Health Certificates

Health Certificates for Traveling or Moving with your Pet(s)

Traveling or moving with your pet can be exciting, stressful and any combination in between. There are many wonderful websites that will help you make a pre-travel checklist for the day of the trip and the veterinarians and staff of Orange Grove Animal Hospital in Tucson, Arizona will help you with the legal paperwork you need to avoid complications as you cross borders.

A certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI or health certificate) is required to cross any border both within the US and into other countries. Depending on the type and number of pets and where you are going, the process for obtaining a CVI can be a simple one-day event or take many weeks to months. Orange Grove Animal Hospital veterinarians are accredited by the USDA to issue domestic and international Certificate of Veterinary Inspections for all the species we treat, from cats and dogs, to snakes, turtles and lizards, to birds, domestic rabbits, ferrets and many more species.

Dog, Cat or Ferret

The following information is necessary to ensure the right staff member researches and prepares your CVI. Please call us at (520) 877-2626 or email as soon as you begin planning your trip or move.

  • What breed of dog or cat do you have?
  • Where are you going to and is this a permanent move or a vacation?
  • Does your pet have a 15-digit ISO-Standard microchip (134.2 kHz)?
  • Does your dog, cat or ferret have a current rabies vaccination?
  • When are you planning to leave Arizona?

The last question is the most important as depending on the destination it may take many weeks to fulfill the requirements set by the destination authorities.

All cats, dogs and ferrets will be required to have proof of rabies vaccination for travel within the United States and out of the country. You will need to have a signed (not stamped or digital) original Rabies Certificate. Faxed, photocopied, emailed certificates or those that are not signed or have been stamped are not considered valid. We can only issue certificates for vaccines that an Orange Grove Animal Hospital veterinarian has given.

Typically travel between the continental US states (other than Hawaii) is easily accomplished with minimal paperwork, although some states have regulations regarding hybrid dogs and cats (such as Savannahs, Bengals and Chaussies as well as Wolf-hybrids). International travel regulations are determined by the country which you are traveling to. Documentation for international travel may include endorsement by the USDA-APHIS office in Washington state after it has been signed by our veterinarians, laboratory testing or submission of documents before travel or a variety of other requirements. While we strive to make the legal documentation part of your trip as smooth as possible, we are often confined by the legal requirements of the destination.


Due to the introduction of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI or H5N1) in 1983, movement of ALL birds within and out of the US is strictly regulated. In addition, not all birds, even pet birds, are considered pets and may fall under one or more federal or international laws. Domestic birds such as chickens, ducks and geese, fall under the restrictions and guidelines imposed by the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) and in some cases the Migratory Bird Act. Some states and countries have restrictions on specific parrot species. Moving with pet birds is rarely simple and can take many weeks to obtain the required documentation. It is important to work closely with your veterinarian and staff of Orange Grove Animal Hospital in Tucson, Arizona to ensure your bird moves with you with as minimal stress as possible.

Please call (520) 877-2626 or email as soon as a potential move is planned to speak to our staff about the appropriate documentation necessary to move with your bird(s). Please have available:

  • The exact species of each bird (Sun Conure, not just Conure, for example).
  • Any permanent identification (microchip, leg band or tattoo)?
  • Is this a permanent move or a vacation? You may need to satisfy re-entry requirements if this is a vacation trip.
  • When do you plan to leave Arizona?

Please note that depending on which CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) list your bird is on and your destination it can take as long as 12 to 18 months to obtain the necessary documentation to complete the move.

For movement of Backyard chickens, ducks or geese, we have to follow the regulations for the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) for the state you are moving too. Exporting live poultry or fowl outside the US may take several months for export and import requirements for those countries that allow live poultry imports, to be completed.

Exotic Small Mammals

Exotic small mammals range from the smallest dwarf hamster or guinea pig to the largest Flemish Lop rabbit and everything in between. Some species have vaccine requirements (such as Ferrets) and others may fall under restricted species regulations or CITES protections much like birds. Before calling Orange Grove Animal Hospital in Tucson, Arizona, please have any permanent identification (microchip, leg band or tattoo) available as well as any documentation of purchase or adoption, if available, as this may be necessary for the CVI. Call us at (520) 877-2626 or email as soon as you begin planning your trip or move.

Pets such as pigmy goats and miniature pigs will fall under livestock regulations even if they are members of the household and not intended for food production.


**It is illegal to remove the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, the Desert Box Turtle, and many species of native snake, lizard or salamander from Arizona. These species are protected under state and federal laws and cannot be taken across any intrastate or international border.**

Depending on where you are traveling or moving to, transporting reptiles can become a complicated affair. Many states and countries have limits on the number of and species of reptiles that can be imported as pets and any reptile imported at a later date can be subject to commercial import regulations as well as CITES restrictions. Before calling Orange Grove Animal Hospital at (520) 877-2626 or emailing, please have the exact species name (if known), any permanent identification and any purchase or adoption documentation available. For the movement of reptiles, we strongly recommend contacting us 8-12 weeks prior to the move.

For more information on interstate or international movement please visit the USDA-APHIS Pet Travel ( page.

You can contact Orange Grove Animal Hospital in Tucson, Arizona at (520) 877-2626 or by email at Attn: Health Certificate and a knowledgeable staff member help you in your travel plans.

Costs for CVIs can vary depending on the species, destination and number of pets. Once the regulations and documentation requirements are known, a staff member of Orange Grove Animal Hospital will provide a written estimate.


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Orange Grove Animal Hospital
(520) 877-2626
3091 W. Orange Grove Rd
Tucson, AZ 85741

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