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Traveling with Dogs To Mexico – The Facts

Updated August 2021

Whether you are driving or flying to Mexico, traveling with dogs to Mexico is easy.

In 2020 the Mexican government – the OISA (part of SAGARPA-SENASICA) – dropped the requirement to provide a Health Certificate from a veterinarian. HOWEVER only

IF you are coming from Canada or the United States.

What Changed: Requirements and Processes For Bringing Pets to Mexico

Mexico no longer requires your pet to have a health certificate from a veterinarian.

Mexico no longer requires proof of the rabies vaccine for your dog or cat. (The U.S. does require a rabies certificated to enter)

When flying into Mexico with your pet, a staff member of OISA (part of SAGARPA-SENASICA) will perform a brief physical inspection of your pet.

At the airport the OISA office will verify:

  • That there are no signs of infectious and contagious diseases
  • That it is free of ectoparasites = fleas, ticks, mites, and lice
  • That there are no fresh or healing wounds

The OISA offices are at the international airports, not at the border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico.

What has not changed:

  • Only a small amount of dog food is allowed to be brought into the country. (another words, don’t bring several months worth of food)
  • Any type of disposable bedding the dog was transported in, must be thrown away. For example, newspapers or sawdust or rags (pertains to dogs flying in a crate)

Notice from the USDA about the requirements for traveling to Mexico with pets.

Driving to Mexico from the U.S. and Canada

If you are driving to Mexico with your dog, 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. (You will need a rabies certificate to enter back into the U.S.)

Note: Please refer to the section regarding entering back into the U.S. with a pet and the new process.

As a side note, the Mexico border agents are not OISA officers and are not part of the SAGARPA-SENASICA.

OISA offices are not at the U.S. border crossings.  There is no one who will ask to inspect your dog at the border.

The OISA offices are at the airports.

NEW Airline Process For FLYING To Mexico With A Pet

Flying from the U.S. and Canada (only) into Mexico with a pet, the airlines have stopped requiring a health certificate to bring your pet on board the airplane with you. Note: if your is dog is flying in cargo, it still needs a health certificate.

The airlines – Delta and United – do not clearly state on their website whether or not a Health Certificate is required.

Alaska Airlines does clearly state that a health certificate is not required. Kudos to Alaska Air for documenting this on their website.


I called Delta and United directly (was on hold for over an hour) and when I finally was able to speak to someone, they could not find any documentation stating a health certificate was required. Therefore, they concluded a health certificate is not required to fly on their airline.


Aeroméxico does require a health certificate and rabies certificate in order to fly on their airline. I would also like to point out that the airline has recently updated their ESA policy and now require a medical certificate from a psychiatrist (not psychologists).

More information about Aeroméxico can be found here:

A rabies certificate is required when flying into the United States. So, make sure you bring this with you before flying anywhere with your pet.

Click on my link above “New Process For Entering Back Into The U.S. With A Pet” for more information.

If you are interested in understanding the difference between Service Animals and Emotion Support Animals please read my article here.

What Happens Upon Landing At An Airport in Mexico?

Once you land at the airport, the airport officials will direct you to the OISA office inside the airport.

Now, instead of handing them paperwork to review, they inspect your dog for good health. That is it!

This only applies to pets originating from the U.S. and Canada. If you are flying in from any other country to Mexico, a health certificate is required.

Also, as of 2021 U.S. airlines no longer allow Emotional Support Animals.

Rabies Certificate

The rabies vaccination certificate must include all of the following information:

  • Name and address of the owner
  • Breed, sex, date of birth, color, markings, and other identifying information for the dog
  • Vaccine product information – name, lot number
  • Date of rabies vaccination
  • The date the vaccination will expire
  • Name, license number, address, and signature of the veterinarian who administered the vaccination

Check the rabies certificate to make sure it does not expire while in Mexico!

If it does, this is a reason your dog may be turned away at the airport.

It’s always a good idea to ask the veterinarian for several original copies of the rabies certificates.
Sofia getting parasite prevention medicine

Returning Home With Your Pet

Bringing your dog back to the U.S. from Mexico

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 will probably ask to see  your airline ticket and passport for proof.

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

As always… Safe Traveles!

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I adopted a pup in Mexico last year and brought her to NYC. I now want to bring her back to Mexico with me in December. She is too big to carry on. I would put her in cargo, as I did when we came to NYC, but it seems as if NO airline is taking pets in cargo any more… do you have any insights as to how I can get her to Mexico with me for the winter months? Thanks a million!


thank You!!!


