Health Certificates

Lakeside Veterinary Care offers health certificate services for your pets. Learn more below.

Health Certificates

If you’re traveling out of state or out of the country with your pet, they require a pet health certificate in order to be accepted at their destination. Each destination may have slightly different cat and dog travel requirements, so you need to do your research to determine the exact needs for your destination. A great resource to start your research at is the USDA’s APHIS site. Our veterinarian, Dr. Nath, is USDA accredited and qualified to issue your pet’s health certificate whether they are traveling domestically or internationally.

What’s A USDA Accredited Vet?

To become USDA-accredited, veterinarians have to undergo additional training in regards to animal transport. They are then reviewed by the State Animal Health Official and receive an accreditation letter once they are approved, authorizing them to perform accreditation work in their state.

Health Certificate Steps

Steps for obtaining a health certificate for cat or dog travel.
Traveling with your cat or dog adds another layer of preparation before your trip. Obtaining the right health certificate that matches your destination’s animal import requirements is an essential part of your travel prep. At Lakeside Veterinary Care, we’re here to help. Here’s a step by step guide for obtaining a health certificate for cat or dog travel:

  1. Research your destination’s animal import requirements. Every country and state has its own requirements for animal import. While many states of the US have similar requirements, Hawaii and Alaska are two outliers that have significant differences. Meanwhile, every country will be slightly different depending on a wide range of factors, including the prevalence of certain diseases like rabies, certain parasites, etc. Do your research to determine exactly what your health certificate needs to include.
  2. Be familiar with your destination’s health certificate timeline. Many countries have tight timelines for completing certain services for the health certificate (such as vaccines, bloodwork, etc.) before your date of travel. And some countries require the certificate to be issued as close as 10 days before your date of travel. Be sure to let us know your health certificate timelines well in advance, so we have plenty of time to complete the services we need.
  3. If traveling internationally, you may need to have the certificate endorsed by the USDA. If your destination requires an endorsement by the USDA, you’ll need to mail the health certificate to the USDA, APHIS, VS, Veterinary Export Trade Services in Austin, TX. Be sure to include your pet’s rabies vaccination certificate, import permit, and test results (if required by your destination country), payment for endorsement, and a return shipping label. More information can be found here.
  4. Check with your airline, train, or ship company for their requirements for pet travel. They may have certain regulations not covered by the health certificate. If traveling by car, be sure your pet is properly secured in a carrier or harness!