Traveling with your pet

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Considering roving about with ‘Rover’ this year?  It is important to plan ahead when traveling with your pet to ensure smooth sailing (or riding or flying) for both you and your beloved ‘Fido.”  Depending on your destination, whether that may be within the U.S. or abroad, some preparations may need to start six months or more in advance.


Each country, state, and even public modes of transportation have requirements and restrictions on transporting animals. The regulations help protect people, animals, and ecosystems by guarding against the spread of dangerous diseases and pests. Most likely, a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) will be required by the authorities at your destination. It is your responsibility to get this information from the authorities of your destination well in advance of travel so that you can plan accordingly.

Be aware that some countries and states, particularly those that are deemed Rabies-free, may require specialized laboratory tests, vaccination, and/or medication administration such as parasite prevention prior to your travels. Otherwise, your pet may need to be placed in isolation in a quarantine facility upon arrival.  An accredited veterinarian can assist you in ensuring that the necessary requirements are met ahead of your travel in a timely fashion, but again, it’s important to plan well in advance to allow your veterinarian enough time to examine your pet, perform the appropriate diagnostic testing, administer medications and/or vaccinations when indicated, and prepare the proper documentation to ensure that your pet is accepted by the authorities at your destination.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is a tremendous resource for useful information on finding the specific travel requirements depending on your destination.  It is important to prioritize your pet’s safety and comfort when traveling by considering their needs throughout the trip and plan ahead!  Not all pets may travel well, so it is important to consider your pet’s needs first!  Your veterinarian can help you prepare a travel plan that is best for your pet.  Information on traveling with your dog or cat is available on the AVMA website.  It is important to review the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website, which has the specific pet travel requirements of each state and country available.


Cheektowaga Veterinary hospital is fortunate to have two accredited veterinarians on staff, Dr. Kathy Murnan and Dr. Amanda Schepis.  Accredited veterinarians have completed special additional training and coursework to allow them to perform health exams and supervise the movement of animals into and out of the state and country.  They are responsible for ensuring the health of the USA’s livestock and animal population and to protect the public health and well-being, and are required recertify their registration every three years in order to maintain their accreditation status.


If you are considering traveling with your pet this year, don’t delay, call us for a travel consultation today!  We would be happy to provide a health certification and assist you through the detailed and often confusing process of obtaining the documentation necessary for your pet’s specific travel requirements.

Dr. Amanda Schepis