Worried about bringing your pet to Mexico?
I get it - when we were exploring countries outside the U.S. as a possible place to live, if there was a quarantine for pets - that country was dead to me!
Are there good veterinarians in Puerto Vallarta?
The third day of living in Puerto Vallarta, I searched for a good veterinarian for our two greyhounds Asha and Kai.
We stopped by to meet the doctor and see if there was anything to watch out for in a tropical area in regard to pets. The vet was nice and talked with us for forty minutes about pets and the area, including giving them each a physical exam.
When we were ready to leave we asked how much we owed. He said, 'Nothing, I didn't do anything'. WHAAATTTT!
Honey, we're not in Kansas anymore!
A few months later, Asha (then 11 years), started peeing uncontrollably when she was sleeping. I contacted my integrative vet in the U.S. (Dr. Barbara Royal) as I wanted a natural solution and wanted her opinion first. She recommended a hormone, but it was NOT AVAILABLE IN MEXICO.
This was my FIRST CRITICAL experience in Mexico with TNA syndrome - 'That's Not Available'.
TNA . that's not available
I panicked. What do you mean it's not available? I felt helpless and lost.
I tried many avenues and simply could not find what Dr. Royal recommended. If you grew up in the U.S., you can pretty much get whatever you want, when you want it. You don't realize that this is a privilege not available in other countries.
I decided to try what my vet in Vallarta recommended - Propalin.
At the same time, I met a Naturopath, Claudia, her company is Alquimiate (she works with people and pets). I reached out to her and she prescribed an essential oil and an herbal tea.
I tried Propalin with Claudia's natural products and right away there was an improvement. After a few months I started lowering the Propalin dosage until I removed it altogether and was only giving Asha the natural remedies and she's been healthy with no more urinary issues ever since.
There's a stray animal issue in Vallarta - not as bad as I've seen in other countries and apparently it's a lot better in PV compared to ten years ago, but there are many stray cats in my neighborhood.
One morning we were getting ready for work and I heard the worst noise you could imagine - it was a loud gutteral scream coming from Asha.
A stray cat had jumped into our back yard and Asha wanted to say hi, but the cat attacked.
Greyhounds have one less layer of skin than other dogs, their skin is paper thin. Her shoulder was torn open. It was before the vet was open, but they immediately answered the emergency number and said to meet at the office in 10 minutes. They gave her stitches and I was able to bring her home later that day.
A week later, we were walking our dogs and a car stopped near us - it was one of our vets (Wolf's) - he wanted to check Asha's stitches!
We were stunned - we're very impressed with how much these doctors care. In addition, any time we took her back for a check-up or medicine, there was no extra cost, and it was a fraction of the cost for a similar surgery in the U.S.
On New Years Eve, the vet came to our house to check on Asha who was not feeling well. They make house calls!
So yes, there're amazing, caring knowledgeable veterinarians in Vallarta.
Because I'm into natural healthcare, I was at first disappointed that there're no integrative/holistic vets here - until I found Claudia at Alquimiate. So I have the best of both worlds - good veterinarians and natural options. My solution is to go to the vet for testing, surgery, checkups - and ask my naturopath for an alternative natural remedy whenever a medication is required. Claudia also has great supplements for pets.
Be aware of loose dogs when you bring your animals to Mexico.
Some dog owners let their dogs roam the streets and there're also stray dogs.
So far the local dogs we've run into are friendly. On one occasion, we were walking our dogs and an Expat/Immigrant from the U.S. or Canada, was playing with two dogs in an open area, dogs that I've never seen in the area - they were not leashed. One of the dogs was a pitbull and he ran over to Kai and grabbed his neck, then Kai was on the ground - it was a nightmare. Fortunately my dog was okay, but he did have some open wounds on his swollen and bruised neck. We found pepper spray, which is now attached to their leashes.
I'm a believer of RAW DOG FOOD. I can't say enough about the importance of food for your dog, and Dr. Royal has written a great book about that and other important healthy aspects for animals. She's seen dogs come back to life time after time when given the correct food.
Did you know that kibble has carcinogens because of the way it's made and because of the content - it also needs sugary starches and carbohydrates to bind it.
Once we switched to raw there were incredible improvements in our dogs... Asha had runny stool but with raw it was perfect. They both had incredible nasty farts - once we switched to raw there was no smell. Their hair became shiny and their teeth healthy.
I get it, there are many things that can cause cancer and I personally don't eat perfectly, but I believe this gives my dogs a healthy chance.
housing and large dogs
There are many condominiums in Puerto Vallarta, and the majority of condo's don't allow large dogs, especially if you rent. Many don't allow large dogs even if you buy. Our first place was a house rental with a yard and pool, which was a good transition - as I really wanted my dogs to be able to feel the grass under their paws. It's not in the downtown area, but an easy 15 minute drive.
You may have seen our house and us on House Hunters International.
In regard to the rules of bringing your pet to Mexico, the requirements can and will change.
We hired an immigration attorney to help us with the current rules for pets and us.
Have a burning question about bringing your pet to Mexico? Leave a comment below, I'd be happy to answer.