Domestic & International Health Certificates
Many clients travel with their pets to far-off lands, both domestic and international. Airlines, foreign countries, and several domestic states require a veterinary certificate of health in order for your pet to join you. Most airlines simply require a current rabies certificate and a health certificate, however state and country requirements vary widely, from a rabies certificate and brief declaration of health to various laboratory testing, medications, treatments, and an official certificate that must be counter-stamped by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); the timing of all of these requirements vary, as do associated costs. District Veterinary Hospital employs USDA Accredited Veterinarians and, collectively, we’ve written countless certificates for pets traveling across the globe – it’s the nature of our international city.
Pre-Health Certificate Examination
For domestic travel to Hawaii or Alaska and for international travel, a pre-health certificate examination at District Vet is required in addition to any examination that may be necessary closer to your intended travel. At this initial visit a veterinarian will review the destination-specific requirements, if known, gather information about additional required documents, advise on and/or administer necessary vaccinations, plan required testing, and formulate an appropriate timeline for all needs to be met, including the certificate issuance and, if needed, additional review and endorsement by the USDA. We recommend this visit as soon as you know that your pet may be traveling as some destinations require at least 6 months preparation! If you are thinking of traveling with your pet, it is best to give us a call so we can help you plan and try to set everyone up for success.
What to Expect
The costs associated with the health certificate process can vary so we want you to be prepared – depending on your destination, the health certificate appointment, processing fees, and shipping (if required) by themselves can range from a routine examination of approximately $100, and can range up to $600 or more for complex certificates, especially when additional vaccinations, testing, treatments, or forms are needed.
In preparation for your visit, please gather all prior vaccination documents, including the original, signed rabies certificates and proof of microchip implantation (if available). You may need to contact prior veterinary providers to obtain this information and we encourage you to have them send those records directly to our office. We will need to know your departure date, method of travel, any countries through which you are transiting /
transferring airplanes (even if you are not exiting customs, many countries require a transit health certificate), a destination address, and a host of other information as outlined in our questionnaire. Whether you fill it out online or our staff sends it to you for completion, the health certificate questionnaire must be completed and returned to our office no less than 48 hours prior to your appointment.
Call us or schedule an appointment online.
Meet with a doctor for an initial exam.
Put a plan together for your pet.