Pre-authorizations for traveling with your pet such as required paperwork and destination rooming requirements mean that pre-planning is a must. Immunization requirements may have to be met before travel. Because some of these vaccines such as rabies are time-sensitive, allow yourself as much time as possible to be completed. Due to the nature of change, we ask that you take ultimate responsibility for researching what is required for your particular travel plans.
Interstate travel – Contact your State Veterinarian’s Office or the Department of Health in your destination state to find out what paperwork you will need. Requirements for travel anywhere usually involve a valid interstate health certificate complete with proof of immunizations.
International travel – Every country’s requirements for entry are different and are revised on a regular basis. You should recheck these requirements continually until you leave for your trip. Some things to consider include the cost of transport, required travel crates appropriately labeled, required health certificates, care received during transport, and destination quarantines. Often pet travel agencies can assist with the research. Websites that may be useful when searching for requirements include the following, although their mention doesn’t constitute endorsement by MPAH.
- All Pets (www.allpettravel.com or 1-866-FLY-PETS)
- Pet Express (www.petmove.com)
- US Dept. of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (www.aphis.usda.gov) (Navigate to your desired country of travel.)
Airlines – Some airlines require a health certificate, while others may only need an acclimation statement from your veterinarian. An “acclimation statement” sets parameters of temperature and time spent at that temperature based on the age, breed, and health status of your pet. In addition, most airlines set their own parameters for when they will transport live animals, especially as it related to extremely high or low seasonal temperatures. For small pets that can fit in a carrier, they may be allowed to fly in the passenger compartment if the carrier will fit securely under a seat. Please check with your individual airline regarding their regulations and allergy avoidance policies for other passengers.
Medications for travel – If your pet is prone to anxiety and/or has never been medicated for travel before, it is very important that you do a “trial run” before the day of travel to see how your pet will respond to the medication. Also, keep in mind the veterinarian may need more recent bloodwork before prescribing certain medications.