If you’re planning to travel with your furry friend by car or plane to another state or country, you might need a certificate of veterinary inspection. This federal document is issued by a veterinarian accredited by the federal government and verifies that your pet meets specific health criteria. There are two types of health certificates for pets: domestic for interstate travel within the U.S. (typically by air) and international. Both types have strict regulations that veterinarians must adhere to.
Domestic Health Certificates
Requirements for pets traveling to different states may include having a current rabies vaccination and testing negative for heartworm or being on a heartworm preventative. Regulations vary by state. Domestic health certificates must be written on the same day that the veterinarian conducts a comprehensive physical examination and cannot be backdated. Consult with your airline and the states you’ll be driving through to see if a certificate is required (each has its own set of rules).
Click here to view the requirements for your intended destination state(s).
International Health Certificates
International health certificates differ by country, can be quite complex, and often take several months to complete. As soon as you have your travel arrangements, contact Aloha Vet, for assistance with the pet travel process. We’ll help you figure out the destination country’s requirements, including any required vaccinations, tests, and/or treatments.
Call us at 704-256-8340 and provide the following information:
• The type of animal that will be traveling
• The destination country
• The departure date from the U.S.
• Whether your pet will be traveling alone, as cargo, or with a person in the plane cabin
Certain countries may necessitate that you meet deadlines for updating your pet’s vaccinations, diagnostic testing, or administration of treatments and/or medications, so it’s essential to start the process EARLY! If your pet qualifies for a health certificate, we’ll issue it within the validity period (the time frame during which the certificate can be used for your pet to travel) specified by your destination country.
For detailed information about the five stages of obtaining an international health certificate for your pet, go to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service USDA APHIS website.