Ever since adopting her adventurous Golden Retriever, Sunny, Melanie had dreamed of taking him along on her globetrotting escapades. As her plans for an extended European vacation began to take shape, she realized that she needed to ensure Sunny would be able to join her without any issues. After researching the requirements, she discovered that an International Pet Travel Certificate was the key to making her dream a reality.
Traveling with your pets is great. But when you’re traveling internationally, there are some things you need to be aware of. To avoid problems, ensure your pet has all the necessary documents for our dog to travel locally or internationally.
What is an International Travel Certificate for dogs?
An International Travel Certificate (IPTC) is issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The IPTC certifies that your dog was treated humanely during travel. This certification ensures that your pet may receive proper care and treatment when traveling internationally.
To receive this certificate, you must submit a copy of your passport and proof that your dog was quarantined at least 72 hours before departure. Your veterinarian may be able to help you obtain these documents.
Once you’ve obtained the necessary documentation, contact the USDA to request an application form. Once completed, mail the application to the USDA office nearest your destination.
After receiving approval from the USDA, you’ll need to pay $10 for each dog. To cover this fee, you’ll need to send a check made out to the USDA endorsement. After submitting the payment, you’ll receive a receipt via email.
Your dog will be given a unique ID number once he receives his certificate. This number should be written down somewhere safe because it will prove ownership.
Ways to Get Your Pet International Travel Certificate
There are many options available for acquiring a PTC. Here are three popular ones:
- Online – Many websites offer PTCs online. These include www.pettravelcertificate.com, www.petexpo.com, and www.petswelcome.org. However, these sites often require payment upfront.
- Local Vet – Another option is to visit a local vet. This may be cheaper than buying a PTC online, but it could be more convenient.
- Pet Insurance Company – Finally, some companies specialize in providing pet insurance policies. These typically cover medical expenses and lost wages incurred during trips.
Regardless of the method used to obtain a PTC, it’s essential to understand the costs involved. So ensure you know what you’re getting into before signing any contracts.
Traveling Overseas with your Dog
If planning a trip overseas, you must ensure your dog is microchipped. Microchipping involves implanting a tiny chip under the skin between your dog’s shoulder blades.
This procedure is painless and takes only minutes. Note where you implanted the chip so you can easily find it later.
When you arrive at your destination, you can visit the local vet clinic and ask them to scan your dog’s microchip. They’ll use a scanner to locate the chip and retrieve your information.
If your dog doesn’t have a microchip, you must register him with the American Kennel Club (AKC), which requires a $25 registration fee.
Once registered, you’ll receive a membership card that contains your dog’s name and AKC registration number. Keep this card handy because it will be helpful when you return home.
While abroad, keep your dog’s identification tags close to your heart. These tags contain essential details, including your dog’s name, address, phone number, and AKC registration number.
Make sure to update your contact information when you change addresses. Also, notify your vet of any changes in your dog’s health status.
What are the Travel Requirements for Pets Leaving the United States?
There are specific requirements to take a dog from one country to another. If you plan to take your pet abroad, here is what you need to know.
Before you travel with your dog, you must ensure he has been vaccinated against rabies. This is required by law in every state.
In addition, most countries require that dogs be microchipped. Microchipping involves implanting an electronic chip under the skin between the shoulder blades. This makes it easier to find lost pets.
- Health Certificate
All animals entering foreign countries must have a health certificate from a veterinarian. It documents the animal’s vaccinations and any diseases that may affect him.
- Travel Documents
You will need to obtain a passport for your dog. Make sure that the key is valid for six months after your return.
You will also need a vaccination record, proof of spaying/neutering, and a signed letter from the breeder confirming that your dog was born in the U.S.
- Pet Passport
Every country has its regulations regarding pets traveling internationally. For example, some countries allow only specific breeds of dogs, others limit the number of days a pet can spend away from its owner, and others require special permits to bring pets into the country.
When traveling overseas, it is recommended that you contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country to learn about the rules and regulations.
