Pet Health Certificates

Pet Travel to a foreign country can be complex and time consuming.  Every country requires some sort of health certificate in order to admit a pet.  These certificates require a health exam by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian, and may also require certain vaccinations, tests or treatments.  All of the veterinarians at Animal Medical Clinic are USDA Accredited, and we can help you obtain health certificates.  Before we start the process, we will need to know the type of animal traveling, the country of destination, the date of departure from the U.S., and whether or not the pet will be traveling alone, as cargo, or with a person in the cabin of the plane.

Steps involved in international pet travel:

  1. Determine when the pet will be traveling and what the country of destination will be.
  1. Work with the pet’s veterinarian to determine the destination country’s requirements, including any necessary vaccinations, tests, and/ or treatments. We recommend creating a schedule to make sure all requirements are met within the specified timeframes.
    • Some countries may require:
      • Timeframes that must be met for vaccinations, tests, and/ or treatments
      • Import permits or other pre-travel approval
      • Extensive pre-travel waiting periods
    • The destination country may require the pet’s health certificate to be endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/ stamped) by the USDA after it has been issued by the Accredited Veterinarian.
  2. Have the pet’s veterinarian issue the health certificate within the validity period set by the destination country.
    • The certificate validity period (time frame a certificate can be used for your pet to travel) will be stated in the health certificate or on the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Pet Travel Website.
      • To ensure there is time to complete the entire pre-travel process, APHIS recommends having the pet’s health certificate issued as soon as allowed per the destination country.
  3. When APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required, the pet’s health certificate must be submitted to a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Endorsement Office after it has been issued by the pet’s veterinarian.
    • User fees will apply to endorsement.
    • Contact your local USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Endorsement Office for more information about endorsement services provided at each location.
      •  In general there are two methods of acquiring endorsement of a health certificate:
  1. Mailing (USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL)
    OR
    2.  In-person (appointment or walk in, office dependent)
  1. Once the pet’s health certificate has been issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed by APHIS (when required), finish any outstanding requirements.
    • Some countries allow required treatments to be completed after endorsement.
      • For example, tapeworm treatment for dogs traveling to Finland, Ireland, Norway, UK.
    • Some countries require consulate approval or pre-notification.
  2. The pet may travel!
    • Airlines may have separate and additional requirements.  Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any.

If you are planning to travel with your pet, give our team a call!

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321.727.2421 | 4020 Babcock St. Melbourne, FL 32901