Last updateFri, 09 May 2014 2pm

The ABCs of bringing your pet into Mexico

Recent letters to the editor indicate that some people aren’t doing their homework when it comes to crossing international borders – in this case to Mexico – with their pets. Nor do they appear to give adequate consideration to their pets’ comfort when making their travel arrangements.

As most people know, “how we do it at home” is irrelevant. Every country has different regulations relating to obtaining permission to cross its borders. It is the traveller’s responsibility to find out what is required and provide it. Whether it’s an entry or exit visa for a human, or health certificates for the import or export of animals, advance preparation is essential.

Dogs and cats have accompanied me to countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America and each has different requirements. Three dogs travelled to Mexico: one from Europe, then two from the United Kingdom – one in 2012 and another in 2013. We encountered no difficulties checking-in with the airlines – each of which also has specific requirements – nor in complying with the requirements of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where we transited, or those of Mexico’s SAGARPA-SENASICA regulations.

Do Your Homework

The trick is to do your homework, both in terms of entry regulation compliance for each country whose borders you cross and the requirements of the airline(s).

Start by checking Mexico’s SENASICA entry requirements for dogs and cats. These details are current and dated 23 December 2013, but it is always wise to check the website:  www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=2&id=623 (English) or www.senasica.gob.mx/?Idioma=1&id=623 (Spanish) to ensure that you have the latest information.

Returning to Mexico

SENASICA says, “If you are returning your pet from the United States or Canada, you may present a Health Certificate issued in Mexico as long as the rabies vaccine is current and the date on the certificate is within six months of your return date to Mexico. Alternatively, you may present a vaccine booklet showing that the rabies vaccine is current.

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