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.
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.
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.
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.
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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