The world has developed to where you can take your pets with you almost everywhere. Your furry friend can enjoy the sunshine with you on a foreign island. However, there are strict requirements for entering any country with a pet. What requirements does the US have to bring a dog into the country?
The primary requirements to bring a dog into the US are up-to-date vaccinations and general health. As long as your dog is free from communicable diseases and has the correct documents, it’s free entry all the way.
This article will look at the documents you need to bring your dog into the US. I also discuss the requirements to get a dog into the US and circumstances that demand quarantine for your dog on entry to the US
What Documents Do I Need to Bring My Dog into the US?
To bring your dog into the US, you need vaccination certificates for diseases including rabies, screwworm, tapeworm, and foot and mouth disease. A licensed veterinarian from your country must also fill and sign a pet health certificate.
In July 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) temporarily suspended dogs from entering the US from high-risk countries for dog rabies. Only US citizens and lawful residents could receive a CDC Dog Import Permit.
Fortunately, from December 1, 2021, new rules were set in place. According to the rules, if your dog has been in a high-risk country for the past six months, you can enter the US through an approved port of entry.
The 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station are approved ports of entry. Getting an import Permit is straightforward, and it is best to apply for one at least thirty days before you intend to enter the US.
If your dog qualifies for an Import Permit and you bring it into the US without one, it will be returned to your country of departure at your expense. Email the CDC requesting the permit. Once it has been granted, you can travel down to the US.
Dogs that haven’t been in high-risk countries do not need to show an Import Permit or a rabies vaccination certificate on arrival. Your dog just needs to be healthy and look healthy.
Any certificate or document in a foreign language must be translated into English, and it should be a certified English translation. This statement is written on official letterhead and signed by a licensed translator. It must have the name, contact information, and address of the translator and an elevated seal that includes the translator’s number.
What Are the Requirements to Bring a Dog into the US?
There are only three requirements to bring your dog into the United States, and they are:
- Your dog must be vaccinated.
To protect its citizens, the US requires vaccination against diseases such as dog rabies, tapeworm, and screwworm, amongst others.
- You must have the proper documents.
All certificates necessary to prove your dog’s clean bill of health should be handy. You don’t want to hunt for a tiny piece of paper in your bags after a long flight.
- Your dog should be healthy.
Although there are no specific parameters in place, your dog should look healthy and be free from any communicable disease.
Please check the requirements of all the government organizations concerned with pet entry and make sure that you follow the regulations. It’s a sad thing to watch your dog being returned or to have to take it back to your country of departure.
Does My Dog Need to Be Quarantined in the US?
Hawaii and Guam are the only territories in the United States with quarantine requirements for pet dogs coming into the regions. Their quarantine requirements are in place because they are rabies-free, and they plan to keep it that way.
Other states are okay with your dog if it meets other veterinary conditions and is healthy. The United States has stringent rules concerning rabies vaccination, and this is where you need to be careful.
If your dog is immunized against rabies, you show the vaccination certificate and enter—no need for quarantine. An unimmunized dog has a different set of rules to follow, depending on whether you have been in a rabies-free country or not.
According to the CDC, a dog is unimmunized if it has never been immunized, it was vaccinated less than thirty days before coming to the US or vaccinated when it was less than three months old. Phew!
If your dog is coming from a country that is considered rabies-free, you have the option of applying for an unimmunized dog permit. With this permit, unimmunized dogs will be allowed entry into the country, provided you meet all the other essential conditions.
As a US resident or visitor staying for less than 30 days, you can apply for a dog permit to bring an unimmunized dog into the US. Please ensure you apply for this permit at least two weeks before your travel date. Also, the CDC does not give this permit to everyone who applies.
This unimmunized dog permit comes with a confinement agreement (similar to quarantine) you must sign. Your signature proves that you agree to keep your dog at home or in an enclosure until your dog is wholly immunized against rabies.
How Soon Can an Unimmunized Dog Get the Rabies Vaccine?
The rabies vaccine must be given within the first ten days of entry into the US and four days of arrival at a final US destination. After vaccination, the dog must be confined for at least thirty more days.
Puppies have a longer confinement time because they must first be confined until they are old enough to receive the vaccine, and they also have the standard thirty days’ confinement after vaccination.
It is in your best interest to be adequately prepared before traveling to the US with your dog. If you follow the regulations, everything will turn out well.