There's a lot to do when getting ready to travel with your pet. At Overwatch Animal Hospital our vets can help you get the vet health certificate your cat or dog needs to travel, so that the chances of unexpected delays can be minimized.

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Travel With Your Pet

A Veterinary Health Certificate shows that your pet meets all the health requirements of the place you and your animal are traveling too.

Ensure that your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date and start researching the required tests your cat or dog needs for travel as soon as possible. The USDA-APHIS office states that veterinarian issued health certificates have to be completed within an exact time frame based on the state’s or country’s destination requirements. Please remember that Hawaii’s health certificate requirements are very similar to an international health certificate.

Many health certificates are only valid only for up to10 days, although some are valid for longer. Be sure to keep this in mind when booking your pet's health certificate examination, and remember that appointment slots often fill up days or even weeks in advance.

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Before Your Appointment

If you have booked a health certificate examination at Overwatch Animal Hospital for your pet, please follow the list below so that you are fully prepared for your cat or dog's health certificate appointment:

  • Review the requirements for pet travel to your destination

    The requirements can be found through the USDA Pet Travel website. Overwatch Animal Hospital's role is to complete the certificate and provide the vaccines and shots required but, it's your responsibility to understand the requirements and make sure they are met in the correct time-frame for traveling.

  • Contact your airlines

    You have to inquire if the airlines have any more travel requirements, including specific vaccines or forms that need to be completed.

  • Call the hospital to make an appointment.

    International health certificate appointments will take 1 hour per pet. National health certificate appointments will be 30 minutes (except for Hawaii, which is also 1 hour). Most health certificates are valid for 10 days and take 1-3 business days to be processed by USDA, so make sure to plan your health certificate appointment and travel date accordingly.

  • What to bring to the appointment
    • Your full name, current address, and phone number
    • The name of your travel destination (person, hotel, etc.), address, and phone number
    • The date your pet will be travelling, method of transportation, and port of entry
    • All previous records from other veterinary clinics
    • Many health certificates need an original signed rabies certificate and the exact date of microchip implantation. If these were not performed at Overwatch Animal Hospital and are needed for your pet's travel, you have to bring these forms and dates with you to your pet's appointment.

During Your Appointment

At the appointment, we will conduct a comprehensive exam to make sure your pet is healthy for travel and fill out the Health Certificate.

You must then submit the completed certificates to the USDA office in Albany, NY. Processing time usually takes 1 - 3 business days. When the certificate is finalized, you can either pick it up in person or it can be mailed to your address overnight. 

Our Clarksville vets are here to help facilitate the pet travel process and to fill out the required forms, however it is your responsibility to make sure all the travel requirements are met- so we ask that you come to your appointment prepared!

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