Thank you for all the excellent information here. I am flying with my dog with Aeromexico from Amsterdam to Mexico City, then Vallarta. He is registered as an emotional support animal, which is still allowed by Aeromexico.
The Aeromexico website says that I need a Zoosanitary Export Certification issued by the SAGARPA-SENASICA, but I assume this is only needed when flying out of Mexico?
I will obtain the health certificate, including rabies vaccination details, from a vet in Amsterdam. I don’t think anything else is required?

Thank you so much!

mariah maes

Hi I have some questions about flying with my 7 month old puppy from Guatemala to Mexico City, from Mexico City to California. I am in the process of getting him registered as a service dog with the Can you tell me what information is needed on my flight from Guatemala to Mexico City, to have him in the Cargo with me? I believe if I get the Service animal documentation all I will need is a health certificate. My plan is to fly into Mexico City and go to the vet there ask for “certificado international de salud… Read more »


I’m planning on bringing my 55lb dog to Mexico City for a few months. I will be flying from Denver on AreoMexico. From everything I’ve researched they still take ESA. I was planning on having her on board with me. I was wondering if I needed to submit paperwork to SENASICA before I fly. My spanish is not the best, so it’s been challenging to find info.

Allison Frazier

Hello, thanks for helping with info on traveling with pets. We are flying aeromexico to Chile from the United states, with a layover in Mexico City. I see we need a Zoosanitary export certificate (required by airline) but I am unable to find out more information on how to obtain that. I have read many different things, some saying I need a health certificate then to take that to an office (with no info on offices) to obtain the zoosanitary export cert and some say this is done at the airport in the United States. Do you have any info… Read more »

Allison Frazier

This is awesome thanks so much! The only issue I’m having is that a lot of USDA accredited vets still say they have to send in the documents and it could take 2-3 days. We travel on a Monday and are at a hotel so was really hoping to find one that uses the online system but haven’t had any luck yet. By chance do you know of any in the Chicago area? I’m going to keep calling tomorrow to try and find one but figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. Thanks again, I was worried about the no pet… Read more »

Maryssa Evans

Hi I am bring my service animal with me flying on Alaska airlines from U.S. to Cancun Mexico for 12 nights. According to your article I don’t need to bring anything with me anymore? Here are my questions… 1. How much food is a little food and can I check a bag that has all of her food? 2. Do I need to bring any paperwork with me to enter Mexico and come back to Seattle with my dog? 3. Is the inspection to and from or just when I enter Mexico? 4. She is 10lbs and always travels with… Read more »

Maryssa Evans

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know about this information! I didn’t know which website to trust. If you don’t mind me asking how do you know so much about this and where do you get your information?


We are from Canada and have been in Mexico since January 2021 and are now having our friends sell everything in our Canada house so we can permanently relocate to Mexico. We are trying to find an international pet travel service to bring our Cat down to Playa Del Carmen where we are living but we can’t seem to find anyone who will offer this service. Is any company open that can do this? Maybe a fight to USA and then a flight to Canada?

Dr. Arnold Rosenstock

All I derive from the content in this blog is that nothing’s change save for the anxiety of getting the USDA forms to Gainesville for signature and return before we leave the US as we’ve been doing for years now. United has been our airline of convenience to Puerto Vallarta hence I can’t imagine anything different in the documentation we’ve been presenting heretofore. We’ve routinely had an exit exam done in Mexico on returning to the USA, hence we’ll continue same, and I trust USDA will look for the rabies validation as customary.


Have a 4 month old puppy that has had 2 sets of rabies shots Fully dewormed; all other vaccines complete Going to fly from TJ to La Paz on Wednesday, April 14 Using Cross Border Express (TJ/US border) Paid for the puppy to travel in cabin on Volaris Approved soft airline carrier for him with appropriate measurements Bringing all of this stuff from the information provided on your site (like 40 pages worth!) Getting a health check here in US the day before travel (April 13) Will have the vet fill out the silly APHIS7001 form Do we need to… Read more »


Do you know if the Leptospirosis vaccine is required to fly to Mexico? Our dog will have the first vaccine 16 days before travel, but a booster is required 2 days before we leave.


Thank you! I have chosen to vaccinate when the vet has the vaccine available as we have been living in areas with coyote, skunk, raccoon and gophers in our yard and not knowing what all they might leave behind! It has proven difficult for our current vet to keep the vaccine in stock. Where do you find your Next Guard Spectra in Mexico at a great price?