How to Travel Domestically & Internationally with Your Pet

Don’t let a vacation get in the way of spending time with your pet. Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person (we love both!), our Bond Travel Agents and USDA Accredited Veterinarians are ready to help you and your best friend travel safely, both domestically and abroad. Bond Travel is now available at our Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side, and Williamsburg locations.

Know Before You Go

All pets who fly, either domestically or internationally, will need a current rabies vaccine. For most international flights, a rabies certificate and an ISO compliant microchip are needed. Additionally, almost all International countries require an International Health Certificate (IHC) issued by an Accredited Veterinarian. For interstate travel, a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) may be required. Please inquire with a Bond Travel Agent so we can help you assess what your travel requirements are. 

There are three types of travel documents:

  • A Certificate of Health (COH)  is a non-government issued document, and is used as a convenience to show that your pet has been fully vaccinated and has been verified to be healthy. This is used for some domestic travel when more official paperwork has not been identified as necessary. 
  • An International Health Certificate (IHC) issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. This is a government document that is necessary for international travel to most countries outside the US. These documents need to be issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed by a USDA Veterinary Specialist. 
  • Depending on your destination, states may require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). This document is issued and signed by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. If your destination state does NOT require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, please check with your airline if any documentation is required. Your Bond Travel Agent will assist you with determining the requirements for your destination state. 

We will need you to provide us with all of your pet’s vaccinations records and medical documents. Many destinations need proof of vaccinations, parasite prevention, tests, and/or import permits. 

Requirements for travel will vary by destination. 

Bond Vet is only responsible for performing the certificate examination and filling out the health certificate documentation. All other requirements are the responsibility of the pet parent since each country is different and requirements change frequently. 

How do I book an appointment with a Bond Travel Agent?

Bond Travel Agents are dedicated Veterinary Nurses who are here to help you navigate the travel requirements for your destination. Before you book a travel appointment, please complete this inquiry form, and our team will reach out to answer any questions you may have and discuss next steps. 

Once you and your Bond Travel Agent have confirmed and organized all of the required documentation for your travel plans, they will coordinate a Travel Appointment with you. During your appointment the Accredited Veterinarian will perform the USDA Exam and complete all required documentation. Please note that International Health Certificates can take up to 72 hours to be endorsed while Certificate of Veterinary Inspections will be given to you at the time of your appointment. Depending on your destination, International Health Certificates will either be emailed to you via the email address we have on file or will be mailed overnight, priority shipped directly from the USDA office. 

Our Bond Travel Agents are ready to help you navigate this process and ensure you and your pet are ready to travel. Additionally, please visit the USDA APHIS pet travel website to fully understand your pet’s travel requirements for your destination.

What is the process and turnaround time for getting my documents?

Once you and your Bond Travel Agent have confirmed and organized all of the required documentation for your travel plans, they will coordinate a Travel Appointment with you. During your appointment the Accredited Veterinarian will perform the USDA Examination and submit all required documentation to the USDA.  International Health Certificates can take up to 72 hours to be endorsed.. Depending on your destination, International Health Certificates will either be emailed to you via the email address we have on file or will be overnight, priority shipped directly from the USDA office.

A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or Certificate of Health will be given to you at the time of your appointment. CVIs will also be automatically sent to your destination state’s Government. We will give you a physical copy and we can always email a PDF copy to you as well.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are planning to travel internationally within 3 business days of your inquiry date, a USDA endorsed certificate will not be able to be completed. The USDA requires a 72 hour processing time and they are closed on the weekends. Please reach out to a friend or your local boarding facility to arrange accommodations for your pet. 

What do I need to know if I am traveling Internationally? 

If you are traveling internationally (outside of the United States) you will need the following documents:

  • An International Health Certificate (IHC) from a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. This is a government document that is necessary for international travel to most countries outside the US. These documents need to be issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed by a USDA Veterinary Specialist. 
  • Copies of the last TWO Rabies Vaccination Certificates.
  • Complete Vaccination Record.
  • Microchip (requirements vary by destination).
  • Always check with your airline about any specific documents they may require.
  • We recommend sending inquiries no later than 15-30 days before your travel date. The sooner you know when you are traveling the better we can accommodate your needs! 
  • Let us help you! Complete this Travel Request Form and a Bond Travel Agent will be in touch within 24-72 hours. 

What do I need to know if I’m traveling domestically?

If you are traveling domestically(within the United States, Mexico or Canada) you will need the following documentation:

  • Depending on your destination, the state may require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). 
  • Check with your airline, they may require a Certificate of Health. 
  • Current Rabies Vaccine Certificate. 
  • Vaccination Record.
  • Microchip (requirements vary by destination).
  • Mexico and Canada follow the same guidelines for Domestic Travel requirements. 
  • Always check with your airline about any specific documents they may require.
  • We recommend sending inquiries no later than 10 days before your travel date. The sooner you know when you are traveling the better we can accommodate your needs! 
  • Let us help you! Complete this Travel Request Form and a Bond Travel Agent will be in touch within 24-72 hours. 

What fees should I expect for my Bond Travel Appointment?

Depending on your destination and your pet’s needs, we may need to perform one or more of the below. Your Bond Travel Agent will discuss specific costs with you prior to your appointment.

  • A physical examination and consultation fee 
  • International Health Certificate, Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or Certificate of Health
  • Microchip 
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Other vaccinations 
  • Antigen Testing if applicable
  • STAT fee 
    • Bond Vet prides itself on providing urgent care to all pets, this includes urgent travel needs. We will do our very best to accommodate you and your pet for last minute travel inquiries. If you are requesting documentation outside of the recommended inquiry times (15-30 days prior for international travel or 10 days prior for domestic travel), a STAT fee may be applied to your total cost. 

What should I bring with me when traveling with my pet?

Here’s some of our recommendations: 

  • Vaccines and documentation
  • ID tags
  • Pet license
  • Pet passports (EU)
  • Calming aids (ask your vet prior to travel)
  • Treats and toys
  • Secure leashes and carriers
  • Pet supplies for the trip
  • Preflight workout/brain games for your pet

Be sure to check with your airline prior to travel as rules and restrictions may vary by carrier.

Need more information? 

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