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Before you pack your bags for a permanent change of station or vacation overseas with your family and beloved pet, be sure to research the requirements for pet travel in your host country.

Fort Meade's Veterinary Treatment Facility suggests that prospective travelers visit the animal welfare section of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website (www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregus/animals) to find out what documentation, if any, is necessary for traveling with a pet.

"The requirements are specific to each country," said Katie Singer, office manager at the VTF. "If the country does not list specific requirements, be sure to contact the country's embassy or consulate."

Pets traveling abroad are required to have a health certificate. Fort Meade's veterinary clinic usually provides this documentation, but the facility will be closed for renovations the last two weeks of July and will reopen sometime in August.

During that period, pet owners who need health certificates should visit a veterinarian at another military installation or contact a local civilian veterinarian.

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