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Dog Health Certificates for International Travel Adventures

Traveling with your dog to another country is not as simple as just hitting the road with them in the back seat. In this article, our Pleasant Hill veterinarians explain the steps involved in obtaining a dog health certificate for international travel.

What is a pet health certificate?

For dogs to travel internationally and even into some states, they need to be issued a pet health certificate for international travel. Countries like Germany, France, and Poland have pet health certificates that are specific to their country. Some countries do not have an approved health certificate at all.

If there is no health certificate for the country you are going to from the USA, you should use the International Health Certificate. This certificate is officially known as the United States Interstate and International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals.

Benefits of a Dog Health Certificate

Imagine being on a plane with multiple crates of sick cats, that would not be pleasant. Pet health certificates can help protect your dogs and cats while traveling. The last thing you want is for your pet to become ill or come in contact with a sick animal while traveling. Pet health certificates ensure that your pet is healthy enough to travel and they will be healthy for the duration of your trip. Pet health certificates also prevent your pets from coming in contact with any sick animals while traveling.

These certificates help to limit the potential of contracting a disease and increase the chance of keeping your pet healthy during travel. Contact our vets if you want to learn about more benefits of a health certificate for pets.

Why does my dog need a health certificate for international travel?

Health certificates ensure that your dog is healthy enough to travel and isn’t going to carry or pass along diseases to other pets or people. Only pets in good health are permitted to travel by plane or boat. The country you are traveling to may have specific health requirements that must be met before your pet can enter. Certain health requirements may include vaccinations, passing a health exam, or other specifications. 

Having a part health certificate for international travel is the law because it helps protect pet and their owners while traveling out of state. 

How do I get a valid health certificate?

Before you start the process of obtaining a health certificate for your pet, you need to determine the destination country and dates of travel. Ensure you proactively reach out to your veterinarian well in advance to schedule the necessary health inspection for your animal's certification. If you need proof that your pet is healthy enough to travel, contact us to schedule a wellness exam for your pet. Your vet will determine if your pet has any signs of disease or health risks they could pass along to others while traveling. We will also ensure that your pet has all required vaccinations to travel. 

The majority of health certificates are valid for up to 10 days. This means if you plan to travel with your dog, you need to make sure you have enough time to get a health exam completed shortly before you travel. 

Be sure to keep this in mind when you are selecting the date for which you schedule your appointment, and remember that appointment slots often fill up days or even weeks in advance.

How do I know what certifications my pet needs?

Health Certificate requirements for dogs, cats, and large animals can differ in each state depending on the regulations. To find out exactly what certifications your animal will need, research or contact your vet. 

One of the best resources for information about animal requirements for travel is the state animal health official in the state you are traveling to. If you want more details about required health certifications, or clarifications on your state's requirements, speak to your veterinarian. Your vet will direct you to the right resources to help make this task a little easier.

Contact our Pleasant Hill veterinarians to schedule an appointment if you need to get your pet a travel certificate. 

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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