Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

The Importance of Pet Health Certificates for Travel

When traveling across borders, dogs and cats require formal documentation stating their health and vaccinations. This is for protecting your furry friend and those in the region you are visiting. Here, our Westfield vets share the purpose of travel health certificates for pets and what to know about them.

Who can issue health certificates for pets?

One might assume that any licensed veterinarian possesses the qualifications to issue health certificates for their patients, but this is not true. Accreditation for issuing health certificates is optional for licensed veterinarians, as they can decide whether to undergo the additional training required to attain this status.

Accreditation for issuing health certificates must come through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP). NVAP-accredited vets may perform testing for government disease programs and are authorized to prepare Official Certificates of Veterinary Inspection or health certificates required for owners to transport their animals across state or national borders.  

Why are health certificates needed for dogs and cats?

Your dog or cat needs travel health certificates to prove they are healthy and vaccinated against rabies. Health certifications are required to enter the state or country when traveling with your dogs and cats. Depending on what state you are going to, you may need specific health certifications or tests completed. 

These requirements can be strictly enforced, so it's important to get the necessary health certificates before planning to travel. While pet health certificates are required for dogs and cats, they are also available for livestock. If you have any questions about health certifications required for cats or dogs when traveling, contact our vets. 

The Role of Cat and Dog Health Certificates for Travel

A dog or cat health certificate for travel is important to help protect them while traveling. While the certificate itself doesn't protect them, it indicates that they are up to date on preventive care and deemed healthy by their vet. The last thing anyone desires is for their beloved pet to fall ill or encounter an unhealthy animal while on the move.

These certificates significantly enhance the likelihood of maintaining your pet's health during travel by reducing the risk of disease transmission. 

How long will my pet's health certificate be valid?

Pet health certificates for travel are valid for 30 days from the date of issue. If you have travel plans with your dogs, cats, or farm animals, you need to ensure you proactively contact your veterinarian well in advance to schedule the necessary health inspection for your pet's certification.

How do I know what pet health certificates are needed to travel?

Health certificates for dogs, cats, and large animals can differ in each state, depending on the regulations. Therefore, this question has no straightforward answer. To know exactly what certifications your animal will need, you will have to do some research. 

A helpful resource for information about animal movement requirements is the state animal health official (usually the State Veterinarian) in the state you are traveling to. The animal health official of each state needs to be a standing member of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA).

If you would like more details about required health certifications or clarifications on your state's requirements, speak to your veterinarian. Your vet can direct you to the right resources to make this task a little easier.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you planning on bringing your pet on vacation with you? Contact our vets in Westfield to schedule vaccinations and a wellness checkup to ensure they are ready to go. We can also advise you on where to obtain a travel health certificate for your furry friend. 

Welcoming New Patients, Westfield Vet

Now Welcoming New Patients

Looking for a vet in Westfield? Our vets at Westfield Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our friendly and welcoming vets love providing cats, dogs, and exotic pets with high-quality veterinary care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Contact Us

Contact (908) 233-6030