Preparing for travel can be a hassle, but it’s important to have all of your bases covered before you leave—especially if you’re taking your pet with you!
A Health Certificate shows that your pet meets all of the health requirements of the place you will be visiting. You will need to have your pet vaccinated and begin researching the required tests for your travels as soon as possible. The USDA-APHIS office state veterinarian-issued health certificate needs to be completed within the exact time frame based on the state’s or country’s destination requirements. Please note that Hawaii’s health certificate requirements are similar to an international health certificate.
Please note that most health certificates are valid only for 10 days while some are valid for longer. Make sure to keep this in mind when choosing which date to book your appointment, and keep in mind that appointments frequently book out days or even weeks in advance.
Please review the Global Vet Link Pet Travel Road Map to help you prepare.
Please follow the list below to prepare for your pet's health certificate appointment:
1. If you are a new client or your pet has not been into Four Corners in over a year, you must first make a Wellness Exam for your pet prior to scheduling the Health Certificate exam. Please schedule an exam as soon as possible and at least 2 weeks prior to your Health Certificate exam. Keep in mind a Wellness Exam is not the same as a Health Certificate exam and both would be required if your pet is new or has not been seen by a Four Corners Veterinarian in the last 12 months.
If you need to make a Wellness Exam first please immediately call Four Corners Veterinary Hospital at 925-685-0512 to make the appointment.
2. Review the requirements for pet travel to the place you will be traveling to. The requirements can be found through the USDA Pet Travel website https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel. Four Corners Veterinary Hospital’s role is to complete the certificate and provide the vaccines needed, however, it is your responsibility to understand the requirements and make sure they are met in the correct time frame for travel.
3. Contact your airlines to inquire if they have any further travel requirements, including specific vaccines or forms that need to be completed.
4. Fill out this form (below)
5. Once we receive your form, our office will call to schedule an appointment. Most health certificates are valid for 10 days and take 1-3 business days to be processed by USDA, so be sure to plan your health certificate appointment and travel date accordingly.
6. Documents required prior to your Health Certificate appointment:
* Submit the below Health Certificate Appointment Request form before your appointment can be scheduled.
* Once scheduled please ensure all previous records from other veterinary clinics have been sent to us a minimum of 1 week prior to your Health Certificate Appointment. If not this can delay the process, which could potentially create an issue on when your pet can travel.
* Once scheduled please send us a copy of your signed rabies certificate if not performed at Four Corners Veterinary Hospital.
7. Documents required for you to bring to your Health Certificate appointment:
* Original signed rabies certificate, if not performed at Four Corners Veterinary Hospital. If you do not have a signed original document please ensure you get that from the Vet who administered the rabies vaccine prior to your appointment.
At the appointment we will perform an exam to ensure your pet is healthy for travel, fill out the Health Certificate, and submit it to the USDA. The health certificate will then be processed through the USDA Sacramento office, which typically takes 1-3 business days.
When it is finalized you can either pick it up in person or it can be mailed overnight to your home address. If you would like to have the health certificate mailed overnight to you from Sacramento, you should purchase a pre-paid self-addressed overnight return shipping label from FedEx.
We are here to help facilitate the pet travel process and to fill out the required forms, but you are ultimately responsible for making sure all requirements are met for travel so please come to your appointment prepared!
Please keep in mind that if any documents are missing, incorrect, etc you may be turned away at your location of departure or arrival. It is your responsibility to make sure all required documentation is correct prior to departure. It is not the responsibility of Four Corners Veterinary Hospital to ensure the accuracy of documents.
All paperwork MUST be submitted to Four Corners Veterinary Hospital ONE WEEK prior to your Health Certificate appointment. Not having the necessary paperwork to us in time could delay the process and in you getting the final documentation in time for your travel.
A non-refundable deposit will be required at the time of booking. This deposit will go towards your health certificate appointment, however, if you don't show or cancel less than 48 hours prior, you will forfeit the deposit.