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Pet Travel

Pennsauken Animal Hospital offers assistance in preparing your pet for Domestic and International Travel. Our team includes two USDA veterinarians who are qualified to certify your pet for travel.

Pet Travel Certifications
International Pet Travel
Domestic Pet Travel
USDA Veterinarians South Jersey
Pennsauken Animal Hospital Pet Travel

General Travel Information

Traveling with your pet can be quite a challenge! There are various documents, tests, and treatments required to smoothly relocate your pet from one place to another.

Travel Documents

  • Different countries/states/territories have specific legal requirements for documents. To assist you in planning, please provide us with details about your pet, destination, and travel date.


Airline Documentation

  • Each airline has its own regulations and paperwork necessary for pet travel. While some forms can be completed by any vet, others need a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. Contact the airline directly to inquire about the requirements for your particular flight.


Air Travel

  • Flying with a pet may seem daunting, but with proper anxiety management, most pets adjust well. Airlines have distinct guidelines for in-cabin versus cargo travel, ensuring pets' safety. Cargo areas are climate controlled for pet comfort.

  • With the exception of certain metabolic conditions, pets generally fare well on long flights when anxiety and nausea are controlled. For flights lasting 8-10+ hours, most pets have a safe and smooth journey.

  • Traveling by car or plane can stress pets, leading to anxiety and nausea. Medications like gabapentin or trazodone can ease travel stress, while Cerenia helps with motion sickness.


Prepare for Unexpected Vet Visits!

At Pennsauken Animal Hospital, our digital records can be easily shared with other vet hospitals via email. Before traveling, identify 1-2 vet hospitals (preferably one with 24-hour service) for us to send records to, especially for pets with chronic illnesses.


Adapting to New Climates

It takes a few days for pets and people to adjust to changes in temperature and humidity, especially when transitioning to warmer regions.


Time Zone Changes

Pets are not significantly affected by time zone shifts as they are not strictly diurnal. Maintaining routines around meals, sleep, exercise, and play can help pets adjust better than changes in time zones. Most pets associate specific activities with certain times, such as bedtime after a meal.

Domestic Travel


Rabies vaccination is a mandatory requirement for most interstate and international travel. Additionally, other vaccinations are crucial to safeguard your pet's health. It is advisable to prioritize wellness care, such as regular evaluations and appropriate lab tests based on your pet's life stage. Maintaining high-quality preventatives for fleas, ticks, heartworms, and gastrointestinal parasites is essential, especially for travel.


Interstate Travel:

  • Each state and territory has its own Department of Agriculture with specific regulations.

  • A valid Rabies Vaccination Certificate is universally required for entry, with some states necessitating a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) from a USDA Accredited Veterinarian after an in-person assessment.

  • Interstate travel - Visit

Airline Requirements:

  • Airlines have varying regulations for pet travel.

  • Many airlines request a "Fit-to-Fly" certificate issued by a veterinarian after a recent physical examination, usually within 10 days of travel.

  • Some airlines mandate Breed Certification for specific breeds they prohibit from traveling, like brachycephalic dogs.

State/Territory Requirements:

  • Each state has distinct laws regarding animal importation.

  • All states mandate a valid Rabies Vaccination Certificate, with some also requiring a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) from a USDA Accredited Veterinarian after a physical examination.

  • To check specific state requirements, visit the USDA APHIS website, or fill out our Travel Inquiry Form.

International Travel 


Transporting a pet to a foreign country can be a complex process that may require weeks to months of preparation. Our USDA Accredited Veterinarians are well-versed in the export procedures for most countries and can help tailor a plan for your pet.


Where to Begin Planning for Traveling with Pets

  • When considering international travel with your pet, reach out to us to review the necessary requirements. Some countries have minimal requirements such as Rabies vaccination (e.g., Mexico, Canada), while others have detailed regulations that could span over six months or longer.


Lost Pet - Microchip Scanning in Other Countries

  • Most microchips implanted in the last ten years are "international" and can be scanned by any microchip reader. Domestic chips, operating on a different frequency, are only detectable by scanners in the United States. We can easily determine the chip type by scanning its number.


Resource for Pet Travel Information

International Travel Considerations for Older or Ill Pets

  • Most pets adapt well to travel, especially with proactive stress and nausea management through medication and proper planning.


Medication Refills While Abroad

  • We cannot refill medications for use in other countries as prescriptions are typically not valid outside the prescribing country. Consulting a local veterinarian or pharmacist in the foreign country you will be visiting or relocated to is recommended for obtaining necessary medications once outside the US.

Dog Entry (and Return) to the United States:

Starting August 1st, 2024, the CDC has imposed regulations on ALL dogs entering the United States. This applies to dogs that originated from the United States, so even a brief day trip across the border to Canada.


According to the CDC, dogs that do not meet all entry requirements or do not have accurate and valid forms will be denied entry to the United States and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense. These requirements apply to all dogs, including service dogs and dogs that were born in the United States.


To enter the United States:
-ALL dogs must be at least 6 months old

-ALL dogs must be microchipped with an ISO compatible chip (all 15 digit microchips are ISO compatible)

-ALL dogs need a CDC Dog Import Form (filled out online ideally 2-10 days before arrival)


In addition, dogs need to meet rabies vaccination or titer requirements based on if vaccination was done in the United States, and if the dog was in a high-risk country for dog rabies within the 6 months prior to import.


Please note, rabies vaccination rules are not standardized. Many dogs appropriately vaccinated based on New Jersey law are NOT considered vaccinated by the CDC.


Please complete the following form for us to best assist you with return to the United States with your dog:

Pet Travel Form

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