Entering the U.S. with a Pet

Entering the U.S. with a Pet

If you're taking your pet into the United States, whether permanently, temporarily, or just passing through you need to be aware of the entry requirements.

Your pet will be examined at your port of entry and refused entry if they do not meet the requirements below.

Three different agencies, U.S. Customs, the Center for Disease Control ("CDC"), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service ("USDA-APHIS") regulate pet entry into the U.S.

Note that Hawaii's pet entry regulations regulations are more restrictive than those on this page. If you are arriving in Hawaii you should review their regulations.

A general health certificate is not required.

If your cat or dog appears sick at the time of entry, examination by a veterinarian may be ordered. Cats and dogs must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry.

Cats are not required to be vaccinated for rabies.

Dogs must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate (in English or accompanied by a translation) showing vaccination at least thirty (30) days prior to entry with identification of pet and dates of vaccination and expiration. If no expiration date is specified, vaccination will be assumed to expire twelve (12) months after administered. Dogs younger than three (3) months will require a period of confinement and vaccination. The requirements above do not apply if pet is coming from a country on the CDC's list of rabies-free countries and has been in that country for at least six (6) months.

For additional information see the CDC's requirements, U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations, and the USDA-APHIS guide to importation of pets.


Incorrect or missing information? Please contact us and let us know.


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