South Boston Animal Hospital is available for International Health Certificate exams. Exams must be scheduled within 10 days of departure and can be scheduled with any of our USDA Certified Veterinarians.

It is important to do research and plan a a visit with one of our doctors six months prior to the trip, if possible. Planning will help get your pet ready for the trip and avoid issues that may cause delays or refusal at entry.

Before scheduling an appointment at South Boston Animal Hospital, you must first complete and return our International Health Certificate Documentation form along with your pet’s previous Health records.

To help ensure a smooth and safe trip with your pet, please follow the steps below:

  1. Call the Airline: Check with your airline as they may have specific paperwork and/or requirements needed to travel.
  2. Call the USDA veterinary officeThe USDA veterinarian office for your state is a great resource for information regarding importation of pets into another country. They will be able to help you with your questions and the steps you need to take to bring your pet into another country. Visit their website, here.

    The USDA office for Massachusetts is located in Albany, NY.

    USDA-APHIS National Import Export Services
    500 New Karner Road, 2nd Floor
    Albany, New York 12205       
    Phone- 518-218-7540

    VSPSNY@aphis.usda.gov
  1. Call the Consulate, Government Official or Embassy of the destination country: There are some countries that require special permits or paperwork to import your pet into their country. You will want to follow the country’s guidelines to ensure your pet passes through customs. Failure to do so can result in your pet being quarantined or turned away from entry.
  2. Microchips: Microchips are required for most countries. If your pet has already been microchipped, make sure your pets’ registration is up to date and is international travel friendly. You can do this by contacting your registrar. Microchips place several years ago may not be compatible with the ISO standards.
  3. Submit your International Health Documents and paperwork to SBAH: It is required that our International Health Certificate Documentation is returned to us along with your pet’s health records prior to us scheduling an appointment. South Boston Animal Hospital is not responsible for any missing or inaccurate paperwork provided by the client.
  4. Schedule all necessary appointments AFTER completion and submission of our required IHC Documentation. Some Countries may require your paperwork be inspected and signed by the USDA Veterinarian. The office for Massachusetts is located in Albany, NY. Paperwork for USDA stamp may be Overnighted via FED EX or UPS with a self-addressed prepaid envelope for prompt return of your documents. You may also schedule an appointment in the Albany office if you wish to go there in person. Note: you will not be seen at this office without an appointment. Some countries may also require signatures of consulates or other government officials.

Please note International Health Certificate exam appointments can take up to 60 minutes or more. This is to ensure your paperwork is thoroughly completed by our doctors and technicians.

There are three levels of International Health Certificates, all of which vary in difficulty. Pricing for the International Health Certificate document starts at $200 and goes up to $500. The level is determined based on specifics of individual conditions. This fee does NOT include the physical exam fee, vaccinations, medications, microchipping, required lab work or any of the USDA-APHIS fees.

Helpful Links

USDA Guidance for International Travel of Companion Animals/ Pet Export Checklist USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services, Service Center, Albany

Download International Travel Assistance Form