Animals in Mexico City

Essential information for pet owners in Mexico City, with details of pet regulations, pets in public places and services for cat and dog owners...

Mexico City, like many other large cities world-wide, has a well-publicized problem with abandoned and feral dogs and cats – in part, because dogs and cats have traditionally been seen as ‘animals’ rather than as ‘pets.’ However, attitudes towards companion animals have been changing in Mexico, and the Mexico City government established new requirements to ensure animal care and well-being, as well as the safety of the community. 

More and more, companion animals in Mexico are seen as members of the family, and services ranging from veterinary house-calls to mobile pet spas are available in many parts of the city.

Pet Regulations in Mexico City

Acts of animal cruelty are punishable by significant fines and/or imprisonment of up to four years.

When renting accommodation in Mexico City, landlords may or may not accept pets; it is suggested to confirm with the landlord in advance. Most landlords who will accept pets will require a clause specifying the tenants’ responsibility to repair any damage.

Pets in Public

Article 26 of the Civil Code (Ley de Cultura Cívica) specifies that owners must remove their animals’ feces from public spaces. Failure to do so is punishable by fines or by imprisonment for up to 24 hours.

Article 30 of the Animal Protection Law (Ley de Protección a los Animales del Distrito Federal) requires dogs to be leashed in all public spaces, although it is not uncommon to see dogs off-leash. Pet owners are subject to fines for failure to comply. Dogs are sometimes prohibited from parks, however, dog-training classes are regularly held in the parks of Polanco, Condesa and Roma. Restaurants and cafés in these areas, as well as in Polanquito, often allow dogs on outdoor terraces. There are also many pet-friendly hotels in these neighborhoods.

With the exception of service animals, the permissibility of animals in public and private spaces is generally a matter of discretion. Look for signs such as “Se admiten mascotas” (pets allowed) or “No se admiten mascotas” (no pets allowed). In businesses and offices, it is advisable to ask. If checking pet policies online, look for “Política de admisión de mascotas.” Dogs are usually not allowed into grocery stores.

With the exception of guide dogs, dogs are not allowed on the Metro.

Off-leash parks

The concept of off-leash (zonas para perros) spaces for dogs is relatively new in Mexico City. However, there are enclosed areas within several parks in the city that have been officially designated “off-leash” zones, and discussions are under way to create more.

Note: While it is common to see dogs off-leash in city parks, it is only in these designated areas that dogs may be officially off-leash:

  • Parque Pascual
    At: Ortiz Rubio Eje 7 Sur and Amores Col. Del Valle Centro
    Nearest Metro: Zapata, Hospital 20 de Noviembre
  • El Parque Puskin: 400m2 enclosed space with sanitation, water and games
    At: Moreila and Tabasco, Col. Roma

    Open
    : 8:00-21:00
    Nearest Metro: Cuauhtémoc
  • Parque Purina (located within the Parque Espejo de los Lirios): 500m2 enclosed space with frisbee field and agility equipment
    At: Av. Constitución, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Estado de México
    Open: 9:00-18:00
  • Plaza Lázaro Cárdenas: 440m2 enclosed space with sanitation, games
    At: Calle Dr. Erazo, Col. Doctores
    Nearest Metro: Doctores
  • Parque Mexico: 1000m2 enclosed space with sanitation, plumbing, and a soft clay surface.
    At: Av. México, Col. Condesa
    Open: Monday to Sunday 7:00-22:00
    Nearest Metro: Chilpancingo
  • Parque Adolfo López Mateos: 4500m2 park with pools, exercise and climbing structures, water fountains, green spaces
    At: Somex s/n, Col. Los Reyes Iztacala
    Open: Monday to Sunday 06:00-19:00

Service Animals

People using guide dogs or service animals are explicitly protected by the General Law for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (Ley General para la Inclusión de las Personas con Discapacidid), and according to Article 16 no. III of that law, people that require the assistance of guide dogs or service animals have the right to enter any premise. Article 58 of the Law for Consumer Protection (Ley Federal De Protección Al Consumidor) specifies that there can be no limitations on the consumer rights of people using guide dogs.

Animal Protection

Many veterinarians have dedicated emergency telephone numbers and many also make house calls.

The Brigada de Vigilancia Animal (BVA) is a mobile police unit dealing with domestic and wild animal cruelty complaints, dangerous animals, and animal rescue in all Delegations in Mexico City.

The Ven Fido website maintains a list of Animal Protection Societies and Agencies throughout the country. 

Lost and Found Animals

Although registering pet dogs and cats is not mandatory, it is possible to register animals free of charge with Locatel. This service is available by telephone, 24 hours a day and English-speaking agents are available. Two animals can be registered per call.

  • Locatel
    Tel: (55) 5658 1111

Callers will be asked to provide the following information about the animal:

  • name, breed, sex
  • information about its temperament
  • a description of its fur – color(s), length, thickness
  • physical description – type of nose, height, eyes, ears, and tail
  • medical details – vaccination history, whether it has been sterilized and dewormed

Callers are given a registration number during the call and can also receive a receipt by email if the pet owner provides an email address. The registration number should be included on the animal’s collar tags for easy identification if the animal is found.

  • Further information (in Spanish) is available from the Locatel website (in Spanish)

Spay-Neuter Programs

There are a number of sterilization campaigns in Mexico City, many of which are free of charge.

A complete list of spay-neuter programs organized by area is available on the Mascotas Felices website (Spanish, scroll down for the list).

Spay-neuter services are also available through veterinary offices.

Vets

Note: It is not assured that English is spoken at these clinics and pharmacies.

For a list of English-speaking veterinarians in Mexico City, see the Business Directory.

Food 

Food for cats and dogs is easily found in most supermarkets; in many cases food for small animals such as hamsters or gerbils is also available.

Premium foods are often sold by vets. They can also be found in the many independent and chain pet stores in the city, and in some department stores.

Delivery services are often provided free of charge.

Trainers and Other Services

There are many pet hotels and kennels throughout the city offering short-term and long-term boarding.  Many of these also offer day care services for play, grooming and training. Additionally there are a number of mobile pet grooming and veterinary services. Dog walking services are also available, most notably in Condesa, Roma and Polanco.