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Travel with Pets

Going Out of Town?

Whether you need to update vaccinations or need specific travel-related pet paperwork, we've got you covered.

Contact Sunset Before Travel Time

If you are planning on traveling internationally or domestically with your pet in the near future, contact Sunset Blvd to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and that you’ve got all the necessary paperwork in order. We’ll be glad to assist you every step of the way and answer any questions you may have about traveling with your pet on airlines!


Domestic Travel

For domestic travel (within the 48 contiguous states), requirements vary between states and modes of travel. It is important to know both the requirement of the state(s) you are entering and the requirements of airline(s) traveled. In most instances, rabies vaccine must be up to date and a veterinary health certificate must be issued within 10 days. Please contact Sunset Blvd Animal Clinic at least 2 weeks prior to travel so we can make the process easier for both you and your pet.* Please be aware that travel to Hawaii and cruises are considered international travel. For more information on traveling to Hawaii, visit this link about the 5-Day-or-Less program and this link regarding the Hawaii rabies quarantine.

International Pet Travel

Whether relocating to a new city or simply going on vacation, traveling with pets on airlines, especially internationally, can put any pet parent on edge. Unfortunately, you cannot just show up to the airport the day of your departure and board your flight along with your pet without first going through the necessary protocols. There are multiple preparations you must make with regard to securing the proper paperwork—all of which you must complete prior to your flight date. But don’t worry! Sunset is here to make this process a lot smoother and let you know what to expect as best as we can.


Prepare Ahead of Time

Before traveling with pets internationally, you must allow enough time before your departure date to get everything in order. You will need to make sure your pet meets the entry requirements set forth by the country you’re traveling to, which involves getting health certificates, vaccinations and tests. The process could take a few weeks to many months, depending on the requirements of the importing country. Some countries require an isolation or quarantine period, which may last from weeks to months, before an animal is eligible for entry into that country; meeting the specific import requirements can minimize or eliminate the quarantine period. For this reason, scheduling an appointment with Sunset Blvd a minimum of one month in advance is highly recommended to allow enough time for the paperwork to be reviewed and endorsed by APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service). Please note that an additional exam may be required closer to the time of departure.


To ensure a smooth process, please follow the APHIS guidelines below:

  • Know which country you’re going to, when you’re going and what pet(s) you’re taking. This helpful link helps explain requirements and turn around time for each country.
  • Contact your veterinarian to find out what your destination country requires before permitting your pet entry (e.g., vaccinations, labs, paperwork, certificates, etc.), and find out when these items must be completed. Check out APHIS’s animal and animal product export information to learn more.
  • Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for your pet to receive any required vaccinations and/or labs.
  • Fill out all required paperwork. The team here at Sunset will gladly work with you to complete this step should you need any assistance or clarification.
  • Have your local APHIS Veterinary Services officer endorse your completed paperwork. Find Texas’ APHIS Veterinary Services contact information here.
  • Plan ahead for re-entry. You’re probably going to want to bring your pet with you back into the United States if/when you return, so you may have to adhere to re-entry requirements depending on the country you travel to. Call National Import and Export Services’ call center at 301-851-3300 (press option 2 for Live Animals) to learn more.
  • Travel with your pet. After making sure all the necessary items are in order, you will be cleared to travel internationally with your pet. Additionally, there are services available that will take care of your pet’s transport. Companies including PetRelocation, Air Animal and others happily provide these services.

If you would like more information from APHIS, please refer the Animal Import and Export section of the APHIS website here.


Know Your Airline’s Pet Travel Policy

In addition to getting your pet’s paperwork in order with plenty of time to spare before your departure date, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your airline’s international pet travel policy. We’ve provided international pet travel links from some of the most popular airlines below *:

* Sunset Blvd Animal Clinic does not endorse any of these airlines, nor does it have any business connections with them. We have provided these links simply as a means of providing pertinent information to our clients.