I’ve received a few questions asking about the paperwork needed and our experience bringing our pets into Mexico, so it sounded like a good topic for a post.

When we moved here to Mexico, we drove down with our 2 dogs (Bessie and Sadie), and we had a friend of ours fly down with our cat (Wookie).

The week before we left the US, we (and by we, I mean Elizabeth) took all 3 animals to our vet in Austin. Our vet was well-versed in the documentation needed, as she has many clients who travel to Mexico with pets.


The vet did a normal health exam, administered the needed vaccinations, and filled out all the paperwork.

We ended up  with 4 documents, all signed by the vet,  including her veterinary license number.

1. Health Certificate to Export Dogs and Cats from the United States of America to Mexico

We had one of these forms for the 2 dogs, and one form for the cat.

This form was in English and in Spanish. This was the only document that was in both languages.

Health Certificate to Export Dogs and Cats from the US to Mexico

It included the dogs names, breed, sex, and age.

It certified that they had been vaccinated against rabies. It included the vaccination name, manufacturer, serial number, and expiration date. It also included the date that the vaccination was given, and when it expires.

It stated that the animals were clinically healthy

It stated that they were treated against ectoparasite and endoparasite in a period not longer than 6 months. I believe this is a fairly new requirement, so be sure that your documents have this statement!

2. Health Certificate

We had one of these forms for each animal.

This form also included the details of the animals, and their rabies information. It also showed their other vaccinations, including DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus).

Health Certificate

It also summarized the health of the animal, such as:

  • free from diseases
  • in good physical condition
  • animal has not bitten anyone in the last 10 days (so maybe if they bit someone 11 days ago, that’s ok???)
  • animal is healthy for transport

3. Rabies Certificate

We had one of these forms for each animal.

Yet another form showing all of the specifics of the Rabies vaccination, including Tag #, Lot #, Manufacturer, Expiration date, etc.

Rabies Certificate

4. History, Findings, and Assessment Document

This form summarized the exam, including all of the assessments and findings, along with what was done on that day.



Now that we were prepared with our documents, we were ready to cross the border with our pets.

But first – copies!

One of the things you’ll quickly learn is that in Mexico they tend to require multiple copies of everything. So we had 3 copies of every document, just in case.

Driving into Mexico with 2 Dogs

Elizabeth and I drove into Mexico with our 2 dogs. We crossed at the Colombia bridge in Laredo. I previously blogged about the details of our border crossing. It was a process for sure, but none of the process involved the dogs.

When we crossed, the border agents never even asked about the dogs or any of their paperwork.

Even so, I’m glad we had all of our paperwork in order, just in case.

Sadie and Bessie – in the Jeep on the drive to Mexico

Flying into Mexico with a Cat

Rather than having the cat in the car with us for 5 days, we had a friend fly down with our cat. We provided him with the cat’s health certificates and rabies documentation, and we also typed up a letter stating that we were allowing him to transport our cat to Mexico. I have no idea whether that letter was necessary or not. No one asked him for it, but we figured it was better to be safe that sorry.

Since we live in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, our friend flew into Cancun.


When our friend arrived in Cancun with the cat, they made him do a brief stop so that the cat’s paperwork could be checked. Everything was in order with her health certificates, and then they were welcomed to Mexico. Easy peasy.


So that’s a quick overview of our experience.  It was actually pretty easy and non-eventful for us.

From a paperwork/documentation standpoint, I was confident that we had everything we needed. We were lucky to have a vet that knew the laws and exactly what documents were needed.


Reading through other people’s experiences, it seems like it’s mostly the same. Meaning that when you drive over with your pets, they generally don’t care, and rarely even look at your pets paperwork. But they do tend to be more stringent when you fly in.

Hopefully this helps if you need to travel into Mexico with your pets. And hopefully your vet is also familiar with all of the required regulations and paperwork. That really makes things a lot easier.

Nos vemos!