What You Must Know Before Driving Across the Mexican Border With Your Dog – PETSHORT


If you happen to are planning a road trip to Mexico, you might be wondering – Can I take my dog to Mexico by automobile? What documentation will I would like to drive across the border?

I like Mexico and have visited several times myself.

While I even have considered taking my Dachshunds Summit and Gretel to Mexico, I even have all the time flown, and so they stayed home within the US.

But I do know people who have driven across the border each with and without their dog.  

Photo Credit: Depositphoto/antmos

While I haven’t taken this trip myself, someday I do hope to take a road trip to Mexico with my dogs so I made a decision to perform some research so I’m prepared.

So that you don’t should comb through all of the foundations and regulations yourself, I assumed I might share what I discovered with you here.

Can I Take My Dog to Mexico By Automobile?

Yes! Mexico does allow US travelers to cross with their pets (cats and dogs) so long as they’re healthy. 

If you happen to do have a dog living with a long-term medical condition, you might still have the opportunity to cross with proper documentation, depending on their diagnosis.  

You might be allowed to cross with as much as 2 dogs per person. Because of this a pair traveling could cross with as much as 4 pets in total.

Note: These rules apply to companion dogs, not dogs which might be being imported on the market in Mexico.

What Paperwork is Required to Travel Across the US-Mexican Border with Your Dog?

Americans crossing the border don’t need to supply a Dog Health Certificate for Mexico. 

Nonetheless, your dog could also be inspected by an official from SENASICA (the Mexican National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety, and Quality) before you’re allowed to cross.

At the moment, you might be asked to supply an up-to-date rabies certificate so be certain that to have one available when crossing.

During this inspection, they can be looking to verify that your pet:

1.      Has no sign of infectious or contagious disease

2.      Is free from parasites (like ticks)

3.      Has no fresh wounds or open wounds still within the technique of healing

I suggest checking your dog over fastidiously at home before heading to the border. 

If the inspector finds any parasites, wounds, skin lesions, or other areas of concern, your dog could also be held on the border whilst you contact an area veterinarian to come back and treat them.

Dogs with Pre-Existing Injuries and Health Conditions

If you may have a dog with wounds, infections, lesions, or pre-existing health conditions that can be identified throughout the inspection, you might still have the opportunity to cross the border. 

But you have to to supply a letter out of your veterinarian on letterhead with the diagnosis and treatment instructions.

The documentation might want to clearly state your veterinarian’s skilled registration number.

Border officials are focused on keeping any illness that could possibly be transmitted out of Mexico. 

So, documentation out of your veterinarian addressing these concerns, while not required, may help. 

Especially if it’s a less common medical condition that they might not be accustomed to.

Regular Travelers Can Apply for the “Pet Program – Frequent Traveler”

If you happen to live near the border and plan on traveling forwards and backwards over the border continuously, you’ll be able to register within the “Pet Program – Frequent Traveler”. 

It is a free program that may help you speed up the method when crossing the border.

The applying would require you to submit the next documentation, lower than 6 months old:

  • A sound health certificate from a professionally licensed veterinarian
  • Proof of current rabies vaccination
  • Proof of treatment against ectoparasites (parasites that live to tell the tale the external surface of hosts) and endoparasites (parasites that live inside them)

The Pet Passport can be valid for six months at which period you’ll be able to submit your documentation to have it renewed once more.

Are the Rules the Same if I’m Traveling with a Puppy?

Since puppies lower than three months old are too young to have been properly vaccinated, there is no such thing as a vaccination requirement. 

But you might have to prove your puppy’s age if asked for proof of rabies vaccination.

The foundations of crossing the Mexicvan border with a puppy are different than for an adult dog.

A straightforward solution to confirm your puppy’s age and avoid any complications during travel is to bring a legitimate health certificate from a licensed veterinarian with you.

Yes, I previously said one wasn’t required to bring your dog into Mexico but I used to be referring to adult dogs then.

Traveling to Mexico from the US with a Service Dog

Service dogs should be inspected by a SENASICA official to be certain that they’re healthy and freed from diseases and parasites on the border crossing of your selection. 

