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How to Fly with a Service Dog to Mexico

How to Fly with a Service Dog to Mexico

Traveling with your service dog on an international flight to Mexico is not only allowed but also free of charge. With a little planning and preparation, you can ensure a delightful and worry-free journey together. 

In this guide, we’ve got you covered with all the essential information to make your flight with your service dog to Mexico a breeze.

Gathering Essential Documents

Navigating the world of travel with a service dog may seem daunting, with various rules, airline policies, and border controls to consider. While each airline has specific requirements, certain documents are standard across the board:

  1. Certificate of Good Health
  2. DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form
  3. Vaccination records
  4. Proof of deworming and delousing

Certificate of Good Health

The certificate should be from a veterinary physician – on their letterhead – with a professional ID number, and it must contain the following:

  • the owner’s name and address
  • the animal’s breed, sex, age, and color 
  • departure and destination address

You may have read online that Mexico’s government no longer requires a health certificate. While that is technically true, some airlines require them, and travelers have reported that Mexican authorities will still ask to see this document. Be sure to keep one original and one copy at hand. 

The DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form

This is the form required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to fly with a service dog to or from the U.S. Many Mexico-based airlines don’t ask for this form, but you may want to have a completed version with you, just in case. 

Filling out the form is easy; you can find instructions at this link

Vaccination Records

Make sure you have up-to-date rabies vaccine records indicating the date of application, the period covered by the vaccine, and product information. This can be included in the health certificate. 

Proof of Deworming and Delousing

This information can also be in the certificate. Some airlines require proof that the service dog has been dewormed and deloused no less than 6 months before arriving in Mexico. Make sure it states the product date of application and name.

Essential Documents for Flying with a Service Dog - Infographic

Arriving in Mexico with Your Service Dog

Upon arrival, head to the SAGARPA/SENASICA office at the airport. Officials will review your service dog’s documentation and perform a physical inspection. If everything is in order, they will grant entry to your service dog. Mexican airport officials are typically professional and reasonable when it comes to service dogs.

The Oficina de Inspeccion to submit the health certificate when arriving at Mexico airport
After passing customs, look for this window with the sign “Oficina de Inspección” to your left. This is where you submit your health certificate.

Departing Mexico 

When it’s time to return home, you will show your service dog documents again to your airline’s staff during check-in. If you are flying with AeroMexico, below is a picture guide that may help you. (Be aware though that AeroMexico may change their stations or process in the future – ask an AeroMexico staff member when you’re unsure where to go).

When departing from Mexico airport with your service dog
Look for this sign that says “Documentación Check-in” and head to AeroMexico’s check-in area.
Special Services counter at Mexico airport
Look for this kiosk under “Special Services” at the far right to submit your service dog documents, get your boarding pass, and check your bags.
Security line at Mexico airport
After checking in and getting your boarding pass, head to the security line. You’ll want to be in the far right line with your service dog. The security staff will conduct a pat down of your service dog. Make sure you have copies of your service dog documents handy in case anyone asks for them.

Handy Extras for Your Journey

To make your trip more comfortable, consider bringing:

  1. Vests, tags, ID cards, harnesses. Service dog paraphernalia can be incredibly helpful at the airport and on the plane. They serve to notify other passengers and airline staff that you have a working animal. Airline and border staff also tend to expect service dogs to be identified with these accessories. 
  2. PSD letter. If you own a psychiatric service dog, you may want to carry a PSD letter with you. A PSD letter states that you have an eligible psychiatric condition for owning a service dog. 

Wonder if your emotional disorder qualifies for a psychiatric service dog?
Get an assessment by a licensed health professional.

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Before or Right After Booking Your Flight

Always consult your airline for their most recent policies and requirements concerning service animals. Most airlines have a dedicated section on their website or a disability services contact for further inquiries.

Here are links to the service dog policies of popular airlines flying to Mexico:

In-Flight Tips

Service animals can accompany their handlers in the cabin, but airlines may require harnessing, leashing, or tethering. Service animals must fit in the handler’s foot space without obstructing the aisle or other areas. Airlines should work with passengers to find suitable seating, such as a bulkhead seat or one with more legroom.

Additional Considerations

If you are stopping in other countries on the way to Mexico or when returning to the States, you may be subject to different regulations. It’s important to research the rules of these countries as well.

For example, if you are flying to Mexico from the US, then on to Costa Rica, and back to Mexico, you will need to understand Costa Rica’s local rules and what Mexico requires from flights to Costa Rica. 

If you’re flying with your service dog to Mexico for the first time and feeling anxious, remember that service dog handlers are protected on both sides of the border. With the proper documents and a well-trained service dog, you should have no trouble enjoying your trip to Mexico.

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