Traveling with Your Pet
Health certificates for pets are required for travel within the United States (regardless if crossing state lines by car or by plane) as well as for international travel.
Whether for domestic or international travel, we will be happy to help you with your pet's health certificate. Like visas, however, we need several weeks to process the paperwork.
There are certain countries that require unusual procedures. We will determine the proper requirements and find out exactly what is needed to ensure a happy trip for both you and your pet.
We are here to help you in any way we can to get you and your pet to your destination. Feel free to call us at 703-451-1995 with any questions or to book an appointment for a domestic or international health certificate.
Make sure to let us know when booking the appointment if you are planning domestic or international travel so we make sure that you are scheduled an appointment with the right staff veterinarian for your needs.
Travel Planning Tips
- Start planning at least two months ahead of time for domestic travel or four months for international travel to make sure that you are familiar with all the necessary requirements.
- If traveling by car, make sure to have copies of your pet's vaccine history, including the most current rabies certificate proving legal vaccination for rabies. Be sure to have a health certificate from your veterinarian for your pet's most recent wellness visit.
- If traveling by plane, research the airlines that you plan to use. Some airlines have their own requirements while others defer to the destination state or country. Important questions to ask:
- What are the airline's policies regarding pet travel?
- Which airplanes in their fleet have a cargo space available for larger pets (this will affect which flights are available for your trip)?
- Which flights allow smaller pets in the cabin space?
- What type of pet carrier do they recommend?
- What are their procedures for dropping off and picking up your pet? Airlines may differ on what they offer for loading and unloading.
- Do they have a non-stop flight for you and your pet to your destination? How do they handle layovers between flights when your pet is on board?
**Only United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved veterinarians are allowed to issue an international health certificate. Springfield Animal Hospital currently has a veterinarian on staff that is approved to issue certificates for international travel.**