So, you’ve decided to travel with your dog buddy! It’s a great decision because dogs are great travel companions. Plus, if you’re going on holiday, it is best to keep your pet around rather than leave them with strangers posing a risk of separation anxiety.

However, people are mostly confused about how to travel with a dog. From the USA, you need a dog passport before traveling. However, passport issuance is not as easy as humans.

Stick around as we guide you through the process of obtaining a dog passport in the USA.

dog passport

Basic Requirements for a Dog Passport

Dog passports are issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of traveling. While a pet passport is a legal requirement, it is also necessary to ensure that your pet doesn’t have to be quarantined for long periods before and after the flight. Plus, a pet passport means you have all your pet’s documents with you at your fingertips!

Now that you know why obtaining a pet passport is important, here are some necessary steps for obtaining a passport for international pet travel from the USA:

  • Microchipping: To obtain a pet passport, the first step is to get your pet microchipped. If your pet has already been microchipped, make sure that the microchip is ISO 11784/11785 compliant and has a 15-digit identification number.
  • Vaccinations: All your pet’s vaccinations must be up to date, including rabies. Your pet is required to get a rabies vaccine at least 21 days and at most a year before the traveling date.
  • Health Certificate: The certified veterinarian issues a health certificate that claims that your pet is fit for travel. This health certificate should not be older than 10 days.
Dog with suitcase and passport

How to get a dog passport in the USA?

We have outlined all the necessary documentation you need to gather to get a dog passport in the USA. However, for your ease we have outlined all the steps to follow when you’re applying for a pet passport:

1. Gathering the Necessary Documentation

The first step is to confirm your flight. Based on the dates, you need to gather all the necessary documents because some tests and vaccines need to be administered a few days before the flight.

Next, consult a licensed veterinarian for the documents you will need. Then, create a checklist of all the documents and the date by which you will need each one of them. Here is a list of documents you will likely need before applying for the pet passport:

  • Health certificate – issued 7-10 days before the trip.
  • Tapeworm and tick treatment – conducted 24-120 hours before the flight.
  • Rabies vaccine – at least 21 days and at most one year before travel.
  • Microchip – ISO 11784/11785 certified and registered.
  • Passport – obtained within 10 days before the travel date.

2. Health Certificates and Veterinary Visits

Regular checkups and health records are quite important to easily obtain a veterinary health certificate from a licensed veterinarian. If you’ve not been regularly visiting the vet, they might have to conduct additional tests before issuing a health certificate.

Other than the dog’s health condition, here is what the health certificate contains:

  • A statement that the dog doesn’t show any signs of an infection.
  • The 15-digit microchip number.
  • Rabies and distemper vaccine date.
  • Information about the dog including size, breed, age, and gender.

3. Country-Specific Requirements

Before you travel, it is necessary to get information about the country-specific requirements for dog travel, so you don’t miss out on any vaccines. Here are some common country-specific requirements:

  • Tapeworm and Tick Treatment: This requirement is not necessary for travel to and from the USA, but it is recommended by experts. Your pet should get a tapeworm and tick treatment 24-120 hours before the flight.
  • Import Permit: Pets, especially exotic or restricted breeds, are required to have an import permit from the destination country’s concerned ministry. You need to check on the destination’s pet travel requirements for this.
  • Quarantine Reservations: Some countries might have quarantine reservations for pets. The USA typically does not have any, but it is important to check this requirement with the state or country you are traveling to.
  • Additional Tests: Your destination country or state might require additional tests according to your dog’s breed. For instance, some countries require dogs to take titer tests a few days before arrival.
Four puppies are sitting in a suitcase, wanting to go on a trip

4. Navigating Airline and Destination Regulations

Apart from the country’s regulations, airlines also have varying policies. Some airlines allow you to keep your dog in-flight in a crate while others only allow dogs in the baggage compartment. Depending on the airline, you will have to train your dog to stay in the crate or without you for the duration of the flight. In addition to this information, make sure to contact your Airline to make a reservation for your dog. Some Airlines allow only 2 pets on a plane.

Because training takes a lot of time, thorough research and planning are necessary before traveling with a pet.

5. Renewal and Multi-Country Use

Dog passports can be used to travel to multiple countries given that you fulfil all the country-specific requirements. However, dog passports aren’t renewed like human passports because they need to be issued just 10 days in advance along with other documents like health certificates and vaccine records.

Preparing Your Dog for Travel

  • To prepare your dog for international travel, make sure you start crate training in advance since it takes a lot of time.
  • The dog also needs to be familiarized with the travel environments such as busy airports, so they don’t start barking or whining because of the anxiousness.
  • Train your dog to stay in the crate without you if the airline doesn’t allow pets in the passenger compartment.
  • If the dog is allowed in the passenger compartment, carry some toys and treats to keep them quiet throughout the journey.

FAQs about Dog Passports in the USA

Can you get an EU pet passport in the USA?

Yes, it is possible to obtain an EU pet passport in the USA. However, the process may involve specific requirements and procedures to ensure compliance with EU regulations for pet travel. Pet owners should consult with their veterinarian or relevant authorities for guidance on obtaining an EU pet passport while residing in the USA.

How much does a dog passport cost in the USA?

The cost of a dog passport in the USA can vary depending on various factors such as the specific requirements of the destination country, veterinary fees, and administrative costs. On average, obtaining a dog passport can range from $60 to $200 or more.

How long does it take to get a pet passport in the USA?

The time it takes to get a pet passport in the USA can vary depending on several factors, including the specific requirements of the destination country, completion of necessary vaccinations and health checks, and processing times for documentation. In general, it may take several weeks to obtain a pet passport, so it’s advisable to start the process well in advance of any planned travel.

What replaces a pet passport?

In some cases, a pet passport may be replaced or supplemented by other forms of documentation or certification for pet travel. This could include a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, proof of up-to-date vaccinations, microchip identification, and any additional permits or paperwork required by the destination country or airline.


To get a dog passport in the USA, the first step is to consult a licensed veterinarian. Next, research the travel destination to get a list of country-specific documentation and vaccine requirements that you need to prepare for.

While obtaining a dog passport is not expensive, it requires a bit of legwork since the documents need to be recent. But in the end, your dog will be there with you when you reach the new place.

So, there’s a lot to look forward to while you’re making all the effort! 

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