Traveling with a pet?
Health Certificates are always needed when traveling with your pet(s) either outside the country or on an airline. It is important to know that it always requires a lot of preparation and sometimes, a great deal of paperwork. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to do the research needed and to acquire the appropriate documentations. To help you along with the process, we've compiled some information to help but we can't stress enough the importance of thorough planning on your part.
ALL COUNTRIES AND AIRLINES HAVE DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS SO TAKING THE TIME TO DO THE RESEARCH IS CRITICAL.
What to expect
As a pet owner, you must know everything that you will need in order to travel with your pet. A veterinarian will examine your pet during your Health Certificate Appointment and the staff of the hospital will complete the forms that you provide. However, it is the owner’s responsibility to provide all proper and necessary paperwork and present a complete list of requirements for the country you are traveling to so that the veterinarian is able to complete the appropriate tests during the exam. Any misinformation provided to the veterinarian (such as the wrong destination address or not having proof of rabies certification) can cause havoc with the international health certificate process and, in some cases, prevent you from traveling with your pet.
Here are a few links to help get you started:
Health certificate owner checklist: International
The following information is what your veterinary team needs to know before completing your pet's international health certificate- please make sure you have this information before booking your appointment for the Health Certificate:
1. Where is your pet going (destination country)?
a. If you are traveling to the European Union, Norway, or Switzerland, who will be traveling with the pet?
2. What is the address in the destination country where your pet will be staying?
a. What date is your pet leaving the United States?
b. When are you and your pet arriving to the destination country?
3. What type (species) of pet will be traveling?
Work with your veterinary team to answer the following questions. Please consult the APHIS USDA travel website for this information.
1. What type of health certificate is required?
a. A country-specific health certificate
b. A generic pet certificate (ex. APHIS 7001)
2. Is a microchip required?
a. Yes or no
- What type? When was it implanted?
3. What vaccines does your destination country require? What vaccines must be updated?
Please be sure to update vaccines BEFORE your Health Certificate appointment!
List vaccine names and when they must be given (CHECK MINIMUM DAYS REQUIRED FOR VACCINE ADMINISTRATION FOR YOUR DESTINATION COUNTRY. Ex. The EU requires that if a rabies vaccine needs to be updated it MUST given given 21 days prior to travel!)
4. Are any laboratory tests required by your destination country?
If yes, what tests are required and when must these samples be collected? (Note: The sample MUST be collected within the testing time frame required by your destination country. Some tests may take a long time for the results to be returned and/or some countries require a waiting period after testing and before entry into the destination country.)
5. Are any treatments required by your destination country?
If yes, what treatments and when must they be given? (some countries require your pet to be de-wormed prior to travel!)
6. When must a physical exam of the pet(s) be performed prior to travel? (this is commonly
1. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they have, if any. Airlines may have separate and additional requirements from those of your destination country. If you intend to bring your pet back into the U.S., there may be certain re-entry requirements, depending on where you traveled. You should plan for them now. See the pet import section for details.
2. Work with your veterinarian to complete all required paperwork. Please consult the APHIS pet travel website to access the required certificate/form, when available.
3. After your health certificate has been completed, signed, and dated by your veterinarian, most countries require that international health certificates be submitted to a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services office for endorsement. Some offices offer to review health certificates prior to submission. Please work with your endorsing USDA office to determine your options for paperwork review and/or submission.
4. Travel with your pet