Traveling with pets has become increasingly popular, as more people seek to include their furry friends in their adventures. To facilitate international pet travel, many countries, including the United States, require a pet passport. A pet passport serves as an official document that verifies a pet’s identity, vaccination history, and other necessary information. If you are planning to travel with your pet in or out of the US, it’s important to understand the costs associated with obtaining a pet passport. In this article, we will discuss how much a US pet passport will cost in 2023.
What is a US Pet Passport?
US Pet Passport is a term used to represent the documentation your pet needs in order to travel. The documents required to travel depend on which country you are travelling from, and which country you are entering. Each country has different rules and requirements to export and import pets. These also vary between pet species. To enter the US with a pet, generally you will need a rabies vaccination and health certificate. Microchips are not required but are recommended. Dogs may need tapeworm and screwworm treatments. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your pet is fit and healthy to travel.
How much does a US Pet Passport cost?
A US Pet passport can cost as little as $145 or as much as $575. The cost varies depending on the veterinarian practice you visit, the species of your pet, and where you are traveling to and from. The cost of a US Pet Passport is broken down into the following:
- Microchip: Before obtaining a pet passport, your pet must be microchipped. This small electronic chip, implanted under the pet’s skin, contains a unique identification number. The cost of microchipping can vary but generally ranges from $25 to $75.
- Rabies Vaccination: All pets entering or leaving the US must be vaccinated against rabies. The cost of a rabies vaccination varies depending on the veterinary clinic and location, typically ranging from $15 to $50.
- Health Certificate: A health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian is another essential requirement for a pet passport. The cost of a health certificate can vary significantly based on the veterinarian and location. On average, a health certificate will cost between $40 and $200.
- Additional Vaccinations: Depending on your travel destination, your pet may require additional vaccinations, such as those for distemper, parvovirus, or kennel cough. The cost of these vaccinations varies but can range from $20 to $100 each.
- Parasite Control: Some countries require proof of parasite control, such as flea and tick treatments. The cost of parasite control products will depend on the size of your pet, the brand, and the duration of protection. On average, this component of a pet passport will cost between $15 and $50.
- Documentation and Administrative Fees: In addition to the above costs, there may be administrative fees charged by your veterinarian or the government agency responsible for issuing pet passports. These fees can vary but typically range from $30 to $100.
Please note that these estimates are approximate and can vary based on factors such as location, veterinary clinic fees, and the specific requirements of your destination country. It is essential to consult with your veterinarian and research the specific regulations of your destination country to determine the exact costs you will incur.
Additional costs to consider.
In addition to the cost of a US Pet Passport mentioned above, it’s important to remember that there may be other expenses associated with pet travel. These can include the following:
Airline Fees: airline fees for traveling with pets can vary depending on the airline, route, and the size of your pet. While it’s challenging to provide specific figures due to the wide range of variables, let’s explore some general information regarding airline fees associated with pet travel:
Cabin Pet Fee: If your pet meets the size and weight requirements specified by the airline, you may be able to bring them into the cabin with you. The cabin pet fee typically ranges from $75 to $250 per flight, depending on the airline.
Checked Pet Fee: If your pet is too large to travel in the cabin or if you prefer them to travel in the cargo hold, you will need to pay a checked pet fee. This fee can range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the airline and the destination.
International Pet Travel: Traveling internationally with a pet may incur additional fees. Some airlines charge an international pet fee that can range from $200 to $1,000, depending on the destination and specific requirements.
Pet Carrier: Airlines often have specific regulations regarding the type and size of pet carriers allowed in the cabin or cargo hold. If your carrier does not meet the airline’s requirements, you may need to purchase an approved carrier, which can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 or more.
Import Permit: Import permits are usually required when importing a pet to another country. They are typically issued by the destination country’s government agency responsible for animal importation or agriculture. The cost of import permits for pets can vary depending on the country you are importing your pet into and the specific requirements of that country. For example, the cost for an Australian import permit costs $330, where an import permit for New Zealand costs $140. On the other hand, the cost for an import permit is just $7 for The Philippines.
CITES Permit: A one-time import, export, or re-export of personal pets listed under CITES or the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) costs $50. Multiple import, export, or re-exports of a personal pet listed under CITES costs $75.
Rabies Titer Test / Rabies Blood Test: When traveling to certain countries, your dog or cat will require a rabies titer test. The cost ranges between $80 to $150, depending on the veterinary clinic. This doesn’t include the cost of the office visit.
How to cut the cost of your US Pet Passport.
A US Pet Passport can cost a lot, but there are a few strategies you can consider to help cut costs. Here are some tips to help you reduce the expenses associated with obtaining a US pet passport:
Research and Compare Veterinarian Fees: Veterinary fees can vary, so it’s advisable to research and compare the costs charged by different veterinary clinics in your area. Request quotes for services such as microchipping, vaccinations, and health certificates from multiple clinics to find the most affordable options.
Look for Promotions or Discounts: Some veterinary clinics may offer promotions or discounts for specific services or for new customers. Keep an eye out for any special offers that could help reduce the cost of obtaining a pet passport.
Seek Affordable Vaccination Options: While it’s essential to ensure your pet is up-to-date on all required vaccinations, you can explore cost-effective options. Consider community clinics, animal shelters, or low-cost vaccination clinics that may offer vaccinations at lower prices compared to traditional veterinary clinics.
Plan Ahead: Rushing the pet passport process can lead to higher costs. Start planning well in advance to avoid expedited service fees or last-minute expenses. Early planning gives you time to compare prices, find the best deals, and ensure your pet meets all the necessary requirements without additional rush fees.
