Caring Animal Hospital is pleased to provide you with a Health Certificate for your pet. Our veterinarians are USDA certified in order to provide you with this service. We have a veterinarian that has a specialized Level II USDA certification for exotics species of pets. Your pet must be an active patient with us. You are required to research the specific requirements involved with your travel plans. Our staff is not familiar with the individual requirements of every state and country, as they all vary. All information and documents needed for travel can be found at the USDA APHIS website https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel and phone number listed below. Caring Animal Hospital is not liable for any oversights you have made that may lead to inadequate documentation or inappropriate timing. We will discuss requirements with you during the call to schedule the appointment/preliminary scheduled appointments in more detail, as needed.
WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT AS I AM CONSIDERING TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS?
All of the following are important:
- The veterinarian
- The airline or travel company
- The accommodations: hotel, motel, park, camping ground or marina
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal & Plant Inspection Service, Veterinary Services: www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/sregs or 800-545-USDA (8732) and press #2 for State Regulations
- Foreign Consulate or Regulatory Agency (if traveling to another country)
- If you are traveling to another country (or even Hawaii), there may be quarantine or other health requirements
- If traveling out of the continental United States, you should contact these agencies at least 4 weeks in advance
What is a pet health certificate?
A pet health certificate, or certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI), is an official document that your veterinarian fills out after performing a thorough exam on your pet. The document certifies that your pet is disease free and lists all of the vaccines your pet is up to date on. It also includes detailed information about your pet such as age, breed, and microchip information. You can only obtain a pet health certificate from a licensed, USDA accredited veterinarian. If you need a CVI for travel, be sure that your veterinarian is also USDA accredited.
Do I need a health certificate to fly with my pet?
Yes, just about every commercial airline will require a pet health certificate (one for each pet) that is to be on a flight. Airlines will vary with the time frame in which a health certificate needs to be obtained for your pet. For example, some airlines will require a health certificate within 14 days of travel while some will recommend the certificate be obtained within 10 days of travel. While you are in the planning stages of your trip, contact your airline to see if you will need any other paperwork completed in addition to a certificate of veterinary inspection. Some airlines have their own forms that will need to be filled out in addition to a health certificate.
What about driving from state to state?
Even if you are taking your own car on a road trip from California to another state, you may need a health certificate for your pets. The requirements vary from state to state. For example, there is no requirement for pets to have a health certificate to enter into California. Instead, the owner needs to provide proof of current rabies vaccination only. However, in other states, pets are required to have a valid health certificate in order to cross state lines. Without a current health certificate, owners could be fined hundreds of dollars. To check to see whether or not a specific state requires a pet health certificate for entry, use the website for USDA APHIS provided below.
Do I need a health certificate for traveling within my state?
Yes and no, this question has a different answer depending on how you are traveling. If you are staying within your state and you are driving, you do not need a health certificate issued for travel. However, it is recommended that you have proof of current vaccination for your pet as a precaution. If your pet has medical conditions it is also important that you inform your veterinarian of your plans to travel so that they can discuss any issues or precautions you may need to take. But, if you plan on flying you will be required by the airline to obtain a health certificate (and perhaps additional forms) . . . even if you are staying in the same state.
What about my service animal? Does he need a pet health certificate too?
Yes, even service animals are required to have a health certificate for travel. States do not make exceptions for service animals.
What about for traveling with my pet to another country?
Traveling with pets to another country also requires a health certificate. Some countries require additional forms to be filled out by your veterinarian. There are countries with very strict requirements for animals to enter (like specific vaccines and blood tests). Traveling to another country may take months of detailed planning.