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Traveling With Your Pet on a Plane

In spite of our modest size, the Provo / Orem city area is a rather international community, with many of us traveling both domestically and overseas. Taking our best furry friend with us can make the trip more pleasant and rewarding while traveling with your pet on a plane.

However, there are some governmental requirements that may need to be met to allow your pet to travel with you. If these requirements are not properly met, these rules can put a genuine damper on your preparations for your trip.

Domestic Travel

Dog Airplane Travel

Traveling domestically is generally not too bad regulation wise. If you are flying, the airline will often require a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel. You should call your airline carrier prior to traveling with your pet to find out what they demand, some carriers require more than others.

If you are driving, you may not need any certification, but “officially” some states like California may require it. The bigger concern when driving domestically, are threats like fleas that your pet could be exposed to as you travel to other areas. If your pet has anxiety issues while traveling in the car, a light sedation could be an option.

Hawaiian Islands

Dog Travel to Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands do not have the rabies virus present in any animals there. In an effort to keep it that way, the rules for transporting pets there are quite strict. If you are visiting there for a vacation, I do not recommend attempting to take your pet with you. It simply is not worth the hassle and expense.

If you are moving to Hawaii with your pet, you will need to go through their protocol for import.

First, you will need to have your pet vaccinated for rabies on a specified schedule, then a rabies test will need to be done to ensure that the pet has a protective antibody titer.

This test is called the FAVN test and must be submitted by a vet to Kansas State University. Assuming a passing score, the pet will then need a health certificate, deworming, vaccination, and parasite control at a specified time afterwards.

Then, upon arrival at the islands, the pet will go through their quarantine protocol. While quite frustrating to owners, Hawaii has actually made their protocol easier than it used to be. For additional information visit HDOA Hawaii.

International Travel

Dog International Travel

There is enormous variation in the requirements to take a pet out of the country.

Countries simply require an international health certificate, signed by a local accredited veterinarian. Other countries require the same international certificate but also require an official USDA stamp applied by the USDA APHIS office in Salt Lake City. Others require the international certificate, the stamp, and a certificate for the importing country filled out here and stamped.

Finally, some countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, and others require a rabies FAVN test to be done well in advance of travel abroad as well as the applicable certificates. There are often waiting periods of varying lengths once the process is started on the rabies vaccination and testing.

The advice I would give is if you are planning to travel abroad with your pet, especially in the countries with no rabies, to contact your vet as early as possible and familiarize yourself with the requirements by downloading them online.

If we have enough time, it usually isn’t too hard to get you where you want to go without too much governmental red tape. If there isn’t sufficient time, however, we may have trouble getting your pet ready for export when you want to go. This USDA website has a great deal of what you may need to know.

Hopefully, this information is helpful as an aid to make your next travel adventure with your best friend as stress free as possible.

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