International travel with pets can be a daunting and time-consuming process. The doctors and staff at Caring Hands Animal Hospital have put together this guide to help you prepare.
It is important to note that preparation for international travel with your pet can require many months of advance planning, especially to Rabies-free countries & states such as Hawaii, Australia, and the UK. Some Rabies-free countries require preparation of at least 180 days in advance.
To begin planning for international travel with pets:
We encourage all pet owners preparing for international travel to visit the USDA-APHIS website for pet travel. You should also ask your airline for their specific requirements. Most airlines require a health certificate be completed within 10 days of your flight, but it is best to find out specifically.
It can also be helpful to contact the U.S. Embassy for your destination country to confirm their pet travel requirements. Once you have begun researching the requirements for your destination, please call us to schedule an appointment with one of our USDA accredited veterinarians.
At the Time of Your Appointment:
We need the following to be brought to and be readily available during your appointment with us:
- A copy of all vaccination information (if completed elsewhere).
- An original rabies certificate (if administered elsewhere).
- Your pet’s flea/tick and heartworm medications, and dates of last administration.
- Your pet’s microchip number and date of implantation. If your pet is not microchipped yet, we are happy to implant an ISO-compliant microchip at Caring Hands Animal Hospital. Please note that some countries require a rabies vaccine to be administered AFTER a microchip implantation.
- Travel destination address. If you do not know the address, you can use the U.S. Embassy address.
- Date of departure from the U.S. & date of arrival to your final destination country.
- A list of the airlines you will be traveling with and any countries where you may have a layover.
For the majority of countries, once your International Health Certificate is completed by a USDA accredited veterinarian, it must then be endorsed by the USDA State Veterinarian. If mailing, keep federal holidays in mind as they could affect the endorsement timeline.
This can be completed by one of two methods:
- In person, by appointment in Richmond, VA (no walk-ins)
- Mailed overnight to the USDA office in Albany, NY (preferred method)
We wish you the best of luck with your upcoming travel and look forward to seeing you soon!