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).
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.