Art City Vets can help with getting your pet ready for both Domestic and International Travel. We have four USDA, APHIS veterinarians who can certify your pet for travel.
Domestic Travel Info
International Travel Info
General Travel Information
Traveling with your pet can be stressful! There are many types of documents, testing, and treatments needed to seamlessly move your pet from one place to another!
Travel Documents - There are legal documents required by certain countries/states/territories but each is different. Please contact us with information about your pet, as well as the destination and date of travel for us to help make a plan.
Airline Paperwork - Each airline has their own set of rules and documents required for travel. Some can be filled out by any vet, but others require a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. You should contact the airline directly to ask what would be required for the specific flight you are taking.
Flying with a pet can be stressful, but thankfully, if anxiety is well-managed the vast majority of pets do very well. Every airline has different requirements for in cabin vs cargo travel, but no airline will place pets in any area that would be dangerous. All airlines use climate controlled cargo for pet travel if they are not in cabin.
With some exception, like some metabolic disease, pets do very well for long flights. With anxiety and nausea managed, 8-10+ hour flights are typically very safe and uneventful for the majority of pets.
Many pets can experience stress and/or nausea when traveling by car or plane. We often recommend medications like gabapentin or trazodone to help pets out with the predictable stress of travel and acclimation to new environments. Cerenia is a great choice for motion sickness.
Be prepared for unexpected vet visits! At Art City Vets, our records are all digital and can be easily sent to other vet hospitals via email. To help prepare for travel, we recommend finding 1-2 vet hospitals (ideally at least one 24hr hospital) for us to forward records to ahead of travel. This is especially important for patients with chronic disease or complex medical conditions!
Adjusting to new climates (temperature and humidity) can take a few days for both pets and people. Please consider this, especially when traveling to a warmer region.
Pets are not typically bothered much by time zone changes, since they are not truly diurnal. They tend to be much more upset by changes in routine than time zone, so helping keep routines intact can be helpful. Most pets have established routines surrounding eating, sleeping, exercise, and play. Even if your internal clock is confused, most pets know that after a meal, if lights go off, it's night time!
Rabies Vaccination is required for nearly all travel across state lines or into a new country. Other vaccinations may be important as well to protect your pet. We also recommend good wellness care like annual or biannual evaluation and lab testing based on life-stage. Staying on high-quality flea/tick and heartworm/GI parasite preventatives is also very important for travel.
Interstate Travel - All states and territories have their own Departments of Agriculture, each with their own rules and requirements. All states require a valid Rabies Vaccination Certificate for import, and some states require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) which is issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian following an in-person evaluation.
Airline Requirements - Every airline has different requirements for pet travel. Many airlines require a "Fit-to-Fly" certificate, which a vet can issue following a physical exam, often within 10 days of travel. Some airlines also require Breed Certification if they prohibit certain types of pets traveling (like brachycephalic dogs).
State/Territory Requirements - Every state has different laws in place for import of animals. All require a valid Rabies Vaccination Certificate, but some also require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) which a USDA Accredited Veterinarian can issue following a physical exam. For specific state requirements, you can look on the USDA APHIS website, or fill out our Travel Inquiry form.
Importing a pet to a foreign country can be very complex and sometimes takes weeks to months to prepare. Our USDA Accredited Veterinarians are very comfortable with the export process to most countries, and are happy to discuss an effective plan for your individual pet.
Where do I start when planning a trip or move?
As soon as you start to consider traveling internationally with your pet, you should contact us to go over the requirements. Some countries do not have any requirement other than Rabies vaccination (Mexico, Canada), while others have complex rules and timelines that can take 6 months or more.
Do other countries scan and read microchips if my pet gets lost?
Most microchips placed in the last decade are "international" and can be read by all microchip scanners. Some "domestic" chips work on a different frequency and can only be detected by scanners in the United States. We can easily determine if a chip is international or domestic by scanning to see the number.
What is the site or resource to find out what I need to do for my pet to be cleared for travel?
Airline requirements - Check with the company, contact Customer Service
For import requirements, please fill out our Pet Travel form for a doctor to review and give you a personalized recommendation.
If my pet gets sick before I come home, should I call ACV?
We are happy to offer telemedicine, but most sick pets should be evaluated in person. We offer Teletriage with a nurse as well as Telemedicine with a doctor (if appropriate).
Is the stress of international travel too much for older pets or pets with preexisting conditions?
The vast majority of pets do very well with travel, especially if we can proactively manage stress and nausea, which are common and often easily avoided with appropriate medication and planning.
If I run out of meds, can ACV refills meds while I am in another country?
Unfortunately, no. It’s rare for prescriptions to be valid outside of the prescribign country. Contacting a veterinarian or pharmacist in the foreign country is a good way to understand how to obtain medications.