- International Airline Rules
Most airlines prohibit pets from flying inside the cabin. However, some airlines permit small dogs to fly in the cargo hold.
Pets should be kept calm and quiet during takeoff and landing. They should remain in their carrier until the flight attendant announces the aircraft is airborne. After that, they can come out and stretch their legs.
- Customs Regulations
Dogs entering Canada and Mexico must be accompanied by a person 21 years old or older. People 18 or older cannot enter these two countries with a dog.
People bringing dogs into Australia must provide documentation proving the dog is infectious disease-free.
For example, a veterinary report states that pets are healthy and parasite-free.
Travel insurance is highly recommended for anyone traveling with a pet.
It covers medical expenses, lost baggage, and emergency evacuation.
How to Get an International Health Certificate for Your Pet?
USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) requires pet health certificates to be endorsed by veterinarians who meet specific requirements. There are currently 68,000 private, accredited veterinarians across the country, so your veterinarian may be able to help you. The certificate must include the animal’s age, breed, weight, vaccinations, medical history, and medications.
The veterinarian must complete a Veterinary Medical Exam Record Form (VMERF) to receive the endorsement. This form includes space for each of these items.
If you’re looking for travel certificates online, here are some tips for getting your pet’s health certificate endorsed by USDA:
- Ensure your vet is registered with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the national veterinary association.
- Ask your vet to submit a copy of their license and insurance policy.
- Send copies of your pet’s vaccination records and current health certificate to the AAHA office at least two weeks before submitting your application.
- Include a $25 fee with your application.
- Once your application is approved, send a copy of your completed VMERF to the USDA, along with payment for the $25 fee.
- Your pet’s health certificate will be endorsed within ten days after receipt of the completed VMERF.
Keep a record of your pet’s vaccinations and health certificate numbers. Keep your pet’s health certificate in a safe place until needed.
Ways to Ship Your Pet Via Airlines
Once you’ve obtained your international pet passport, you must decide how to ship your pet. There are three options:
Ship Your Pet Yourself
If you’re planning on shipping your dog internationally, there are several things you should consider. First, you must find out if dogs are allowed international air travel. Of course, the answer depends on where you live and whether you plan to take your pet to another country.
Next, you must decide whether to use a crate or kennel when traveling with your dog. Crates are great because they protect your dog from temperature extremes but aren’t very comfortable. Kennels are better than crates because they allow your dog to stretch his legs and move around freely. However, kennels require regular cleaning and maintenance and may need help fitting your luggage.
Finally, you need to figure out how to pack your dog safely. First, ensure he doesn’t become overheated during the flight, and keep him hydrated. Also, pack only a few items in your bag since this can cause problems retrieving them later.
Hire a Professional Shipper.
Once you’ve decided on the correct type of carrier, you’ll need to hire a professional shipper to transport your dog. This person will help you load your dog onto the plane, unload him at the destination airport, and ensure that everything goes smoothly once he arrives.
Determining whether your carrier provides insurance coverage for your pet during transit would be best. This is especially important when traveling overseas because many countries do not recognize American animal health certificates.
You Can Use a Courier Company.
Another way to ship your pet is to use a courier company. Several couriers are available, including FedEx, DHL, UPS, USPS, etc. Each type of courier offers its advantages and disadvantages.
FedEx is great for small packages but could be better for large dogs. They offer overnight delivery, but only within North America.
DHL is great for large packages but doesn’t offer any tracking information. Unfortunately, this means you can track where your package is once it arrives at its destination.
UPS is great for large packages and offers to track information. However, it’s expensive and requires a signature upon arrival.
USPS is cheap, but it takes longer than other options. Unfortunately, it’s also prolonged, so it’s not recommended for international shipments.
Many other options are available, but these three are the most popular. Use them wisely, and you should be fine!
Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons. Shipping your pet yourself is usually cheaper than hiring a professional shipper, but it may take longer to arrive at your destination. Professional shippers often offer faster delivery times, but they cost more.
Courier companies typically offer fast shipping times but charge extra fees for each shipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
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