If you’re going to be traveling internationally or across state lines and plan to take your pet with you, it’s important to be aware of exactly what will be required for your animal companion to make the trip. It’s also a good idea to make sure your pet is physically healthy enough for travel.
The veterinarians at Alto Tiburon Veterinary Hospital are USDA-accredited and can assist you in getting your pet ready for your trip, including assessing whether they’re healthy enough for travel—especially the rigors of an airline flight.
International travel for pets requires international health certificates—and some countries require proof of additional vaccinations and testing. You will find the certificate and other information about what’s required for your pet to travel at the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) page (see below) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). While the certificate must be prepared by a USDA-accredited veterinarian, the requirements for entry are established by each individual country.
Once your veterinarian completes the health certificate, it will need to be submitted for endorsement by mail or in person at your local USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services Export Service Office. There is an endorsement fee based on destination requirements.
The USDA suggests a minimum 10-day time frame for completing health certificates; however, many airlines require that health certificates be completed no more than 10 days prior to travel. You’ll need to contact your specific airline to find out their policy.
If you’re traveling with your pet from state to state, there may be some health and documentation requirements. Your first step should be checking the USDA-APHIS page for interstate travel (see below).
If you have further questions or want to schedule an appointment for your pet prior to travel, call us at (415) 383-7700. Bon voyage!
USDA travel certificate resources: