Health Certificates for Domestic and International Travel
If you plan to travel with your cat or dog out of state or internationally, your pet might need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, also called a Health Certificate, before departure. This certificate ensures pets are healthy enough to travel and do not put other pets at risk. Health certification can be a lengthy process; we recommend beginning months in advance. Contact our veterinarian as soon as you know your travel details.
Domestic Health Certificates
Most states require a current Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. Although each state’s requirements vary, certification typically requires a complete physical examination to screen pets for signs of disease and current Rabies vaccinations.
International Health Certificates
International Health Certificates are very thorough and can take months for approval, but should not be issued more than 21 days prior to your departure. Our veterinarian will help you determine an appropriate timeline for screening, vaccinations, and treatments. Requirements and processes vary country to country, but the following information is always required for international health certificates:
- Pet’s name
- Country of origin
- Whether pet will travel as cargo, alone, or with a person in the cabin
- Verification of good health
- Record of vaccinations, including type, manufacturer, and batch number
Who Can Issue a Travel Certificate for My Pet?
Generally, any licensed veterinarian can issue health certificates for pets traveling within the continental United States (excludes Hawaii). But when your pets need to travel internationally, most countries require an international health certificate to be issued (completed, signed and dated) by a USDA accredited veterinarian. USDA Accredited Veterinarians have completed training in order to have this qualification.
Preparing for Your Pet's Appointment
It is ultimately the responsibility of pet owners to ensure pets meet the requirements of the destinations they will be visiting and the airlines they will be using to get there. When scheduling your pet’s appointment, be prepared to tell our receptionist which country(s) or state(s) your pet will be visiting.
You can view specific pet travel requirements for countries and states at the USDA’s website. You should also research your airline’s rules to ensure pets also meet their requirements. We encourage you to research these requirements prior to scheduling your pet’s appointment.
Start the Certification Process
Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Romano, is a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. If you have upcoming travel plans, we encourage you to gather the necessary information, then contact us to schedule an appointment. Our veterinarian will help you through the steps involved in preparing your pet for international travel.