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How to get a US Pet Passport in 2023 [All You Need to Know]

A US Pet Passport will allow you to take your beloved pet travelling with you. So, if you are relocating to another country, or are just going on holiday, you don’t have to leave your pet behind!

With a pet passport, your dog, cat, rabbit, or other animal may be able to visit another country without enduring a lonely, lengthy quarantine period.

In this article we will discuss how to get a us pet passport and answer some frequently asked questions. 

What is a US Pet Passport?

US Pet Passports is a term used to represent the documentation required to travel with your pet.

The documents required depends on which country you are travelling from, and which country you are entering. Each country has different rules and requirements to import pets, and these often vary between your pet’s species.

Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your pet is fit and healthy to travel

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. Your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination and animal health certificate at minimum. Depending on where you are traveling to, you may also need additional vaccinations and parasite treatments. 

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.

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. You can check regulations for different country on the USDA website.

What are the requirements for a US Pet Passport?

The requirements for a US pet passport can vary depending on the destination country and the specific regulations in place. However, there are some general requirements that apply to most international pet travel from the United States. The following are the key components typically needed for a US pet passport:


Your pet must be microchipped with a compatible microchip that meets ISO standards (ISO 11784 and 11785). The microchip should be implanted before or at the time of rabies vaccination.

Rabies Vaccination.

Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination must be administered after the microchip is implanted. Check the specific vaccination requirements of your destination country, including the timing of the vaccination in relation to travel.

Health Certificate.

A health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian is generally required. The certificate should be issued within a specific timeframe before travel (typically within 10 days). The certificate confirms that your pet is healthy, fit for travel, and up-to-date on vaccinations.

Additional Vaccinations.

Some countries may require additional vaccinations, such as those for distemper, parvovirus, or kennel cough. Research the vaccination requirements of your destination country and ensure your pet receives any necessary additional vaccinations.

Parasite Control.

Certain countries may have specific requirements for parasite control, such as flea and tick treatments. Follow the guidelines provided by your destination country and ensure your pet is protected against parasites according to their regulations.

Documentation and Identification.

It is important to have proper identification for your pet, including proof of ownership. Keep records of your pet’s microchip number, vaccination certificates, and any other relevant documentation. Carry these documents with you during travel.

Import Permits and Customs.

Some countries require import permits or have specific customs procedures for bringing pets into the country. Research the requirements of your destination country and obtain any necessary permits or complete customs procedures as required.

Government Endorsement.

Depending on the destination country, you may need to have your pet’s health certificate endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Contact your local USDA Veterinary Services office to determine if this step is necessary and follow their instructions for endorsement.

Remember, it is crucial to research the specific requirements of your destination country as early as possible and contact the appropriate government agency or embassy for accurate and up-to-date information. Each country may have its own unique requirements, so following their guidelines is essential to ensure a smooth travel experience with your pet.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

However, it’s important to note that there are many additional costs when traveling with a pet. For a more in depth discussion on the cost of a US Pet Passport check How much does a USA Pet Passport cost?

How long does it take to get a US Pet Passport?

The timeline for obtaining a US pet passport can vary depending on several factors, including the specific requirements of your destination country, the availability of veterinary appointments, and the processing times of government agencies involved. 

You will need to schedule appointments with your veterinarian for microchipping, vaccinations, health examination, and the issuance of a health certificate. The timing of these appointments may depend on your pet’s vaccination history and the specific requirements of your destination country. It is recommended to schedule these appointments as early as possible to secure the desired dates and allow time for any necessary follow-up vaccinations or treatments.

If your destination country requires USDA endorsement of the health certificate, you will need to submit the documentation to the USDA for review and approval. The processing time for USDA endorsement can vary, but it generally takes a few days to a couple of weeks. 

If your destination country requires import permits or additional documentation, factor in the time required to complete the necessary paperwork. The processing times for import permits can vary significantly, ranging from a few days to several weeks or even months, depending on the country and their administrative procedures. Start this process early to ensure you have ample time to gather the required documents and submit the applications.

Considering the above factors, it is advisable to begin the process of obtaining a US pet passport at least a few months before your intended travel date. By allowing sufficient time for veterinary appointments, government endorsements (if necessary), and the completion of any required paperwork, you can help ensure a smooth and timely process.

Keep in mind that unexpected delays or additional requirements may arise during the process, so it is always best to start early, stay organized, and maintain regular communication with your veterinarian and the relevant government agencies involved.

US Pet Passport FAQs

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?

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 good. 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 USA 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 USA. Additionally, proof of age should be available.

What do I need to take my pet to another state within the USA?

The requirements are set by each individual state. Therefore, you should get in contact with the State Veterinarian of the state you are visiting They will inform you of the requirements.


Obtaining a US pet passport is an important process to ensure smooth and compliant international travel with your furry companion. By following the steps listed in this article and starting the process well in advance of your planned travel date, you can minimize stress and avoid last-minute complications. It is crucial to research and understand the specific requirements of your destination country, as they may have unique regulations and timelines.

As a responsible pet owner, prioritize your pet’s health and well-being throughout the entire process. Regular veterinary care, up-to-date vaccinations, and proper identification are crucial not only for obtaining a US pet passport but also for the overall health and safety of your pet.

With your pet passport in hand, you can embark on exciting adventures, knowing that you have taken the necessary steps to comply with international travel regulations and provide the best possible experience for your furry friend.


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