Veterinarian-Issued Health Certificates for Traveling

Getting ready for a trip can be a busy task, because you have to make sure you have everything covered before you leave, especially if your pet is coming with you! Here at Animal General our vets are able to help you get the health care certificate your cat or dog needs to travel.

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Travel With Your Pet

A Health Certificate shows that your pet meets all the health requirements of the place you are traveling too.

You will need to get your pet vaccinated and start researching the required tests your cat or dog needs for travel as soon as possible. The USDA-APHIS office states that veterinarian issued health certificates have to be completed within exact time frame based on the state’s or country’s destination requirements. Please remember that Hawaii’s health certificate requirements are very similar to an international health certificate.

Also note that the majority of health certificates are valid only for up to10 days while several are valid for longer. Be sure to keep this in mind when you are selecting the date you schedule your appointment for, and remember that appointment slots often fill up days or even weeks in advance.

Veterinarian-Issued Health Certificates for Traveling

Before Your Appointment

Please follow the list below when preparing for your cat or dog's health certificate appointment:

  • Review the requirements for pet travel to your destination

    The requirements can be found through the USDA Pet Travel website. Animal General's role is to complete the certificate and provide the vaccines and shots required but, it's your responsibility to understand the requirements and make sure they are met in the correct time-frame for traveling.

  • Contact your airlines

    You have to inquire if the airlines have any more travel requirements, including specific vaccines or forms that need to be completed.

  • Call the hospital to make an appointment.

    International health certificate appointments will take 1 hour per pet. National health certificate appointments will be 30 minutes (except for Hawaii, which is also 1 hour). Most health certificates are valid for 10 days and take 1-3 business days to be processed by USDA, so make sure to plan your health certificate appointment and travel date accordingly.

  • What to bring to the appointment
    • Your full name, current address, and phone number
    • The name of your travel destination (person, hotel, etc.), address, and phone number
    • The date your pet will be travelling, method of transportation, and port of entry
    • All previous records from other veterinary clinics
    • Many health certificates need an original signed rabies certificate and the exact date of microchip implantation. If these were not performed at Animal General and are needed for your pet's travel, you have to bring these forms and dates with you to your pet's appointment.

During Your Appointment

At the appointment, we will conduct a comprehensive exam to make sure your pet is healthy for travel and fill out the Health Certificate.

You must then submit the completed certificates to the USDA office in Albany, NY. Processing time usually takes 1 - 3 business days.

When the certificate is finalized, you can either pick it up in person or it can be mailed to your address overnight. If you would like to have the health certificate overnight mailed to you,  you can purchase a pre-paid self-addressed overnight shipping label from FedEx.

Our Edgewater veterinarians are here to help facilitate the pet travel process and to fill out the required forms, however it is your responsibility to make sure all the travel requirements are met- so we ask that you come to your appointment prepared!

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