Kibble and travel bowls? Collar and harness? Check. Pet medications? Favorite toys? Of course, they’re already packed. (Unless your furry friend snuck them out of her suitcase when you weren’t looking.) You already have your pet’s essentials, but if you’re planning to travel with your pet to another country or state, you need to pack a health certificate, too.

What’s a Pet Health Certificate?

Pet health certificates, also called certificates of veterinary inspection, are documents provided by a USDA-certified veterinarian that prove your pet’s good health. These documents show you and any border or customs officials that your pet is healthy enough to enter their country or state without becoming ill or spreading disease to local animal populations.

Which Type of Health Certificate Does My Pet Need?

There are two types of health certificates available for pets: domestic and international. The type your pet needs depends on where you plan to travel and your mode of transportation. For example, if you’re taking a cross-country road trip with your pet, you should be good to go with a domestic certificate. If you will be crossing the border into another country, then your pet will need an international health certificate.

If you’ll be using any form of public transportation like airplanes or trains during your journey, you should also check (well in advance) with your airline or other transit companies to find out whether they have any specific requirements for traveling pets. Even for domestic travel, airlines might require pets to have health certifications that are up to the international standard.

How Do I Get a Health Certificate for My Pet?

To obtain a pet health certificate, schedule an appointment with our specially accredited veterinarian. Then gather your pet’s information and your travel details. You’ll need things like your airline’s and destination’s requirements, plus your pet’s vaccination records and some info on the vaccines your pet received. We’ll also need to know how your pet will be traveling (with you or as cargo on an airplane).

For additional information regarding your pet and travel destination, visit the USDA’s website.

If you’re planning an upcoming trip, contact us as soon as you know where you’re going. Depending on the type of certificate needed, it can take some time.

Health Certificate Appointments with a USDA-Accredited Veterinarian in Richmond

Our veterinarian at Capital Home Veterinary Care has completed the USDA’s voluntary National Veterinary Accreditation program in order to provide our patients with certificates of safe and smooth travel. To schedule a health certificate appointment, contact us today.