Reviewing required documents and photos before your trip
There’s a lot to prepare for when your pet is traveling, just like when you get packed and organized for a big trip. You'll need to submit four required items for review and preapproval through our secure portal at least five days before your pet’s trip. Please note that if you don’t send us these four items before your pet's trip, we may need to cancel their reservation.
You’ll also need to bring printed copies of these documents with you to the airport when you drop off your pet.
These are the required items:
- A scanned copy of the completed, signed and dated Customer Acknowledgement Form
- A scanned copy of your pet’s original health certificate issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian who examines your pet within 10 days of travel (or a shorter timeframe if required by the destination country)
- We’ll also accept an EU Pet Passport as a health certificate, as long as it includes all the required information.
- A digital photo of your pet’s travel crate so we can give you guidance on how to make sure it meets PetSafe’s crate requirements. Please make sure the photo of your crate is a three-quarter view that shows the top, both sides and the back of the crate so we can clearly see the ventilation. When you check in at the airport, we’ll make sure the crate is the right size for your pet and give our final approval.
- A digital photo of your pet clearly showing their face to verify the breed
Please note: Each item submitted must be less than 5MB
After you’ve submitted everything, we'll review all of your documents. If we notice any issues, we’ll reach out so you can fix them before your pet’s trip.
For your pet’s safety, acceptance for travel always depends on final review, inspection and approval by United PetSafe when you drop off your pet at the airport on travel day. This includes verifying that the travel crate is the appropriate size, and if it’s too small, your pet may not be accepted for travel. We reserve the right to review all PetSafe travel reservations, based in part on your submission of the required documents.
We require original health certificates for all cats and dogs, and they need to be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian. We’ll accept digital signatures for health certificates, as well as electronic health certificates, as long as they meet all of the requirements listed below. We want to make sure your pet has a safe and smooth journey, so please make sure your pet’s health certificate includes all this required information:
- Your pet’s breed, weight and age or date of birth
- Your pet’s presumed or most likely dominant breed(s) if it’s a mixed breed
- We are not able to accept health certificates that simply state “mixed” as the breed. If we notice that the breed listed on your pet’s health certificate isn’t accurate with your pet’s appearance, we reserve the right to deny travel for your pet.
- Date that your pet was examined by a veterinarian, stating that your pet was found to be free of infectious or contagious diseases and physical abnormalities that might put your pet, other animals or public health at risk. This should also confirm that your pet appears to be healthy enough for travel. Your pet’s pretravel exam and health certificate must be dated within 10 days of travel to be accepted.
- An English translation of the health certificate if your pet is traveling internationally before or after traveling with United
More veterinarians are using electronic health certificates for both U.S. and international travel. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pet Travel website has information about which countries will accept electronic certificates and other specifics, like whether or not an ink signature is required.
It's important to know that there’s not a standardized pre-travel veterinary visit to complete your pet’s health certificate. During this checkup, your vet might not detect pre-existing and chronic conditions, or viruses or parasites that could affect your pet's health during their trip. We strongly recommended that you ask your vet to do a comprehensive exam of your pet. That way they can identify any specific risks that they might not find during a brief pre-flight checkup.
Health certificates must be dated within 10 days of travel (or a shorter time frame, if required by the destination country) and align with the date of your pet’s pretravel exam. If your pet’s return flight is more than 10 days after their health certificate was issued, you’ll need to get a new health certificate for the return flight. Some countries’ health certificates have time frame requirements of less than 10 days, so be sure to check the country’s guidelines if your pet is traveling internationally.
Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture has strict regulations to prevent the spread of diseases and make sure the state stays rabies-free. It’s important that you review all the requirements more than 30 days before your pet arrives in Hawaii and before you arrange your pet’s travel with PetSafe. Please visit the State of Hawaii website to learn more about the requirements for importing pets and animal quarantine rules.
Once you book your pet’s trip, we’ll send you a PetSafe Customer pretravel information packet and a Customer Acknowledgement Form. The packet is designed to help you plan your pet’s trip and to outline the requirements and risks of pet travel.
After you’ve reviewed the packet, please fill out and sign the Customer Acknowledgement Form. This form explains what the risks are when pets fly and lists the steps you’ll need to take to prepare your pet for a safe journey.
You’ll need to submit a completed and signed Customer Acknowledgement Form through our secure portal at least five days before your pet’s trip.
You’ll also need to present two copies of the signed Customer Acknowledgement Form when your pet is dropped off. If someone else is dropping off your pet, please make sure they bring the forms that you or your shipper filled out and signed.
We’ll only accept bookings for international travel with PetSafe from professional pet shippers who are members of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). IPATA professionals specialize in pet travel preparation and getting all of your required documents, including health certificates, import/export permits, and paperwork for freight forwarders and customs brokers. IPATA members also work closely with pet owners to focus on your pet’s well-being and to clarify travel details.
IPATA shippers will also complete an IPATA Departure Checklist for international travel that identifies the documents you’ll need for entry into specific destinations. Make sure that you ask your IPATA shipper for this completed checklist, since you’ll need to present it to us along with any additional required documents confirmed by your IPATA shipper, when you drop your pet off at the airport on travel day.
To start planning your pet’s international trip, please choose an IPATA professional shipper from ipata.org.
Here’s some important things you should know before planning an international trip for your pet:
- Certain breeds and animal types are not allowed into some countries.
- The embassy or consulate in your pet’s destination country can give you details to make sure you follow all the country-specific entry procedures.
- You can visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pet travel website for specific destination requirements for pets traveling to and from the U.S. and most countries.
- You or your pet shipper are responsible for making sure that all destination specific pet entry requirements are met, including state, county or city regulations. Make sure you and your shipper discuss customs clearance and/or freight forwarder needs, so you’re clear on the process in advance, and so your pet doesn’t get delayed during travel.
- We strongly recommend that you discuss your pet's travel plans with a veterinarian well before their travel, to make sure your pet meets all the import regulations and is ready for travel.