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Health Certificates

From the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):

A certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI), also known as a health certificate, is an official document issued by a federal, state, tribal, or accredited veterinarian certifying that the animals identified on the document have been inspected and were found to satisfy the regulations pertaining to their intended movement – within the same state, between states, or internationally.


Almost all airlines require a health certificate for travel and some even have their own paperwork to fill out prior to even allowing you to check in or board the plane. Before deciding to travel with your pet, make sure to research on what requirements are necessary to ensure your pet does not get quarantined once you reach your destination or you have to incur any additional expenses for not following recommended guidelines.

Visit our our section on Pet Travel and Service/Emotional Support Animals on our FAQ Page or contact us today to make sure you have everything prepared.

Preparation Checklist:

  1. Make sure your veterinarian has all the information they need in order to complete the certificate. This includes:​​​

    • The person traveling with the pet.

    • The date the pet will be leaving along with the date you or your pet will be arriving.

    • The destination state or country (including the specific address where the pet will be staying).​

  2. Different states and countries have specific requirements that must be met prior to entry and can take months to complete. This includes:​​​

    • What type of health certificate is required (country specific vs. generic)?​

    • Is a microchip required?

    • What vaccines are required and when must they be given?

    • Are any laboratory tests required and when must the samples be collected? Is there a waiting period for test results?

    • Are any treatments required and when must they be given?

    • When must the physical exam be performed?

    • Are there any re-entry requirements coming back from your destination?

  3. Lastly, some health certificates must be endorsed by a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Officer in addition to your veterinarian. If so, you must coordinate with the local office to make sure your paperwork is reviewed and submitted prior to the travel date.

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