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How to Get a Travel Health Certificate for Your Pet in Castle Rock

August 8th, 2016 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

A cat in a travel carrier swats a dog. Both need travel health certificates for the airlines.

Getting ready to travel with your dog or cat?

Most airlines require a travel health certificate for your furry friend. And if you’re traveling out of country, it’s also required by customs.

The certificate is known as a “Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.”

It indicates that your pet is healthy and has the right vaccinations.

Wondering where to get a travel health certificate?

You can get it from a veterinarian — with a catch.

Not every Castle Rock veterinarian can issue the certificate.

You need to visit a licensed, USDA accredited veterinarian to issue the certificates, such as our veterinarians at Cherished Companions.

We asked Dr. Melanie to share some tips on how to get a travel health certificate for your pet.

Toby, the cat, sits on a suitcase. Toby needs a travel health certificate because he'll be traveling by plane.

If you’re traveling within the continental United States…

#1: Book a visit for a routine health exam for your dog or cat.

Our USDA accredited veterinarians will make sure your pet is healthy and has the right shots.

If your pet is good to go, we’ll happily issue the travel health certificate.

You’ll receive a copy to share with your airline.

#2: Be sure to visit our veterinarians at least 10 days before you travel.

The 10-day deadline is a requirement for many airlines, and we want to help you avoid any issues.

It’s worth noting… if you have travel coming up that requires a health certificate and your pet doesn’t seem well, get your furry friend into our Castle Rock veterinary clinic right away.

Travel certificates can only be issued for healthy pets.

If you’re traveling to Hawaii or foreign countries…

#1: Do your research before you bring your dog or cat in for an appointment. It’s important to learn the specific requirements for your travel destination.

Pet health requirements can vary widely, depending on the place you’re visiting.

If you’re traveling outside the continental U.S., your pet will likely have to complete additional tests.

We can help you with your pet’s testing and the travel certificate, but we don’t have the insight into every country’s ever-changing requirements for tests.

Do your research online before you visit our veterinary clinic.

When you bring in the appropriate background information, we’re happy to help you and your pet get what’s needed for your health certification.

#2: Be prepared to make multiple visits if you’re traveling to a destination that doesn’t have the rabies disease or that simply has a lot of testing requirements.

Hawaii, Australia, the United Kingdom and even some of the Caribbean Islands are working hard to make sure traveling pets don’t introduce rabies.

Be prepared to make numerous visits to our veterinary clinic before your trip, even if your pet has been vaccinated for rabies.

Piper, the dog, sits on her dad's lap outside after a long plane trip across the ocean.

#3: Get ready to complete other paperwork.

In addition to a travel health certificate, foreign countries may require you to submit other paperwork up to several months in advance.

(This could involve laboratory testing to make sure your pet isn’t carrying a disease or tests to ensure your pet is properly immunized.)

For more information, a good place to start is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pet travel web page.

In addition, there are pet travel and pet relocation companies that can help you through the process, if you need assistance.

We suggest using Google to search for companies that can help with pet travel abroad.

#4: Find out whether your destination requires pet quarantines.

Some countries have pet quarantine requirements — no matter what your pet’s vaccination history is or how many tests you complete in advance.

Do your research above to find out if your dog or cat will need to be quarantined upon arrival.

That way, you’ll be able to make informed decisions for your pet family!

 Need a travel health certificate?

We welcome pet families from across Castle Rock and Denver. Call us at 303-688-3757 or:

Book your visit here 


Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on how to get a travel health certificate for your pet. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2016, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

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