Traveling with Your Pet / Export Services

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.

If you are taking a shorter trip and do not need to bring your pet, we also offer reliable dog boarding services.

Outside the Contiguous U.S. - Traveling to Foreign Countries

Unfortunately we no longer offer export services. 

Why Does Your Pet Need to Be Examined By a Veterinary Clinic Before Traveling?

Most airlines will require you to produce a health certificate before they allow your pet to fly with you. This reduces risk to your pet and everyone around you when traveling, which makes the experience more pleasant. Here are some key ways that complying with this requirement can help you and others: 

  • Verify Health: Visiting our veterinarian practice before you travel with your pet will verify that they are well enough to travel. This can bring significant peace of mind and also helps reduce the spread of contagious illnesses. 
  • Prevent Pests: Some pets are healthy but might be inadvertently playing host to pest such as fleas or ticks, which could spread to other animals, ground crews, or your fellow travelers. Our veterinary clinic can verify that no such pests are present on your animal and ensure that any flea, tick, or heartworm medication is up to date before you travel. 
  • Reduce Liability: Responsible pet ownership includes considering the needs of others as well as your own pet. Ensuring that your pet is healthy enough to travel without spreading illnesses or pests helps reduce your liability as well as the airline’s. 
  • Protect Your Pet: Verifying your pet’s health helps keep them safe during the course of your travels. Depending on your destination, your pet could be at increased risk for exposure to certain conditions; our team can help you take necessary precautions in order to keep your furry friend safe and healthy. 

If you have any questions about the health certificate requirements for your situation, we invite you to contact Companion Animal Hospital for more information. Our pet clinic can help you schedule an appointment or address your concerns. 

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