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How To Get Health Certificate for Pets and How Much Does it Cost?

You will need to obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian if you are traveling with your pet out of the country. In this post, our Pleasant Hill veterinarians explain the steps involved in obtaining a health certificate for your pets.

How to Get a Health Certificate For a Dog or Cat

Any licensed veterinarian is qualified 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.

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?

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

Health certificates can be strictly enforced, so 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

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 much is a health certificate for a dog or cat?

Pet owners face multiple costs when they want to acquire a pet health certificate for their furry friend. Before paying for the certificate itself, there are things that pet owners need to get. First, your pet will need an examination to see if they are healthy. This cost is separate from the costs to cure or treat any diseases found. If your pet is found to be ill and you are looking to travel with them, you will want to get them treated or vaccinated to be healthy for the trip.

Next is the cost of the health certificate itself. Once your cat passes its health exam and is found to be healthy, your vet will issue you your documents. Some countries you travel to will require an additional blood test which also costs extra. The other costs that can add up are if you have multiple pets and need to do this for all of them you are traveling with. 

Breakdown of Pet Health Certificate costs:

The following costs are often involved in obtaining a pet health certificate:

  • The veterinary requirements such as microchipping, vaccinations, and bloodwork
  • The final vet exam, completion of the health certificate, and any additional treatments
  • The USDA endorsement of paperwork
  • Shipping the paperwork back to you before your pet's departure
  • Driving expenses from traveling to and from the vet 

How long are pet travel certificates valid?

Keep in mind that health certificates are valid for one month. Suppose you have travel plans with your dogs, cats, or farm animals. In that case, 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?

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.

Don't wait to order your pet's travel certificates. Contact our Pleasant Hill veterinarians to get your furry friend their health 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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