New Requirements for Bringing Pets to Mexico

by Allyson Williams on September 4, 2012 · 130 comments

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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.

{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa Linda September 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Hello, I need help with this question that no one has been able to answer. not even google. lol… Ok, I will be traveling to Mexico from NJ and my puppy is only 10 weeks old and flying with me in-cabin. Do I still need the Form 7001 and or just the Health Certificate? I’ve read that you would need it if they are flying cargo but can’t seem to find an answer about in-cabin requirements. An what else I would need before I travel. I will be flying in a week. Please Help!!!!

Thank you


Allyson Williams September 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Hi Rosa. I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time finding an answer. Go to your local vet here in Mexico. They should know how to create a Health Certificate to get you across the border. If not, let us know.

They will need to follow the instructions here…


al September 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Hi Rosa, All we have needed for our pup in cabin is a health certificate with proof of a valid rabies vaccination.


Paula Clark September 27, 2015 at 4:23 pm

I brought a dog into Mexico and SARGAPA checked him in the country. It was easy. I don’t think you need a rabies vacine for such a young dog. The health certificate is easy also, just like they said, go to a vet. I called a few in San Diego and found one who had done it sever times before. Find one who is familiar with the process and you should have no trouble. Mexico is dog friendly with the exception of ticks.


Allyson Williams September 27, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Thanks Paula, but Rosa is flying FROM Mexico to the US.


Al September 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Allyson, this is what Rosa says: ‘ Ok, I will be traveling to Mexico from NJ’


Allyson Williams September 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Oh gosh Al, thank you for correcting me. That changes everything. You’ll need to see your local vet to get a Travel Health Certificate (see the Bilingual Health Certificate on the link I provided for the information he/she needs to include). I always recommend bringing a copy of your pet’s Rabies Certificate as well. Because your pup is so young, your local vet or APHIS office can let you know if you need that. Also check with your airline, as they all have their own regulations.


Lotta Tidbits October 7, 2015 at 12:38 pm

I just read your update (dated Sept 2012) about MX now accepting the 3 year rabies vaccination done in the USA. Last we knew, it had to be 1 year. What is the current information please? Thank you.


Allyson Williams October 7, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Lotta, They allow a pet to travel into/out of the Mexico with a 3-year rabies certificate from the US/Canada. They do NOT offer a 3-year vaccine here. Hope that answers your question.


Cathey Masse October 8, 2015 at 2:25 pm

I plan on bringing my dogs to Mexico to live with me shortly, do I need to get them the three year rabies shots? I have never heard of this three year shot. Please advise. Thanks, Cathey masse


Allyson Williams October 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Cathey, Mexico requires that your pet has a rabies vaccine. However, the 3-year rabies shot is only offered as an option in the US/Canada, which is what the statement is referring to. Hopes this helps.


Al October 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

A friend who traveled with her dog from the US last month says her 3 year rabies vaccine was not accepted at the airport and the officer told her it has to be given every year. I am now really confused as we were informed the 3 year vaccine was accepted. Is there any mention of this on the Sagarpa website that I can print and refer to? I dont want my dog, who has already got his 3 year shot to be given another vaccination!!


Allyson Williams October 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Al, Where did you fly into? And do you know where your friend flew into?


al October 14, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Hi Allyson, my friend flew into Puerto Vallarta


Allyson Williams October 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Al, That is very odd. Maybe her paperwork did not clearly indicate that her pet’s rabies vaccine had not expired. I just arrived in PV three weeks ago and my dog has a 3-year vaccine from the US. As of today, there are no changes to the SAGARPA website. It still says that the health certificate must have “Date of rabies shot and its expiration date (animals less than three months of age are exempt).” Here is the link…

Was her pet detained? Did she have a pay a fee? What were the consequences?


Al October 14, 2015 at 1:51 pm

She was given a warning even though she clearly had a 3 year rabies certificate. So her paperwork was fine and I had told her she would be ok, but not so!


Allyson Williams October 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Al, I’m not sure what happened. Maybe the agent was having a bad day 😉


Fiona Reies October 15, 2015 at 6:17 am

I’m moving to Mexico for a while and bringing my dogs with me. There are just few issues left to deal with and we are ready for our first big move together. My dogs just had their rabies vaccines and I hope there will be no problem with this at least. Thanks for the extra information. Your posts are quite helpful. Greets!


Sharon Rogrson November 23, 2015 at 9:28 am

Dec. 14/15 I am flying (West Jet) from Canada to US (Los Angeles) and then Jan. 5/16 flying on to Puerto Vallarta (Alaska Airlines) .
I will have all the documentation & shots done by a Canadian vet before I leave Canada.
1. Do I still have to get a travel certificate from the US Vet within 10 days prior to leaving for Puerto Vallarta?
2. Are there any variances in restrictions between Alaska Airlines and WestJet that I need to be aware of?

Thanks for your help.
Sharon Rogerson


Allyson Williams November 24, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Hi Sharon, Airlines have their own restrictions, so you will need to check with Alaska to see what their certificate timeframe is. And yes, I would have your paperwork updated again before you fly from LA to Mexico so you comply with the Mexican regulations. Better to be safe, than sorry.


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