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The Importance of Pet Health Certificates in Travel

If you've ever found yourself needing to transport your pets to another country, you know the process goes beyond simply loading them into a trailer and hitting the road. In this discussion, our Pleasant Hill veterinarians explain the steps involved in obtaining a health certificate for your pets.

Who can issue health certificates for dogs and cats?

One might assume that any licensed veterinarian possesses the qualifications to issue health certificates for their patients, but this is not true. Accreditation for issuing health certificates is an optional choice for licensed veterinarians, as they can decide whether to undergo the additional training required to attain this status.

Accreditation in issuing health certificates has to come through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP). NVAP-accredited vets may perform testing for government disease programs and are authorized to prepare Official Certificates of Veterinary Inspection, or "health certificates", which are required for owners to transport their animals across state or national borders.  

Why do I need Health Certifications for my dogs and cats?

Health certifications can help prove that your cat or dog is healthy and vaccinated against rabies. When traveling with your dogs and cats, health certifications are required to enter the state or country. Depending on what state you are going to, you may need specific health certifications or tests completed. 

These requirements can be strictly enforced, so it is important to get the necessary health certificates before planning to travel. While pet health certificates are required for dogs and pets, they are also available for livestock. If you have any questions about health certifications required for cats or dogs when traveling, contact our vets. 

The Role of Dog Travel Certificates

A dog or cat health certificate for travel, ensures the well-being of pets and their owners during travel. The last thing anyone desires is for their beloved pet to fall ill or encounter an unhealthy animal while on the move. These certificates confirm that your pet is fit for travel and will remain in good health throughout the trip. They also protect your pets from exposure to any sick animals during transit.

By reducing the risk of disease transmission, these certificates significantly enhance the likelihood of maintaining your pet's health during travel. 

How long are pet travel certificates valid?

Health certificates are valid for only 30 days. If you have travel plans with your dogs, cats, or farm animals, you need to ensure you proactively reach out to your veterinarian well in advance to schedule the necessary health inspection for your pet's certification.

How do I know what certifications my pet needs?

Health certificates for dogs, cats, and large animals can be different in each state depending on the regulations. There is no easy answer to this question. To know exactly what certifications your animal will need, you will have to do some research. 

A helpful resource for information about animal movement requirements is the state animal health official (usually the State Veterinarian) in the state you are traveling to. The animal health official of each state needs to be a standing member of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA).

If you would like more details about required health certifications, or clarifications on your state's requirements, speak to your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to direct you to the right resources to help make this task a little easier.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get your pet's travel certificate. Our Pleasant Hill veterinarians are NVAP-accredited. 

New Patients Welcome

Diablo View Veterinary Medical Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced veterinarians are passionate about the health of Pleasant Hill companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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