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International Health Certificates and Travel for Companion Animals
Stuart Animal Hospital has on staff veterinarians credentialed by the Federal Government to issue documents for interstate and international travel with companion animals. Depending on destination the requirements can be very stringed, sometimes requiring months of preparation. Furthermore, requirements often change monthly, necessitating thorough research of your pet's individual requirements in order for us to prepare the appropriate travel documents. Proper preparation is extremely important as it can avoid unnecessary and costly quarantine of your beloved pet.
Our veterinarians are accredited by the USDA to issue Health Certificates
Most airlines require that the Health Certificate be issued within 10 days of travel
Your pet's current Rabies Certificate should accompany the Health Certificate
What is a Health Certificate?
A Health Certificate is a document that is issued by the veterinarian certifying that 1) the veterinarian has examined the traveling dog or cat, 2) considers the pet to be in good health and free of infectious or contagious diseases, and 3) the pet has a current rabies vaccination and is not from a rabies quarantined area. The Health Certificate must be prepared by a USDA accredited veterinarian ( our veterinarians have obtained this accreditation), this is not to be confused with the Official APHIS State veterinarian-who in most cases must endorse international Health Certificates after preparation by an accredited veterinarian.
If your dog or cat is traveling to Hawaii, or internationally, there are generally more requirements for travel in addition to the Health Certificate and Rabies Certificate (microchip, blood tests, special forms, USDA endorsement by the Official APHIS State veterinarian, etc). For more details, please contact the country's consulate office, or feel free to call to schedule a consultation with our Travel Document Liaison at (772) 287-2242. Please provide the following information as it will expedite the process:
All Pertinent Documentation and Medical Records (including rabies vaccinations, rabies titers, and microchip/tattoo identifications)
Please be advised that if traveling by air many airlines require documentation independent of those documents required by the country or province to which your pet is traveling. It is your responsibility to contact the appropriate airline to determine these requirements. Airline requirements may include State issued Health Certificates and Letters of Acclimation.
As of July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies. This includes dogs arriving from countries not at high risk if the dogs have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months.
CDC has the authority to issue a CDC Dog Import Permit for US citizens and lawful residents relocating from high-risk countries to bring their dogs into the United States. Such permits will be issued on a limited basis.
UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021, dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:
has a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
has proof of a microchip;
is at least 6 months old;
is healthy upon arrival; and
arrives at an approved port of entry
Expired US-issued rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, you must apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit, if eligible.
UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021, all dogs that have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months may only enter the United States through an approved port of entry, which includes all 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).
All dogs imported into the United States must be healthy on arrival.
Dogs that have not been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months are not required by CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or a CDC Dog Import Permit—and can enter the United States at any port of entry, but must be healthy upon arrival and vaccination against rabies is recommended.