Travel Off-peak: If your travel plans are flexible, consider traveling during off-peak seasons. Some airlines may offer lower pet travel fees during less busy times, which could help reduce your overall expenses.
Remember, while it’s important to find ways to cut costs, never compromise on your pet’s health and safety. Ensure that all necessary vaccinations, microchipping, and health certificates are obtained to comply with the requirements of your destination country.
How much do common dog vaccinations in the US cost?
As well as rabies vaccinations, your dog or cat may also require additional vaccinations when traveling. The following are common vaccinations that are required, and their average cost in the US:
- Coronavirus – the average cost is $10-$15. This vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Lyme – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Leptospirosis – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Bordetella: – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Canine Influenza – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
- Bordetella – average cost for one vaccine is $5-$15.
- FeLV – average cost for one vaccine is $5-$15. This vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $10-$30.
- Feline Chlamydia – the average cost is $5-$15. This vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $10-$30.
- Feline Immunodeficiency (FIV) – the average cost for one vaccine is $5-$15. This vaccine is administered three times for a total cost of $15-$45.
How do I get a US Pet Passport?
To obtain a US pet passport, you’ll need to follow these general steps:
- Research the Requirements: Start by researching the specific requirements for pet travel to your desired destination. Contact the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit or the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for information on their pet import regulations. Determine what documentation, vaccinations, and health certifications are needed.
- Visit the Veterinarian: Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian well in advance of your travel date. Inform them about your travel plans and destination, and they will guide you through the necessary steps to obtain a pet passport.
- Microchipping: Ensure your pet is microchipped if it isn’t already. If your pet is already microchipped, check that the microchip is readable by a universal scanner. The microchip should comply with ISO standards (ISO 11784 and 11785).
- Vaccinations: Ensure your pet is up-to-date on all required vaccinations, including rabies. Rabies vaccination is generally mandatory for international travel. Your veterinarian will provide the necessary vaccinations based on your destination country’s requirements.
- Health Certificate: Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian. This certificate confirms your pet’s health and verifies that they are fit for travel. The health certificate should be issued within a specific timeframe before your departure, typically within 10 days of travel. Some countries may require an accredited veterinarian to sign and endorse the health certificate.
- Additional Requirements: Determine if your destination country has any specific requirements, such as additional vaccinations, parasite control treatments, or specific tests. Fulfill these requirements as necessary.
- USDA Endorsement: In some cases, you may need to have the health certificate endorsed by the USDA. Contact your local USDA Veterinary Services office to determine if this step is necessary. The USDA will review the health certificate and supporting documents to ensure compliance with the import requirements.
- Documentation and Submission: Gather all the required documentation, including the microchip details, vaccination records, health certificate, and any supporting documents. Submit the necessary paperwork to the appropriate government agency or embassy for review and approval.
- Pay the Fees: Be prepared to pay any applicable fees associated with obtaining the pet passport. These fees can vary, so check with the government agency or embassy for the specific costs.
- Follow Travel Guidelines: Follow all guidelines provided by the airline and the destination country for pet travel. Ensure that your pet’s carrier meets the required standards and that you have all the necessary documentation readily available during your journey.
Remember that the process may vary depending on the destination country’s specific requirements. It’s crucial to research and follow the guidelines provided by the government agency or embassy of the destination country to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience with your pet.
How to use a US Pet Passport.
You can use your pet’s US passport just as you would your own passport!
When crossing a border, you will need to inform the customs agent that you are bringing your pet. You will need to inform your travel company that you will be bringing your pet along. It’s important to do this as some companies do not allow pets.
When at the border, you will simply need to present both your passport and your pet’s passport.
It is important to keep in mind that vaccinations must remain up to date in order for your pet’s passport to be valid. The US accepts both 1 year and 3 year rabies vaccinations. Additionally, remember to check border requirements prior to entry in case the country has additional requirements.
How difficult is it to get a Pet Passport in the US?
It is not very difficult as long as you do you research and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Contact your veterinarian as soon as you are aware of your plans. You can also get in contact with the USDA for guidance.
What if my pet doesn’t meet requirements for a US Pet Passport?
If your pet is deemed unfit for travel, then you will have to leave him behind. The thought of leaving your pet behind may be sad, however, it is for their own well-being. Travel is hard on pets and your companion may be better off staying behind.
What are the requirements to bring my pet back to the US?
Pets returning to the US are subject to the same requirements as those entering for the first time. Therefore, you should consider getting a new health certificate if you are staying abroad for more than 30 days. The certificate must be in English, so you may need to get the document translated.
Can I get my puppy or kitten a US Pet Passport?
Many countries require that dogs and cats are a minimum of 4 months old. This is because many countries require rabies vaccinations which can only be administered to pets over the age of 3 months. Most of the time you must wait 28 days after the vaccination, before entering a country. This is the case for entering the US. Additionally, proof of age should be available.
So, as you now know, a US Pet passport can cost as little as $145 or as much as $575. This is dependant on where you and your pet are travelling to, which veterinary clinic you visit and the species of your pet. However, it’s important to note that there are many additional costs when it comes to traveling with a pet. These include airline fees, import permits, pet carriers and government endorsements.
As soon as you know where you and your pet are travelling to, check the entry requirements here.
Don’t worry, it is possible to save some money on your pet’s passport. Firstly, compare the prices that different veterinary practises offer as these can vary a lot. Secondly, check whether any animal charities or shelters offer free vaccination and microchipping services.
Hope you have found this helpful.