A vet examining a cat with the family thereTraveling with your pet adds a special dimension to seeing new places and takes the worry out of how your best friend will fare while you are away. Unfortunately, traveling abroad with your pet isn’t as easy as crossing our state lines.

Many countries, and even airlines, have strict requirements when it comes to traveling with pets. Thankfully, your team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center is here to help you fulfill these requirements as efficiently and thoroughly as possible.

First Things First: Obtaining A Pet Health Certificate

The requirements for the admission of foreign animals can vary widely from country to country and, without the proper paperwork, your pet may become trapped in quarantine for weeks or months, sent home, or at worst, euthanized. For this reason, please call Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center as soon as you know your destination country, and we will schedule a consultation with our Health Certificate Specialist, who will help you through the process.  

Although travel requirements vary depending on location, you will almost certainly be required to obtain a pet health certificate, also known as a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. In many instances, both the airline and your destination country will require this certificate.

International Health Certificates for the export of pets from the United States must be completed by one of our International Health Certificate-accredited veterinarians. If your pet’s health status meets all of the destination country’s requirements, our veterinarian will certify your pet and supply the required documentation to the appropriate governing body.

Getting Ready

The following important guidelines will help you to prepare your pet for travel to a foreign country:

  • Research your destination’s animal importing requirements.  Visit the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website, where you will find information regarding your destination country’s requirements for animal importing.
  • Download the requirements and read thoroughly. The USDA’s APHIS website offers up-to-date information and forms for travelling with your pet. We also recommend contacting the country’s ministry to verify its most current requirements.
  • Schedule an examination with our of our veterinarians. Your pet will need a thorough physical examination and, possibly, numerous tests to ensure that he or she is not carrying any illnesses or parasites that could be detrimental to the animals or ecosystems of your host country. Your veterinarian will examine your pet for signs of illness, run any required diagnostic tests, and update your pet’s immunizations.

Some countries require preparation that can take up to 6 months or more, and many are known to change their requirements frequently and without notice. In order to give yourself enough time to fulfill every requirement for traveling internationally with your pet, please contact Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center as soon as you begin your travel plans and we will be happy to help you get started.