Bringing your pet along on an airplane flight requires considering many important details, including airline rules and requirements regarding pet travel; health documents necessary (like rabies vaccination certificates); as well as whether your animal can travel as cargo or passenger.
If your flight will take you outside the United States, an APHIS accredited veterinarian must issue your pet with a health certificate before entering any plane. In addition, you will require either an USDA endorsement stamp or APHIS 7401 form from APHIS for travel outside its borders. Because this process can be lengthy, starting early is key and more information can be found on their website.
Some countries require more detailed vaccination histories than others; therefore it’s essential that you research entry requirements prior to traveling. Some airlines also place restrictions on what breeds or sizes of pets they allow in their cabins or cargo holds; additionally some countries limit importation of brachycephalic breeds. It is also crucial that any microchip you use for your pet meets ISO compliant standards as EU transponders cannot recognize non-ISO microchips.
Once again, to ensure your pet’s comfort during transit and keep them as happy as possible during their vacation or relocation. If traveling as cargo, make sure your shipping crate has adequate latches so it latches safely.
Some states and cities impose requirements regarding what types of carriers are acceptable or required, so it is wise to research these restrictions prior to buying one. You will also need to arrange for your pet when traveling through airports – layovers can make transitioning difficult for pets so be sure they have food, water and treats as well as somewhere safe where they can rest between flights.
The APHIS Pet Travel Website is an invaluable tool for discovering state and international pet travel regulations. The site lists animal health officials for each state as well as contact info for an APHIS VS office near where you live – this will allow you to quickly find who to speak to regarding any special travel requirements for your trip.
All cats, dogs and rabbits must be microchipped for travel purposes and current on their rabies vaccination. According to CDC recommendations, cats must also receive vaccination against rabies before traveling internationally, particularly because certain non-human primates and African rodents aren’t permitted back into the United States.
All pets traveling domestically or internationally require a current health certificate issued by an APHIS-accredited veterinarian that includes proof of rabies vaccination and an examination within 10 days prior to travel. When making international plans, check individual country requirements such as whether an ink signature or electronic health certificate are acceptable forms.