New Requirements for Bringing Pets to Mexico

by Allyson Williams on September 4, 2012 · 61 comments

Post image for New Requirements for Bringing Pets to Mexico

July 2014 Author’s Note: Please view our Pet Travel Tips for up-to-date regulations and required documents for Mexico, the United States and Canada. Have questions? Feel free to leave a comment or question below.


Summer is quickly coming to an end and that means many of you are likely getting ready to head south to spend the winter in Jaltemba Bay or other parts of Mexico. If you are traveling with pets, we want you to be aware that the document requirements have recently changed.

Regardless of whether you will travel by land, air or sea, you are required to follow the same basic guidelines when bringing pets into Mexico. However, the regulations differ slightly for each country. We have contacted SAGARPA officials and our local USDA-APHIS office for clarification, and have done our best to include the updated regulations for Mexico, the United States and Canada on our Pet Travel Tips page to ensure that you and your four-legged friends have a hassle-free experience while crossing the border.

Update: Traveling with Pets of Mexican Origin

Added September 26, 2012

Thanks to Michael’s comment below, I emailed my contact at SAGARPA. He informed me that if your pet is of Mexican origin and you are traveling from the US or Canada, you can present the zoosanitary health certificate you received from your veterinarian before you departed from Mexico as long as a) it states the date of current rabies vaccine and b) you are traveling within 6 months from the date it was issued.

As I state on our Pet Travel Tips page, it is worth noting that while this information is posted on the SAGARPA website, we called our local USDA-APHIS office for confirmation. The USDA officials we spoke with were not aware of this regulation, nor do we know anyone who has traveled from the US/Canada to Mexico with a Mexican health certificate as their only form of documentation.

I have updated our Pet Travel Tips page to include this new information, and we will update it further as more information becomes available.

Update: New Non-Official Bilingual Letterhead Health Certificate

Added September 29, 2012

Our local USDA-APHIS office just informed me that there is an updated Non-Official Bilingual Letterhead Health Certificate. This recent change was due to the fact that Mexico now accepts the 3-year Rabies vaccine. I have added a copy of this new document to our Pet Travel Tips page.

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Donkle May 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I am so concerned right now. I just read where (on a different site) that rabies must be within one year and not after thirty days before entering Mexico? My dog has a three year rabies shot that is current but was given two years ago. And we leave in eight days so I cant just go get one because it is shorter than thirty days before leaving. Anyone tried to get into mexico with a three year vaccination that was given longer than a year ago? I am going to be in Mexico for three months so I cant just not take my girl! Any input? Thanks


Allyson Williams May 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Hi Lisa, I just emailed you as well. Mexico now accepts the 3-year rabies vaccine. Just make sure you bring the original (and a copy) of her Rabies Certificate and Travel Health Certificate, preferably bi-lingual. If you are flying, double check with the airline to make sure they don’t require additional documentation.


Kayleb Holden June 20, 2014 at 5:56 am

It is one of the hardest parts of travelling with your pets. You have ot make sure you are following all the right rules and regulations and each country has differing ones. They often change, as your example above illustrates. It is always best to get in contact directly and find out what you need. The same goes for places you have previously visited because regulations are updated often.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: