Required Pet Documents for Airline Travel
An air traveler's worst nightmare is arriving at the airport, getting to security and realizing you don't have proper documentation. The same rules apply for pets.
No documents means no flying. Every state has its own rules and regulations regarding what kinds of pets can enter the state [source: ODA]. The most common types of documentation needed are:
- Rabies Vaccination: Rabies is a nasty disease in animals and humans alike. While the amount of rabies victims has decreased significantly through the years, the victim rate has yet to reach zero [source: CDC]. Some states require a checkup within a certain amount of days of travel. Hawaii has a particularly stringent animal air travel policy. Be sure to check with your state and the state you are flying to well in advance of traveling [source: ODA].
- Certificate of Veterinary Inspection: The CVI is also called a Health Certificate. This is a signed document from a veterinarian that states he or she has inspected the animal for diseases and overall health. These documents usually are only valid for a certain time, so check with your state to ensure yours doesn't expire before you fly [ODA].
- Acclimation Certificate: This document features regulations about hot and cold weather extremes. Animals who are not accustomed to extreme cold can be harmed by a sudden burst of cold weather while waiting to be placed in plane storage and while on the plane. Call your airline to determine if you need this type of document [sources: LoGiudice, Delta].
Additional documentation needed may include a Confirmation of Feeding (food and water before the flight), Live Animal Checklist (instructions for the airline handlers) and tranquilizer consent forms (from a veterinarian) [source: Delta].