Checklist for Obtaining an International Health Certificate for Pets

Pet Travel Checklist

Please note that preparing for travel to some countries can take months.


1. Information your veterinarian needs to know before completing your pet’s international health certificate:

If you are traveling to the European Union, Norway, or Switzerland, who will be traveling with the pet?
What type of pet will be traveling? (Check all that apply)

2. Work with your veterinarian to answer the following questions. Please consult the APHIS pet travel website for this information.

What type of health certificate is required?
Is a microchip required?
If yes, is a specific type of microchip required?

NOTE: You must have rabies vaccine certificates for all rabies vaccinations documented on the health certificate. These vaccination certificates will be required by the USDA at the time of health certificate endorsement. 

Are any laboratory tests required by your destination country?
Note: The sample MUST be collected within the testing timeframe required by your destination country. Some tests may take a long time for the results to be returned and/or some countries require a waiting period after testing and before entry into the destination country.
Are any treatments required by your destination country?
Check with your airline to determine what requirements they have, if any. Airlines may have separate and additional requirements from those of your destination country.

If you intend to bring your pet back into the U.S., there may be certain re-entry requirements, depending on where you traveled. You should plan for them now. See the pet import section for details.

3. Work with your veterinarian to complete all required paperwork. Please consult our APHIS pet travel website to access the required certificate/form, when available.

4. After your health certificate has been completed, signed, and dated by your veterinarian, most countries require that international health certificates be submitted to a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services office for endorsement. Some offices offer to review health certificates prior to submission. Please work with your endorsing USDA office to determine your options for paperwork review and/or submission.

5. Travel with your pet.