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Pets In Mexico
Questions about traveling in Mexico with pets, especially dogs. At the border, shots, boarding, etc. Part of an ongoing series of questions from our readers that we do our best to answer.

Pets In Mexico
Mickey takes the wheel....

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Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2004

We'll be adding even more questions & answers about pets very soon. In the meantime, click the links below to jump directly to the topics that interest you:

Crossing the Mexican border with a dog.
Quarantine? Dog housing?
private, for Lorena Ramirez
Too many mutts?
Dog suffers culture shock, repatriating.


Hello, I came across your article while searching for information regarding traveling in Mexico with a dog. My wife and I are preparing to travel in our conversion van with our dog full-time for the next couple years. We would like to explore Mexico and beyond with our dog and were wondering if you guys have experience or recommendations for crossing in to Mexico and back with a dog.

Any information or references are appreciated.

Thanks! Eric Waterkotte

Carl replies:

First of all, Eric, be prepared to keep a close eye on your dog in Mexico. Our dogs are
both rescued Mexican street mutts. They fear and dislike children, chase chickens, and are easily upset by loud noises. As a result we find it necessary to keep them leashed while away from home, or tethered on a strong steel cable when camping or at a rest area.

Both Poco and Cuca are now street legal. Each of our dogs has a "passport" given to us by their Mexican vet to prove they are in good health. This document includes a complete shot record and even a small photo. We've never been asked for these by either U.S. or Mexican immigration/customs officials, but we have had to produce their shot records to prove good health when boarding the dogs in both Mexico and the U.S.

Dog food is widely available in Mexico, though we've not yet seen the premium "human grade" we spoil ours with north of the border.

In general, Mexicans do not hold dogs in high esteem, though that attitude has been mellowing in recent years. Although dogs are gradually becoming "pets" more than merely pests there is still a common fear of rabies and dog bites. Semi-wild street dogs are a big problem. I was once attacked by a pack of dogs in Baja, so I understand why many Mexicans steer clear of dogs. Don't be surprised if people shy away from your dog, even if it is quite friendly. In fact, I wouldn't let an unleashed dog approach children -- the kids might take fright and run away, upsetting everyone.

A newspaper article claimed that there are seven dogs for every human in the city of Tepic. To keep a lid on the population, Mexican authorities sometimes kill roaming dogs. This is another good reason to keep a close eye on your pet.

Don't let this discourage you -- lots of people travel in Mexico with dogs (friends of ours have seven dogs in a 27 foot RV), including us.

>>> dogs 02 <<<

Hello, I stumbled across your website and was wondering if you might have any ideas on some questions I have. I am interested in living in mexico for a year or so. my goal is to become fluent in spanish (I can speak it now on a modest level) and to gain a greater cultural awareness. I am a social worker here in the states and feel that it has become a need to speak spanish. I would like to teach english or do some other type of work that would allow me to cover living expenses.

Here, finally, is my dilemma. I have a wonerful dog, who is the love of my life. he is 8 years old, and my plan was just to wait the 4-10 years when he dies to embark on this journey. However, I saw your web site and began to think that maybe I could bring him with me.


"I read somewhere on one of the official U.S. government websites that you can legally bring four canaries into the country. If you're planning on transporting four canaries into Mexico I suggest that you first go to bed in a very dark room for several days and reassess your entire life. Or move to somewhere in Sonora. I won't be living there."

Head For Mexico, The Renegade Guideby Don Adams. Chapter 15: "How Much Is That Perrito In The Window?"


My questions: is there a quarentine period and how long is it? Would I be able to find housing, vets, etc.? Would I have trouble bringing him back to the states.? I wouldn't feel comfortable putting him on a plane, so I'd probably try to figure out some other method of transportation-car maybe.

Thank you for any guidance you can give on this topic:) connie

Carl says: Connie, I wouldn't wait for your dog to die before living in Mexico, as you might "win" that race yourself!

Taking a dog to/from Mexico is quite easy. All you really need is basic documentation from a vet that the dog has the usual shots and is healthy. In fact, we've taken our dogs out of Mexico and weren't asked for anything. Mexican and U.S. border officials are usually too busy looking for smugglers and terrorists to worry about pets. In any case, you should have these documents -- if you ever have to board your dog at a kennel they will ask for them.

According to our dog's Mexican shot records, they were given Rabia DA, LP +PV, and MYB. The tags off the medicines say Vanguard Plus 5/CV-L. These are probably the same as they recently got in the U.S.: Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus vaccine; Canine Adenovirus Type -2 Parainfluenza, and Bordetella Bornchiseptia Vaccine (Kennel Cough)

There is no quarantine for healthy dogs, so relax about that.

There are plenty of dog vets in Mexico -- the one we used was absolutely great (and charged a lot less than those in the U.S.).

As for housing: yes, you'll find pet-friendly housing, and some that isn't. You'll have to look around; this is the sort of question that can only be answered through your own experience.

I wouldn't give up the idea of flying. Friends just flew a dog from Mexico City to Canada. They paid $70 for the air fare, plus $20 for a Mexican exit permit. No other hassles; the dog did just fine.

>>> dogs 03 <<<

Lorena Ramirez: Relax, don't be scared for your dog. Get the shots we mention above and your dog will be fine.
>>> dogs 04 <<<

My name is Inja Davis, my husband and I live in San Antonio, Texas w/ 3 dogs and 3 cats. We are planning on taking a trip to Puerto Vallarta about 10 days from now. We will be driving and will like to take all 3 of our dogs. Is there a limit of how many dogs we can bring with us? I can't seem to find any other site. I will greatly appreciate if you write me back with answer.

Lorena answers: As far as I know there is no limit. I know people who had 4 dogs with them and other friends traveled with 9. Their RV was something of a kennel-on-wheels but they all did just fine.

>>> dogs 05 <<<

Brenda writes: A few months ago we brought a dog to mexico to live. I just went to visit him and he's not adjusting well. The vet has lost all of his paperwork. How can I bring him back home?

Lorena replies: I assume your dog is healthy. If so, all you need to return your dog back home is proof that it has the usual shots (described elsewhere in this section). If the paperwork is lost, you'll probably have to get new vaccinations -- which is probably best done with a new vet :)

P.S. Click on the burro to return to the People' Guide To Mexico main page

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