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Traveling with your pet is great, but is can be challenging and preparation is time consuming. We are here to make the process as streamlined as possible. We are your local USDA/APHIS accredited veterinarian for interstate and international travel, and can direct you to the appropriate resources to make the process as seamless as possible.

Depending on the state or country you are traveling to, we will need from 1-6 months lead time to get all the documents in order. Most travel within the continental United States is fairly straightforward, and requires only a single visit to the clinic. Travel to Hawaii is much more complex, and it helps to start the process early, particularly if it is your pet’s first visit to Hawaii. International travel also requires proper pre-planning, and regulations vary greatly from country to country so early planning is very important. Call us well ahead of your trip and we can get the process started.

Steps to Obtain an International Health Certificate

Please note that preparing for travel to some countries can take months. More information can be found here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel

Important information

  • It is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure their pet has met the requirements of the destination country.
  • Failure to meet the requirements may result in problems gaining certificate endorsement or difficulties upon arrival in the destination country.
  • Health certificates must be legible, accurate, and complete.

Pet Travel to a foreign country can be complex and time consuming. Before you start the process, you will need to know the type of animal traveling, the country of destination, the date of departure from the U.S., and whether or not the pet will be traveling alone, as cargo, or with a person in the cabin of the plane.

Steps involved in international pet travel:

  • Determine when the pet will be traveling and what the country of destination will be.
  • Work with the pet’s veterinarian to determine the destination country’s requirements, including any necessary vaccinations, tests, and/ or treatments. We recommend creating a schedule to make sure all requirements are met within the specified timeframes.
  • Some countries may require:
    • Timeframes that must be met for vaccinations, tests, and/ or treatments
    • Import permits or other pre-travel approval
    • Extensive pre-travel waiting periods
  • If the destination Country or State requires the pet’s health certificate to be endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/ stamped) by APHIS after it has been issued by a veterinarian, the veterinarian issuing the pet’s health certificate must be a USDA Accredited Veterinarian.

Have the pet’s veterinarian issue the health certificate within the validity period set by the destination country.

  • The certificate validity period (time frame a certificate can be used for your pet to travel) will be stated in the health certificate or on the Pet Travel Website.
    • To ensure there is time to complete the entire pre-travel process, APHIS recommends having the pet’s health certificate issued as soon as allowed per the destination country.

When APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required, the pet’s health certificate must be submitted to a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Endorsement Office after it has been issued by the pet’s veterinarian.

  • User fees will apply to endorsement.
  • Contact your local USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Endorsement Office for more information about endorsement services provided at each location.
    • In general, there are three methods of acquiring endorsement of a health certificate:
      • Mailing (USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL)
      • OR
      • In-person (appointment only)
      • OR
      • Online via USDA eAuthentication (by USDA Accredited Veterinarian)

Once the pet’s health certificate has been issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed by APHIS (when required), finish any outstanding requirements.

  • Some countries allow treatments to be completed after endorsement.
    • For example, tapeworm treatment for dogs traveling to Finland, Ireland, Norway, UK.
  • Some countries require consulate approval or pre-notification.

he pet may travel!

  • Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any.

Ready to schedule your health certificate appointment? Call us at (509) 448-4480 today!