Safe Pet Travel In The United States

Holiday & Travel

Should you be travelling internationally with your pet, from either Canada into the USA or the USA into Canada, you should experience relatively few problems although you will still have to bear in mind a few basic regulations if you are flying in instead of driving there. Both citizens from the USA or Canada who are travelling on vacation between the two countries with their pets have to produce a passport or another secure document that will be accepted.

Some good news is that cats do not require a vaccination against rabies to travel into the USA. Bear in mind though that quite a few states and a number of other countries require cats to have had the vaccine before travelling there so make sure that you consult with your veterinarian before travelling and also to find out about the requirements of your destination.

Regarding your dog, remember that a rabies vaccination is a requirement for any dog entering the US should they be coming from a country which has rabies. You have to be in possession of a valid rabies vaccination certificate that’s current for your dog when you travel across borders.

When either entering or leaving the US, every dog must have the appearance of being healthy and all their required vaccinations must be up-to-date. If you do not have a dog or cat as a pet, but rather another type of animal for a pet, there could be some other requirements. Certain animals, such as African rodents or primates (apes or monkeys), will not be allowed to go back into the USA. This rule stands whether or not they came from the USA originally as they cannot be returned there as your pet.

Any pet like a domesticated cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, guinea pig or little household birds are allowed to be taken on flights travelling within the USA. The Animal Welfare Act of the US Department of Agriculture lists that you will not be allowed to take in excess of 2 live kittens or puppies who are eight weeks to six months old, that are of similar size and weighing twenty pounds, to travel with you. This requirement is a good idea to follow for any shipments of pets, no matter the country you are travelling to.

Before you travel, it would be best to ensure that the vaccinations of your pet are current. To this end, make an appointment with your veterinarian to get a health certificate from him/her that has a date which is within ten days of your travel date.

As it is not recommended that your pet is tranquilized before travel because this could cause them to have breathing problems, you should consult with your veterinarian regarding alternative methods to ensure that your pet is relaxed should you feel that they could be afraid, uncomfortable or anxious during the flight. If you are planning on travelling outside of the USA, extra planning and requirements for health care could be needed. You could get in touch with your destination country’s office of foreign affairs before you travel to glean more information regarding health requirements.