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 Bringing your Pets to Mexico

If you are considering bringing your pets with you into Mexico, there are a few things to consider before crossing the border. Many people bring their pets (furry family members) back and forth across the border without incidence, but a little pre-preparation will make sure you don't have any unforeseen problems.

Rabies Vaccination: A current vaccination certificate is the most important requirement. Vaccination against rabies is essential. You may be asked for proof of rabies vaccination on the Mexican side, or you may not. You may be asked for it by U.S. border officials, or you may not. Avoid the risk of creating a problem - BRING PROOF OF RABIES VACCINATION.

Health Certificate: A health certificate (Certificate of Good Health) from your local veterinarian is not a bad idea either. Though not really necessary for travel within 30 miles of the US/Mexico border, it pays to keep one with you in case you run into problems in Mexico, or are questioned by U.S. Border Agents. (As of February 2005 we are attempting to obtain the official rules for bring in pets within the "Free Zone".)

If you plan to venture further south of Ensenada Baja California, or onto mainland Mexico, a health certificate is required. Special paperwork must be filed with the Mexican Department of Agriculture for a permit to travel to the mainland with your dogs. Failure to get the needed documentation can result in a lot of unneccesary problems for your pet.

Pet Food: Be sure to bring along extra pet food, especially if your pet has specific needs or is particular about a certain brand. Larger cities will have big grocery stores (Gigante, Walmart, Sams Club) that do stock a variety of pet foods, but that may not always be the case in smaller locales. Also, if you expect to travel to more remote regions like Baja California, it's best to have plenty on hand for the trip.

Pet Identification: Most of all, be sure your pet's I.D. tags are current. Although most RV parks welcome leashed pets, many hotels do not.

Birds and Reptiles: Coming into Mexico might not be a problem, but taking birds and reptiles into the U.S. will be. The animals will be confiscated if you do not have the proper paperwork, an expensive and time-consuming process. (Contact the Mexican Consulate in San Diego at 619-231-8414 for details.) Unless you are moving to Mexico permanently, get a bird nanny.

Buying Birds or Reptiles in Mexico: Feeling tempted to buy one of those beautiful little lovebirds or parrots sold on street corners? Don't do it!! Most of these birds have been trapped illegally, are highly stressed, near death, and will be impounded when you try to re-enter into the U.S. By purchasing these birds you are helping to support the black market for bird trafficking, in which over half the birds die during transportation.

Learn about charitable organizations in Mexico helping animals

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