If you are planning on traveling with your pet either domestically or internationally, the usda suggests that working with a local veterinarian is a great start in determining the health requirements and required documentation of the area in which you are visiting. In many cases, however – veterinarians know just a fraction or very little concerning how to supply required documents or where to gather the information.
The intent of this article is to serve as an essential guide to help pet owners understand what the requirements are to ascertain a proper health certificate for travel within the borders of the united states as well as abroad.
Traveling With Your Pet in the United States
Traveling within the united states with your pet is relatively common and very easy. Most all health certificates are accepted by all airlines. The certificate must include the words health certificate on the document – usually at the top of the page. The health certificate must attest by a licensed veterinarian that he/she has fully examined the pet that is traveling and has concluded that the pet is free from disease and healthy to travel. It’s good to have the pet’s name, breed and gender detailed on the health certificate as well as the pet owner’s full name, telephone number, and complete address. In order for the health certificate to be valid, it must detail the attesting veterinarian’s name, signature and dated, along with the veterinary’s name, address, and telephone number.
Traveling With Your Pet Outside the United States
Traveling abroad with your pet can be very trick and requires plenty of planning ahead. Every country has its own unique requirements and their own forms to be completed. In many cases, their health document may not include the words health certificate on it. The united states department of agriculture guesstimates that 30-40% of pet travel documents submitted are either missing information or incorrect. It is the utmost importance to get gain a definite understanding of the visiting county’s requirements to make sure that you are in full compliance prior to your arrival.
A very good place to start with your endeavor to secure proper travel documentation for your pet is at the united states department of agriculture’s website – https://www.Aphis.Usda.Gov/aphis/pet-travel. The usda created a website for pet owners who wish to travel with their pet. The website has a directory that enables the pet owner to search by country. Each country listed details if documents can be submitted electronically. On the usda’s website, click on the “definition of a pet” tab to ensure your pet is classified at an animal that can travel. If traveling with a bird, please be aware that all birds are considered pets – be sure to check the usda’ s website to verify classification.
Many of the health forms are fillable pdg files and downloadable. All fields that require information from the attesting veterinarian are left empty. After the form is downloaded, the required information goes into the highlighted boxes.
In many cases, after the pet’s health exam is completed by a usda approved veterinarian and the health certificate is created, the health certificate and all supporting documentation must be sent to the regional or state usda office for proper endorsement. At that point the usda medical veterinary officer signs and embosses documents with a raised seal to certify all signatures. Many times, this process is left to the pet owner to execute.
The Travel Experience
When traveling with a pet, home or abroad, it is to the utmost importance to be as thorough as possible. Oft times it requires weeks if not months of proper preparation and planning. It is a good idea to get an early start. All requirements must be adhered to in every situation. The worst thing a pet owner could learn at the airport is that their pet cannot fly due to an administrative error or requirement oversight and miss the flight.
Traveling with a pet can be a smooth and great experience if planned and prepared properly.