Many of us are planning some time away from home. If you plan on taking your pets with you, the USDA just updated their website with important information about traveling internationally with your pet.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has launched a new Web site devoted to international pet travel. Pets are often considered part of the family, but traveling with your pet isn’t as simple as just booking a flight or driving across the border. There may be very specific steps you and your veterinarian need to follow, as well as pet vaccinations, treatments, and/or testing that your veterinarian must document.
We know this process can be stressful. That’s why we designed a new Web site to help guide you and your veterinarian through each step. Some countries have pre-travel requirements that take advanced planning and time to complete, so it’s important to start the process early.
The website includes instructions about taking pet to other countries and bringing pets into the U.S.
APHIS explains its mission “is to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.”
To prevent the entry and spread of foreign animal diseases into our country, pets entering the United States from other countries may need to meet specific APHIS requirements.
In addition to federal requirements, airlines may have additional requirements for pet owners.
Don’t forget to bring along any medication, and the food your pet is used to eating if it is not available at your destination, to avoid gastrointestinal disorders.
Make sure your pet is properly identified and keep in mind that microchip technology and readers may not be reliable at your destination, so make sure your contact information is included on your pet’s collar.
USDA’s website also includes links to other federal agencies that have additional requirements for pet owners.
For example, the CDC has regulations that “require that dogs imported into the United States are healthy and are vaccinated against rabies before arrival into the United States. These requirements apply equally to all dogs, including puppies and service animals.”
Plan accordingly and be safe.