Please be aware that regulations can change depending on destination and even time of the year for travel, please contact us at (907) 376-7930, for most up to date travel information.
Driving your pet through Canada:
- In order to travel through Canada via automobile, you must have a current Health Certificate and a current Rabies vaccine with certificate.
Flying your pet to the Lower 48 (or most desinations):
- Your pet must also have a current Health Certificate and a current Rabies vaccine with certificate.
Travel within the state of Alaska:
- You do not need a Health Certificate to drive your pet around in the state. We still recommend all pets be current on Rabies vaccines, as the Rabies virus does exist in areas of the state.
- Your pet is required to have a current Rabies vaccine with certificate and health certificate to fly in the state of Alaska. However, if you are coming from a village community where no veterinarian is present, no health certificate is required, but a current Rabies vaccine is usually still needed. These situations are typically handled by the airlines on a case-by-case basis. If you are traveling from Anchorage or Fairbanks to a village, you need a current Rabies vaccine and Health Certificate for your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding Travel
What is a Health Certificate, and why is it required?
- A Health Certificate is a document stating that your pet has been examined by an accredited veterinarian, is current on the vaccines necessary to travel to the final destination, and is deemed free of contagious diseases by your accredited veterinarian. This is required for travel because we want to protect other animals and humans from contagious diseases, and make sure your pet truly is healthy to travel.
- When completed, this document is then sent to the Alaska state veterinarian, the state veterinarian of your destination, and a copy is kept by us and given to you to travel with. This document must stay with your pet when traveling. If this document is not present, your pet may not be allowed to travel with you, or your pet could be confiscated by the government.
Is a Health Certificate needed every time my pet travels?
- If your pet is flying, or you are traveling by vehicle through Canada, then YES! There are no exceptions to this rule whether you travel with your pet once or 5 times a year. Your pet's health is constantly changing as is his/her exposure to other pets. This means that your pet can develop new problems in a very short amount of time; so again, we have to make sure your pet is healthy to travel and free of contagious diseases. We have to examine your pet every time he/she travels with you, and fill out a current Health Certificate document.
- Health Certificates are typically valid for 10-30 days depending on where you are coming from, and your final destination. For instance, if you are driving to Arizona to stay for the winter, a Health Certificate will be written and this certificate is valid for 10 days from the date your pet was examined. In other words, you have 10 days to get your pet to Arizona before the Health Certificate is invalid. When you plan on returning from Arizona to Alaska, you will have to obtain another Health Certificate in Arizona documenting that your pet is healthy to travel back to Alaska.
What about flying with my pet?
- Flying with pets in Alaska is very common. Each airline company has varying weight restrictions and requirements. We recommend you contact the airline well in advance of your pet's flight to make sure you have plenty of time to acquire the right kennel, and work out any problems.
- In addition to your Health Certificate and Rabies certificate, we will provide you with a temperature letter. This letter states that we believe your pet is healthy and okay to fly between certain temperatures. While your pet will be in a kennel and in a heated or cooled cargo area during the flight, your pet may also be on the airport tarmac exposed to the elements. Depending on the age and size of your pet, we will write a minimum and maximum temperatue that we feel comfortable for your pet to travel. If the airline feels that these temperature requirements will not be met, they can refuse to fly your pet on that particular day. While this is frustrating to deal with logistically, this is in the best interest of your pet. We will not make exceptions on temperature recommendations, as it is your pet's health on the line.
What can I do to make travel easier for my pet?
- If your pet is flying, he/she will have to remain in a kennel for the entire flight and until they arrive a the baggage claim. If you are traveling by vehicle, kennels are very safe to travel, but this is up to you how your pet travels in the car. Many pets are not used to being in a kennel, or panic when they are kenneled.
- We recommend to start teaching your dog/cat how to kennel and remain calm in the kennel well before you are supposed to travel. Buy the kennel several months in advance if possible. Place the kennel somewhere in the house that the pet likes to frequent and feels comfortable, put a bed or blanket in the kennel, and leave the door to the kennel open. Let your pet explore the kennel. When you see your pet in the kennel, praise them! Reward them for going into the kennel. Gradually, work towards having your pet stay in the kennel with the door open, and then the door closed. Next, work towards leaving your pet in the kennel for an extended period of time. First, do this while you are at home so you can watch their behavior. If they are doing well, then leave them in the kennel for some time when you leave the house. This is all easier said than done!
- Many pets, no matter how much effort is put into kennel training, still Panic! If this is the case, please contact our office for additional help and to discuss potential medications to help calm your pet. An examination may be recommended depending on when your pet was seen last, as well as other testing depending on the age of your pet. Not all pets can take medications thatlp with flying if other diseases are present.