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Travels with Coco—To Mexico and Back with Our Dog

Travels with Coco—To Mexico and Back with Our Dog

You will need to check the rules and regulations for your country and the airline you are flying, but this is what we’ve experienced in flying with dogs between Mexico and the United States.  It isn’t hard, and folks are helpful, but it takes a little planning ahead and you’ll pay.

Note:  This post will get an update soon.  Of course everything has gone up.

July 17, 2008

Coco.  She has raveled more than most humans.

Coco. She has raveled more than most humans.

We’ve written elsewhere about flying with Coco, especially in the post about Delta.  Everything about the airlines is up in the air (ouch) right now, with fares going up on tickets, baggage, and pets.  In the past we have flown Delta, however, because there is only one stop between Guadalajara and Newark, and they let us take Coco in the cabin with us.

Coco is a small dog-only five pounds.  She fits in a long gym bag with a mesh window in it with lots of room to spare, and all goes under the seat in front of me.  She counts as a carry on (so you can only bring one additional “personal item” like a purse or a lap top) and you have to pay.  It used to be $50 each way, then it went to $75.  It irks me a little because Coco counts as my carry on and gets absolutely no special treatment once I pay her ticket—she may as well be a mariachi sombrero—but I have to pay $150 rt for her.  But that’s the way it is,  I’m resigned to it, and Gramma loves to play with Coco.  Hope the price doesn’t go up.

What I haven’t talked about are the papers you need to cross the border.  This is from my experience, and is only for travel between the US and Mexico.  Check with the airlines and your vet to make sure how you stand.

It’s really easy to bring your small dog across the border, but it takes some planning.  All you need is a health certificate from a registered vet, issued within 5 days before you travel.  That means you need one to cross into the states, and another certificate from a Gringo vet to come back to Mexico.  The papers run about $40 a shot—and talking about shots, we often use the vet visit to check up on vaccines.

So that is $150 rt for the flight, and $80 for the papers.  I would guess that is on the low end of the price spectrum.

At customs of either country you mention that you are traveling with your dog, and over comes a representative of the department of agriculture who checks the papers, principally for the rabies vaccine.  It is good to have the papers in both languages, if possible, but since rabies is rabia in Spanish, one language is usually enough.

Years ago you had to take your pet to a Mexican government office to get a permission stamp to travel, but that has been cancelled and for the past several years Coco and I have traveled with just her Health Certificate with no problems at all.  As a matter of fact, people, including airline staff, are usually super friendly if you are traveling with your pet.  As one guy at the x-ray machine said to me, “A friend of fur is a friend of mine” as he went out of his way to help me through the line.

In the States they also ask what kind of animal food you are carrying, and if it is of foreign origin they take all but enough for one small meal.  I had Beneful dry food in a plastic bag and they made me throw it away because I couldn’t prove it was made in the US, but they let me keep the wet food in a pouch because it was from Michigan, even though I bought it in Guadalajara.

Big animals have their own airline rules (although the health certs are the same).  If the animal doesn’t fit under the seat in front of you it must go in the hold, where evidently there are areas that are heated and oxygenated.  One of my dogs went in the hold once and I was really worried about her well-being until a fellow passenger told me “They are so scarred about lawsuits, you can be sure they will take care of your dog.”  And she was right—Canica came through just fine.

Many exotic animals are restricted, so you’ll have to check.

One last thing—airlines limit the number of pets in the cabin to two, so you have to make reservations for them ahead and check there is “room.”  Just one more thing to make your ticket-buying experience more stressfull.

Dan and Omar

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.