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How to find a vet to get a health certificate for travel

In the US, all pets travelling out to another country will need the assistance of a USDA-accredited Veterinarian. These are licensed vets in the US that are also accredited to perform health examination and complete health certificates for the purpose of travel. Not all licensed veterinarians in the US are, so be sure to make an appointment with one that is. The USDA provides this website:

VSPS Veterinary Services Process Streamlining (usda.gov) but it functions better for verifying if a doctor is USDA-accredited than actually finding one that's nearby.



Methods to make a proper appointment


If you are shy:

Some hospital websites include a section regarding health certificates which would indicate that they do have doctors that are USDA accredited. However, please do note that the actual doctors may not work daily, so when making an appointment, do specify that it has to be with a USDA accredited doctor.


Calling and asking:

This is perhaps the fastest way to find a USDA accredited doctor and making an appointment right there.

Unfortunately, due to staff turnover or just general busyness, the front desk staff that would take your call may not understand what a USDA accredited doctor is. If time permits, they could get confirmation from a manager or even the doctor or alternatively, you can ask: "Can your doctor perform health examinations for health certificates for international export? The word "international" is intentional, as health certificates for domestic inter-state travel does not require a USDA accredited doctor. Asking the question this way gives a good chance of finding out whether they have a USDA accredited doctors as well as other helpful information:


  1. "We don't do health certificates here, but I know this hospital nearby that does, please give them a call" - that will offer a hospital nearby that may have a USDA accredited doctor instead of you having to make more blind calls.

  2. "Sorry, we don't do any health certificates here" - that's clear enough to move on.

  3. There is a small chance some hospitals have partnering pet travel agents like 0xCargo for which they will then refer you to speak to them first before making the appointment.


Even when you've found a hospital that has USDA accredited doctors, please avoid making appointments online / via the hospital app. It is difficult to communicate to the hospital that you need a health certificate to travel on that travel date via the app. You may end up in a situation where you show up to the appointment without a USDA accredited vet present. Therefore, we strongly recommend you make the appointment by calling and ensuring that you inform them that it's for travel.



Other notes:

  • If your pet is not a client of the hospital, often you will be asked to make an earlier appointment first to establish care.

    • Not all hospitals require this. / This is an additional cost.

  • It is not the hospital's responsibility to ensure you get the correct paperwork. It's logical really, unless they are selling you a premium service for this, a hospital's day-to-day revolves around treating sick pets and not keeping up to date with the latest veterinary requirements for your pet to enter a particular country. Basing what your pet would need off what they did for another pet's earlier preparation is simply not good enough. As agents, we've often had to argue with hospitals and show proof that what we are saying is accurate and contrary to what they think is right. You are paying your agent, like 0x Cargo, to be the one responsible for knowing the veterinary conditions, so at those times, please trust your agent and help us ensure the hospital gives us what we need for your pet to travel. It is literally our job.





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