Obtaining the Appropriate Pet Health Certificate for Travel

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If you’re looking to travel internationally with your pet, there are quite a few things to consider. Each country has its own rules and regulations about pet travel, so you’ll need to do your research and obtain the proper pet health certificate for that individual country. USDA APHIS Pet Travel is a great place to start.

At The Cat Doctor in Montrose, we have the ability to issue international health certificates for your cat. In fact, we have over 20 years experience in issuing health certificates! As a USDA-accredited veterinarian, a health certificate from our vet is eligible for endorsement by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Let us know when and where you are traveling and we’ll work with you to get all your pet’s travel documents in order in a timely manner.

Pet Health Certificate for Your Cat Issued in Houston: Cat Looking out Airplane Window

Understanding International Health Certificates

Many countries, including the US, have health certificates specific to their country, yet some countries do not. In the event you are traveling to a place that does not have its own health certificate, you can use the US Interstate and International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals, which is required for all resident pets leaving the US. If your destination does have their own health certificate regulation, you'll need to do your research!

Steps to obtain the appropriate pet health certificate include:

  1. Visiting USDA APHIS Pet Travel and research your destination country or state's travel requirements.
  2. Letting us know when and where you are traveling! We will be able to then work on getting your pet’s vaccinations and pest prevention up to date so the certificate can reflect their latest health status.
  3. Issuing the certificate within a valid timeframe. Some countries have a tighter timeframe than others regarding the length of time the pet health certificate is valid between issuing it and the travel date. Please let us know the range of dates in which you will need the health certificate and we’ll work with that schedule to take care of it.
  4. Submitting the health certificate to APHIS, if required. Only some countries will require an APHIS endorsement, so doing your research is important! As a USDA-accredited veterinarian, all of our health certificates are valid for endorsement.
  5. Once we issue the health certificate and it is endorsed by APHIS (if required), you can complete any outstanding requirements. Some countries allow you to get treatments for your pet after the certificate’s issuing, such as tapeworm treatments for pets traveling to the UK.
  6. Prepare your pet for travel! Make sure they have an airline-approved carrier and check with your airline about any additional requirements.
Pet Health Certificate for Your Cat Issued in Houston: Kitten in Kennel

What a Pet Health Certificate Should Include

While some certificates may have different information depending on the country you are traveling to, in general, the certificate should include:

  • Name of your pet
  • Breed
  • Color
  • Age
  • Country of origin
  • Pet owner contact information including name, address, and phone number
  • A statement that your pet is free of parasites and their prevention is up to date
  • List of all current vaccinations and treatments including the type, manufacturer, and if possible, the batch number

Keep in mind that your pet must receive the rabies vaccine 21-30 days before travel but no more than 12 months before travel. While each country may have a slightly different timeline regarding rabies, all countries require that your pet enter the country before the expiration of their current vaccination.

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More Information

For more details on pet health certificates, please contact us. You can also check online at Pet Travel for information on the requirements of different countries.

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