Domestic and International Travel with your Pet

Traveling with your pet can be stressful for both you and your pet. We hope to ease some of that anxiety, by making sure you are provided with the proper documentation to travel.  Our Veterinarian is accredited, and can provide both domestic and international health certificates.

Domestic travel usually just requires that your pet receive an exam several days before travel, and that core vaccines are up to date. Please check with the airline you are using for what is required. International travel is a bit more complex.

So if you are thinking about traveling out of the country with your pet, please take at these key things to remember, and please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.

1. Visit your Vet

– Preparing veterinarian visits and paperwork can take time, so be sure to start getting things in order for your trip at least six months in advance.

Owners should allow time for their veterinarians to complete multiple forms and perform special testing for your pet. Your veterinarian will determine if your pet is healthy enough to travel and is also a great source to find out other travel requirements for your pet.

2. Prepare your documents

– On your trip there are a few documents that you should take with you when you’re visiting a different country and also when you return to the U.S.

a. Be sure to bring your veterinarian’s contact information
b. Your pet’s identification – a color photo, ID tag, and travel tag (same as ID tag but includes contact information for your accommodations)
c. Pet’s Medical Records
d. Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate)
e. Acclimation certificate for air travel (dependent upon airline)

3. Know What the Destination Country Requires

– Each country has its own regulations about pet travel that are aimed at keeping out diseases and invasive species. All countries require basic vaccinations and official proof of your pet’s good health before allowing him/her in the country. If the correct documents are not available when you arrive to your destination country, it is possible that your pet may be quarantined.

4. How Will Your Pet be Traveling

– You should also take into consideration how your pet will be traveling. There are a few options to choose from: Your pet can be carried on and placed under your seat, checked in as baggage, or shipped as cargo.

– It is also a good idea to try to book a flight with fewer layovers and to choose departure and arrival times that avoid extreme heat or cold.

A few more things to keep in mind:

– If your pet will be returning back to the U.S., there may be certain re-entry requirements.

– If your pet is not a cat or a dog, it may have a different set of rules and regulations to follow. One example is a baby turtle does not need any vaccinations. Check with your vet and destination country to see how your pet’s documents and testing may differ.

Remember, your pet’s health is the most important thing when it comes to traveling abroad. If you have any questions or are planning a trip out of the country with your pet please call us at 703-549-7297 or stop in for visit! We’re happy to help!