Pets & Vets

TRAVELLING WITH YOUR PET

In accordance to the Mexican laws and animal health regulations, only dogs and cats are considered as pets. The most difficult part is to get a U.S. airline to transport your pet. Receiving and processing an entry for the pet is not a problem in Monterrey.

To import your pet into Mexico you will be required to present certified documentation on the current health of each of your pets and the vaccinations each pet has received (in accordance to the Mexican laws and animal health regulations, only dogs and cats are considered pets).

NAME AND ADDRESS IF THE EXPORTER AND IMPORTER 

Your veterinarian should include your full name, identify you as the exporter and importer, and list the most recent address in the country of origin where you and your pet have lived and the address where you and your pet will live while in Mexico.

RABIES VACCINATION

Your veterinarian should verify and provide documentation that your pet was vaccinated against rabies in the 12 months prior to their arrival in Mexico (animals less than three months old are exempt from this requirement). Make sure your veterinarian specifies the date your pet was vaccinated and the kind of vaccination they received (ask them to spell out the full names of vaccinations since abbreviations can cause confusion). You may also use a vaccination carnet.

DE-WORMING

Your veterinarian should verify and provide documentation that your pet has been subjected to a preventative treatment against endo-parasites and ecto-parasites (“de-worming”) in the 6 months prior to their arrival in Mexico, and that they are currently free of ecto-parasites and endo-parasites. Make sure your veterinarian specifies the date(s) your pet received preventative treatment and the kind of preventative treatment they received (have them spell out the full names of vaccinations since abbreviations can cause confusion).

ANTI-FLEE AND TIC TREATMENT 

Your veterinarian should document that your pet has received anti-flee and tic treatment. Because this treatment is purchased over the counter and administered at home in the U.S. it is important to have your veterinarian document such treatment. Mexican customs has been very strict about the de-worming treatment, so be sure to have your veterinarian document it for each pet.

 

HEALTH INSPECTION

Your veterinarian must verify and document that your pets were inspected and found clinically healthy prior to their arrival in Mexico. To speed up the importation process, please ask your veterinarian to put our main address on the health certificate. Generally, we will prepare a letter for SAGARPA authorities, which your sponsor will give to the officials at the airport. If the address on our letter and the health certificate match, it expedites the whole process.

IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION 

The letter should also include your pet’s breed, a brief description of your pet to help with identification, microchip implant information (if applicable), and any other information that could help identify your pet if it is lost.

There are three ways to transport a pet to Mexico are listed below (not all airlines provide all three options). To minimize frustrations and potential issues, please contact us as soon as you start planning your transition to post.

AS EXCESS/ACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE 

Depending on the airline, a pet may be able to travel on the same flight(s) as the traveler, either in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Pets transported this way may be considered excess baggage and charged accordingly. Do not assume that the pet will be allowed on the same flight. Seek confirmation in advance with your airline. Pets will be released at the International gate where luggage is picked up. SAGARPA personnel will make a proper revision of the pet and its health certificate. Animals weighing 100 pounds or more will usually travel as cargo, even if on the same flight as the traveler. Check with the airline.

Depending on the airline, a pet may be able to travel on the same flight(s) as the traveler, either in the cabin or in the cargo hold. Pets transported this way may be considered excess baggage and charged accordingly. Do not assume that the pet will be allowed on the same flight. Seek confirmation in advance with your airline. Pets will be released at the International gate where luggage is picked up. SAGARPA personnel will make a proper revision of the pet and its health certificate. Animals weighing 100 pounds or more will usually travel as cargo, even if on the same flight as the traveler. Check with the airline.

AS AIR CARGO

Pets may be transported as an air cargo shipment on a separate flight. In this case the pet does not have to be accompanied, but must be picked-up at the final destination. The cost of this service is often considerably higher than shipping a pet as excess/accompanied baggage. Pets are not allowed to stay overnight at the airport. Those that opt for this method must hire a customs broker to process your pet at its departure and entry point (see below list of customs brokers/pet shipping companies). Failing to do so may mean that you will have to hire a customs broker when you arrive in country and this can be costly.

AS AIR CARGO VIA A COMMERCIAL SHIPPING COMPANY

A licensed commercial shipper (see below list) can arrange to ship a pet as air cargo. Some airlines require use of this method unless the pet is small enough to fit in the cabin. Charges are likely to include the cargo rate plus the shipper’s fee. Arrangements for shipping pets as cargo can be lengthy. It is crucial to plan in advance. Be sure any commercial shipper used is either a “known shipper” or holds an Indirect Air Carrier (IAC) license. Upon your arrival in country, you will have to clear your pet and its travel container with Mexico’s OISA, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Office, before you can leave the airport. Below is a list of things you and your pet should expect upon visiting the OISA.

