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A dog out for a trip

International Health Certificates

Are you planning the ulti-mutt trip with your pet? Traveling internationally (and sometimes domestically) with your furry companion usually requires a mandatory examination conducted by a USDA-accredited veterinarian. As one of the only veterinarians in the Richmond area certified by the USDA National Veterinary Accreditation Program, we can provide the necessary travel documentation needed for your trip.

A pomeranian sitting in a suitcase

What is an International Pet Travel Certificate?

Most countries mandate a health certificate (also referred to as an international health certificate, veterinary health certificate, or export certificate) as a prerequisite for traveling with your pet. An International Health Certificate serves as official confirmation that your pet is in good health and complies with all the necessary criteria for international travel.

When traveling internationally, it's your responsibility to fulfill the specific entry requirements of each country you plan to visit. Some countries impose stringent regulations for pet entry, so thorough research is essential. Depending on the destination, we may need to update or administer additional vaccines, and in certain cases, adhere to quarantine protocols for a specified duration.

Here are some useful resources about International Certificates of Veterinary Inspection:

A cat in a carrier

When Should I Get My Pet’s International Health Certificate?

Requirements vary, but timelines are very strict. We recommend getting in touch with us as soon as you know your travel plans.

Each country has different rules and requirements, so it's vital to understand your destination's specific guidelines. These can include rabies testing, microchipping, vaccinations, and parasite treatments. Usually, you'll need to schedule an examination and certificate issuance within 21 days of departure (though the closer to the departure date the better), assuming you've met the country's requirements. Click here for more information about international travel requirements.

We ask that you have the following readily available to complete your certificate:

  • Pet’s Name
  • Breed
  • Color
  • Pet’s age
  • Origin country
  • Destination country
  • Whether your pet will be traveling alone, as cargo, or with a person in the plane’s cabin
  • Name, address, and phone number of the pet’s owner
  • Verification of good health and free of parasites
  • Vaccinations, including type, manufacturer, and batch number
A dog on a jetway

What Is The Difference Between an International Health Certificate and a Domestic Health Certificate for Pets?

An international health certificate is for persons traveling abroad. If the destination country necessitates USDA APHIS endorsement of the health certificate, it must be issued by a USDA-accredited veterinarian.

For interstate travel within the US, typically by air, a domestic health certificate may be required. While not all states mandate a health certificate, many airlines do. Both certificate types have specific prerequisites that must be fulfilled before embarking on your journey.

Here is some helpful information regarding Domestic Certificates of Veterinary Inspection:

United States Department of Agriculture: Travel with Your Pet State-to-State

Whether you're planning a grand adventure overseas or a domestic getaway, our USDA-accredited team can provide you with a health certificate from the comfort of your home.

To learn more about veterinary health certificates or to book an appointment, call us or use our request form today.