A reader writes:
Hello, I came across your article while searching for information regarding traveling in Mexico with a dog. My wife and I are preparing to travel in our conversion van with our dog full-time for the next couple years. We would like to explore Mexico and beyond with our dog and were wondering if you guys have experience or recommendations for crossing in to Mexico and back with a dog.
Any information or references are appreciated.
Carl & Lorena reply: First of all, Eric, be prepared to keep a close eye on your dog in Mexico — our dogs (both are rescued Mexican street mutts) dislike children, chase chickens, and are easily upset by loud noises. As a result we find it necessary to keep them leashed or on a strong steel cable when we’re camped or at a rest area.
Our dogs have “passports”, given to us by their Mexican vet, with a complete shot record and even a small photo. We’ve never been asked to produce these by U.S. or Mexican immigration/customs officials, but we have had to use them when boarding the dogs in both Mexico and the U.S., to prove good health. Here’s the official protocol on importing a dog.
Dog food is widely available in Mexico, though not the premium “human grade” we spoil ours with north of the border.
In general, Mexicans do not hold dogs in high esteem, though that attitude seems to be mellowing in recent years. Dogs are gradually becoming “pets” more than merely pests but there is still a common fear of rabies and dog bites… semi-wild street dogs are a big problem. The authorities sometimes kill roaming dogs to reduce the population. Don’t be surprised if people shy away from your dog, even if it is quite friendly. I wouldn’t let an unleashed dog approach children — they might well run away.
Don’t let this discourage you — lots of people travel in Mexico with dogs (friends of ours have seven dogs in a 27 foot RV), including us.