Within the Contiguous United States and Alaska
If traveling by air, your pet is required to be examined by a veterinarian within 5 to 10 days of your travel date; some airlines require a shorter time frame.
If your pet is deemed fit to travel, the veterinarian will issue a Washington State Small Animal Health Certificate. The following information is required:
- Your full name and complete current address
- Complete name and address of your destination
New requirements as of 2009 prohibit the use of P.O Boxes. A complete street address is required for your destination.
- Documentation of your pet’s Rabies vaccine history if not given at Companion Animal Hospital
Health Certificates are typically valid for 30 days after the issue date for your return flight. However, if you have multiple destinations during your trip you may be required to obtain an additional health certificate prior to departure.
Please contact your airline directly prior to scheduling an appointment for the health certificate to obtain their list of requirements.
Airlines also have specific requirements regarding carrier size, and have “no fly” times during the year in which your pet may not be allowed to travel in the cargo section of the plane due to extreme temperatures. Other times, airlines may simply require a written statement from a veterinarian indicating temperatures that are safe for your pet.
Outside the Contiguous U.S. - Traveling to Foreign Countries
Traveling outside the U.S. can become more difficult for your pet. Each country maintains its own set of regulations regarding vaccine history, testing, parasite control, microchips, and quarantine that may be required of your pet before s/he can enter that country. Please keep in mind that if you have a layover in another country prior to your final destination, your pet may be required to meet that country’s requirements as well.
Once you know where you are going, it is strongly recommended you get as much information as possible about the requirements for pet export/import to those countries. Some countries require the Rabies vaccines and testing to be done at very specific intervals, sometimes months in advance, prior to allowing your pet entry into the country.
Please also be aware that if your travel plans change, it is extremely important to notify us immediately as this can often change the requirements.
Below are some helpful links for acquiring information about pet export:
The United States Embassy or Consulate for the country you wish to travel
Washington State Department of Agriculture
USDA - APHIS; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Companion has successfully sent animals to the following states and countries:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
Pet export can be a lengthy and sometimes costly process, but we are willing to make this as easy a transition as possible for you and your pet.
It is extremely important that you are aware of the requirements and time frames for testing, vaccination and traveling, and that the responsibility for compliance is in your hands.
Companion will assist you through this process, and obtain the necessary forms and documentation, as well as provide you with a checklist of requirements for the country(s) of destination.
Working together we can make sure that your pet joins you on any adventure or move you can imagine!
For additional information, cost estimates, or to schedule an appointment, please ask to speak to our Export Specialist, Meghan Rasmussen.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1. It is very important for you to know the requirements for your country of destination.
2. Notify your veterinarian as soon as you know your destination and dates of travel as vaccination and other requirements are often required to begin several months in advance.
3. If travel plans change at any time during the process, it is extremely important to notify your veterinarian immediately as requirements may also change.
4. Our Export Specialist is there to guide you through this process and ensure all paperwork is complete, however it is your responsibility to ensure all appointments are made and documents are sent to the proper locations in a timely manner.