service animal is a seizure sensitive so not a baby that can be left home.
Thanks so very much again!
Thank you for the link! The document is helpful and states they recognize service dogs for people with seizures. Personally I would carry a medical letter or medical card (in Spanish) attesting to this condition. Hiring a private driver for long distances is great advice. =8-)
Friends sent me this
So there are Ada type protections