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Health Certificates For Traveling Pets

Preparing for travel is a busy time, especially when bringing your pet with you! At Rivergate Veterinary Clinic, our vets can help you get the Travel Health Certificate your pet needs to join you in your travels.

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Travel with Your Pet

A Health Certificate certifies that your pet has met all of the standards imposed by your travel destination, which might range from booster vaccinations to microchipping.

You will need to get your pet vaccinated and start researching the required tests your cat or dog needs for travel as soon as possible. The USDA-APHIS office states that veterinarian-issued health certificates have to be completed within the exact time frame based on the state or country of destination's requirements.

Also, note that while some health certificates are valid for longer, most are only good for 10 days. And often, certificates require vaccinations or boosters having been administered as early as 6 months before the travel date. Keep all of this in mind when deciding on a day for your initial visit, since seats fill up rapidly.

USDA Pet Travel Website

Pet Travel Health Certificates

Before Your Appointment

Please follow the list below when preparing for your cat or dog's health certificate appointment:

  • Review the requirements for pet travel to your destination

    The requirements can be found through the USDA Pet Travel website.

    It's your responsibility to understand the requirements of the health certificate your pet needs for travel. It is our responsibility at Rivergate Veterinary Clinic to work with you to schedule required vaccines and booster shots and to write out the certificate at the end of the process.

  • Contact your airlines

    It is your duty to inquire with the airline you will be flying with about any travel restrictions, such as special immunizations or documents that must be completed.

  • Call the hospital to make an appointment.

    The actual appointment for writing up an international health certificate is 1 hour per pet. If you are traveling within the United States, appointments will be 30 minutes (excluding Hawaii, which is also an hour).

    The majority of health certificates are valid for 10 days after creation and will take anywhere between 1 and 3 business days for endorsement with the USDA. Make sure you plan your appointment and your travel dates accordingly.

  • What to bring to the appointment
    • Your full name, current address, and phone number
    • All previous records from other veterinary clinics
    • The date your pet will be traveling, method of transportation, and port of entry
    • The name of your travel destination (person, hotel, etc.), address, and phone number
    • Many health certificates need an original signed rabies certificate and the exact date of microchip implantation. If these were not performed at Rivergate Veterinary Clinic and are needed for your pet's travel, you have to bring these forms and dates with you to your pet's appointment.

During Your Appointment

In the lead-up to your Travel Certification Appointment, you will need to ensure you have met all of the requirements for the state or country to which you are traveling. 

When you bring your pet in for their appointment, we will conduct a comprehensive exam and review their medical history to make sure that they meet all of the necessary criteria. 

At present time, due to the COVID pandemic, health certificates are being submitted electronically to the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) by your pets veterinary clinic.  

Based on the country that you are travelling to the USDA will either process the health certificate electronically and our veterinary clinic will print it out for you, or they will ship the certificate to us overnight. 

Our Rivergate Veterinary Clinic veterinary team is here to help facilitate the pet travel process and complete the required forms. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the travel requirements are met. 

Please come to your appointment with us fully prepared.

New Patients Welcome

Rivergate Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of New York companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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