Mexico’s Frequent Traveler Program for Pets

Photo: iStockphoto

If you fly into Mexico with your dogs and/or cats more than once in a six month period, you might want to consider taking advantage of Mexico’s Frequent Traveler Program for Pets (Programa Mascota Viajero Frecuente). The purpose of the program is to streamline the process of importing a pet for frequent travelers.

Some of you may have noticed that in the first sentence of my post, I wrote “If you fly into Mexico with your dogs and/or cats…” — I didn’t say pets, even though the program has the word pet (mascota) in the title. That’s because the Mexican government only classifies dogs and cats as pets.

That’s an interesting factoid that you can use to impress your friends at the next Happy Hour.

The program works like this: On the first visit, all of the pet’s information and paperwork required for import (e.g. health certificate from a veterinarian) are entered into the computer. For the next six months, the pet will be permitted to enter the country without the need to show an additional health certificate or documentation, provided that the pet appears healthy and the rabies vaccination and anti-parasite treatment are current.

The registration is only active for six months but it can be renewed by providing updated treatment records.

To learn more about the specific requirements to import your animals, check out The Legalities of Bringing Your Pets to Mexico.

Where to Register

You can register for Programa Mascota Viajero Frecuente at any of the following airports: Mexico City (terminals 1, 2), Cancun, Guadalajara, Querétaro, Zihuatanejo, Toluca and Mazatlán.

You can also register at any of the central offices for the governmental agency tasked with overseeing all this, el Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad, Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA).


It’s free!

Let’s Wrap This Up

I know that some of you might be a little upset to learn that your parakeet, ferret, gerbil or even favorite turtle aren’t considered pets in Mexico. This news might be especially troubling if you’ve been promising to bring your little friend along with you on your next trip.

Well, I have good news for you! Even though they aren’t defined as pets, chances are they’ll still be able to come along with you when you visit — provided that they meet all the requirements established by the Mexican government.

To learn more about the requirements to import everything from hamsters to hedgehogs, check out The Legalities of Importing Your Pets to Mexico under the section Other Animals.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

19 Comments on "Mexico’s Frequent Traveler Program for Pets"

  1. We are from Mazatlan, we been using this program for over 1 year and we are very happy.

  2. Excellent report and very timely for me!
    Thank you

  3. Larry lloyd Wall | October 6, 2018 at 2:05 pm |

    Thanks for the article.

  4. Jolinda Marshall | October 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm |

    I’ve traveled with our small dog to Guadalajara 3 different times. Each leg of the trip has required a health check-up by a licensed vet and filled out documents for the airlines, and/or customs. Only on this last return trip has anybody even glanced at the papers, which cost $160 here is San Diego and $17 in Lake Chapala. So I am very happy to hear of this excellent option and will be trying to find where this paperwork is handled on my next trip to the Guadalajara airport. Thanks for this post!

  5. Thanks so much for this info, Paul. We have so many questions about pet travel on our local Civil List in San Miguel, this will be a welcome addition to everyone’s knowledge base

  6. You can also do the paperwork in Cozumel. I initially did mine in Cancun, but when I came into Cozumel a few weeks ago, I asked in SAGARPA if they could do the renewal and they said they can.

  7. Fran Clark-Fiorentino | October 7, 2018 at 7:23 am |

    Are the laws any different for ‘service’ animals or are they the same? Just curious. I don’t have any pets. I like dogs, cats, birds, etc. as long as someone else is caring for them. 🙂

  8. where do I find the forms to apply for frequent flyer to Cancun. I live in Playa car and travel everyother month

    • You do it at the Cancun airport. Just tell them you want to register for Programa Mascota Viajero Frecuente and they’ll point you to the the desk.

  9. Paul, what website did you find the list of cities / airports at which you can register for the program? I am surprised Puerto Vallarta wasn’t listed as there are pets going back and forth regularly on the flights we take. Thank you.

  10. Dirk Dodson | October 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm |

    Does it matter if you are a temporary resident? We go back and forth to the states many times throughout the year, but are temporary residents…

  11. Danielle Martinico | October 8, 2018 at 7:32 am |

    We are moving to San Felipe, movemNov 1. Your blog has answered so many questions the last few months. And I was just wondering about the rules for my toy poodle. Thank you so much for taking the time to help others. Btw, we are moving from Florida.

  12. Nice and insightful read, my Dog is definitely coming with me to Mexico.

Comments are closed.