Traveling Pets

The veterinarians at Oceanside Animal Clinic have been accredited by the USDA after completion of the required training course and are licensed in the state of New York to complete these official documents. Please be advised that health certificates expire after ten days from the date they are issued.

If you are thinking about traveling with your pet, there are some things to consider. If your pet is very young, old, or is ill or dealing with an ongoing medical problem, it may be better to look into a reputable pet sitter or kennel rather than taking a chance that the stress of travel will create more issues for your pet. If you are in doubt, ask your veterinarian. If your pet has not traveled before, try a short overnight or weekend trip first.

Know the challenges you may face. Pet care can differ from state to state and country to country. Tell your veterinarian where you will be traveling to, and for how long. Ask your veterinarian about any flea, heartworm, or tick risks in the areas you will be traveling through. If your pet has trouble with car travel, they will likely have trouble by air. Ask your veterinarian about the appropriate treatment for pet’s that become restless or carsick when traveling.

Domestic Travel Health Certificate

Vaccinations should be current and you should obtain a Pet Health Certificate that is dated no more than 10 days prior to your departure. Verify the Rabies vaccination requirements for the state or country you are traveling to and get a copy of your up to date Rabies Certificate. You will be required to have these if your pet is traveling by air. These certificates are also strongly recommended if your plans do not include air travel as you may need to board your pet unexpectedly and many kennels will not accept pets without these certificates.

International Health Certificate

To get an international health certificate, you can request it from our veterinarian or from the embassy of the country you’re planning to visit. Always request the international health certificate at least six months before you plan to take your trip. This will give you enough time to get the vaccinations, possible quarantine, exam and paperwork in order.

International health certificates for pets are only accepted by foreign nations if they have been filled out by an USDA veterinarian. Our veterinarian will check the requirements for your destination and set up a plan with you to ensure you have all the proper requirements for travel.

Most other countries now have a veterinary health certificate that is specific to their country; many have changed their requirements in the past few years. You will need to check your airline’s requirements concerning health and acclimation certificates and pet carriers or crates.

The requirements are usually listed on the website for the country you are arranging travel for. Our veterinarian will perform the specific tests and administer the specific vaccinations required by the country you will be visiting and record the test results on the international health certificate. This certificate should be dated no more than ten days before your departure.

We will need the following information to process your required paperwork and ensure your pet is ready for travel. We will need the following to fill out the International Health Certificate Form:

  1. Name of person (name on passport) who will be traveling with pet
  2. Pet’s name
  3. To what country or countries will you be traveling?
  4. Dates of travel
  5. Microchip identification
  6. Printed copy of vaccination records

For more information:

Tips For Traveling With Your Pet

The first thing to know is that individual states and country make their own rules about the movement of pets across their borders. The USDA’s APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) website makes that clear. Therefore, you should contact your Veterinarian of and they will provide you with the requirements.

Pet’s can become separated from their owners while traveling and are often not wearing their collars when they are recovered at shelters. Seriously consider having your pet microchipped – animal hospitals, humane societies, kennels, and shelters nationwide are using scanners that will read these implanted chips and let you be reunited with your lost pet. Microchip procedures are safe, quick, inexpensive, and very common.

Despite the likelihood that your pet will stay perfectly safe on your trip, it’s always good to be prepared for the worst. To increase the chances of a safe and quick return, bring a recent photograph and any pertinent medical and descriptive information, such as identifying marks, unusual scars or markings. microchip number, breed, color and weight. These will be invaluable if your pet does become separated.

The more care you take in preparing your animal for travel the better your trip will be. Your pet should wear a secure collar at all times with tags showing proof of rabies vaccination and your name, address, and phone number. Make a set of temporary paper tags with the address and phone number and attach to tag, when you arrive at your travel destination. This may make recovering your pet easier and faster if they should become lost.

Safety collars only! Never allow your pet to wear a choke, pinch, or training collar while traveling. Safety collars, which attach with elastic or Velcro, are also recommended for cats.

We do have doctors on staff that can provide a USDA Health Certificate. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to comply with the regulations of the country of destination, and enough time to schedule an appointment with one of the veterinarians who is certified to issue the certificate. In some cases, countries will require a Rabies titer, which may require additional time for blood test results.

For travel to Hawaii and international destinations that are Rabies free zones, the titer testing, and quarantine process take up to 4 months. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you contact our office as soon as you begin planning your travels to any of these locations.

Quick Tips

Nearly all of the states require that dogs over 12 weeks old be vaccinated against rabies, so it’s simplest to have your dog vaccinated at 12 weeks, put the rabies tag on your pet’s collar, and hang on to their most current vaccination certificate. Only a handful of states allows you to wait until your pet is four months.

Nearly all of the states require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate), signed by a veterinarian and stating that your pet is fit to travel and up to date on all of their vaccinations.

All airlines domestic and international require you to obtain a health certificate before flying with your pet. You will be asked for that document by airline personal.

A health certificate usually is only good for 10­ days after your veterinarian signs it. Keep in mind that both ends of your journey need to be covered by the certificate. Some airlines require that the certificate is issued within ten days of travel, and others require that it be issued within 30 days of travel. If you’re going to get a health certificate for your dog, it’s simplest to get one within 10 days of travel.

If your certificate expires while you’re still on vacation you will need to see locate a veterinarian and schedule an appointment, have your pet’s records faxed over, and get a new certificate issued for your return trip.

Oceanside Animal Clinic is here for your pet.

Whether you have a question or would like to request an appointment, please complete the form below and a member of our staff will get back to you as quickly as possible.
If this is an emergency situation during business hours, please call us at 718-975-6901.