International Health Certificates
For domestic and international travel.
Whether you’re planning a trip to another state or another country, your pet will need the appropriate health certificate in order to travel. Since our veterinarians are USDA accredited, we are qualified to provide domestic and international health certificates here at our hospital.
Domestic Health Certificates
If you’re traveling with your pet to another state, you might need a domestic health certificate. To find out, we recommend checking with your airline and the state you’re traveling to. To obtain a domestic health certificate, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, who will examine your pet to make sure they’re healthy and current on all its vaccinations and tests. This must be done at least 8-10 days before your departure date.
Make sure you are able to provide the exact address of where you are traveling from, along with the address of your destination, as these will need to be listed on the health certificate along with your pet’s medical and vaccine information.
International Health Certificates
Acquiring an international health certificate is a little more complicated, and thus requires careful preparation well in advance of your departure date.
APHIS Pet Travel is a good place to start to begin the process of obtaining your pet’s international health certificate. Through this website, you can find out exactly what you’ll need to fulfill the requirements of your destination country. There is a lot of paperwork involved, and you’ll need to schedule at least 2 separate appointments with us: one to talk about what your pet will need and administer any necessary vaccines, tests, or other treatments, and another for picking up your completed certificate.
It is very important that you give yourself enough time to complete the process, as there will be lots of planning and research involved. Furthermore, many of the requirements for an international health certificate are time sensitive and must have extensive documentation.
It is your responsibility to know everything you’ll need to travel out of the country with your pet, and you will need to be able to provide the appropriate documentation when required. After one of our USDA-accredited veterinarians examines your pet and administers any necessary treatments, our team will complete the documents you provide.
Please note: the cost of these certificates does not include any potentially required vaccinations, treatments, or tests.
Steps for Obtaining an International Health Certificate for Your Pet
- Begin researching via APHIS Pet Travel as early as possible. Contact your airline to find out if they have any requirements for your pet. You should also create a timeline for yourself so you know what is needed and when, and won’t be scrambling at the last minute to get the documents you need. USDA approval can take up to a week.
- Gather all of the information that is required for your pet. This typically includes their vaccine records, an up-to-date signed rabies certificate, your pet’s microchip number, and any relevant tests that may be required by your destination country. If there are certain vaccines or other treatments your pet doesn’t have yet, make a list you can show to your vet.
- Make an appointment for your international health certificate which gives you plenty of time to wait for it to be processed before your departure date. Here at Sunridge Animal Hospital, we go a step further with international health certificates and submit the information directly to the USDA for approval. Again, this may take up to a week or more, so be sure to give yourself enough time. Also, keep in mind that the USDA charges a processing fee starting at $38 (the cost can vary depending on how much information is required by your host country).
- Bring your pet to their first health certificate appointment with all the necessary paperwork, which we’ll use to enter your pet’s information into the USDA system. One of our USDA-accredited veterinarians will examine your pet and administer any necessary vaccinations, tests, and/or treatments at this time.
- At your second appointment, you will pick up your pet’s international health certificate. Know that some countries need original documentation, so we may have to send you your documents via FedEx.