Living in a major city, we have many clients with ties all over the world. If you plan on travelling overseas with your dog or cat, we can help prepare the paperwork necessary for travel.
Please know that there is no one set requirement for travelling internationally. You must check with your country of destination to determine what is required for travel. Your country of destination’s consulate and/or Ministry of Agriculture are often good sources for this. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS website has compiled a database which lists the known requirements for many countries around the world http://tinyurl.com/ndnay74. Please note that the information provided by the USDA should be verified with your country of destination as sometimes these requirements change.
Please review the following when making your arrangements for travel. MICROCHIP. Does your pet need a microchip for travel? Many, but not all, countries require a 15-digit microchip.
- BLOOD TESTS. Some countries require bloodwork in order to be allowed into the country. Many of these blood tests often have to ship to an approved laboratory and can take several days to weeks to get the results. The most common blood requirement is a rabies titer, the results of which take 4-6 weeks to get back. On top of that, some countries require an additional waiting period (sometimes up to 180 days) after receiving a passing result before an animal is allowed in the country.
- PARASITE TREATMENTS. Some countries require treatment for internal and external parasites within a certain time frame prior to travel (e.g., no less than 24 hours but no more than 120 hours).
- Rabies vaccination is required by all countries. Keep in mind that for some countries, only rabies vaccinations given AFTER the microchip are recognized. If it is the first rabies vaccination after the microchip, then some countries require a 21-day waiting period before being eligible for travel. Some other countries require TWO rabies vaccinations. Other vaccinations (distemper, leptospirosis) are sometimes required as well. Keep in mind that these vaccinations often have to be given within a certain time frame prior to travel (e.g., not less than 30 days, but no more than 1 year).
- Several health certificates are often necessary for travel. These certificates can be issued once we have examined your pet, and again have to be done within a certain timeframe outlined by your destination country. These forms almost always include the USDA 7001 form along with country-specific forms. We can typically provide all these forms. Some countries require an import permit which is often your responsibility to obtain, often coming directly from your destination country. Once we issue the health certificates, they almost always need to be endorsed by a federal (USDA) veterinarian. You will need to allow at least 3-4 days for this as this process is done by mail only. The results of any blood tests and an original (i.e., ink signature) rabies certificate should be included.
Please pay attention to the TIMELINE and ORDER for completing the necessary steps. Give yourself enough time to prepare. Depending on the country of origin, preparation and blood tests sometimes need to begin 6 months to 1 year in advance, although 10-14 days may be sufficient for other countries. Also be prepared for the COST necessary to prepare your pet for travel – this includes the cost of the examining your pet, paperwork preparation (which can be quite arduous), any necessary blood tests (which can run a few hundred dollars or more), microchip, and parasite treatments. Travel fees set out by the airline also must be taken into account.
With the right amount of time and preparation, we can make the process of flying your pet overseas as stress-free as possible. If you have questions about a specific country, please do not hesitate to call.