Florida law requires that any pet for sale in Florida or any pet traveling outside the state needs to have a health certificate, or (OCVI) Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.
The veterinarians at our clinics have been accredited by the USDA after completion of the required training course and are licensed in the state of Florida to complete these official documents. Please be advised that health certificates expire after 30 days from the date they are issued. Requirements for travel are slightly different than requirements for sale of pets.
For pets traveling outside the state of Florida
Please call our office to schedule an exam / consultation and alert the staff that this is to obtain a health certificate (OCVI) for travel. Most states in the US will only need a basic interstate form, however, Hawaii has much more significant restrictions. Please also note- at this time not all of our locations are offering international health certificates or may only be offering them on a limited basis depending on the destination country, so please be sure to let the staff know specifically where you are traveling to.
The process for traveling with a pet internationally can be very long and confusing. We recommend that you contact the USDA/APHIS Veterinary Services Area office in Gainesville, at 352-313-3060 or the National Import Export Services (NIES) Call Center: 301-851-3300 (Press Option 2 – Live Animals) .The NIES call center provides centralized support for all your animal health import and export inquiries. *Note- it is also very important that you contact the airlines or state/ country that you are traveling to for any other specific forms or requirements that they have in order to allow your pet to travel. Please do this prior to scheduling your appointment so that our staff can ensure that we are able to meet the requirements for your travel destination.
If your pet has been vaccinated at another veterinary hospital or rabies clinic, please bring proof of this with you. If no proof of vaccination exists, it is required to update the vaccines at the time of exam before the health certificate (OCVI) can be completed. You will need to be sure that all required vaccinations, diagnostics, and other requirements for travel are done within the appropriate time line for your destination. Since these requirements vary significantly for each country, our office cannot be responsible to provide you all the details you will need for travel, but we will help you in any way that we can to direct you to the information you need.
For more information from the USDA and a list of requirements by country please visit: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/banner
For puppies/ kittens that are for sale within the state of Florida
For puppies / kittens that are for sale within the state of Florida- please call our office to schedule an exam / consultation and alert the staff that this is to obtain a health certificate (OCVI) for “sale” of an animal within the state of Florida. If a pet is being sold to someone that lives outside the state of Florida, only the health certificate (OCVI) for travel is needed (see above). If you have a litter of animals, it is required that each individual animal have their own health certificate (OCVI) that will go with them to the purchaser. It is required by law that the veterinarian retains 1 copy of the form for 1 year, the seller will also get a copy, and the original should be given to the purchaser at the time of sale.
In order to complete the health certificate (OCVI), the following requirements must be met per Florida law:
- All pets must be at least 8 weeks old at the time of sale
- The pet must show no signs of contagious or infectious disease on physical exam
- The pet must show no signs of parasites including intestinal worms and ear mites, but excluding fleas and ticks. *This means that all pets must have a negative fecal test before the health certificate (OCVI) can be completed—if possible, please bring in a stool sample from each pet prior to your exam to have checked. Even if the result is negative, the pet must be dewormed at the time of the exam.
- The pet must have been dewormed, vaccinated, and had other required blood tests performed by an accredited veterinarian no more than 21 days prior to sale if the pet is less than 4 months old, and not more than 1 year before the sale if it is more than 4 months old.
- Any cat for sale must be tested for FeLV (feline leukemia) and any dog for sale over 6 months of age must have a heartworm test.
- Required vaccinations for cats are FVRCP and Rabies (if older than 3 months). The FVRCP vaccine includes: feline distemper (panleukopenia), feline viral rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus.
- Required vaccinations for dogs are DAPP, *Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Rabies (if older than 3 months). The DAPP vaccine includes canine distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and adenovirus 2 (infectious hepatitis).
*Note, exceptions can be made to administration of leptospirosis vaccine if the pet has a previous history of vaccine reaction or it is determined by a veterinarian that administration of this vaccine is not in the best medical interest of the pet.