Traveling With Your Dog or Cat

Cat n dog travel2

When considering interstate or international travel for your dog or cat, plan ahead because some preparations may need to start six months or more in advance.  Below are some valuable resources for when travelling domestically and internationally with your pets.  Additionally, we provide great safety tips for when travelling with your pets by car.

1).  Schedule an appointment with a Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian for your pet’s exam

Animals should be healthy enough to travel, and depending on the regulations of your destination, there may be additional animal health prerequisites, such as identification, vaccinations, tests, certifications, etc.

2).  Share information with one of our Veterinarians

The destination authorities (consulate or embassy of the country, state or territory animal health department, etc.) may have sent you specific information or forms that need to be shared with or signed by one of our veterinarians.  A Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian may need to make copies of the materials to assist in the CVI process or for recordkeeping purposes

3).  Know the requirements and restrictions for transporting dogs and cats

Countries, territories, states, and even public modes of transportation have requirements and restrictions on transporting animals. The regulations help protect people, animals, and ecosystems by guarding against the spread of dangerous diseases, pests, and invasive and injurious animals. Most likely, a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) will be required by the authorities at destination. It is your responsibility to get this information from the authorities of your destination well in advance of travel so that you can plan accordingly, including considering alternatives to transporting the animal(s).

Be aware that some countries and states may require your pet to be placed in quarantined upon arrival (e.g., according to Hawaii’s law for dogs and cats, quarantine may be up to 120 days).

The chart below will help you find the rules and regulations that impact you and your pet. In addition, the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association may be able to assist you with your pet’s international travel.

​​What type of travel? Where to find requirements and restrictions?
​By public air, rail, bus, or boat ​Check with the carrier line that you will be using. Special rules may apply to dogs that qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as service animals.
​Interstate (travel across state or territory borders within the U.S.) ​Find the requirements of your destination location and the contact information of the animal health authority on the USDA’s webpage, State Regulations for Importing Animals.
​International travel from the U.S. (exporting) ​Contact the consulate or embassy of the country of destination or the country’s animal health authority for information on the importation requirements.


Check the USDA’s Animal and Animal Product Export Information, including if an import permit is required and if a designated port needs to be used.

​International travel into the U.S. (importing) ​The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)has regulations on the importation of dogs and cats into the U.S.


The USDA also has certain import restrictions on dogs, and a two page factsheet on importing live dogs is available for free download.


Check for the import requirements for the state of destination on the USDA’s webpage, State Regulations for Importing Animals.

Also, here are some great resources from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):

Here are some safety tips when travelling in the car with your furry ones:

Dogs shouldn’t roam in the car

The safest way for your dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash.

Cats belong in carriers

Most cats aren’t comfortable traveling in cars, so for their safety as well as yours, keep them in a carrier. It’s important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don’t bounce around and hurt your cat. Do this by securing a seat belt around the front of the carrier.

Leave the front seat for humans

Keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If an airbag deploys while your pet is in the passenger seat (even in a crate), it might injure your pet.

Keep those heads inside!

Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the car. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or made sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.

Give your pet plenty of rest stops

Stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and eliminate. But never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash.

Bring along a human buddy

Whenever possible, share the driving and pet caretaking duties with a friend or family member. You’ll be able to get food or use the facilities at rest stops knowing that someone you trust is keeping a close eye on your pets.

Don’t ever leave your pet alone in a car

A quick pit stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet in a car by himself. One hazard is heat: When it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour. On an 85-degree day, even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. If you’re held up for 30 minutes, you may return to a car that’s 120 degrees inside and a pet who is suffering irreversible organ damage or death.

For more information about travelling with your pets or for help answering any additional questions that you may have, please contact a Lange Animal Clinic veterinarian.

For over 45 years, Lange Animal Clinic has provided veterinary services in Pekin, IL and the surrounding areas for over three family generations. Our expert staff of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Veterinary Assistants are trained to ensure the best quality medical care for your beloved pets-whether it be as a routine medical examination to more complicated surgical procedures. We are a small companion animal clinic providing services for dogs, cats, and exotic pets.

Dr. Colleen O’Rourke, owner and senior Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, takes great pride in making certain that every patient’s experience is handled with the utmost care, compassion, and economically in the best interests of our clients. Visit us at  

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