Ask CDC - Travelers' Health

I want to bring my dog into the United States. What documents do I need?

Picture of dog in carrying case, sitting next to a suitcase

CDC requires all dogs coming into the U.S. to be healthy.

  • If your dog is coming from a rabies-free country, rabies vaccination is not required.
  • If coming from a country with rabies, your dog must be fully immunized against rabies and have a valid vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian.

The rabies vaccination certificate must include:

  • Name and address of owner
  • Description of your dog, including breed, sex, date of birth (or approximate age if unknown), color, markings, and other identifying information
  • Date of rabies vaccination and vaccine product information
  • Date the immunization expires, and
  • Name, license number, address, and signature of veterinarian who administered the vaccination.

Puppies must be at least 3 months old to be vaccinated for rabies and must wait 30 days after vaccination before entering the U.S.

Adult dogs (15 months or older) rabies vaccination must be current. If it has expired, your dog will need to get a booster vaccination—but it can still travel immediately. Bring your dog’s records of previous and booster rabies vaccinations to enter the U.S.

CDC does not accept the following as proof of immunity to rabies:

  • Rabies titers or serology,
  • Veterinarian exemption letters, or
  • Health certificates, or pet passports with no proof of rabies vaccination.

If you do not provide a valid rabies vaccination certificate, your dog may be denied entry.

Other requirements: Check with the U.S. Department of AgricultureExternal and the state or territory where you will be living for additional requirements.

What vaccines should I receive before traveling to an international destination?

Group of four friends taking a selfie with a selfie stick while traveling overseas

To find out about other vaccines and medications you might need:

  • Go to the CDC Travelers’ Health Website,
  • Under For Travelers, use the drop-down menu to select your destination.
  • Read the Vaccines and Medicines chart.

Not all the vaccines and medicines in this chart are appropriate for everyone. You should talk to a doctor (ideally, at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip) to find out which vaccines and medicines are right for you.

Remember that not all illnesses can be prevented by a vaccine, so review the Stay Healthy and Safe section on the destination page and read Your Survival Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel for information on other steps you can take to protect your health.

For general information on ways to stay healthy and safe when you travel, visit the Travelers’ Health Website.

CDC Resources

Travelers’ Health: Vaccinations

Travelers’ Health: Find a Clinic

External Resource

U.S. Department of StateExternal

Page last reviewed: April 13, 2018