International Travel from Mexico to United States

Since moving to Mexico City we have added two Pembroke Welsh Corgis to our family.  We are moving back to the US in July 2012 and have never experienced traveling by air with pets. Some folks have suggested we pay a pet expeditor, however, this seems rather expensive as opposed to just paying for the Corgis to accompany us on our flight.  What does a pet expeditor do that we can't do?  Is it worth the extra cost ($1,000-$2,000)?  We will have a 4-hour non-stop flight from Mexico City to our destination, which is the Washington, DC area.  Any travel tips, advice on paperwork, etc. would be greatly appreciated.  Also, both Corgis are just over a year old and are fully grown.  Does any company manufacture airline approved travel crates that are sufficient for the length of the Corgis without being overly tall?  Thank you in advance.

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You will have to have an international health certificate as well as records for you corgis. Going from Mexico the the US, the process isn't all that complicated and a vet in Mexico City should be familiar with the paperwork you need. I'd recommend just making an appointment with a vet down there and asking them what needs to be done. Generally you need the health certificate within 10 days of travel, but I personally wouldn't wait that long to find out what was needed. I'd get an appointment now to make sure all the proper documents are in place. Some countries require rabies vaccines given at a certain time, and titers done etc (US is not one of those countries unless you are traveling to Hawaii) but I would get all my ducks in a row before hand instead of realizing you don't have the proper documents right before you are set to leave. Check with the airline to see what is needed, as they are generally the ones that have the required paperwork etc.

Thank you.  It makes me feel better to know that the process of getting them out of Mexico and into the US isn't complicated.

Hi MCE, were the corgis born in US or Mexico? How old are they now? Have you already booked a ticket? If so which airline? When was the last rabies shot, do you have records in English? I'll give you more info when you reply.

Hi.  Our Corgis were born in the US in July and August 2010, shipped to Mexico to the Mascota, which is where we bought them.  We haven't booked our airline tickets to the US yet since we are looking at traveling in July 2012, but I expect we will be on a United Airlines flight since United has a direct flight that leaves early in the morning and weather could be an issue at that time.  Both Corgies are due for their Rabies boosters in June 2012, but now I'm wondering if that should be done closer to our departure date???  Their pure-bred papers are from the US and in English, however, all of their medical/vet records since their arrival in Mexico, are in Spanish.  

Hi MCE, since they were born in the US, it'll make things quite easy.

Here's import info from CBPUSDA and CDC. You'll need to get him rabies vaccinated 30 days BEFORE the flight, make sure their health certification are sealed by vet and translated in English. As far as flying goes, here's my experience. If you have other questions, just ask :)

As a side note, it was really hard to push my own luggage in one cart and 2 crates with corgis in another cart together all by myself.

Summer embargo can be a pain the butt, make sure you double check it with the airline, I had to take the earliest flight out of Florida before the runway heats up in the morning. 

I just read through your post and we watched your "undercover" video.  I also looked at the CBP, USDA and CDC information you linked in your reply.  Wow!  Lot's of terrific information and loved the video.  I'm appreciative of the clarification to get the boosters at least 30 days before we depart as I was unaware of that requirement.  Thank you for sharing!

Happy to help :)

Your not going to like this...I work for an airline so you can take it for what its worth. I would not take any of my furbabies on a commercial jet anywhere. If they must travel by air I would use a private jet. Not only is it convenient (sp) and flexable to your schedule but they will bend over backwards to accommodate  you. Expensive yes but piece of mind and the furbaby can travel in the cabin with you outside of the cage. (sp) There are many things you dont want to know about that can happen I have seen the good bad and the ugly and there is not too much of the good. It is worth the expense. There are many companies that provide that service and would be able to recommend some if you are interested. I can tell you that thousands of pets travel on a commerical jet liner every year without any trouble but the ones that do have trouble wish they had flown by private jet. Also---there is no such thing as summer embargo. They get on the plane when you do.

Yes, if you have that information please provide the names of private companies that fly from Mexico City to the Virginia and Washington DC area.  We are willing to look into it and also willing to drive a distance once we land in the US in order to get to VA and DC if the companies don't fly directly to VA or DC.  We would drive from Mexico to the US East Coast, but unfortunately it is too dangerous to drive through Northern Mexico right now.   Thank you.

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I would not use a pet expeditor on a non-stop flight.  You do want to make sure the crates have been loaded.  Sometimes you can see the crates going up the ramp on the conveyor belt after the luggage, then you've seen with your own eyes. Put something colorful on the crate (duct tape, a different color for each dog) that you can easily identify.  If this is not possible, last time I flew with my dog I wrote the name of the dog clearly on the crate and requested that someone do a visual check before departure  to see if my dog had been loaded and report back to me (before they closed the cabin) the name written on the crate, this way I knew omeone had actually looked at the crate.  I would ask the airline what their particular procedure is to insure both your dog's safety and your peace of mind. 


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