Pets make settling into a new home a little familiar. That’s why millions of animals fly in planes every year. Luckily, if you’re coming to Mexico City, pets are welcomed, encouraged, and numerous. A report from Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) reported that 70% of Mexican households have at least one pet. With these numbers, it’s safe to say that Mexico is one of the most pet-friendly countries in the entire world.
Mexico City is no exception. Professional dog walkers strut through parks with dozens of dogs in stride and cats can be found exploring most balconies. If you’re thinking about traveling with pets to Mexico City, look no further. Here are our top 6 tips for traveling to Mexico City with a pet.
1/6: Traveling with Pets Internationally
Meet with your vet to discover the requirements in your destination. Depending on the country, pet documentation may include blood tests, vaccinations, or microchips for identification.
Next, spend some time researching. Two main areas to focus on are best ways to travel with a pet and the origin and destination government requirements (federal and local). When considering the best ways to travel, explore airlines options and policies (see our guide below). For government requirements, try viewing official government websites like the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in the United States. Look for information about government pet documentation or fees.
Lastly, identify and implement habits or strategies that might make your pet more comfortable while traveling. This may include:
- Acclimating your pet to its carrier before the flight
- Picking departure and arrival times that avoid extreme heat or cold
- Walking your pet just before leaving home and again before checking in.
2/6: Traveling with Pets and Airlines
Each airline has different requirements and rules for traveling with pets. Some even have different definitions of “pets”! The best strategy for nailing down all the airline-specific details is to call their customer support. It’s important to directly ask the airline about necessary steps, rules and regulations, and airport import information. Here are some subjects to ask about:
- Depending on your dog’s size, your dog might be allowed to ride with you in the cabin. Otherwise, your dog will be riding in the cargo hold.
- If in cargo, your dog will require an airline-approved pet carrier, labeled with “Live Animal”.
- When flying to another country, some countries have strict stipulations on receiving animals, especially if you’re transferring through a country with stricter regulations than your destination country.
- It’s also important to note that some international airports do not accept domestic animals, which means you’ll need to make sure you’re arriving at an import-friendly airport.
Other general flight-related topics to think about include:
Pay attention to:
- Time of year: Some US carriers don’t allow pets to be shipped between May and September, the hottest months for animals to travel in the Northern Hemisphere
- Total travel time: Selecting flights with fewer connections or layovers,
- Cabin rules: If your pet is allowed in the cabin, try to check in as late as possible to reduce stress. If your pet will be transported as cargo, check in early so it can go to the quiet and dimly lit hold of the plane.
3/6: Best Hotels for Traveling with Pets
There are tons of options for pet-friendly accommodations. Many mainstream hotels will all welcome pets. Fees vary from more than $50 per night to free with refundable deposits, so make sure you ask before booking.
Similar fee-based models have been adopted by rental platforms like Casai. Fee amounts and rules about types of pets or sizes are determined by each individual host.
At Casai, we’ve deemed certain apartments “pet-friendly” where you can have your furry friend for a one-time fee. That means no matter how long you stay, you only have to pay once. All you have to do is request a “pet-friendly” stay and obtain a written confirmation from Casai. That’s it! Make your Casai feel like home with your four-legged friend.
4/6: Dog-friendly Places in Mexico City
Mexico City is certainly a competitor for the most dog-friendly city in the world. The dog community includes dog owners, dog walkers, doggy day-cares, and dog parks. Despite the big city feel of Mexico City, dogs have many options for running, playing, and socializing.
There are over 30 distinct parks in Mexico City, all of which welcome on-leash dogs. Of these parks, there are 7 with designated dog areas where you can let your pup off leash. Of these includes an official Parque de los Perros, a fenced area nestled within Parque México.
There are so many dining options with patios, rooftops, or outdoor seating that all welcome dogs. Just because you want to eat out, doesn’t mean your pup has to stay home alone. Check online or call the restaurant to check their pet-policies.
Lastly, don’s skip out on Mexico City’s most exciting features on account of your pet. There are many attractions that allow dogs to come along. For example, Frida Khalo’s blue house in Coyoacan permits service animals to join the tour. If you plan to take a boat ride through the canals of Xochimilco, bring your dogs along for the ride!
With so many pet-friendly options, you never have to choose between experiencing the city and or hanging with your dog.
5/6: Safety Tips for Traveling with Pets
The top concern pet-owners have when considering traveling with their animals is safety. Here are some ideas, warnings, and tricks for traveling safely with your pet.
- Do not tranquilize or sedate your animal. Suppressants such as these can trigger respiratory and cardiovascular problems in dogs. Other smaller animals may be ultra susceptible to dose amounts. Talk with your veterinarian before giving your pet any unprescribed drugs.
- Locate the nearest 24/7 veterinarian clinic to your accommodations in case of emergencies or accidents.
- Clip your pet’s nails so they can’t hook them in their carrier’s door, holes and other crevices.
- Create a pet-friendly travel kit that includes food, a bowl, leash, plastic bags, grooming tools, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents.
- To reiterate an earlier point – take as direct a flight as possible to avoid prolonging the journey and stress to your pet.
- Encourage your pet to practice longer wait times between meals in the weeks leading up to the trip. In general, pets should travel on empty stomachs to avoid accidents and stomach discomfort.
- Try to be the last person to board to keep the time on the plane as minimal as possible.
6/6: Traveling with Pets during COVID-19
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has increased restrictions for those flying with animals. The two major changes we recommend reviewing are post-arrival quarantines and flexible bookings.
Even before COVID-19, pets were frequently required to quarantine upon arriving in a new country. With COVID-19, pet quarantines have been extended and they’ve encouraged humans to quarantine with them. Each country has their own specific procedure, so make sure you check your destination country’s official government websites to plan ahead.
Secondly, it’s become even more important to be a flexible traveler with COVID-19. Flight schedules, border statuses, and airline availability are just some of the challenges the travel industry has faced in the last year. It’s important to plan any major trips in advance and be flexible. You’ll be glad you have a backup plan, even if you don’t need it!
If you’re thinking about traveling with pets to Mexico City, we highly encourage it! Find an accommodation like Casai to make sure you and your pet are comfortable and welcome. Lastly, with so many steps and planning needed, leave yourself plenty of time before the trip to take care of your pet’s required medical care and paperwork. Remember to start the process early.
Ready to explore pet-friendly Casai options? Check out some of our favorites below!