When going on vacation or deciding to relocate outside of the US, taking your pet with you can make the best of any situation you’re facing. While you can’t imagine going without your dog, cat, or even bunny, that doesn’t mean you can simply board a plane with them on a whim. To travel with your pet, a US pet passport is a must. Getting one of these passports isn’t difficult but it does take time and commitment. Let’s take a look below at a step-by-step guide so you can get your pet’s US passport without any issues.
Before You Start
As you read below you may think the steps for getting a US pet passport are straightforward. That isn’t the case. Each of these steps for getting a pet passport can take a bit of time. This is why we suggest beginning the process early. Finding the right veterinarian, getting your pet microchipped, then vaccinated, and meeting the requirements for a USDA stamp along with other requirements the country you are visiting asks you to meet is time-consuming. If a rabies titer test is required it cannot be performed until 28 days after your pet’s rabies vaccination has been given. To avoid missing your trip, the moment you decide you are wanting to travel, get the ball rolling so your pet can safely take the trip with you.
How to Get a US Pet Passport
1. Make an Appointment with a Veterinarian
The first step in getting your US pet passport is to visit a federally accredited veterinarian. Your veterinarian may not fit this criterion but they should be able to help you locate a veterinarian that can. The reason you must visit a federally accredited veterinarian is so they can administer the required vaccines and other treatments your pet will need according to which country you are planning on visiting. Once this is done, and your pet gets a full checkup including an updated rabies vaccination, the veterinarian will then provide you with an official health certificate. This certificate will show that your pet is healthy enough for travel. You should also ensure that your pet is microchipped while you’re at the office for their safety abroad.
2. Learn the Requirements for the Country You’re Visiting
Each country has different requirements when it comes to animals. These can include customs, health, quarantine, and wildlife requirements. The easiest way to learn what is expected of you when traveling with your animal is to contact that country’s embassy to learn of any additional things you need to adhere to when traveling with your pet.
While most countries require microchipping, rabies vaccines, and your pet to be in good health, certain countries have more requirements.
3. Get USDA Endorsement
Any pet leaving the United States is required to submit paperwork relevant to its destination to the State USDA office. When this paperwork is in order and all requirements are met, the USDA endorsement stamp will be given to allow the pet to travel.
The Price of a US Pet Passport
There are lots of costs that come into play when you’re trying to get a US pet passport. If you factor in the veterinarian visit, microchipping, vaccinations, the USDA stamp, and any other tests that the country you are visiting requires, you could be spending between $38 to $1,110 or possibly more to travel with your pet. Unfortunately, you’ll find fees and costs involved with each step so be prepared to spend a bit extra when you take your pet along for the ride.
While gaining a US pet passport for your pet isn’t a difficult process, it can be time-consuming. You should start the process early and make sure you follow all guidelines. If your pet isn’t deemed suitable for travel, don’t panic. While it may upset you not to have your best pal at your side, traveling can be hard on pets and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
- Related Read: How To Get a UK Pet Passport (Complete Guide)
Featured Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock