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Preparing your Dog for Travel: Required Documents

Are you planning to travel in a few months? Traveling always looks like a source of enjoyment for us. Going for vacations and relaxing from the routine stress is always pleasing for all of us. However, it is important to do all the documentation beforehand. If you want to take your beloved dog with you, things will become even more complicated.

It is not simple to get all the documents your pet dog easily. Visa, passport, and paperwork are not only important for you but you will need all these documents and even more for your dog.

Documents Differ from Country to Country

Yes, each country has its own requirements for documents. The United States of America has not a specific set of requirements for every destination. Each destination has its own requirements and policies. Thus, you need to prepare documents as per your destinations.

The Requirement of Documents Keeps on Changing

If you have traveled three years back and collected all the necessary information for your pet dog’s documents, do not think that you don’t need to do your research this time. The requirement of documents keeps on changing from time and time. Thus, you need to collect all the information and prepare all the documents every time you plan to travel with your dog.

How to Research the Required Documents For Your Dog?

Now, the question is how you will research your dog’s required documents for travel. What are the right sources that can guide you?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a service called the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). This service was mainly started to guide people about their pet’s health and what do they need to know when traveling with them.

They have a website that thoroughly guides the documents needed for traveling with your dog. They also have a very useful section of frequently asked questions. Do not forget to check their international pet’s travel guide section. This section will let you know about the international requirements of documents for your dog.

For your ease, you can check the requirements country wise. They have this option which is very useful to know what the specific requirements for each country are. For instance, some countries have the requirement of tapeworm treatment for the dogs while others don’t. Similarly, some countries want your dog to be microchipped while others don’t.

Verify Your Documents

We cannot just do research from different sources and collect the documents. It is also imperative to verify the research from the embassy and consulate. If we fail to meet the requirements of all the documents for our dog, the travel agent will not be held responsible for it. It is our duty to check and arrange all the documents for getting the health certificate for our dog. We should do everything beforehand, like changing document files from pdf to doc before printing (if required), directly editing PDF files with software with attesting documents, and taking pictures and so on.

The most important health certificate for your dog

Different names are used for the health certificate by different countries like veterinary certificates, export certificates, international health certificate and so on. This certificate is required by most of the countries before entry.

How to get the health certificate?

Do not worry; getting this health certificate is not that difficult. You will get it from your local veterinarian. He will issue this document after a thorough analysis of your dog. He will also see if you have met all the required vaccinations, testing and treatments of the country in which you are planning to travel with your dog.

Your vet’s signature along with the date is very important for the health certificate. Without this signature, the document will be of no use.

If you are planning to visit multiple countries, keep in mind that the health certificate will not be valid for all countries because each country has its own requirements for documents and vaccinations. It is obvious that you cannot leave your dog in one country and travel alone to the rest of the countries. In this case, you will need a health certificate for the first country. Then the documents will vary as per your time, mode of transportation and destination.

Do not forget that the company responsible for transporting your dog will have its own set of rules and requirements. It will have requirements for shipping or crate, some documents, signatures and so on. Be sure to see who is involved in transporting your pet dog and what do they require in the process.

Passports for Pets

In some places, the term “pet passport” is used for all the documents that are required for your pet to travel. However, the European Union actually gives a pet passport for traveling in its member countries. You cannot get this pet passport in the USA. This passport is given for simplifying your pet’s traveling in the member countries.

What documents are required when returning to the USA?

Now, you have successfully traveled to your destination country and are planning to come back to your home in the USA. Will you need some extra documents for returning?

Yes, there are some important vaccination requirements for your dog’s return to the USA. Make sure that the dog is healthy and fit. Secondly, you should get your dog vaccinated with the Rabies vaccine. This rabies vaccination certification will depend on the country where you have been before coming to the USA.

The USA does not give any exceptions for the requirement of documents if the dog is a service animal, a puppy or just an emotional support pet. If you will not carry any of the required documents, your dog will not be allowed to come back to the USA.

In short, traveling with your dog calls for a number of documents. If you are planning to travel or relocate in the next few months, start doing your research about the required documents for your dog and get it checked thoroughly from the local vet.

Author Bio: 

Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Classic PDF Editor.

This blog was contributed by Arslan Hassan. If you would like to submit a blog please email

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