Primary Care

Health Certificates

Your pet is an important member of your family and you may wish to take him/her with you when you travel. There are different requirements depending if you are traveling by car or by airplane, and whether your travel is outside the 48 contiguous states.

Normally, pets must have a health certificate within 10 days of traveling. Older health certificates will not be valid. The health certificate will contain information about vaccinations along with the general health of the pet, certifying that your pet is healthy enough to withstand typical travel conditions.  Each state has different requirements regarding health certificates and vaccinations, so it is important to know the requirements not only of the state you are traveling to but also any states that you will be traveling through, if you are driving. Some places even have breed restrictions that you should be aware of if you are traveling with a pet that may be targeted with Breed Specific Legislation.

Unless your dog is very small, he/she will need to be shipped as cargo. Along with the health certificate, the name and address of the shipper must be listed.  The age and pregnancy status of the pet should also be specified in the health certificate.  Some airlines will need a statement that the pet can travel in the more extreme temperatures (especially in the winter and summer).  Depending on what the temperatures are, our doctors may or may not advise that your pet will be safe to travel.  We urge you to carefully consider their safety if your pet needs to travel in the cargo hold of the plane. Most importantly, please be aware that if your pet is flying it is your responsibility to check with the airlines on any requirements for traveling with your pet. Our doctors can make recommendations to help you try to make the trip as pleasant as possible for your pet.

International Health Certificates

If you are planning on taking your pet with you to a foreign country, it is important to research requirements for each country.  We recommend you contact us as soon as you know that you will be traveling.  We can help you research your trip and make sure that all the requirements are met in the correct time frame. Many countries require an exam by a veterinarian who has a special accreditation. Some countries require specific tests, vaccinations, and deworming done prior to travel. These need to be performed in the time frame required. Many countries require an endorsement by a USDA Veterinarian after the Accredited Veterinarian does their exam, but often less than 10 days prior to travel. Finally, please note that it is your responsibility to find out and ensure that you comply with all country and airline specific requirements for both leaving and re-entering the country.

If These Requirements Are Not Met, Your Pet:

  • May not be allowed to travel with you
  • May not be allowed into the country to which you are traveling
  • May need to be quarantined when you reach your destination country

Some breeds of dogs are not allowed in some countries.