Domestic Travel – Clients using air travel with companion animals within the U.S. should contact the airline prior to travel. Any airline transporting animals as freight must be registered carriers under the Animal Welfare Act and must follow transportation regulations in 9 CFR Chapter 1, Subchapter A – Animal Welfare. They may have additional airline restrictions (e.g., dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and weaned at least five days before flying). Some airlines require pets to be examined by a licensed veterinarian no more than ten days prior to the date of travel and current certificates must accompany the animal at the time of departure. Airlines may also require an acclimation certificate signed by the veterinarian for the animal(s) being transported. Check the individual airline’s requirements regarding the acclimation certificate and always exercise your best professional judgment. Consideration should be given to the age and size of the pet; season, time and distance of the flight; regular dietary routine; any medical treatment (tranquilizers, etc) administered; and other details as appropriate.
Ships – Most cruise ships do not permit pets. Those that do only allow them on a very limited basis and they have strict requirements in addition to the regulations that must be met by the destination country.
International Travel – Pets traveling anywhere outside the United States (including Canada, Caribbean, or Europe) must have a veterinarian-issued health certificate specific for that country. Every country has different requirements and it is your responsibility to research—ahead of time—all rabies vaccine requirements, possible quarantine requirements or other legal issues about bringing a pet into the specific country. PLEASE don’t wait until the day before your flight or we will not be able to help you.
Many airlines require documentation within 5-10 days of travel or less due to weather conditions and risks to animals. Every airline has different requirements- clients should contact their airline to be sure they are meeting all requirements. It is also best to always check the USDA website each time a pet travels out of the country- some countries change their requirements often.
Call Jefferson Animal Hospital if you have additional questions. You will need an appointment for an examination of your pet to fulfill Health Certificate requirements. The more “advance work” that you perform will make it much less expensive for you as we help to complete this process for you.
General website for all countries and USDA Contact Information:
Note that any international health certificate has to be signed and sealed by an Official Veterinarian in Frankfort at the USDA office. You are required to make an appointment with them and there is a fee for their services. Contact information is provided below:
The Member States of the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Pets traveling to the European Union, Hawaii, and Japan require 2 rabies vaccines and a rabies titer to Kansas State University. Some countries require that pets are quarantined for a certain length of time prior to export.
Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory
We hope this information has been helpful so you and your pet(s) have a safe and worry free trip.