Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Whether traveling with a pet for companionship, service or comfort, animal lovers will find that Puerto Vallarta's welcoming atmosphere, along with its many pet-friendly services, beaches and hotels, make it a great place to bring along four-legged friends.
There are plenty of ways for you and your pet to have fun in Puerto Vallarta. Dogs are allowed on many of the city's beaches, where pets accompanying their owners on a run, riding a paddle board together, or meeting up with locals and their dogs for some playtime, are common sights.
One of the most popular activities is walking the pedestrian-only El Malecón, Puerto Vallarta's iconic boardwalk that stretches from Los Muertos beach in Viejo Vallarta at the south end to Hidalgo Park at the north end.
The Malecón's wide cemented path, approximately 1.5 miles in length, is an ideal place to go for a stroll, a meal or a bit of shopping accompanied by one's pets. Many restaurants and sidewalk eateries along the Malecón are happy to welcome canine clients, and some serve them free snacks and water!
The city also has a number of resident veterinarians and 24-hour pet hospitals in case of an emergency and local stores such as PetCo and Sam's Club carry most pet food brands found in the US and Canada.
Traveling to Mexico with Pets Takes Proper Planning
Bringing your pet to Puerto Vallarta isn't particularly difficult, if you are prepared, so it pays to do some research ahead of time.
PV boasts many pet friendly hotels & resorts, including the Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta located in the Marina area, Hotel Puerto de Luna and the Sheraton Buganvilias in the Hotel Zone; Casa Cupula Hotel and Casa Kimberly in Old Town; and Casa Iguana Hotel and Vallarta Shores, both located in the South Zone; and some even offer convenient pet packages and doggie day camps!
If you're flying into Puerto Vallarta with your pet, a little preparation can prevent any unforeseen problems at the airport.
To comply with Mexico's Pet Import Regulations, you'll need two pieces of paper. The first is a vaccination certificate to ensure your pet has been vaccinated against rabies, hepatitis, pip and leptospirosis. The second is an office health certificate that must be issued by a veterinarian no more than 72 hours before entering Mexico.
You'll also want to check with your airline before you buy your ticket. Most have restrictions on size, weight, type of carrier and the number of animals allowed on each flight, so be sure to check requirements for travel with dogs and cats, as they vary from airline to airline.
Some airlines let passengers who provide all of the proper paperwork fly with their pets in the cabin, but only one pet per passenger is allowed. On other carriers, your faithful companion might be required to travel in the aircraft's cargo compartment. Either way, be prepared to pay an extra charge.
If your pet must travel in the aircraft's cargo compartment, you'll need a kennel. It must be made out of hard material, should be of a size according to your pet, must have absorbent pads and must remain closed during the entire flight. Don't forget to label the kennel with your personal and your pet's data along with your flight information.
When pets leaves Mexico, the same documents are required as when they entered. You'll need to make sure that the vaccination certificate is still valid, and to visit a local veterinarian for a check-up and a new certificate of health.
One of the great joys of traveling is sharing the experience with loved ones, so your vacation should include the whole family - even the furry ones! And, as long as you are well prepared, traveling south of the border with your pets can add a lot of warmth and fun to your adventure.BN Editor's Note: Travel writer and blogger, Terry L. Turrell, supplied us with THIS LINK for current requirement for traveling with a pet to Mexico. When you reach this page, click on the BAR at the bottom of the page for Dogs and Cats. The Certificate Template under Option B is the one the vet can complete using their computer and then sign by hand.