Celebrating World Veterinary Day 2024

by Ali Oaks | April 26, 2024

Celebrating World Veterinary Day

Understanding the Crucial Role of Vets in International Pet Travel

The World Veterinary Day celebration began in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association. It is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April, and the 2024 theme is “Veterinarians are essential health workers.”

“Veterinarians’ competencies must be regarded as an essential and integral part of health at large,” according to this year’s award announcement. “The application of veterinary science contributes not only to animal health and well-being but also to human’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.”

This is a special day to acknowledge and celebrate the vital contributions of veterinarians to animal health, public health, and environmental conservation. On this important occasion, it’s also an excellent opportunity to discuss a topic that many pet owners find crucial: international pet travel.

The Role of Veterinarians in Pet Travel

As global travel becomes increasingly accessible, pet owners frequently seek to include their animal companions in their journeys, raising important considerations about health and safety. Veterinarians play a pivotal role in this aspect of international health travel by ensuring pets meet the health requirements of various destinations.

Their expertise minimizes the spread of diseases across borders, protecting not only the traveling pets but also the native animal populations and human communities of the destination areas. 

Here's how veterinarians contribute to making international pet travel safe and seamless for everyone involved:

  1. Health Checks and Certifications: Veterinarians conduct thorough health examinations to ensure pets are in good health before they travel. At these visits, they provide health certificates required by airlines and destination countries.
  2. Vaccinations and Preventive Medications: Depending on the destination, certain vaccinations may be mandatory. Veterinarians administer these vaccinations and provide the necessary documentation. They also prescribe preventive medications to protect against parasites and diseases that are prevalent in other parts of the world.
  3. Microchipping and Identification: Many countries require pets to have a microchip for identification purposes. Veterinarians handle the microchipping process and ensure that all the information linked to the microchip is up-to-date.
  4. Travel Tips and Advice: Veterinarians can offer valuable advice on how to make travel less stressful for pets. This includes recommendations on travel crates, feeding schedules, and handling anxiety or motion sickness.

Tips for Pet Owners Planning International Travel

While the prospect of traveling with pets can be exciting, it also requires meticulous preparation to ensure their safety and comfort throughout the journey. Pet owners play a crucial role in this process, from initial planning to final preparations before departure.

If you are planning to travel internationally with your pet, here are a few tips to ensure a smooth journey:

  • Start Early: Begin the preparation months in advance. Some processes, like vaccinations or obtaining health certificates, have specific timelines.
  • Consult Your Vet: Schedule a consultation with your veterinarian to discuss your travel plans and understand the necessary preparations and paperwork.
  • Understand the Rules: Familiarize yourself with the pet import regulations of the destination country. Information can be found by visiting FlyWithMyPet.com, on official government websites, or by contacting the embassy.
  • Prepare Your Pet: Help your pet get accustomed to their travel crate well before the trip. This can ease their stress and make the journey more comfortable for them.

World Veterinarian Day reminds us of the crucial role veterinarians play in the health and well-being of animals and in supporting the human-animal bond through endeavors like international pet travel.

As you celebrate this day, take a moment to appreciate the dedication and hard work of veterinarians around the globe. Whether it’s regular check-ups, emergency care, or facilitating global adventures with furry friends, veterinarians are indispensable in every pet owner’s journey.


World Veterinary Day celebrates veterinarians as essential health workers. American Veterinary Medical Association. (2024, March 11). https://www.avma.org/news/world-veterinary-day-celebrates-veterinarians-essential-health-workers