One of the most common questions we hear from Amigos heading south of the border is, "Can I take my pet to Baja, and what are the problems I might encounter?"
The short answer is, "Yes you can, and chances are you will have no problems entering or leaving Baja."
U.S. visitors to Mexico may bring a dog, cat, or up to four canaries by presenting the following certificates at the border:
A pet health certificate signed by a registered veterinarian in the United States and issued not more than 72 hours before the animal enters Mexico and
A pet vaccination certificate showing that the animal has been treated for rabies, hepatitis, pip, and leptospirosis.
Certification by Mexican consular authorities is not required for the health or vaccination certificate. A permit fee is charged at the time of entry into Mexico.
Furthermore, in order to ensure you will have no problems, you might want to be sure to follow the most important tips below:
Carry the Health Certificate and proof of current rabies vaccination that will remain valid for the period of your visit with you. Rabies is a serious problem in Baja and Immigration and U.S. Customs officials may insist on these documents.
The intense heat of a Baja summer can kill a pet if they are not kept cool and have plenty of water.
Carry your pet's favorite food with you, you may not be able to find it in Baja.
Don't let your pet run loose, there are many local strays in every village and they are not too likely to tolerate a "newcomer". Also, there are efforts underway in many parts of Baja to catch and destroy strays. Don't let your pet get caught up in this round- up!
Be sure to take all the medications your pet may be required to take over the course of the visit.
Give your pet a safe and secure place to bed down at night. Otherwise, they may become "pet food" for the local coyotes.
If you keep these things in mind, you should have no problems bringing your pets into Baja, and it should make for a safe and enjoyable trip for both of you.