Living Here With Your Pets

Living in Lake Chapala and Ajijic with Your Dog or Cat

Mexico is a wonderful place for dogs and cats. I see far more dogs than cats around town but maybe that is because cats are so secretive. They like to hide and watch everything. Cats are mysterious.

Some places in Mexico won’t allow dogs or cats. They aren’t allowed on buses and in most hotels. There is a good web site that lists pet friendly hotels in Mexico. Just put Gringo Dog into Google and you will find it. My friend drove down from the border and stayed in one in Los Mochis. He said it was the Plaza Hotel and Inn and it was very nice. He found it through that site. It has a good review online.

Veterinarians in the Lakeside area

Here is more information about dogs and cats in the Lake Chapala area. I looked through the phone book and there are ten veterinarians listed. Several of them have full-page ads. Those ads are expensive, so you know the vets are doing well in their businesses.

Many of the veterinarians here speak English or have employees who speak English. They also make house calls and do grooming. Comparing prices of veterinarians in the States, it is ridiculously cheap to see one here.

One of the most well liked vets in Ajijic is “Memo”. I called him to ask his prices. He said any pet going back into the States has to have a recent health certificate. He charges 200 pesos for that. The cost of shots is around 200 pesos. The cost of spaying and neutering animals depends on the size and sex of the animal. It ranges from 150 pesos up to more than 1000 pesos.


  • Pet Health Certificate: $200 pesos (15 USD)
  • Cost of shots is around $200 pesos (15 USD)
  • Spaying and neutering 150 – 1,000 Pesos (13-90 USD)

Memos Ajijic Office:

His office is located in Ajijic at Constitution #15. His telephone number is: (376) 766 0885 Emergency number is: (376) 766 1352. He speaks perfect English. He also does grooming. I didn’t ask his prices for that. Many of my friends take their animals to his place. He is open Monday to Friday 9-2 and 4-7 and Saturday 9-2. He has a full-page ad in the telephone directory. Obviously, he is doing a successful business and has been here awhile.

There are also grooming places here. Some are connected with the vet’s offices. I know of one that is in a woman’s house. She charges 150 pesos to groom a dog. My friend said he pays 160 pesos to have his dog groomed and nails clipped once a month. If he just wants his dog to be bathed, they charge the same price.

Grooming Costs:

  • 150 – 180 pesos (13-16 USD)

My friend uses Pro Science Diet dog food and it costs 290 pesos for a five or six pound bag. He wasn’t sure of the weight. He buys it at the Animal Shelter in Riberas del Pilar. Their address is Hidalgo #212. The Animal Shelter is an interesting place to visit. They have many exotic birds and cages of kittens. The dogs are across the street in a different building. The phone number of the shelter is: 765 5515. Visitors are welcome. Their hours are M-F 10-4. Sat 10-3.

Adopt a Pet – Anita’s Animal Shelter

Another place where you can get a dog or cat is Anita’s Animal Shelter. She is located in San Juan Cosala but she has a booth every Wednesday at the Ajijic open market. She always has animals there. I love to visit her stall. She sells books and clothing and homemade bread, all to help pay for the animals she cares for. She is a wonderful woman. I have great respect for the work she and her volunteers do to help with the animals in this area. Her telephone number is: 01 (387) 761 0500.

My friend needed to have her cat neutered and she called all the veterinarians in this area. She found the least expensive one here. His name is Dr. Jose “Pepe” Magana. He is at San Luis #17 Riberas del Pilar His telephone number is: 765 2717. His operation is bare bones, no full-page telephone ads for him. My friends liked him and thought he was a good veterinarian.

Large dog and cat loving community

There is a large dog and cat loving community here. No need to worry about good pet care. When you come into town and settle in you can find a telephone book and research the other vets too. There are several in each town. I am sure they are all good. Otherwise they wouldn’t stay in business. Word gets around very quickly in this community. You have a good business and thrive or you go under.

This gives you an idea of the prices here. You can buy advantage and other flea products but they will be a little more expensive than in the States. You can also buy canned dog and cat food here. Wal-Mart carries it. The pet stores and vets have it too. But it will be more expensive than in the States.

I read that it costs an average of six thousand dollars to own a dog throughout its lifetime. Of course that amount would be much lower in Mexico.

There are many cats and dogs here. Some of them have owners. Some of them don’t. The butcher shop in the Plaza in Ajijic gives bones out to the dogs. They wait patiently there for hours. I have even seen a few dogs brave enough to go into the butcher shop and stand by the counter, waiting for those bones.

Are there many street dogs?

Most of the street dogs I have encountered here are not starving or sick. Maybe this is because so many people living in this area love dogs and cats. They rescue them off the streets and find good homes for them or put food out for them on a regular basis. It never gets too cold for the street dogs or too hot. The climate is perfect. This is a good place for dogs, cats and people.

By, Evelyn Walker

Lakeside Upcoming Events

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  • Rebozo Parade
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