Planning your trip abroad with a dog: Getting the right forms to fill out
I’ll write more tomorrow about the things we had to do to get Chloe set up for her upcoming trip to Paris — this is a more general post about where to get the paperwork you need for any international trip with your dog. Everything I’d read told me to contact the U.S. embassy of the country I was planning to visit to find out what’s needed for a trip to that country with a dog, but that turns out to be bad advice. According to the vet tech at my veterinarian’s office who does the paperwork for a lot of traveling clients, embassies do not always have the most current information.
She recommends instead going to the USDA website for the forms you need, and following up with a phone call to the USDA for any recent updates and tips. Here’s what you do. When you arrive at the USDA website, click on “Travel and Recreation,” under the “Topics” tab. Click on “Pet Travel,” and on the resulting page, click the “More” button in the “Pet Travel” paragraph — you’ll be taken to a page of useful info. The first link under “Travel Abroad” takes you to APHIS’s international regulations page. Scroll down to the “List of Countries” and click on the appropriate letter to find the country you’re visiting.
I was confident that my vet’s office had called for the most recent updates, but if you’re not, you might want to call your local USDA office (here’s the link that gives you the location and contact info for your state’s USDA office) and make sure you are absolutely current. Your state’s USDA office will also give you important tips, like the instruction to fill out your forms in blue ink, not black ink.
Please note: When I began this process, I went to PetTravelStore.com and ordered, for $8.50, the “pet passport forms” they offer for France. What arrived was a sheet of basic instructions, a cardboard folder to store documents in, and a one-page “Veterinary Certificate for Domestic & International Airline Travel” that bore little resemblance to the document you actually need, provided by the USDA on its website for free. Although PetTravelStore.com is normally a good resource, I cannot recommend it as a source for international pet travel forms.