Obtaining a Pet Health Certificate for Travel

If you plan to travel with your pet and will be visiting a foreign country, you'll likely need an approved pet health certificate in order to do so. Generally speaking, you can travel throughout the same country that you're in without having one of these certificates, and many countries will not require a certificate of this type in order to cross the border into the area as well.

However, it's a good idea to check on the requirements if you plan to do international traveling with your pet, or if you're going to be moving to a new country with your pet in tow as well. Fortunately, obtaining a pet health certificate is generally quite easy.

Pet Health Certificate Overview

A pet health certificate is an official document that is provided by a veterinarian's office to indicate the current health standing of a pet. The reason that some areas require a document of this type is that there are certain diseases that different types of pets can carry that may be passed along to people. If you enter into an area where a disease has not been introduced along with a pet that carries that disease, it can quickly spread to other animals or even to humans in the affected area, as those animals and people will not have the proper resistance to the disease already.

Procedure for Obtaining a Pet Health Certificate

The best way to start the process of getting an approved pet health certificate for your pet is to visit your veterinarian's office. The vet will generally need to make a series of tests and examinations on your pet to ensure that your pet is safe for traveling and in good enough health. These include the following:

  • General physical examination
  • Blood work
  • Urinalysis
  • Stool sample

Depending upon the medical history for your pet, the vet may also conduct other tests as well. These may include x-rays to examine bones and joints, ultrasounds and other tests as well. Each of the sets of findings will be recorded and the vet will need to fill out a set of paperwork. Most veterinary offices have the general paperwork necessary for a pet health certificate. If not, however, you'll need to provide them with that information and paperwork; for this reason, it's good to call your pet's vet's office before you visit to inquire about whether they have the necessary documentation.

Receiving the Pet Health Certificate

The pet health certificate must be made official in order to be valid for traveling with your pet. This may require that your veterinarian have it notarized, that you send away the certificate information for other procedures.

It's always a good idea to check on whether or not you'll be required to have a pet health certificate in the places where you'll be traveling before you begin to go to the trouble of applying for the procedure. Because of the vet fees and the application costs, you'll save yourself both time and money this way.