Health Certificates for Travel

Taking a trip with your pet? Whether you are traveling internationally or around North America, Doral Centre Animal Hospital has got you covered. Please thoroughly read through the information below to familiarize yourself with the process of preparing your pet for travel. If you have questions, contact our team for clarification.

International Travel

When traveling internationally with your pet dog or cat, whether you’re headed to Miami or from Miami, there are four organizations that you need to contact.

  1. The Airline. Ask about the cost of travel and whether the pet will travel in the plane with your or down below in the luggage area. It is also important to ask how long they will honor your pet’s health certificate. Although the health certificate says it is valid for 30 days, some airlines only honor the certificate for 3 days. Some airlines also prohibit pets from traveling certain months of the year or times of the day due to concerns for heatstroke. Also, do not forget to ask whether the airline has restrictions on the type and size of carrier that can be used.
  2. The Consulate. Be sure the contact the consulate of the country you are traveling to and ask if they have any special requirements. Most islands have very strict requirements that could take weeks or even months of planning to fulfill. Most European countries require both a US and European Health Certificate as well as a microchip. Great Britain has required an actual pet passport for many years. Most Central and South American countries have the easiest requirements to fulfill, but some may require a quarantine period for the pet. The consulate may also want to see the health certificate that we prepare for your pet.
  3. Our Clinic. When making an appointment for a health certificate for your pet, remember, the certificate is only valid for 30 days, so plan on timing the appointment with some leeway in case your plans change. We can also help you with special requirements such as Rabies titer testing, ISO chips, etc., but remember to plan ahead because fulfilling the special requirements could take a few extra days or even weeks.
  4. The USDA Office. Once we issue your pet a health certificate, you are required to make an appointment with the USDA office and have them sign the certificate. Their phone number is (305) 526-2926. They are located at 5600 NW 36th Street, #560, in Miami.
beagle on beach with owner

Interstate Travel

When traveling with a pet within the 50 United States and Puerto Rico, you are only required to obtain an interstate health certificate from our office. Remember, the health certificate is only good for 30 days. Don’t forget to contact your airline regarding the items listed in #1 above in the international section, as they apply to domestic travel as well.

Traveling soon and need a health certificate for your pet? Contact us today!

cat coming out of carrier in living room


There are pros and cons to sedating a pet. If you have a young, health pet who is highly anxious and becomes stressed easily, or a pet that is expected to bark or vocalize the whole trip, then sedating is a good idea. However, keep in mind, that if the pet is traveling below the aircraft, then we are sedating a pet who is not being supervised. If adverse effects occur, no one will be able to help the pet. If you have a geriatric pet or one with a heart condition or other serious medical problem, ask us about the possibility of giving Benadryl instead of a sedative.

If you will be sedating your pet for a trip and you’re concerned about how he might react to the sedative, you can ask us for an extra dose and try the sedative out at home 1 or 2 weeks before the trip. We always get asked the question: “How long will it last?” The sedative generally works really well for the first l-2 hours and still has a good effect for 4-6 hours. Although the effectiveness usually wanes after that time, you may see lingering effects for up to 24 hours.

A quick tip: Be sure to give the sedative before you leave the house. Don’t wait until you get to the airport. Once your pet is stressed out, the effectiveness could be lessened. And finally, do not give more than the recommended dose. If you have any questions, give us a call, we are open 24 hours a day


Delivering Caring, Compassionate Pet Care