Pet Travel

International Pet Travel

International Pet Travel

If you are planning to travel with your pet, an International Health Certificate is required – and in most cases, a microchip is too.  If a microchip is required, the pet must have the microchip prior to starting the Health Certificate process.

AKC Reunite (Trovan) microchips can be read in Hawaii and at many foreign country’s ports of entry including the European Union, Japan, and Australia. For information about another country’s specific pet microchipping requirements, visit the USDA website.

As you review the USDA website many country’s pet microchipping requirements refer to a microchip’s frequency (125 kHz, 128 kHz or 134.2 kHz) and/or require a microchip to comply with the International Standards Organization pet microchipping standards, specifically ISO Standard 11784 and 11785.  If you are not sure what kind of microchip a pet has, you can determine a lot about the pet’s microchip based on how long the microchip ID number is:

Pet has a 15 digit microchip ID number:

AKC Reunite microchips that begin with the numbers “956” and are 15 digits long are 134.2 kHz, and ISO Standard 11784 compliant.  If the pet has a microchip that is 15 digits long and does NOT begin with “956” the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a helpful guide to help you determine the microchip’s manufacturer or country of origin based on the first 3 digits of the microchip number.

Pet has a 10 character microchip ID number:

If a pet’s AKC Reunite microchip begins with the numbers “0006” or “0007” or “0008” and is 10-characters long, it is a 128kHz microchip.  A pet with a 128 kHz microchip is compliant with Annex A of ISO Standard 11785, and can safely travel with its owner for a short period of time. However, a 128 kHz microchip is not a true “ISO” or “international” microchip.  If you are moving outside of the United States and:

  • Your pet’s health certificate has NOT been started, it is worth considering re-implanting your pet with a15 digit, 134.2 kHz ISO microchip before traveling outside of the United States. Upon arrival to your new country of residence, consult with your new veterinarian to discuss how and where to locally register your pet’s microchip.
  • Your pet’s health certificate has already been started, do not re-implant the pet or you will have to restart the entire health certificate process.  Upon arrival in your new country of residence, ask your new veterinarian to re-implant your pet with a15 digit, 134.2 kHz ISO microchip and how and where to locally register the microchip.

If your pet has microchip that does NOT begin with 956 or 0006 or 0007 or 0008, talk to your USDA licensed veterinarian.

TIP! When working with a USDA Licensed veterinarian to obtain your International Health Certificate, be sure to discuss the length of your trip.  Based on the time you and your pet are out of the country, a new health certificate may be required for re-entry back into the United States.

For additional resources on pet microchips and overseas travel please visit the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the American Veterinary Medical Association website.