In my last post here, I detailed the process of how we flew our dog, Maebee, with us to Mexico City. Beyond just the travel component, I was nervous bringing Mae along with us in general not knowing what to expect. I worried about street dogs bullying her, not being able to find a comparable dog food to feed her, not having outdoor spaces to walk and exercise her and more. The reality turned out to be completely the opposite. We didn’t see a single street dog in the City center (Matt saw them in outlying suburbs, but never in tourist areas), we were actually able to find Mae’s exact Taste of the Wild dog food in Petco just a couple blocks from where we were staying (in the U.S. we have to either order her food on Amazon or buy it from a speciality store), and there was a huge park to exercise her in just across the street from our apartment.
The La Condesa neighborhood, and in particular Parque Mexico, is the center of all things “dog” in Mexico City. There are at least three pet stores on Avenida Mexico, the roadway which circles the park, and there are probably a half dozen more within a block or two of the park. In the southern half of the park there is a large gated dog park where dozens of dogs and their owners gather at all times of the day. Dog walkers (i.e. paseadores) are a common sight in the park and often have five or more dogs at a time on leads while walking circles around the park. Some of the craziest sights we saw on our trip were paseadores with 15 or more dogs. At one point we even say a guy biking with about seven dogs.
Another frequent site in Parque Mexico are dog training classes. During the weekdays there are usually a few classes, each with 15-20 dogs, taking place at various places throughout the park. The classes are run by the local pet stores, where dogs are dropped off, and then the trainers bring them to the park for class. The trainers line all of the dogs up laying down and have them stay while they take each dog individually for walks to practice heeling. On weekends, similar classes occur, but often with the dog owners also participating.
Here are some additional resources if you’ll be traveling to Mexico City with a dog:
Pet Stores, Grooming and Doggy Day Care
The main pet stores in the La Condesa/Roma area are Petco, Pet Central, Animalia, and Kota+. They all sell common dog foods, leashes, toys, etc. Petco seemed to have the best selection for dog foods. Another small, boutique pet store on the corner of Avenida Mexico and Avenida Sonora sells homemade organic dog foods. Making homemade dog food and dog treats seems to be a trend in Mexico City. On weekends, a number of locals set up stands in Parque Mexico along Avenida Michoacan to give out samples of their food. At the markets, such as Mercado Merced, they sell dog food in bulk where you can buy it by the weight for much cheaper than at the pet stores.
Petco and Pet Central both offer dog grooming (prices range from about $5-$15 for bathing and grooming). There are a couple of mobile pet groomers that frequent the park as well – they often park along Avenida Michoacan or Avenida Sonora. The City is very dusty, and when it rains, everything becomes muddy. We took Mae for a bath at least once a week since she always seemed dirty. We took her to Pet Central and were very pleased with the service and they seemed to treat her really well.
Pet Central also offers a doggy daycare. They have an indoor play area with turf and always have a trainer in with the dogs supervising. If you wanted to do some longer days trips and couldn’t bring your dog along, this would be a great option rather than leaving them alone in your rental or hotel.
At the southern end of Parque Mexico is the Animal Inn Center, which advertises overnight dog lodging.
We took Mae to the Clinica Veterinaria Amsterdam located at Calle Amsterdam 212, Colonia Hipodromo. Dra. Ortiz Pohlenz was very nice and did a very thorough health screening of Mae to provide us with the health certificate we needed for flying. There was also a vet just around the corner on Calle Chilpancingo, less than a block south of Parque Mexico.
Play and Exercise
As mentioned above, there is a great dog park, that is enclosed and double gated at the entrance, at the southern end of Parque Mexico. Many owners also bring their dogs to the plaza, across the street from the dog park, in the morning. We preferred this option because the dog park was quite dusty. There were also fewer dogs at the plaza, and so Mae was less intimidated and more likely to play. Parque Mexico and Calle Amsterdam are both great places to walk your dog – on or off leash – since there are large landscaped buffers to separate the walkways from traffic.
Where to Stay
Again, I find myself recommending AirBnB. They have a search option where you can select “dog-friendly” and only rentals which accept pets will show up. The owner of the apartment we stayed in was very welcoming of our dog. If you are looking for a hotel, the Novotel Mexico Santa Fe is also reported to be pet friendly, but is not located in the City center.
So, go ahead and bring your dog along on your next trip to Mexico City. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how welcome and well-catered to they’ll be. And its always more fun when you have your furry friend along.