When I moved to Mexico, I knew I wanted an animal in my life.  I waited nearly 8 months before I made the leap and adopted Georgia.  There were several reasons for this: I wanted to be settled, I wanted to know that I had the money, and I wanted to know that I liked living here and would not be running away screaming and leaving a helpless animal behind.  Once I knew that all was good, I looked into finding rescue groups and eventually adopted Georgia.

If you are moving here either for a short amount of time or you are not certain how long you will be here, I recommend that you do not adopt an animal.  While most people have the best intentions when they do–and promise themselves they will take the animal with them if/when they leave–too often they get left behind when their owners realize they need the full baggage allowance/it will cost too much/airline restrictions prohibit the animal from being flown.  A better option is to look into local/nearby rescues and either volunteer at the shelter or offer to become a foster parent.

The truth is, there are a lot of suffering animals here and it can be very hard to see.  Be prepared to see this suffering and desire to do something.  If you are motivated to help, there are several things you can do.

  • As noted above, foster or volunteer
  • Donate money or supplies
  • Make contact with rescues near you and offer to transport animals to your home country when you fly (many rescues adopt out to the US and Canada)
  • Feed strays that are near you (buy food, give leftovers, whatever you are able to give)
  • Set a good example for those around you–demonstrate the change you want others to make
  • If you decide you want to get an animal, adopt; never purchase from people selling animals from cages/vehicles in parking lots or on the side of the road

Below are some links for rescues and other organizations that help animals here in Mexico.

Adoptando un Amigo

Save a Mexican Mutt

Coco’s Cat Rescue

Happy Tails

Pet Adoption Highway

Help Mexican Dogs

Mex-Can Pet Partners

+KOTA is the only pet store I have seen aside from small, hole in the wall places.  It does not compare to the large stores in the US.  However, when it comes to certain specialty items—such as Kongs, dental care, and even engraved tags—it is a good option.

Higher quality foods are difficult to come by and are expensive when you do.  I settle for Pedigree as it is the best food that I have found available in large bags.

Depending on the breed or look of your dog, you will want to be careful with it around people.  I never let Georgia outside off leash and I do not even leave her in the front yard unsupervised.  I have had multiple people offer to buy her or want to breed her in the two months that we have had her.  I frequently get people stopping in the street when I walk her, asking what breed she is.  All this and she isn’t even a pure breed.  If she were, the interest would be even more intense.  No matter what, I think it is better to be cautious.

Make certain that you set the rules for people interacting with your pet.  In my experience, people here are quick to assume any animal can be allowed to run free outside.  They also tend to assume that they can be physical with any animal—including hitting or kicking it when they feel it is too close to them or behaving in a way they do not like.

Questions for My Readers

Do you have any other rescues or other organizations you would like to see included on this list?

Do you have specific advice regarding owning animals here in Mexico?

What is the price of various vet services in your area of Mexico?

Do you have a vet that you recommend?

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