Tips & resources for Traveling
Internationally with your pet
If you are interested in an appointment with us for an International Health Certificate - please fill out THIS questionnaire and email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Info for Clients Traveling Internationally with their Pets
Our goal is to make your upcoming trip as seamless as possible. This is easier for travel to some countries than others. Because Rabies is found in the US, the most labor and time-intensive travel is to Rabies-free countries/states such as Hawaii, Australia, and Japan. The process typically needs to start 6-12 months ahead of time in order for your pet to be able to leave on-time with you.
For the majority of countries, the health certificate will need to be endorsed by the USDA State Veterinarian in Richmond, VA (in person & by appointment only) or Albany, NY (by mail). If going to Richmond in-person, an appointment must be made with them ahead of time - walk-ins are not accepted. However, you can go to the office to drop off a certificate without an appointment - it just may take 24-48 hour to get the completed form back. Alternatively (and USDA’s preferred method) the certificate may be over-nighted along with the necessary documents (listed below). Certificates are generally processed and returned the day they’re received as long as there’s no missing or incorrect information.
Albany, NY location:
USDA, APHIS, VS – Exports 500 New Karner Road 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12205
Richmond, VA location (in-person / by appointment ONLY):
USDA, APHIS, VS - Richmond office: Federal Bldg. 400 N 8th St., Ste. 726, Richmond, VA 23219
Call for appointments: 804-343-2567
Essential documents to include with your submission:
Export health certificate (original)
Rabies vaccination certificate for all rabies vaccinations documented on the health certificate.
Test results for laboratory tests, when required (e.g. rabies titer test).
Import permit (if required).
Payment (see Endorsement Fee section).
PRE-PAID return label (see Instructions for submitting by FedEx, UPS, or USPS).
Pet Export Checklist (linked below).
USDA Endorsement fees (Paid by the owner directly to USDA):
If no laboratory test results are required to review: $38.00 per certificate.
If 1 - 2 required laboratory tests results to review: $121.00 for the first animal and $7.00 for each additional animal on the SAME certificate.
If 3 - 6 required laboratory tests results to review: $150.00 for the first animal and $12.00 for each
additional animal on the SAME certificate.
Acceptable payment methods include USDA credit account, check or money order made payable to the USDA, or credit card. The USDA does not charge an endorsement fee for service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or for active military working dogs. The USDA does not accept cash.
To submit to USDA via mail (recommended):
We recommend using overnight express service to minimize delays in submitting your health certificate for endorsement and for receiving it back after endorsement. In order for the health certificate to be returned by overnight delivery, you must provide a PRE-PAID return label with your submission. The label must be purchased and paid for (meaning charges are incurred at purchase, not at time of pickup). We do not accept shipping labels with credit cards on them; if you need to pay by credit card, you must have the service provider charge your card before generating the label.
FedEx, UPS and USPS overnight express service packages are picked up from USDA offices every weekday evening.
The USDA does not have ground service pick up
We recommend using a service provider that uses a tracking number to allow the package’s progress to be tracked to and from the endorsing office, and to decrease the chance of the package being lost in transit. It is your responsibility to keep a record of the tracking number.
IF YOU USE FEDEX: the USDA office’s address should not appear anywhere on your return label.
Your name and address should appear in both the sender and recipient’s block of the return label.
If a return label is not included, then we will return your package using USPS First Class Mail if we are unable to reach you to arrange for another method of return delivery.
Preparing for your appointment: Every country has different requirements and every airline has different requirements. Please check with the embassy of your travel destination as well as the airline you are travelling on to make sure you have everything you need together. Many countries require your pet is micro-chipped as well - this is a service we can provide at Clarendon Animal Care. Please note that for some countries this microchip must be in place PRIOR to rabies vaccination.
Please let us know at your final appointment if you would like us to suspend email reminders while you are abroad, or if you’d prefer to continue to receive them as a reminder of what services are due for your pet.
We typically recommend continuing heartworm preventative (as this is also a monthly intestinal parasite de-wormer) year-round, even though heartworm disease may not be prevalent where you are traveling to, intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms often are!
Good luck with your upcoming move/travels!