Appointments for health certificates are common. Many Alaskans travel all over the globe with their pets. Dogs and cats who will be crossing state lines require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), often called a health certificate. In order for a federally accredited veterinarian to issue a health certificate, a dog or cat must be current on its rabies vaccination. The owner must be in possession of an actual rabies certificate, not just a tag on its collar. The rabies certificate must contain the animal and owner’s information, the veterinarian who administered the vaccine’s information, the date administered and duration of the vaccine, the brand of vaccine administered and that vaccine’s serial number.

In addition to deeming an animal fit for travel, all the information on a rabies certificate must be clearly legible in order to issue a health certificate. If a current rabies certificate cannot be produced, your dog or cat will require a rabies vaccine to issue a CVI.

Be aware that different states may have different requirements. International health certificates may require extensive diagnostic testing and approval by the USDA federal veterinarian in charge. Every state and country varies with their requirements. Airlines may vary with their individual requirements regarding a CVI.

Please plan ahead if you are planning to travel with your pet. Call or schedule an appointment with questions to verify a given state or country’s requirements.

Please understand that the veterinarian doesn’t make the rules. CVI’s are documents regulated at the state and federal levels. The USDA is concerned with the shipment of animals for public health, economic and reasons related to terrorism. These programs are designed to ensure we are not shipping dogs and cats with unknown rabies status, bovines with hoof and mouth or mad cow disease, etc.. The introduction of certain diseases into our agricultural markets can have devastating economic consequences.​

If you decide to travel without the required documentation, please do not call our office from a border station, airline counter or any similar place. Again, we recommend you plan ahead for travel with your pet.