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Traveling with Dogs To Mexico – The Facts

Updated April 2023

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.

Requirements and Processes For Bringing Pets to Mexico

Mexico no longer requires your pet to have a health certificate from a veterinarian if you are from the U.S. or Canada.

However, they do require an up-to-date rabies certificate.

Proof of parasite prevention (fleas and ticks) plus lice/mites prevention.

Record of all vaccines.

According to the SAGARPA-SENASICA website, a staff member of OISA (part of SAGARPA-SENASICA) will perform a brief physical inspection of your pet.

According to them, 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
  • Check for up-to-date rabies vaccine certificate

However, we recently flew to Mexico City and they did not conduct a physical inspection of any dog entering Mexico.

In fact, there was a sign saying to keep pets in their carriers.

They never asked once to physically inspect our dogs.

Read about what really happens when you fly to Mexico with dogs. This article will explain what to expect when flying with a dog to Mexico City, the SENASICA OISA office and the importation process.

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.

Document from Mexico about bringing pets to Mexico.

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 need to show a rabies certificate for your dog or cat to enter Mexico.

When driving back into the U.S. the border agent will just do a visual inspection (from the car window rolled down).

If the dog is healthy looking, they will usher you through.

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.

FLYING To Mexico With A Pet

Flying from the U.S. and Canada (only) into Mexico with a pet, some 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.


Alaska Airlines also has a FAQ page. Find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling with pets.

Delta & United:
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.

Direct link to Delta Airlines pet policy.

Direct link to United Airlines pet policy.

Aeroméxico does require a health certificate and rabies certificate in order to fly on their airline.

Direct link to Aeroméxico’s pet policy.

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 ESA pets flying on Aeroméxico can be found here.

Read about our experience flying to Mexico with dogs on Aeroméxico and the shocking departure incident.


A rabies certificate is required when flying into the United States.

Click on the link “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, collect your luggage and head to the OISA office inside the airport.

The OISA agent will ask for the paperwork for your pet and also give you a form to complete.

This form has nothing to do with the pet however.  

Once the OISA agent is done submitting information into the system, they will give you two copies of a Certificado Zoosanitorio Para Importación. An imporation certificate.

One copy is for you to keep and one to hand to another agent upon leaving the baggage claim area.

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.

Import to note: if you are flying on an airline that does not require a health certificate, please make sure the rabies certificate includes the following:

  • Breed, sex, date of birth, color, markings, and other identifying information for the dog

The OISA agent will need this in order to  include it on the Importation Certificate.

Read more about the importation process for dogs coming to Mexico.
Sofia getting parasite prevention medicine

Returning Home With Your Pet

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

The CDC has strict guidelines 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 

No matter what country you are coming from, the US requires an up-to-date rabies certificate be presented upon entering with  a pet.

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

NEW Visitors Permits Requirements (for humans) – FMM

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 or flying across the border into Mexico you will be required to complete the FMM card.

When flying, the airlines will hand the FMM card to you.

When driving across the border, generally 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 (for cars) 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 Traveles!

You may also like …

Flying to Mexico City With Dogs – our step by step experience

Texas – Mexico using the Columbia Bridge Border Crossing with a dog

Mexico City – 5 Pet-Friendly places to visit in CDMX

Pet Friendly Excursion: Visit one of Mexico’s Famous Ghost TownsReal de Catorce

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

Traveling to Mexico With a Dog From a Country Other Than The U.S. and Canada

In general, if you are traveling with a dog from a country other than the U.S. and Canada to Mexico you will need to provide the following information on official letterhead paper from the veterinarian’s office:

– Name of pet with microchip number, bred, sex, age, color and distinguishing markings.

– Country of origin and country of destination including the address

– The health certificate must state the pet is healthy and free from any signs of infectious, transmissible, and parasitic diseases.

– A record of up-to-date vaccines with name, lot number and their expiration dates

– A rabies vaccine certificate with name, lot number and expiration date.

