USDA traveling with your pets

Traveling with your pet internationally? Use the link for helpful information on what paperwork, vaccines, etc. that you will need.

USDA traveling with your pets

Traveling with your pet internationally? Use the link for helpful information on what paperwork, vaccines, etc. that you will need.

Traveling with pets to other states and countries has always been a desire for many people. Whether they go to a neighboring state or travel halfway around the world, there are government regulations that control the transportation of animals. We rely on APHIS, a branch of the USDA, to compile these regulations and assist us in helping our clients follow the proper steps to get their companions to where they want to go.

Our USDA accredited veterinarians are here to assist our clients with pet travel. The process begins with accessing the APHIS Pet Travel website: www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel

Clients and veterinarians can scroll down the page and enter the pet’s destination. Using the travel website will lead them to the appropriate page where they can see the requirements necessary to travel.

The most valuable information we must convey to the clients is that the process takes time. Planning to travel with pets may take several months, and they should not expect to have everything done in a single visit.

Global Pet Link is a company that, for a fee, provides a service that streamlines the process for veterinarians and clients to complete the requirements in an orderly fashion. This company is not required to complete the process, and an accredited veterinarian can accomplish this task by following the APHIS guidelines and templates on the website.

Here are some specific points regarding travel to destinations.

International Travel

  • Every country has specific regulations regarding the importation of animals. It is important to access this information via the APHIS website.
  • Traveling to the UK may be more intense than traveling to European Union countries.
  • Most International Health Certificates are bilingual (English and language of destination)
  • Some countries will accept electronically endorsed Health Certificates. These are sent to the destination country by the USDA via the internet. There may be a delay before it is endorsed and sent. No official certificate is required. A copy of the endorsed certificate should be printed for the client to carry with the pet.
  • Other countries require an official signed Health Certificate. An overnight shipping label is sent electronically with the certificate to the USDA. Once endorsed, it is returned to the accredited veterinarian. Even though the certificate is sent overnight, it may be delayed before it is endorsed and sent.
  • Pet must travel within ten days of USDA endorsement.

Here are some specific points regarding travel to destinations.

International Travel

  • Every country has specific regulations regarding the importation of animals. It is important to access this information via the APHIS website.
  • Traveling to the UK may be more intense than traveling to European Union countries.
  • Most International Health Certificates are bilingual (English and language of destination)
  • Some countries will accept electronically endorsed Health Certificates. These are sent to the destination country by the USDA via the internet. There may be a delay before it is endorsed and sent. No official certificate is required. A copy of the endorsed certificate should be printed for the client to carry with the pet.
  • Other countries require an official signed Health Certificate. An overnight shipping label is sent electronically with the certificate to the USDA. Once endorsed, it is returned to the accredited veterinarian. Even though the certificate is sent overnight, it may be delayed before it is endorsed and sent.
  • Pet must travel within ten days of USDA endorsement.

Interstate Travel

  • Most states have minimum requirements for the transport of animals.
  • It is recommended that the owner goes to the APHIS website to determine specific state requirements.
  • Typically, all that is needed for interstate travel is a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.
  • Certificates of Veterinary Inspection usually do not need to be endorsed by the USDA.

In conclusion, preparing to travel with pets can be a process that starts many months before they leave their homes. Having a streamlined plan will reduce frustration on the part of clients and veterinary staff.