For years, bringing your pets along with you on vacation to Mexico meant gathering a bunch of paperwork like health certificates, vaccination records and proof that your furry friend was treated for parasites within the last six months. Fortunately, many of those requirements were eliminated earlier this year for pets originating from ether the United States or Canada.
Import Procedures for Pets from the U.S. or Canada
Let’s begin with a fun fact — in Mexico, only dogs and cats are considered pets. Well, at least in the eyes of the Mexican government. That means that the procedures discussed in this post only apply to dogs and cats.
Okay, let’s get back to the topic at hand.
The government agency in Mexico tasked with overseeing the importation of animals is el Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad, Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA). I made contact with them earlier this week to obtain the most current procedures for importing dogs and cats from either the United States or Canada:
- You are no longer required to bring a health certificate, rabies vaccination record or proof of treatment for parasites.
- Upon entering Mexico, you must report to la Oficina de Inspección de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OISA) where your pet will be visually examined by an employee of SENASICA to determine if your pet has any open or healing wounds, rashes, external parasites or infectious diseases. If a problem is detected, you’ll will be required to contact a veterinarian of your choice to have the animal evaluated/treated at your expense.
- If ticks are found during the inspection, they will be collected and sent to the lab for analysis to determine if they are an invasive species. The animal will be kept at the examination center until the results come back. Any analysis or tests will be at your expense.
- If your pet is being treated for lesions and/or infections of the skin like mange, dermatomicosis, dermatofilosis, alopecia or similar condition, you should present SENASICA with a letter from a licensed veterinarian with the diagnosis and treatment. The letter should be on official letterhead with the license number, or equivalent, of the veterinarian.
- If the pet’s transport carrier is dirty and/or has disposable bedding (diaper, newspaper, sawdust, rags) toys or food, it will be disinfected and those items will be removed and destroyed.
- You are only permitted to bring enough pet food for the day of arrival.
If you would like to review the requirements from SENASICA in Spanish, click HERE.
NOTE: All of the information in the article was verified by employees of SENASICA.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Whether or not your pet will actually be inspected in accordance with these procedures will depend a lot on how you enter the country. If you drive across the border, it’s unlikely that any officials will even ask you about your pet; however if you fly in, you can rest assured that SENASICA will be giving Lil’ Fluffy the once over.
Speaking of flying, keep in mind that the the airline may require additional documentation such as a health certificate (some do and some don’t). Always do your homework.
Whenever procedure changes at the federal level in Mexico, it seems to take a very long time for the information to reach the line-level folks. That’s why it helps to bring the applicable law, rule of procedure with you. You can print the requirements for the importation of any animal from any country using the SENASICA portal: https://sistemasssl.senasica.gob.mx/mcrz/moduloConsulta.jsf