All You Need to Know About Interstate Pet Travel Paperwork

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated January 16, 2024

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All you need to know about interstate pet travel paperwork.

Have you been dreaming of taking a road trip with your furry friend? Before you and your pet hit the open road, there’s an essential part of the journey that you cannot overlook — the paperwork. Yes, it may not sound thrilling, but trust us, the last thing you want is to be turned away at state lines because your pet is missing the required documents. We’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to interstate pet travel paperwork.

We’ll ensure you have all the necessary documents, including health certificates, vaccination certificates and state regulations. Plus, we’ll give you insider tips on how to prepare for a safe and comfortable journey. So, buckle up and let’s hit the road with confidence!

What Paperwork Is Required for Interstate Pet Travel?

Before you start your pet relocation journey, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork for your pet’s interstate travel. Here are the essential types of paperwork you’ll need:

1. Health Certificates

Your pet’s health is crucial to their well-being and it’s no different when you travel with them. You’ll need a health certificate to show your pet is healthy and infectious disease-free. This certificate acts as a passport for your furry friend! Take them to the vet for an examination and once the vet signs off, you’re good to go.

2. Rabies Vaccination Certificates

Rabies is no joke; you want to ensure your pet is protected against this deadly disease. Almost all states require proof of rabies vaccination, so ensure your pet’s vaccination is up-to-date and get a certificate from your veterinarian. Not only is it a requirement, but it also ensures the safety of your pet and those around them.

3. State Regulations

The rules and regulations for pet travel differ from state to state and it’s essential to know what’s required in each state you’ll be traveling through. Some states require additional paperwork like a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), while others have specific requirements for certain types of pets. So, research the regulations in advance and ensure you have everything in order.

4. Documentation for Assistance Animals

If you’re traveling with an assistance animal, additional paperwork is required. This can include a letter from your doctor or therapist explaining why you need the animal and documentation showing that your animal has received the necessary training. Ensure you have all the required documents and prepare to embark on a stress-free journey with your furry friend by your side.

5. Other Considerations

Finally, there are other types of paperwork to consider depending on your specific travel plans. For example, if you’re traveling internationally, you may need to obtain an international health certificate.

Most airlines ask for additional paperwork for your pet to fly in the cabin with you. Researching all the necessary paperwork in advance is important to avoid surprises.

How to Obtain the Necessary Paperwork

Getting the right paperwork for your pet’s interstate travel is easy! Here are three ways to do it:

1. Contact Your Veterinarian

Your vet is an excellent resource for getting the right documents. Just schedule an appointment for your pet’s examination and paperwork. Your vet can provide a health certificate, rabies vaccination certificate and other required documents.

2. Check Online

Thanks to the internet, getting the paperwork you need is a breeze. Many websites offer state-specific forms and information about regulations. It is a great option if you’re short on time.

3. State Departments of Agriculture

Each state has its own Department of Agriculture that oversees pet travel regulations. Contact them for information about required paperwork and regulations for pet travel within their state. You can always start with the USDA website.

How to Prepare for Interstate Pet Travel

Preparing for your pet’s interstate travel involves more than just paperwork. Here are three ways to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort during the journey:

1. Plan Ahead

Research and compare different transportation options, such as airlines, trains and buses, to find the safest and most comfortable one for your pet. Make sure to book pet-friendly accommodations and arrange for transportation ahead of time to avoid any last-minute stress.

2. Safety Tip

Secure your pet in a carrier or harness to prevent escape or injury. Ensure they are up-to-date on vaccinations and bring their medical records, just in case. Avoid feeding your pet a full meal before travel and provide them access to water throughout the trip. If your pet is prone to motion sickness, consult with your veterinarian about medication to prevent discomfort.

3. Choose Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Look for hotels or rental properties that welcome pets and inquire about any restrictions, fees, or requirements. Also, consider the location and nearby amenities, such as parks or pet-friendly restaurants.


Traveling with your pet is a fantastic experience; with the right preparation, it will be stress-free too. Remember to obtain the necessary paperwork, follow safety tips and choose pet-friendly accommodations to ensure a comfortable journey.

Whether you’re traveling for a vacation or moving to a new state, make sure to plan, stay organized and enjoy the adventure with your furry friend. Post your pet’s listing for free on CitizenShipper to make your pet transport dream a reality!