Domestic & International Travel with Your Pets
As wonderful as it can be to bring your pet along on life's adventures, travel with your pet can also become a very stressful experience. This is particularly true when you are traveling to other countries, as there is usually a large amount of paperwork to fill out and regulations to follow in order to legally transport your pet. At Stack Veterinary Hospital, our APHIS accredited veterinarian is happy to help with the process and try to make it less confusing. Please keep in mind that our veterinarian will not complete forms for emotional support or service animals. Any documents that are not USDA forms, may not be completed by the veterinarian.
Here are some suggestions to make your preparations for travel easier for everyone involved:
1. International travel papers take time to process properly. It is very common for other countries to require documentation of veterinary visits starting at least 30-45 days prior to travel. For some countries this documentation extends to more than 6 months. For this reason we restrict health certificate endorsement to established patients. If you are not currently a client, we request that you make an appointment to establish a legal relationship as far in advance of travel as possible.
2. Every country is different. The vaccinations, certificates, parasite treatments, and other requirements for entry into a foreign country vary SIGNIFICANTLY between destinations. There are even restrictions based on where your pet is traveling from. While we will do everything we can to help you determine what is necessary (and what has already been performed) for your pet's travel plans, it is important for you to contact the consul or animal health department in your country of destination and obtain a list of what is needed, as we do not always have access to this information. The following USDA website is a great place to start: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel. It is also important to contact the airline you are planning to travel with, to ensure there are no airline specific requirements that must be taken into account.
3. Every state in the U.S. is different. The vaccinations, certificates, parasite treatments, and other requirements for each state may vary. There are even restrictions based on where your pet is traveling from. While we will do everything we can to help you determine what is necessary (and what has already been performed) for your pet's travel plans, it is important for you to contact the animal health department in your state of destination.
4. Health certificates require endorsement. Nearly all international health certificates must be signed by an accredited veterinarian at our office and then submitted to the New York State Import Export Services office in Albany for endorsement. Normally performed shortly before travel, this process usually takes less than 72 hours, but cannot be left until the last minute. Endorsement does cost an additional fee which is not covered by our office. We will be happy to provide you additional details at the time of your visit.