Mooji & I arrived in Mexico City on January 1st. So for my first post of the year:
How to travel to Mexico with your cat or dog
I was pretty nervous about deciding to bring my cat with me to Mexico. Various questions went through my head. Will I be able to find the right food for him there? Will the airline let him in the cabin? What paperwork will I need when I get there? What travel essentials do I need for my little guy? These and many more were running through my head during the nights leading up to my trip.
I assure you, travelling to Mexico with your pet is far easier than you probably think. Here's a how-to guide and checklist. For tips on how to create less waste while travelling click here.
- pet carrier
- call airline
- calming treats
- emergency litter
- acceptable food
- pet travel documents
The Pet Carrier
A comfortable pet carrier is essential - for you and your pet. I highly recommend a soft mesh one with a hard bottom that you can sling over your shoulder. When Mooji and I travelled to California together, I used a hard case carrier and it was heavy and uncomfortable. Unless you have hands made of steel, over the shoulder is the way to go. This trip was way easier, a good carrier makes all the difference.
Here's the one I used:
Put the carrier out about a week or two leading up to the trip. Feed you pet their food/treats in the carrier so they associate it with good feelings. This will be their safety zone during travel so you want them to feel good about their temporary shelter.
Call the airline
Call the airline you're travelling with at least 48 hours prior to you leaving to let them know you'll be flying with a pet. Also, check to see if you need a specific carrier.
I flew Aeromexico, when I got to the airport they tried to tell me that pets were not permitted in the cabin. I showed them their website, the preregistration and all of my cats paperwork (which they photocopied). It took about 30 minutes of them going back and forth with one another, but Mooji was happily going to be accompanying me in my window seat on the flight. Window seats are better if you have a pet, I know my cat gets curious and likes to look out the window from time to time.
I highly recommend an all natural calming treat. I got these:
I bought these at Tisol ... I know there's packaging, but my cats well being is important to me.
I gave him two of these en route to the airport since I know the most stressful part is when I have to take him out of his carrier while going through security. By giving him these treats he was really calm and napping for most of the adventure. (I gave him another one on the plane) It says to give up to 3 treats when under stressful situations.
Pack a little litter with you so your cat can go to the bathroom as soon as you get to your new place. I had no problem with customs or security. I brought along a biodegradable travel littler box, and gave Mooji the option of going in the airport bathroom when we landed, he didn't go. He did however go as soon as I got to my new place.
Place a towel in the carrier that way if your pet does have an accident you can easily remove the towel and your pet has a clean carrier. And never get mad at your animal for going to the bathroom especially while you're travelling...it's already stressful enough for them.
It depends on what you feed your pet. My cat's on a raw food diet and I know there's no way I could bring raw meat into Mexico. I opted to bring dehydrated food. I took off the packaging, put it in a glass jar and popped it in my checked baggage. I know you can't bring lamb into Mexico, so I went for chicken & beef.
In Mexico before exiting the airport you press a button; if it turns green you pass through, if it turns red, your bags get checked. I got the red light. They looked at the food and didn't even ask me about it. So I think they're pretty relaxed when they have no idea what something is.
I brought about 2 weeks worth of food. I've discovered there's lots of PetCo's in Mexico City so food is readily available. They have raw food but it's a lot more expensive than in North America.
Pet Travel Documents
And most importantly: your pet travel documents. What you need:
- health certificate
- rabies certificate
Go to your vet within 12 days of travel and get original documents for both the items listed about. Mexican Customs kept my originals, so I would get two copies for when you travel back to your home country/next destination. As long as you have the right paperwork, Mexico is great about bringing cats & dogs into their country.