Taking Your Pets with You to Mexico

Taking Your Pets with You to Mexico

Just like there are rules for how people can legally enter Mexico, there are also rules for dogs and cats.  (The rules for animals other than dogs and cats can be different.)

In order for you to bring your dog or cat to Mexico, you will need to prove that Fido or Samantha is in good health and up to date on their rabies vaccines.  Here’s the link to the form many people use: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/library/forms/pdf/APHIS7001.pdf.  You’ll see that you will need a certified veterinarian to sign the form.  Getting this done NOB (“North of the Border”; the US and Canada) can be pretty pricey, but that’s the right way to go.  (You can save big time on vet bills later, after you live in Mexico.)

When getting Spot’s or Tiger’s shots, please make sure to have a calendar available.  Just like you can’t wait too long to get the shots, you can’t do them too far in advance, either.

Entering into Mexico with your dog or cat is easiest by car.  Most of the time, the Mexican authorities at the border don’t even check. Then, you just have to find pet friendly hotels and motels for along the way.  Fortunately, there are quite a few; just check ahead of time.

If you travel by air, the situation is much more complicated.  Some airlines won’t allow you to bring a pet at all; some will only allow certain breeds or certain sizes; and, if your pet is too large to go with you or is not allowed in the people section of the plane, there are regulations and common sense concerns you have to be aware of regarding how hot it will be in the cargo area of the plane.  When traveling by air, please be prepared to have the Mexican officials check your pet after you land, because they almost certainly will.

Several of our clients who travel by air won’t risk putting Mr. Barkley in the plane’s cargo area and instead, contract with someone to meet them at the border and drive their dog (and many times, our clients) to their new home in Mexico. If you’re in this situation, let me know and I can refer you.

  • Find a vet in your neighborhood NOB who is certified to give the shots and make the declarations for your pets.
  • Tell your vet when you plan to cross into Mexico so he or she can time the shots correctly.
  • If you are traveling by air, find out the regulations from your airline.  See if you can take your pet with you in the passenger area.  Tell them your pet’s breed, weight, etc., and if your pet cannot come with you in the passenger area, ask them if there are any restrictions regarding the time of year because of excess heat or other concerns.
  • If you are flying and you aren’t comfortable having your pet(s) in the cargo area of the plane, make arrangements well in advance to have someone drive your pets in Mexico.

As Soon as You Get to Mexico, Establish Your Healthcare Providers and Auto Mechanic

As Soon as You Get to Mexico, Establish Your Healthcare Providers and Auto Mechanic

Healthcare and auto emergencies can happen without warning (and seemingly more than randomly on a weekend or national holiday), so it’s a very good idea to establish your local providers as soon as possible.  That way, when you do have that acute pain where you believe your appendix is located or that throbbing pain in your back molar on the left side, you will know who to call and they will know you.

After you arrive in Mexico, come in as soon as you can to your new doctor and dentist and provide the healthcare and dental records to your new provider you obtained just before you left (assuming you followed this guide) and exchange phone numbers.

It is not at all unusual for Mexican doctors and dentists to give their patients their cell phone numbers, so you can ask. That way, when it’s Mexican Independence Day and you just don’t feel right, you will have a number to call and everything will turn out nice and easy.

While you’re at it, it may be a good idea to visit your new auto mechanic and perhaps have them do a minor service, just so you can know if you want to use them again, and if so, to get their cell number so that if you blow our your tire during the Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe, you’ll know who to call.

  • Personally visit your new doctor, give him or her a copy of your medical records and list of medications, discuss ongoing care, and exchange cell phone numbers.
  • Personally visit your new dentist, give him or her a copy of your dental records, discuss ongoing care, and exchange cell phone numbers.
  • Personally visit your new auto mechanic and get their personal cell phone number, just in case.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

If you are a US citizen, you must pay US federal income taxes forever, regardless of where you live or where your income originates or anything else I’m aware of.  That’s the bad news.

The good news is, if you qualify by living in Mexico, you may be able to exclude more than $100,000 of earned income (not unearned income such as pensions) if you file single and more than $200,000 if you file jointly from your US federal tax return.  The way you do this is through the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.  Most (but not all) states also allow the exclusion.

Interested to see how we can help you?  Just give us a call now at our US or Canada phone number 1 (520) 940-0481, or send us an email using our contact form.

Deliveries to Mexico

Deliveries to Mexico

When you get to Mexico, if you have one of those addresses that companies can deliver to, great!  If you don’t, there are lots of companies here that will accept your packages for you at a commercial location known and knowable to the delivery companies and call you when your packages arrive.  Then, you can go to retrieve your much-anticipated presents, all for a reasonable amount.  And when you do this in Mexico, remember, you’ll be in Mexico, so the prices will be much lower.  Personally, I use iShop, but I know there are many others that provide the same service.

  • Determine if Amazon and / or Costco or any of the other online retailers you plan on using will deliver to your home.
  • If not, create an account at a local company that can receive your packages and call you for pickup at a reasonable price.

Television Service in Mexico

Television Service in Mexico

I know of many Canadians who use some type of dish service so they can watch curling 24 / 7, but I don’t know much more about either the service or the sport other than that they both exist.

Other people are happy with the Mexican service they receive as part of their cable service.

Many other expats use their home Wi-Fi connection to connect to TV service.  A very popular one uses an Amazon Firestick to connect to what seems like pretty much all the television channels in the world.  Not only can you watch curling direct from Canada, but you can also check out what they’re watching in the Philippines, Iran or Israel.  In addition, they also have what looks to me to be all the major US sports, entertainment, and news channels. The cost is very reasonable.

Online Shopping in Mexico

Online Shopping in Mexico

Unless you will live in Mexico in a huge city or if you don’t buy a lot of things, there’s a good chance you’re going to want some items from North of the Border (“NOB”).  You can ask your friends to bring these items with them when they visit you, you can go NOB to retrieve these items yourself, or you can buy online.

From my perspective, buying online in Mexico is great.

If you have a US Amazon account, you can enter your address in Mexico as one of your delivery addresses, and then ask Amazon to just show you items that can be shipped to your new home in Mexico, many times for very reasonable prices.

You should also definitely check out Amazon.com.mx, which is Amazon in Mexico.  For some reason, if you enter search queries in English, they seem to generally work.  You can use your same Amazon account (Amazon is pretty great) and same credit card, etc.  Prices are in pesos and most of the items ship from within Mexico, but some do not.  Those that come from the US or other places outside of Mexico are marked with “importacion” next to them, which means that you will pay more for shipping and import taxes.

We have also very happily purchased from Costco.com in Mexico and my understanding is that Target.com in the US will also make deliveries in Mexico and that more companies are coming.  Forever 21 has its own Mexican website.  It should be getting easier all the time. 

  • Go to your existing Amazon account and enter your new delivery address in Mexico as an additional “ship to” address.
  • Set up your Amazon.com.mx account.
  • Set up your Costco.com.mx account.

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When Moving to Mexico, Register with the US or Canada

When Moving to Mexico, Register with the US or Canada

Registering takes just a few moments, it’s free, and it could come in handy in an emergency.