Do Pets Need Passports?

Are you planning to go abroad with your pet? Then, you may need to have a pet passport.

Check all the necessary information to prepare for your trip and avoid inconveniences. In this article, you can learn more about traveling with animals and the documents that must be collected.

Now, let us explain why a pet passport is required and what it is. So, the passport for an animal is a special permit that proves the good health condition of the pet and its vaccination status.

Note that not all species can obtain a pet passport. For example, when it comes to the European animal passport, it only allows the travel of dogs, cats, and ferrets. Besides, each country can require different documents depending on many factors, so keep that in mind.

When do you need to obtain a pet passport?

The requirements are different in each country, so you need to check the entry conditions of your planned destination. In order to get a pet passport, you must have a certificate from the vet. Sometimes, an endorsement from the animal regulatory authorities of the country will be essential. In the USA, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) gives permission to take a pet outside America.

It is possible to check the requirements online on governmental websites. In case you have some questions or doubts, you should contact the nearest embassy/consulate and airlines for more information. 

How to obtain a passport for a pet?

In order to get a pet passport, you must make an appointment at a veterinary facility. Your pet must be examined and get all required vaccinations. Generally, you need to consider the following:

  • Rabies vaccination and then blood tests
  • Flea, ticks, or parasites removal
  • Identification with microchipping or tattoos
  • Inspection of screw-worm
  • Tapeworm treatment.

Some additional treatment or vaccinations may be necessary, so check everything before your trip. After the process, you will receive a signed certificate with all relevant information. After that, contact the animal regulatory agency (if necessary).

What other travel documents should I prepare?

According to some countries' laws, you will need to collect additional documents besides a pet passport. It all depends on your destination, species, and number of animals. For instance, to travel with the following pets in the United States, you must have special permits:

  • If you want to enter Alaska from Canada via land border with animals that are alive (including birds).
  • When you travel with certain species of fish, such as koi carp, goldfish, sheatfish, tench, etc.
  • When you import dogs for commercial resale or adoption, they must be at least 6 months old and have all necessary vaccinations.

What is more, in case you are visiting foreign countries with animals different than dogs, cats, or ferrets, you need to check if the pet doesn?t have the protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need additional permits if the species is on the list.

Rules of Returning Home with a Pet

Besides the entry requirements regarding a trip with a pet, you need to think about what conditions you must meet in order to return home without problems.

There are many situations and different factors that must be considered. For instance, you will need a new pet certificate in case you re-import a pet to the US after over 30 days in a foreign country. Sometimes quarantines or proof of being rabies-free will be needed, depending on the destination.

Don?t forget about the fact that a pet passport is valid for a limited time (usually around several months or according to vaccinations).

Aleksandra K
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