  • Upon your arrival, OISA personnel will inspect your pet, its shipment container, and your documentation. Your pet’s shipment container must be cleaned prior to inspection.
  • An OISA agent will then perform a physical examination of your pet to confirm that it is free of any external parasites. In the event that an external parasite is found, the owner must arrange for a veterinarian to apply the required treatment before the pet can be cleared through OISA. Any expenses associated with this process must be paid by the owner.
  • An OISA agent will then apply disinfectant to the animal’s travel container at no additional charge.
  • Before being cleared by OISA your pet must meet all stated health requirements on the Zoo sanitary Requirements Sheet (HRZ) which is issued by OISA and OISA must verify that your pet’s export health certificate or letter from veterinarian meet the above requirements. OISA will keep the copies of these documents that you provide for their records.
  • In the event that your pet’s Export Health Certificate or veterinarian letter was issued more than 5 days prior to your pet’s arrival in Mexico, the OISA agent will evaluate the status of your pet’s health, and if it is necessary, you will be required to contract a private veterinarian to certify the health of your pet and apply any required treatments. You will be responsible for any expenses associated with these procedures.

Note:

Compliance with the sanitary requirements indicated above does not exempt you and your pet from other inspections or documentation that may be required by Mexican authorities.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION 

If making travel arrangements for your pet to accompany you on your flight to Mexico, please note that during the summer months, airlines flying from the U.S. enforce a pet embargo that may extend from May 15 through September 15. Travelers should check with their individual air carriers for specific details. In Mexico there are also restrictions on which days animals are allowed to pass through customs. In the past, animals flying into Mexico on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday have been denied entry. Check with the airline for the most recent information before making your flight reservations.

Importations of bedding and similar material accompanying pets are not allowed. You may include only enough food in your pet’s shipping container for the day of arrival. There is no charge for importing 1- 2 pets. Importing more than two pets will require an Import Health Certificate that costs an estimated USD$1,620.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What happens if you do not have any of your pet’s documents available at your arrival to Mexico?

Your pet must remain in the custody of OISA until a veterinarian inspects and certifies the status of your pet’s health and administers a rabies vaccination and preventative treatment against parasites. It can provoke inconveniences and additional expenses that must be borne by the owner of the pet.

What happens if my pet has an infectious or contagious disease or a plague?

Your pet will remain in OISA facilities and must be subjected to a laboratory test. If the test results indicate that the animal is affected by a foreign disease or plague, your pet will have to be treated. In the case of the presence of a plague or disease that requires the return or slaughter of your pet, the procedure will be immediately applied. The expenses derived from this procedure must be paid by the owner.

PET CARE

At post, pet owners need to be more aware of the heat. There are several months in a year when the temperatures are oppressively hot and your pets may need to stay indoors most of the time.

The most common ailment for dogs and cats are problems with skin and ears,allergies, pulgas (fleas), garrapatas (ticks), and parásitos (parasites). A monthly regimen of Frontline or the equivalent treatment seems to be effective.

Pet food is easily available but is sometimes not nutritious enough for an animal with certain ailments. Specialty dog and cat food is only available at a few pet stores and through a veterinary clinic. There are a few good pet stores now and the ability to buy supplies is getting easier all the time. But you can’t just drive to your local store and find your favorite specialty brand of dog or cat food; the range of toys, clothes, and pet accessories is more limited. However, the proximity to the U.S. border and our mailing privileges make online ordering very easy. Please keep in mind the shipping restrictions prior to placing your online order. If in doubt, contact either our mail clerk or the USLC.

 One of the most important people a pet owner needs to know, as you can imagine, is a veterinarian. There are many vets in Monterrey but their skills and experience vary.

SIERRA MADRE VETERINARY CLINIC 

Río la Silla 245, San Pedro Garza García, NL
81-8378-4747
http://smhvet.com/

House calls are a common practice and the service is reasonably priced. Vet clinicsalso provide the grooming services, which are often a separate business in the States, and they often have a small shop set up in their office selling collars, leashes, medicine, and food. Your vet can put you in touch with a trainer for your puppy, should you be so inclined, but keep in mind that the prices are significantly higher than they are in the States. Vets will also occasionally board your pet, but don’t expect five-star accommodations. Air conditioning and play time are out of the question.

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