Cities and Towns in the United States > Travel > Traveling Overseas With A Pet Passport


Did you know 66% of homes in the USA own a pet? Given overseas travel is a common occurrence, there is a good chance some people will want to take their pets with them. The good news is that a United States pet passport will make traveling with a pet easier. In this article, we’ll consider the pet passport in depth.

A Guide To Pet Passports

Pet Passport: What Is It?

A United States pet passport enables a pet to travel to another country. It is not a passport in the strictest sense like a human passport, but a collection of documents that allow pets to travel. The documents prove the animal is healthy, fit, and disease-free to travel overseas. With the pet passport, the pet can enter the destination country without hassle.

How To Obtain It

If you want a pet passport, follow the steps outlined below.

Find Out The Requirements

Research what entry requirements the embarking country has for your pet type. For example, dogs may have certain specifics, while cats have other prerequisites. You may want to visit the website of the consulate or embassy of the country in question or the United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) for details on pet importation for the country concerned.

Find out the following requirements:

  • Health certifications,
  • • Documentation, and
  • Vaccinations.

Visit A Federally Accredited Veterinarian

Make an appointment with a Federally Accredited Veterinarian far before the travel date. Tell them about the destination and international travel plans; they will assist in obtaining a pet passport. As a minimum, the pet will require:

  • Rabies vaccination,
  • Microchip,
  • Animal health certificate.

Parasite treatments and additional vaccinations may be required depending on the pet type and travel destination. We’ll discuss the pet passport requirements in more detail further in the article.

Endorsement By The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Sometimes, the health certificate may need to be endorsed and certified by the USDA. Contact a local USDA office to determine if it is a requirement. If this is the case, the USDA will review the health certificate and other documents to ensure import compliance for the destination country.

Make the Fee Payments

There are fees involved with obtaining an animal passport. The costs are for the different aspects of the passport (such as rabies vaccination, for example). The prices vary and depend on several factors; we will discuss these further in the article.

The General Requirements For A Pet Passport

The requirements will depend on the country you are traveling to. However, some general specifications are common among popular destinations US citizens visit. These requirements are listed below.


The pet has to be microchipped with a chip that matches ISO standards 11785 and 11784. The microchip implantation is carried out to identify the pet and must occur before the rabies vaccination.

Rabies Vaccination

Vast numbers of countries require most pets to be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies is an easily spreadable viral disease that affects the nervous system and can be fatal to humans. The rabies vaccine administration takes place after the microchipping implantation.

Health Certification

Signed off by a Federally Accredited Veterinarian, the certification needs to be issued within a certain time frame before the date of travel (usually 10 days). The accreditation provides confirmation the animal is travel-fit, healthy, and up-to-date with the required vaccinations.

Parasite Control

Some countries have control measures to prevent parasites such as ticks and fleas. Be sure to follow the requirements of the country in question and ensure their specifications are met.

Government Endorsements

Sometimes, health certificates may need to be endorsed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Contact the USDA Veterinary Services online or offline to check the necessity for your pet.

Import Permits And Customs

Some countries may request import permits and specific custom approaches for certain types of pets. Obtain the required import permits and follow the customs procedures the destination country requires.

The Cost Of A Pet Passport

A United States pet visa can cost between $145 and $575. The price will depend on the veterinary practice, the type of pet (i.e., species), and the country of travel. The cost of each element is shown below:

  • Microchip: The price ranges from $25 to $75.
  • Rabies vaccination: The cost is $15 to $50.
  • Health Certificate: It is an essential component of the pet passport and costs between $40 to $200.
  • Additional Vaccinations: This is based on the pet type and the destination country. The price could start at $20 and go up to $100 per vaccination.
  • Parasite Control: Depends on the treatment, size of the pet, and treatment duration. On average, the costs are somewhere between $15 to $50.
  • Administration And Documentation Fees: The veterinarian or the government agencies responsible for issuing the pet passport change fees range from $30 to $100.

How Long Does It Take To Obtain A Pet Passport?

The time taken to obtain a pet passport will vary and depends on factors such as:

  • • The specific requirements of the destination country,
  • • Veterinary appointment availability,
  • • Government agency processing times.

It is recommended the appointments be made as early as possible to ensure all the requirements are met before travel. The time taken for USDA endorsement varies but typically arrives within several days to a couple of weeks.

Bringing A Pet Into the USA

On returning to the USA, the pet must meet the same requirements as one imported to the United States from overseas. Assuming the pet passport was acquired in the USA to travel abroad, there will be no problems or issues with the return journey in most instances.

Traveling With A Pet

A pet passport is a collection of documents that allow the pet to travel overseas. It incorporates a microchip for identity purposes, rabies vaccination, health certificate, and other government endorsements. Thanks to these documents, people can travel with their pets rather than leave their beloved animals at home in the USA.