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What is a Health Certificate?

A Health Certificate is a confirmation that a pet is healthy enough, which can only be established by a veterinarian, and meets all the requirements in order to travel domestically or internationally. Travel requirements vary by country and are enforced by the USDA Animal & Plant Inspection Service (APHIS). Some examples of travel requirements are rabies titer test (FAVN), vaccines, bloodwork, internal & external parasite treatment, and/or microchip placement.
All pets traveling both domestically (within the continental United States) and internationally or outside the continental United States (Hawaii for example), MUST have a pet health certificate. For pets traveling by car domestically, it is not required but highly recommended to have a certificate as well as your pet’s full vaccine/medical records available.

For International travel or travel outside the continental United States, an Official USDA Veterinarian must review and endorse this certificate after submission from a USDA-Accredited Veterinarian, in order for the pet to travel outside the United States.

The process for obtaining a USDA Travel Certificate:

Start by researching your travel destination requirements through this APHIS USDA web page:

Next, contact Lums Pond Animal Hospital and state your interest in obtaining a USDA Travel Certificate for interstate or international travel. You will be asked your contact information including email and we will send you a travel questionnaire.
Once your questionnaire is completed and returned, it will be reviewed by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian to ensure we can meet your travel requirements.

Next, you will be contacted to schedule a pre-health certificate appointment. A pre-health Certificate appointment is required for all pet’s traveling internationally or outside the continental United States. At this time patients will receive an initial exam, and specific requirements needed for the destination will be discussed. Exam fee, vaccination fees, bloodwork, microchip fee and any other services/products/medications rendered will apply.
After all requirements have been met the Health Certificate appointment can be scheduled. The exam date will depend on the destination requirements and will be scheduled accordingly. It is often 5 to 10 days prior to your departure date. The Health Certificate Fee will apply at this time.
If you change your departure date after the Health Certificate has been submitted, and it is outside of ten days, a new appointment must be scheduled and a new certificate must be submitted at the owner’s expense. If you cancel your travel plans after the Health Certificate appointment, there are no refunds.
After the Health Certificate appointment it is your responsibility to take all the necessary paperwork and overnight it to the USDA at your expense. Once a Health Certificate has been submitted to the USDA, it is beyond our control how long it takes to be endorsed and returned by mail to you. Lums Pond Animal Hospital is not responsible for any delay in acquiring the USDA endorsed certificate. We recommend to overnight all certificates and any necessary paperwork with a prepaid return label and tracking.

Please visit the APHIS website for more information.