Pet owners are often reluctant to leave their pets behind when traveling. Fortunately for those who wish to import their pets to Mexico from the US and Canada, restrictions were eased a couple of years ago. If you import pets to Mexico from outside North America, you will have more requirements to meet. Note that ‘pets’ in this context means cats and dogs only. Let’s take a look at what importing cats and dogs entails.

Importing Pets to Mexico from North America

Previously, importation of cats and dogs meant paperwork and tests. However, these requirements were eased a couple of years ago. Fortunately, SENSICA, the governmental agency responsible for such matters, no longer requires a veterinary certificate. However, to transport your animal, note the following:

  • The pet must be housed in an appropriate transporting container for the journey.

  • The container is to be free of objects such as a pet bed, toys, treats or food. Otherwise they will be removed and destroyed.

  • A dry snack and water for one day may be transported with the animal.  

  • The container will be spray treated.

  • Animals of a certain size, weight, breed etc. may have to be transported in the cargo area of a plane. Verify this before traveling.

  • Airlines may have additional requirements to the Mexican government. Therefore, it is advisable to verify those before booking.

Upon arrival in Mexico, locate a SENASICA agent who will perform a few checks. Upon the following conditions, they release the pets.

  • No signs of infectious illnesses

  • No open or healing wounds

  • The pet is free of parasites

Should your pet have parasites, you will have to contact a vet (of your choice) to treat them. Should your pet present ticks, then a sample will be taken for laboratory tests. In addition, all of the organisms will need to be removed from your pet.

Your pet will be kept under the care of the Oficina de Inspección de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OISA) until they are sure that the specimens found are not exotic to Mexico or under a control campaign. If your pet is found to be in breach of one of the above conditions, the importer is responsible for costs of treatment, care and any other steps required. 

Importing Your Pets from Outside North America

If importing your pets from outside North America you will require a certificate issued by a vet with their professional registry number (or a photocopy of it). The certificate should include: 

  • The name and address of the exporter (in the country of origin), and of the importer (address in Mexico).

  • Date of rabies vaccine and expiry (pets under 3 months are exempt).

  • Confirmation that upon inspection the pet(s) are healthy.

  • Confirmation that the pet(s) have been dewormed internally and externally in the last 6 months and are free from parasites.

In absence of any of the above conditions, a Mexican vet must be contacted to apply the necessary treatments and issue the health certificate (at cost to the importer). 

This information is sourced from the SENASICA Mexican government website and translated. Please confirm and check the requirements for your individual case before booking your trip to Mexico.

For more immigration information, contact Adriana Vela: