Things to Know about Health Certificates and Traveling with Your Pet

Learn about what is expected of you as a pet parent when traveling with your pet.

An official pet health certificate (CVI) is a document that your Brook Farm veterinarian fills out after examining your pet thoroughly. This document certifies that your pet is disease free and lists all of their vaccinations. It also includes detailed information about your pet such as age, breed, and microchip information. Only licensed, USDA-accredited veterinarians can issue pet health certificates. Make sure your veterinarian is USDA-accredited if you need a CVI for travel.

When would my pet need a health certificate?

Every commercial airline requires a pet health certificate (one for every pet) before taking a pet on a flight. The time frame in which a health certificate must be obtained for your pet varies from airline to airline. For example, some airlines require a health certificate within 14 days of travel, while others recommend it within 10 days. We always recommend that while you are in the planning stages of your trip it’s important to  contact your airline to see if you will need any other paperwork completed in addition to getting your pet a health certificate. Sometimes commercial airlines have their own forms that will need to be filled out prior to boarding and it’s always best to be prepared. 

What should I consider when traveling with my pet?:

  • Ensure that your pet is comfortable traveling. 
  • Some pets cannot handle travel because of illness, injury, age or temperament. Talk with your veterinarian if any of these may concern you. 
  • If your pet is not great with travel, you can always consider a reliable pet-sitter, or speak with us about boarding at Brook Farm Veterinary Center. 
  • Ensure that your pet has a current identification tag.
  • Getting your pet back if it ever becomes lost is much easier if your pet is implanted with a microchip. We can certainly help with that if you’ve not already done so. The microchip should always be registered with your current contact information, including a cell phone number so it’s easiest to reach you. A tag is included when you have your pet microchipped that has the microchip number and your mobile contact #, so if your pet is found, they can use this tag to determine ownership without having to contact your veterinarian. You should contact the microchip company for a replacement tag if you've lost yours, and for help on how to update your personal information whenever you are going to be traveling.
  • You may be required to provide a health certificate or other documentation if you plan to take your dog or cat across state or international borders. 
  • After our accredited veterinarian examines your pet and confirms it is free of infectious diseases and satisfies all import requirements of the receiving state, territory, or country, the health certificate must be signed by him or her. USDA endorsement of the certificate is often required for international travel.  
  • Find the right accommodations. Whenever traveling, we recommend you bring a portable kennel with you in case you have to leave your pet alone for any amount of time in an unfamiliar place.


Schedule an appointment today with one of our USDA-accredited veterinarians.
Like what you see?

Sign up for our newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.