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Landing at PVR with a dog

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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Landing at PVR with a dog

On the United Airlines website is statement is made, can anyone tell me what it means?

"Animals arriving in Mexico will require a pet restrictions customs broker for clearance and local broker fees (paid upon arrival directly to the broker) can vary greatly. "

How much are the fees?

Thank you for your time.

Calgary
Destination Expert
for Nuevo Vallarta
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1,870 posts
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11. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

We've taken our dog to PVR in cargo five times now, with no issues. We're fortunate in that during high season we have good non-stop service to PVR seven days a week with a pet-friendly airline. There are embargo periods at Christmas, and they won't take pets in cargo from May 1 until Oct 30 due to the heat. Rules vary by airline, so it's best to check with your specific carrier. Our dog flies for $50 each way, I'm tempted to check whether we can send our kids in cargo too!

The fact we don't have any stopovers or plane changes obviously reduces the risk, and our dog is now a travel veteran who takes things in stride. Yes, there is obviously some stress involved for him, but on balance it's less traumatic than leaving him at a kennel. I should note that we usually go down for somewhere between two and six weeks, so it's worth taking him along. If we were going for a week, it might be a different story. If he was carry-on, I wouldn't even think twice about it - he would go every time.

We get a health check done by our vet here at home one or two days before we fly. Our vet writes a letter with the following points:

- ID: name, age, gender, breed & color of dog; location of any tatoos; name of owners

- the dog is free from demonstrable contagious or infectious diseases and does not show emaciation, lesions of the skin, nervous system disturbances, jaundice or external parasites

- the dog received treatment for internal parasites within the previous couple of months

You will also need to present a rabies certificate. The shot must have been given less than 3 years prior to your arrival.

We also take a record of other vaccinations - e.g. parvo, bordetella, etc.

Note that it's important that the vet's License Number appears on the health certificate. I have read of instances where a failure to have the vet's license number on the documents has caused problems - nothing insurmountable, but it can lead to wasted time and money getting a health check done by a Mexican vet.

Armed with the above documents, we've never had a problem.

Upon arrival in PV, you will need to do some "immigration" work for your pet. There's an office for this purpose, it's located on the left just before the luggage belt area. They will inspect your documents, take a photocopy of your passport, and give you a "Certificado de Importacion", a copy of which you show to the customs officers on your way out; keep the original to show your airline when you check in for the return flight. The last time we went through (March), they did a cursory inspection of our dog.

We have never sought a health check from a Mexican vet prior to coming back. Canada Customs seems happy to merely review our Calgary vet's health check letter, so make sure you have a spare copy available when you return.

Here are some additional suggestions for people who are considering taking their dogs in cargo:

- Our dog gets a little nervous around airports, so on the advice of our vet, we give him a children's gravol just before sending him on his way. He weighs 45 lbs, so this is just enough medication to take the edge off without getting him all drugged up. There are natural solutions around as well, but our vet suggests we just stick with the gravol. Check with your vet when you're getting the health check done.

- Ensure the kennel door is secured with a nylon cable tie / zip strap as back-up to the closing mechanism; make sure you have a way to remove it before you get to customs, or they may try to put your dog through the x-ray machine along with the kennel!

- You need to include some water in the kennel, we usually strap a dish to the inside of the kennel door; since the water will normally get spilled during handling before the kennel makes it onto the plane, freeze the water in the dish the night before so they at least have an ice cube to lick.

- The kennel might come out on the belt with the rest of the luggage, or it may get carried into the luggage belt area through a door; if the kennel doesn't show up on the belt, take a look around the luggage belt area; if you poke your head through the hole where the luggage comes out, you should be able to see the kennel on a luggage cart.

Last but not least, there are some well used palm trees located in the parking lot just outside the airport!!

Naperville, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit
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12. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

BchCpl, It's great that all of this official info was posted for you. You sure have a lot of reading to do!

The last time I brought my cat from Chicago to PV was March, 2012. (He's still there, but I'm in Chicagoland right now.) If your vet is not familiar with the International Health Cert., frankly, I'd say it may be time to go to another vet. Also, the fees for the pet cert. can vary a lot. For 6 or 7 years, I always paid $95 each time. Then I asked someone who works for another vet near my home what they charge and she said $45. Guess where I take my little guy now.

How long will you be in Mexico with your pet? If it's more than a month, Id seriously think about getting an internl. cert from a Mexican vet for your return to California. (I'm pretty sure you're supposed to have it for your pet to re-enter the U.S.) When returning to O'Hare, I've always needed it in the past, except when I arrive with him at ORD after 6:00 p.m., when the Animal Control Officer is off-duty for the night.

Last year, the people at the PVR Pet Inspection Office were really picky about the Intl. Cert. The one I had was properly filled-out, but the doctor's federal ID number did not appear under his signature. I and an airport employee had to do quite a bit of talking before the office supervisor believed that the signature was valid.

I wish you luck, but you must be very careful when bringing your pet out of the country and back home again.

Calgary, Canada
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539 posts
14 reviews
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13. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

we took our dog down for a month in November...needed the international form...from the internet the vet printed it and filled it out...he made 3 copies as you need one for them to keep and one for you...also..they asked about flea and tick treatment..done for the trip..we came westjet from Calgary..and it was fast and westjet was awesome..

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98 posts
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14. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

Just to clarify.

Is Form # 7001...the only form I need? This is the only form my vet says they provide.

Thank you.

puerto vallarta
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15. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

Last month i spent hours trying to work with United to ship a street dog to her forever home in Chicago. We had guardian angels willing to fly her BUT United insists you go through a customs broker ($250 USD). We ended up getting the dog to USA through Alaska (they were FANTASTIC). Also, United wanted $370 USD for a one way ticket for the dog. Not very pet friendly at all.

Rincon de...
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16. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

No. The USDA APHIS Form 7001 is actually obsolete. There are still a few copies in circulation and if your vet has them, he can use it, but they now prefer a Letterhead Health Certificate from your vet instead (with the info translated into Spanish as well). I have included an example of the form and all the details in the link in my previous post. And depending on how long you stay in Mexico, you will likely need a Mexican vet to provide you with another one to fly back with your pet. All the vets in PV are aware of the new regulations.

Chicago, Illinois
2 posts
1 review
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17. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

I made my second call to United yesterday. Having the same problems here. They won't even let me buy her a ticket until I have a broker, cost $350 about. Then said the dog then has to be examined when arriving in Mexico, cost $150. I am flying a large dog cargo, or trying to, from Chicago to Puerto Vallarta. They are saying the dog would have to stay in Houston (layover spot) over night because animals need 3 hours between flights and the only flight listed is less. I am finding it all hard to believe that it could be this difficult. Also not having any luck on even finding a broker, who needs to be specific to Puerto Vallarta. Any help anyone can provide would be great. Thanks.

18. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

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So Cal
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19. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

I am thinking that the information on United's website is written as a broad statement to encompass all international cities they fly to., not location specific. Just a thought, but the people I know that fly with their animals have never had to deal with a broker at PVR.

Chicago, Illinois
2 posts
1 review
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20. Re: Landing at PVR with a dog

Allison thank you for the airline link document. I have now tried American Airlines they do not fly large planes to Puerto Vallarta. The dog is 100lb and the crate 50 so I need a large plane. Delta says they can get us as far as Guadalajara, which I guess I could work with. I am moving there permanently thank goodness so just need to get her there. Again thank you....a quick look at Alaska air says they won't fly cargo dogs to mexico, I may call and talk to someone there to be sure...