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Mexico’s “Frequent Traveler Program” For Your Dog or Cat

UPDATED April 2021

The Frequent Travel Pet Program does NOT apply anymore for those traveling between the United States and Canada to Mexico.

Why the change?

The reason Mexico’s Frequent Traveler Pet Program is no longer an option for those entering from the United States and Canada is that Mexico no longer requires your pet to have a health certificate from a veterinarian.

Yep… you read that correctly! You no longer need to spend hundreds of dollars taking your dog to the veterinarian for a health exam and certificate.

No special paperwork or forms are required. That includes providing proof of the rabies vaccine.

Less stress, right? Well, not so fast.  If you are flying into Mexico with your dog – the airlines still require all this paperwork!

The airlines still require a health certificate and proof the rabies vaccine has been administered within the last 11 months of your departure date.

Please check with your airline for any additional paperwork they may require.

However, if you are driving across the border – no paperwork necessary. Easy peasy!

What to expect when you fly from Canada or the U.S. to Mexico with your dog.

At the airline check-in counter, the airline will require a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccine for your pet.

They may require additional paperwork. I know that Delta Airlines does have other forms to be filled out by the veterinarian.

Once you land in Mexico and have your pet, you will be escorted to the OISA office.

A staff member of OISA (part of SAGARPA-SENASICA) will perform a brief physical inspection of your pet and verify:

  1. That there are no signs of infectious and contagious diseases

  2. That it is free of ectoparasites = fleas, ticks, mites, and lice

  3. That there are no fresh or healing wounds

  4. They will not ask to see the health certificate or rabies certificate

What to expect when you drive from Canada or the U.S. to Mexico with your dog. 

The border agents at the Mexico border, are not OISA officers.

Therefore they are not part of the SAGARPA-SENASICA which oversees the importation of animals.

They will not ask to inspect your pet nor will they ask for the health certificate or rabies certificate.

OISA offices are not at the border. They are typically at international airports and shipping ports.

Here is a link from the USDA confirming the new requirements for bringing pets to Mexico.

A word about ESAs

In January 2021 Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are now considered pets, not service animals when flying on U.S. airlines.

That means you will no longer be able to bring your dog in the airline cabin with you; unless it complies with the airline’s pet policy.

Get more details on the new rules about flying and Emotional Support Dogs.

Documents to have while traveling with your dog

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. or Canada
  • Vaccination record of vaccines and due dates.
  • Record of medications for flea/ticks/mites and lice. Plus, heartworm prevention.

Here is a link from the CDC about bringing your dog to the U.S.

As always… Safe Travels!

You may also like…

Crossing the border in Texas? Checkout this pet friendly (and kid friendly) road trip itinerary with cool places to visit and lodging suggestions.  Pet Friendly Mexico Road Trip

Thinking of moving to Mexico? Check out the new 2021 Immigration Guide from  Mexperience.

Analysis on just how pet friendly some Airbnbs really are! Review on 10 Pet Friendly Airbnbs in Mexico

Learn the facts about traveling to Mexico with dogs/cats for 2021

Read about the most pet friendly town in Mexico – TAXCO!  Only a few hours by car from Mexico City.

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Kelly

Has any one registered here ? Can you tell me any more about it? We are travelling to Mexico with our small dog in Jan …and don’t want to run into something I’m not aware of. He has all his needles tests etc and is healthy.I plan on carrying this info with me . We have been to Mexico many times ,but never flown with our dog ? Don’t want ant problems.

Stephanie

Do you know if you still need the health certificate for the airlines if the pet is registered in the frequent traveler program?