MetroVet services

Health Certificates for Travel

Our USDA-accredited veterinarians are able to issue domestic and international health certificates.

Preparing your pet for travel can be stressful.  MetroVet’s veterinarians are USDA-accredited and are happy to assist in preparing the necessary paperwork and examinations needed to acquire domestic and international health certificates for travel.  Please visit our Health Certificate FAQ page for more information.

Does my pet need a health certificate to travel domestically?

For any animal crossing state lines, it is recommended that your pet is travelling with an official health certificate.  While many mainland US states do not actively seek out or verify a health certificate, Alaska and Hawaii have stringent requirements and do require health certificates upon entry into the state.

Does my pet need a health certificate to travel internationally?

With the exception of Mexico, an international health certificate is required to gain entry into nearly all countries. 

What is required to get an international health certificate for my pet?

Acquiring an international health certificate is a multi-step process:

  1. Some countries require a blood test to verify adequate protection against the Rabies virus.  Depending on the country, this test result is valid for 1 year.  It typically takes 1-2 months for test results to be returned, so we recommend having blood drawn for this test approximately 2 months prior to departure.
  2. Most countries require at least one, and sometimes two, rabies vaccinations.
  3. A valid microchip is required.
  4. Some countries require parasite treatment for internal and external parasites.
  5. An examination must be performed on the pet before the health certificate is issued.  Depending on the destination, this exam should be performed 10 or 14 days prior to departure.

For specific country requirements, please visit the APHIS website:

What is the process for getting an international health certificate?

Here is the typical recommended timeline for acquiring an international health certificate:

  1. 2-3 months prior to departure:
    1. Ensure all necessary vaccinations are up to date.
    2. Blood draw for Rabies titers testing (if necessary, depending on country)
  2. 10 or 14 days prior to departure/arrival (depending on country): Visit MetroVet for a physical exam
  3. MetroVet veterinarians will submit the appropriate paperwork to the USDA. The USDA veterinarian will then approve and endorse the certificate.  The endorsed certificate is then returned to you for your travels.  Please keep in mind that some countries allow electronic copies of the endorsed certificate, while some countries require an original physical, hard copy of the endorsed certificate.  Please allow for shipping times if your destination country requires an original endorsed copy.
What is the cost for getting a health certificate?

Costs for issuing a domestic or international health certificate vary based on domestic verses international travel, number of animals travelling, and any necessary tests needing to be performed. Please call our office for an accurate estimate of fees.

Why does my pet need a health certificate to travel?

A health certificate is an official document verifying the overall health of the animal as well as any necessary or required vaccinations.  Most countries require an official health certificate in order to gain entry into the country. 

What is the difference between a USDA health certificate and a form the airline provides?

A USDA health certificate is an official document verifying the overall health and vaccination status of an animal.  Any forms provided by an airline for typically for the airline only.  These airline forms do not replace the USDA health certificate.