During this inspection, the official may ask for a duplicate of an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate.

Unlike within the US where the Americans with Disabilities Act protects service dog owners from having to supply certification, resorts and businesses in Mexico may require proper documentation from a recognized service dog organization.

Some areas of Mexico don’t recognize the concept of service dogs as they’re seen within the US. 

Be prepared for the undeniable fact that there could possibly be some confusion or limitations on where you’ll be able to go along with your dog if you find yourself there.

Dog Rabies Vaccination Requirements for Returning to the US

The excellent news is that Mexico just isn’t considered to be a “high risk” rabies country by the Centers for Disease Control, which suggests that the federal government won’t restrict the entry of a healthy, vaccinated dog. 

You’ll need to verify on the border that your dog has not been in a rustic that is taken into account high risk for rabies within the 6 months before crossing.

Your state can have its own requirements. 

For instance, the state of California requires that every one dogs over the age of 4 months old have proof of current rabies vaccination. 

Meanwhile, Michigan has no specific rules regarding international entry for dogs. 

Make sure to check your state requirements before crossing.

Dogs crossing into the US which were to a high-risk country are required to have proof that they received a rabies vaccination a minimum of 30 days before arriving on the border. 

In case your dog’s most up-to-date vaccination was a booster, this waiting period is waived.

Can You Transport Dog Food and Treats Across the Border?

If you happen to are planning a dog-friendly vacation in Mexico along with your dog, you’re likely trying to find the reply to some necessary questions related to the supplies that your dog needs. 

The most well-liked query that I hear is “Are you able to bring pet food into Mexico?”

The short answer is yes, you’ll be able to bring pet food with you. 

But there are rules about how much food can cross (and it’s not lots).   

Bringing Dog Food and Treats into Mexico from the US

When crossing the Mexican border with a dog, you’re allowed to travel with enough food for a single day. 

In fact, which means that you have to to seek out your dog’s food after you may have crossed so you could purchase enough for the remainder of your trip.

Most of the kibble diets available within the US are also available in Mexico.

If you happen to plan ahead, you might also have the opportunity to buy your dog’s food online and have it delivered to your hotel or a P.O. box so you could pick it up after you may have crossed. 

But, be prepared for the undeniable fact that pet food costs in Mexico are sometimes much higher.

Bringing Dog Food and Treats into the US from Mexico

Very similar to crossing the border from Canada into the US along with your dog, in the event you cross the border into the US with pet food, it would have to be unopened and in its original packaging. 

The package needs to obviously display an inventory of ingredients and where the food was produced.

There are some restrictions by way of ingredients. 

For instance, products containing sheep, goats, and lamb are prohibited. 

Any food must even be “shelf-stable” when crossing, meaning that it doesn’t require refrigeration. 

Because of this raw pet foods are usually not permitted without receiving an import permit.

You might be restricted to a complete of 50lbs of pet food per vehicle when crossing a land border.

Any foods which might be dehydrated, freeze-dried, or sun-dried should have a label clearly showing that they’re a product of Canada or the US to be allowed within the country.

Traveling to Mexico with a Reactive Dog

One thing that you might want to contemplate when bringing your dog to Mexico is the massive variety of stray dogs that you’re going to often see in the realm. 

While these dogs will normally keep their distance, they could cause a variety of anxiety for a reactive dog.

In case your dog is reactive to others, even in the event that they aren’t actively moving into his personal bubble, Mexico might not be the very best vacation destination to decide on.

Final Thoughts

The straightforward answer to the query “Can I take my dog to Mexico by automobile?” is YES! But, you have to to ensure that you may have any required documentation before crossing. 

There are numerous beautiful and interesting areas of Mexico to explore, and who doesn’t love traveling with their dog?

Plan a veterinary visit before heading out to be certain that that your dog is secure for travel. 

Pack only the allowed at some point of food and plan to get more after you may have crossed safely. 

Attempt to be calm when speaking with the officials on the border and answer their questions truthfully. They’re trained to identify travelers which might be nervous or hiding the reality.

While crossing the Mexican border with a dog could be an anxiety-producing experience for some, somewhat preparation could make the entire process easier.


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