Tip of the Month

4/24/2009 What You Need Before Traveling With Your Pet.

Set up an appointment with your petís veterinarian to ensure they are healthy prior to any travel. An examination is needed to obtain a health certificate for many forms of travel. Many times, these questions are answered by veterinary assistants in the facility they work in.

The veterinarian may update your petís vaccines and test for heartworm and internal parasites. If needed, appropriate medication will be prescribed. A sedative or tranquilizer may also be prescribed and it is recommended that a trial run be conducted in order to observe the effects on your pet. While traveling, keep the health certificate, rabies certificate and medical records in an easily accessible place.

Pets may travel throughout the United States with the proper documentation. However, Hawaii has a 30 or 120 day quarantine for all dogs and cats although the regulations may vary by species.

If traveling to Canada, a certificate issued by your veterinarian that identifies the pet and certifies that they have been vaccinated against rabies during the preceding 36 month period is needed.

Heading to Mexico? A health certificate signed by your veterinarian within two weeks of the day you enter Mexico is needed. It must include a description of the pet, lot number of the rabies vaccine, a note that the distemper vaccine has been given and a statement by the veterinarian that your pet is free from infectious or contagious diseases. This certificate must be stamped by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and averages around $16.50 for the stamp.

Be sure to learn the quarantine policies before you even pack your bags. You should be able to obtain a countryís legal requirement through your veterinarian, the internet, or by contacting the embassy of the country you wish to visit. Itís worth the research to ensure an uneventful trip for you and your pet with no last minute surprises.

Attending a veterinary assistant school can give you the tools you need to handle situations like this and improve the health and general well being of pets everywhere.

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