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Moving to Mexico with Pets

June 3rd, 2013 - 3:14 PM

Important Note: Effective April 28, 2015, U-Pack has discontinued service into and out of Mexico.

How do I move to Mexico with my pet?


If you’re an animal lover like me, the first thing on your mind when planning a move to Mexico is how to get Fido or Fluffy there, too. Here is some helpful information, including requirements and tips, for traveling to Mexico with your furry or fluffy friend.

What are the requirements for moving my pet to Mexico?

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recommends contacting the Veterinary Services Area Office in your state to find out the current requirements to move your pet to another country. You can find a list of the office(s) in your state here. If you own another kind of pet besides a dog or cat, the APHIS area office will help you to find out whether or not they are allowed in Mexico.

APHIS also recommends that you contact the Mexican consulate for your state about requirements your pet must meet. You can find a complete list of the 2013 Spring foreign consulates in your state here.

According to APHIS, this Zoosanitary Requirement Sheet (called an HRZ) lists the requirements for moving your pet to Mexico (last updated October 2012). Here is summary of the document:

  • Dogs and cats are the only animals classified as pets in Mexico.
  • Your pet must have APHIS Form 7001 Health Certificate issued and signed by a USDA accredited veterinarian within 10 days prior to export OR a Health Certificate issued and signed by an accredited veterinarian on their letterhead certificate that includes the accreditation number of the signing veterinarian. The certificate must also be issued within 10 days of export. Please note that Mexico will reject Form 7001 Health Certificates if they are not signed and sealed by a Veterinary Services veterinarian.
  • The Health Certificate must contain the name and address of the importer and exporter. If the exporter and importer is the owner, the home address and the destination address of the owner of the pet must be given.
  • All Health Certificates for live animals to Mexico must not contain any abbreviations. In addition, all certificates must be type written, or done with a word processor or computer. The number of the certificate must also be type written. Any hand written documents will be rejected.

Whichever way you choose to obtain the health certificate, the certificate must contain two statements. Both of the statements should be written in English and Spanish:

  1. The animals have been vaccinated against rabies. Indicate the vaccination and expiration dates of the rabies vaccine. Pets less than three months old are exempt from this requirement.
  2. The animals were inspected and found clinically healthy prior to export.


According to the APHIS, there are special requirements for dogs and cats residing in the border zone. This includes states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas:

  • Pets traveling between the U.S. and Mexico will be allowed with a Health Certificate endorsed by Veterinary Services or a Health Certificate issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian residing at the border zone of the U.S. and Mexico. The licensed veterinarian must use his letterhead and must write his license number in the certificate.
  • The health certificate will be valid for 6 months.

For more questions about these special requirements, contact your state’s Veterinary Service area office.

What other requirements are there according to APHIS?

  • Personnel from the Office of Animal Health, Aquaculture, and Fishery will inspect the animals and documents. If your pet has external parasites, they will be treated by a private veterinarian (chosen by you). You will pay for the cost of the treatment. At inspection, your pet’s carrier must be clean. After inspection, the attending official will disinfect the carrier without cost.
  • The importer must present the Health Certificate at the port of entry. The health certificate must meet the requirements of the Zoosanitary Requirement Sheet (HRZ) and must contain the identification of the pets and destination of the shipment.
  • Compliance with the sanitary requirements indicated in the HRZ does not exempt the importer of presenting documents required by other authorities.

If you have more questions about exporting your pet, check out these frequently asked questions.

Tips and advice for moving to Mexico with pets

  • If you are flying with your pet to Mexico, check with your airline(s) to see if any additional requirements or paperwork is necessary. Here are some great tips on dealing with airlines.
  • There is not a fee for importing one to three pets. If you have four or more pets, you will be required pay a fee.
  • You can bring pet food with you, but it must come in the original packing, stamped with the USDA/CFIA seal, and there should be no more than one portion per pet. You should bring only enough food for the days of travel.
  • Your pet must come into Mexico in a carrier, “kennel,” or other clean container with no bed, attachments, or accessories.
  • There is no quarantine period required for bringing a pet into Mexico.
  • Here is a great resource with 10 must-know pet travel tips.

If you have additional questions, your state’s Veterinary Service area office or Mexican consulate will be able to help you learn the most current information for moving your pet to Mexico. I hope that you and your pet have a safe and successful move to Mexico!

More Resources Related to Moving to Mexico with Pets

U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection
United States Department of Agriculture
Mexico Moving Requirements