Traveling internationally with pets requires a lot of advanced planning and research. Make sure you follow every step.
If you are planning an international trip, you may want to take your pet with you. However, it’s not as simple as packing up your pet and their food and hopping on a plane! Many countries have very strict rules regarding importing and exporting animals, pets included. If you accidentally skip steps, your pet could be quarantined for an extended period of time, or you could be refused at the border. Some even enforce mandatory quarantines. Laguna Niguel Veterinary Hospital recommends leaving pets at home if you can arrange for it. However, if your pet must travel with you, make sure to follow these steps.
- Do your research. Every country has different requirements for bringing pets across the border, so start your research early. Some countries require blood titer tests to check for rabies vaccine protection that need to be completed before vaccination a certain number of days before travel. Others require parasite prevention treatments. Every country sets their own requirements, so they are not standardized in any way. Read about every country’s requirements for pet travel on the USDA’s APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) website.
- Get a health certificate from your veterinarian. Most countries require pet owners to get a USDA-accredited veterinarian to issue an international health certificate a certain number of days before traveling. Laguna Niguel veterinarians can issue these certificates.
- Get the health certificate endorsed by your local APHIS office. Once you have the health certificate, most countries then require you to have it endorsed. You can typically do this by mail or in person. While these offices are designed to endorse these quickly, make sure you leave plenty of time in case of delays. Endorsement fees for pet health certificates start at $38, but they will cost more if the country requires federal authorities to review the pet’s test results.
- Check requirements with your airline. There may be additional health and/or carrier requirements from the airline you’re flying.
Navigating these requirements can be difficult, and that’s why we recommend starting research on this as soon as you begin planning your trip. If you need assistance, call Laguna Niguel Veterinary Hospital at (949) 558-3646.