Question of the week: How do I prepare to fly with my pet?

airplaneSummer is finally hitting the Bay Area and many of us have travel plans. Increasingly, pet owners are opting to take their pets with them when they fly. Depending on your destination, you may need to start this process months ahead of time. This requires a lot of planning and preparation on the part of the pet owner.

When traveling within the mainland U.S.,  requirements may vary from state to state. Most airlines require you to present a health or travel certificate provided by your veterinarian. In order for the doctor to issue this document, they must first conduct a physical exam to determine your pet is in good health and fit for air travel. Airlines may also require that this document be issued within a certain number of days prior to your flight.

If you are traveling to the state of Hawaii, a whole different set of requirements apply. This can involve and lengthy and expensive process. As a rabies-free state, strict regulations are in place to keep it that way. Your pet will need to have had an  OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test not more than 36 months and not less than 120 days before the date of arrival in Hawaii.

When traveling internationally, try to be prepared way ahead of time. Regulations are subject to change so make sure you check with the USDA and the relevant country’s consulate for up to date information. Don’t rely on second hand information in your preparations. Make sure you have all your paperwork that’s needed prior to scheduling your veterinary appointment. Doing a little footwork ahead of time will make things go a little more efficiently.

The clinic staff are more than happy to address any questions you have about making this as painless a process as possible, so feel free to contact us for more information.