International Animal Imports
For Animals Coming from Foreign Countries
CDC regulations govern the importation of dogs, cats, turtles, monkeys, other animals, and animal products capable of causing human disease. Requirements for the importation of the most common pets are described below. Pets taken out of the United States are subject upon return, to the same regulations as those entering for the first time. The U.S. government does not require general certificates of health for pets. However, because airlines sometimes require health certificates for pets traveling with them, you should check with your airline prior to your travel date.
Pet dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry for evidence of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans. If a dog appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian might be required. In addition, dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry into the United States. Unvaccinated puppies younger than 4 months of age must be confined by the importer until at least 3 months of age, vaccinated against rabies, and confined for 30 additional days following vaccination. All dogs not accompanied by proof of rabies vaccination may be admitted providing the importer completes a confinement agreement (form CDC 75.37) ( PDF version formatted for print [76 KB/2 pages]). Such a dog must be kept in confinement during transit to, and be vaccinated within 4 days of arrival at, the U.S. destination and must remain in confinement for at least 30 days after the date of vaccination. These requirements apply equally to service animals such as Seeing Eye dogs. Unvaccinated dogs originating from or located for the previous 6 months or more in areas that are free of rabies are exempt from this requirement at the time of importation. Following entry into the United States, all dogs are subject to state and local vaccination requirements. All pet dogs arriving in the state of Hawaii* and the territory of Guam*, even from the U.S. mainland, are subject to locally imposed quarantine requirements. Additional information can be found in the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, which can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5309a1.htm.