Flying With a Dog or a Cat: Domestic Travel
Anyone who plans to travel while flying with dogs to another state with her pet needs to have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). This official document is a health Certificate signed by a licensed and accredited veterinarian. It guarantees that the pet shows no signs of communicable disease and gives a date that the inspection (examination) took place. This document should include rabies vaccination information with the date the rabies shot was given. Rabies vaccination documentation is required by all states for dogs and by most states for cats. I recommend you contact the particular state’s agricultural or veterinary department directly for updated information before you travel. In addition to your CVI certificate, for travel within the United States, your pet needs to have a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within ten days of departure stating that your pet is fit to travel. The health certificate and your pet’s vaccination certificates should be attached to the kennel. Always carry extra copies on your person, in case you are asked to produce them. If your pet is tranquilized before travel, your veterinarian must supply the name of the drug, the dosage, and how the drug was administered. This information should be included with the pet’s health certificate and other veterinary paperwork, and a copy of this information should also be attached to the kennel.
There are a wide variety of airlines now that accept pets, always be sure to call the airlines and ask about their pet policies before you purchase a ticket. While small dogs and cats are generally allowed in the cabin, large dogs are often required to be checked as baggage. Baggage holds can become hazardous if pets are exposed to extreme heat or cold for extended periods because they miss flights or planes are delayed. There is no way for owners to assist baggage-checked pets during flight. For this reason, the United States government recently required better training in pet handling for airline employees, and airlines must now notify the Department of Transportation about incidents involving animals.
Flying With a Dog or a Cat: International Travel
Before flying with dogs to another country, always contact that country’s consulate or embassy for information concerning their requirements. Every country has specific health requirements for the entry of animals and most countries, including those of the European Union, have a veterinary certificate specific to their country. If foreign countries do not have written policies specifically addressing your species of pet, I strong advise that you obtain something in writing from both the country’s embassy and your chosen airline carrier to avoid potential problems. Read more