Since Peñasco is such an easy drive over the border, many visitors love to bring their pets with them. **Note** ADA laws don't apply for rentals in Rocky Point. Most resorts have HOA rules which only allow Owners to bring animals but individual rental homes sometimes allow renters to bring pets (I can help you find pet-friendly options). BE SURE you know what the rules are so you're not turned away.
**Effective 12/2019**, health certificates are NO LONGER needed for animals going into Mexico from the US per the USDA website.
This info is compiled from APHIS, the CDC, USDA, SENASICA (Mexico's National Service for Health, Agriculture, and Safety), and various other websites. You might or might not have any of your documentation checked, but please avoid delays and possibly horrible situations by being prepared before you go. Of course, always check to see if there are any changes in regulations as they seem to change frequently. If you decide to travel further into Mexico, the chances of having your paperwork checked will increase. Also, any time there is a whisper of parasite outbreaks , swine flu, mad cow disease, or bird flu, be prepared for more thorough inspections.
You can bring up to a 50-lb bag of dry or moist food, or loose (unpackaged) food equaling only the amount needed for your visit. Mexico doesn't want the import of any pet food of "ruminant origin" (eg: beef, lamb, or goat), but chicken, turkey, and fish formulas are all fine. Treats are limited to 10 lbs.
Please consider donating what you don't use to local dog shelters--see the charities page Animals of Peñasco. They'll be thrilled to have it! Although the tap water in Peñasco is treated, it still may upset your pet's stomach and you might want to bring bottled water. Keep in mind that salt water can also upset their tummies.
There's a limit of two pets per person, and a total of three without incurring any import charges and officially 4 or more pets require an import certificate. (This might or might not be enforced.)
Remember that Mexico doesn't have much of a budget for animal control. Therefore, there are always stray dogs (not too many cats) roaming the streets and beaches. Puppies/kittens without all their shots could be at risk visiting Mexico. Strays will often have worms and ticks (which can cause ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever), so you'll want to keep your dog on a leash at all times. In addition, sometimes poisoned food is purposefully left out to eliminate strays. If your dog does run away, be sure she has an easy to read ID tag with your cell phone number so she's not assumed to be a stray. Make multiple copies of everything and always keep one set on you in case you're asked, or need help to find her. Be vigilant with topical meds which KILL ticks and fleas (not only repel them) and chewable meds for heartworm which can be carried by mosquitoes.
Two local vet clinics Nancy recommends are:
Dr. Chochoy Veterinaria Clínica, Benito Juárez Boulevard & Melchor Ocampo Avenue (638) 383-2338 and
Servicios Medicos Veterinarios, Sonora Blvd & Galeana (638) 383-3344.
Both are also skilled in pet orthopedics for broken legs, etc.
Last but not least, please be a responsible pet owner. No one wants a surprise between their toes while walking through the sand. Bring LOTS of pet waste bags to clean up after your pet, and be prepared with extra water and shade when visiting the beach.
FYI-You can translate most Mexican government pages by right-clicking and choosing "translate to English"
USDA Pet Food Regulations https://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/products/downloads/mx_bal_pf_dc.pdf
APHIS form 7001 (not necessary for land travel to Mexico--you can choose the Option B Accredited Veterinarian Certificate instead)