– The pet was treated for endo- and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks and worms). Name of the product(s) and last application.

Make sure the veterinarian provides his/her license number with the signature.

Also, a photocopy of the veterinarian’s license is beneficial.

Having this information in Spanish will be best or at the very least English.

Make two copies and keep them in separate places.

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I’m so glad I found this blog! I am going to travel with my dog to Mexico from the USA soon (his first international flight…yay!) and I was getting so stressed reading all of the CDC’s and the airline’s pet policy. I do have a quick question, exactly how much dog food is allowed? I am only staying in Mexico for two weeks and I have this travel container that can hold 6 cups of dry kibble. The last time I went to Mexico (years ago) the Mexican TSA, took away my small bag of dog treats that I was… Read more »


what do i need to fly within in mexico with my dog
from mexicali mx to guadalajara mx

Susan Hensley

I am flying to Cancun and staying for the month of June with my 5 lb poodle. Does he need a health certificate of just proof of rabies??


I plan on driving to Tijuana with my GSD, she had her rabies shot back in March 2021, is that up to date enough?


Hola, it’s me again and my (hopefully final) question out of paranoia: regarding “vaccination records”: I spoke with both the CFIA (Canadian equivalent of USDA) and the airline, and according to the CFIA, rabies is the only absolute must, and as far as they are aware, they have not heard of any dog getting rejected at the Mexican border for not being up to date with other vaccines such as DHPP/DAPP. The airline said the same, saying that it’s up to each dog’s veterinarian which vaccines the dog needs (i.e., other than rabies, the airline won’t specify which vaccines are… Read more »


Thank you so much for posting. This is super helpful as I’m thinking of taking my little dog with me for a week to Holbox Island (we’ll be flying into Cancun).


Hello! I am flying into Mexico City with my dog. According to SENSAICA (and CFIA — the Canadian equivalent government org), during the entry inspection, the pet carrier that your dog was in throughout the flight is sprayed / disinfected, noting that your dog can just “proceed to enter (Mexico) on a leash (no need to be placed back into the sprayed carrier)”. Is the spraying / disinfecting routine for all dogs’ carriers, even if your dog is perfectly healthy and is not exhibiting signs of parasites or infection? Because if they’re going to spray / disinfect her carrier, then… Read more »



There is an English pdf version, page 1, number 2:


SENSAICA’s wording makes it unclear whether the spraying is routine for all, or just for dirty carriers. But going by CFIA’s wording, perhaps it’s just the latter. The fact that you have never heard of this issue gives me comfort that the spraying may just be for dirty carriers! (so most are NOT sprayed)


If flying from Canada with my puppy who will be just under 3 months (11 wks) will he still need a rabies vaccine record as he would still be a bit to young to have this vaccine. I was planning to have it done at my vet in Mexico.


How will I be proving my puppies age to the inspector? Do I need to bring vet record ?


And that is all that is required if the pup is under 16wks? Under 16wks then they are not required to show proof of rabies vaccine? Sorry just wanna be super clear to remove any added stress to the situation. TIA…


Hello, thank you for sharing this info. At the last minute a friend has offered to fly my dog from Toronto To PV, Mexico for me. He has a vet appointment this afternoon for a rabies shot and a health certificate (just in Case). I have read the rabies shot must be done 28 days prior to flying I only have 4 days. Could my dog be denied entry on the flight for this? Thank you


It will be his first rabies shot in a few years but he has had them in the past. Thank you.


Thank you for your time and sharing this information so promptly.


I am traveling from Belize to Cancun with my service dog. What do I need to be able to bring her? We are from the US and only been in Belize less than 6 months. All her shots and vaccines were given in the United States.


I don’t see any link below for going into Cancun and then to the us. We are only in Cancun for 5 days. Miss Coco is my service dog and I don’t need any problems. All her shots were given to her on the US on Oct 12-2022. I have copies of her shots records. What I read on line said we should have done this 2 months prior to traveling. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks