Taking your pet out of the country?
Here’s what you need to know

If you’re going to be traveling internationally and plan to take your pet with you, it’s important to be aware of exactly what will be required for your animal companion to make the trip.

International health certificates are mandatory, and some countries require proof of additional vaccinations and testing. You will find the certificate and other information about what’s required for your pet to travel at the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) page from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). While the certificate must be prepared by a USDA-accredited veterinarian, the requirements for entry are established by each individual country. It is your responsibility to make sure your animal has the necessary documentation to travel.

The veterinarians at Best Friends are USDA-accredited and can assist you in getting your pet ready for your trip, including assessing whether they’re healthy enough to withstand the rigors of airline transport. Once your veterinarian completes the health certificate, it will need to be submitted for endorsement by mail or in person at your local USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services Export Service Office. There is an endorsement fee based on destination requirements, and you can find information on those fees as well as instructions for mailing certificates and payment at this link.

Be advised that while most USDA-APHIS service centers are walk-in, the Los Angeles office now operates on an appointment system. You can get contact information for that office, as well as find the service center nearest you at this link.

Best Friends Animal Hospital requires at least 30 days from the date of departure to schedule a preparation exam appointment. The USDA suggests a minimum 10-day time frame for completing health certificates; however, many airlines require that health certificates be completed no more than 10 days prior to travel. You’ll need to contact your specific airline to find out their policy.

If you have further questions or want to schedule an appointment for your pet prior to travel, call us at 818-766-2140. Bon voyage!