ALERT! PLEASE READ!
As of June 2022, our hospital has discontinued issuing International Health Certificates. Information on international pet travel has been left up on this page for reference purposes only, and may not reflect current post-pandemic regulations.
Every health certificate that we issue includes your pet’s name, breed, color, age, and the contact information of the owner. After performing a comprehensive wellness exam, the health certificate will indicate that your pet is healthy enough for travel, provide proof of recent vaccinations, and an implanted microchip number (if applicable). We are only issuing health certificates for pets that are traveling across the continental United States, and/or Hawaii.
- A health certificate is valid for 30 days after it is issued from our hospital.
- Some states now have different rules and regulations for pets to enter (e.g. proof of heartworm test), so it is important that you check the requirements ahead of time. Click on this website https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel, and scroll all the way down to nearly the bottom of the page to the “traveling with your pet from state-to-state“, and select the state of destination.
- An examination for a certificate should be done within 10 days or less of traveling.
- A health certificate will only be issued at the time of an examination, and requires an appointment during our non-emergency (daytime clinic) hours only.
- If sedatives are requested, then you need to tell us at the time of the examination in-order for them to be dispensed.
- We recommend that all pets traveling be current on vaccinations, including rabies.
If you are traveling by automobile or truck, then we highly-recommend a health certificate because you may need to show proof of it to a border patrol agent, highway patrol, and/or at a state border check-in point. Not having this paperwork may result in not allowing you to pass through to your next destination with your pet(s). It is best to err on the side of caution by having this paperwork with you.
If you are traveling by airplane or train, then it is your responsibility to check with the airline or railway company for the pet travel requirements. All companies have a different set of guidelines for pet travel and may require a health certificate.
Hawaii is the only state in the entire United States that is rabies-free. Because of that unique feature, the rules for importing animals is very strict. If you are planning to go to Hawaii for the first time with your pet(s), you should allow at least a minimum of 180 days (6 months) or more to begin the process. Due to COVID-19, the process may take even longer. It is expensive to ship a pet to Hawaii, as everything from start-to-finish can cost around $2,000.00+.
Please visit Hawaii’s Animal Industry Division website for more information on the process, and to access the forms you need for traveling:
Our hospital does not issue international health certificates. The Los Angeles Port Office/USDA Veterinary Office is not accepting walk-ins to certify paperwork anymore like it has in the past pre-pandemic. The entire procedure is conducted online now, and is experiencing major processing delays. There is not a guarantee when you would receive your paperwork, and if on-time before your scheduled flight. Fly at your own risk. Information on international pet travel in this section is displayed for reference purposes only, and may not reflect current post-pandemic regulations.
(This information may have changed post-pandemic. It is your responsibility to double-check the requirements.)
- All pets are required to have an ISO-compliant 15-digit [international] microchip implanted.
- Regulations with each country vary in regards to when the health certificate should be issued. It may be as little as 72 hours ahead of travel. It is your responsibility to check ahead of time what the requirements are.
- Some countries require a bilingual health certificate and/or an import permit, which are documents that we do not provide. Please visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel for the forms. Go to “take your pet from the United States to a foreign country (Export)”, and view the requirements/paperwork etc….
- Make sure you read and review these documents first LAIC Appointments & General Pet Info Sheet (Click to view PDFs).
- All paperwork needs to be endorsed by the USDA, and is only being done online. Your pet will not be able to leave the airport, if you do not get it processed:
USDA Veterinary Services, Los Angeles Port Office
222 Kansas Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
- Some countries require a rabies blood titer test. You will need at least 8 weeks of time, possibly even longer, to process this test before exportation. If you do not do this test, then your pet will either be denied from leaving the USA or quarantined at your expense for 30-180 days upon destination.
- Some countries require additional treatments and/or tests before traveling. It is your responsibility to check if there are any additional requirements.
- All pets need to be fully-vaccinated before leaving the USA.
- It is your responsibility to double-check on pet travel requirements with your airline company. Be sure to check with your departure and arrival airports. Regulations may be different from city-to-city within a country.
- If you are traveling by car to Mexico (e.g. Baja, Tijuana etc…), then you should verify requirements via here at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/pettravel-mexico
Effective 12/16/2019: A health certificate for dogs and cats is no longer needed to enter Mexico. Dogs and cats may be taken to the border without health certificate documentation, they will be inspected by SENASICA upon arrival. Please double-check with the APHIS link above for current requirements, and if there are any travel restrictions between movement from the USA-to-Mexico and back.