September 11, 2023
What is a pet passport?
A pet passport is a special document enabling abroad trips with a pet (it is similar to the visa for travelers, such as Vietnam e-Visa etc.). It includes information about the health condition and vaccination status of the animal. Not all the species can have a pet passport. For instance, a European pet passport is designed only for dogs, cats, and ferrets. Each country and region has different requirements, so it is advisable to check them before the trip.
When a pet passport is necessary?
A pet passport is necessary in case of traveling with animals to a foreign country. As conditions differ according to the place, all visitors need to check the rules before their journey.
For example, in order to go to the European Union from a non-EU country with an animal, a pet must be microchipped, have rabies vaccination (done at least 21 days before departure) and treatment against tapeworm, as well as a valid European pet passport or animal health certificate issued by a vet.
Note that approval from the country’s animal regulatory authorities is sometimes required. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the United States grants permission to take a pet outside the country.
How to get a pet passport?
Getting a pet passport requires veterinary appointments. Contact the vet who is entitled to issue this document and consider the following points:
- Rabies vaccination and blood testing,
- Getting rid of fleas, ticks, and parasites,
- Identification with microchipping or tattoos,
- Inspection of screw-worm,
- Treatment for tapeworm.
Note that some additional vaccinations or treatment could be needed. Check all the requirements of the place you are going to before. When everything is approved, you will get a signed certificate with the vital information. In some cases, contacting the animal regulatory agency may be necessary.
How much is a pet passport?
Pet passport cost depends on the country, veterinarian’s fees, microchipping, animal species, etc. For instance, EU pet passports cost between €20 and €448+, while US health certificate range from $25 to $775. The price can include pets rabies vaccination (usually, the first shot is around $15-$20, and three are required), microchipping (for around $50), and deworming (for approximately $20 to $60).
What other documents are required for a pet passport?
Some regulations demand visitors to obtain documents in addition to a pet passport. It depends on the destination, species, and animal number. For example, special permissions are required to travel with the following animals in the United States:
- While entering Alaska from Canada with living animals (including birds) via land border.
- If you travel with certain species of fish (koi carp, goldfish, sheatfish, tench, etc.).
- In the case of importing dogs for adoption or commercial release.
Furthermore, if you are traveling to a foreign country with animals other than dogs, cats, or ferrets, you must determine whether the pet is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). If the species is on the list, you will need to obtain additional permissions.
Besides, you must attach a written declaration stating that relocation is not related to commercial reasons in addition to an EU health certificate (also, it is necessary in case of an authorized person who travels with your animal; the pet must be reunited with you within the next 5 days).
Returning home with a pet
Bringing your pet home could also require additional documents. Consider many factors and situations before your trip to avoid inconveniences. According to US law, you need to have a new pet passport in case of staying abroad for more than 30 days. In some countries, a quarantine or proof of rabies vaccination will be needed to return home with a pet.
The passport validity period can be limited, so keep that in mind. EU pet passport is issued for life on the condition that rabies vaccination is in date. When it comes to the US health certificate, usually it is valid for 30 days.
Prepare for Traveling with a Pet
Before the journey, all owners must prepare the necessary things and documents (for example, a European Union pet passport), as well as think about what is best for their pets. Traveling can be very stressful for an animal, especially when it is linked to the separation from the owner. Sometimes, it is better to leave a dog or a cat with a trusted person to avoid changing its routine.