Before and After: Dog Importation Changes

Changes in CDC requirements for dogs arriving in the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies or from non–high-risk countries if in a high-risk country within the past 6 months

THEN and NOW: CDC Dog Importation Changes
Requirements BEFORE
July 14, 2021
July 14, 2021 – January 7, 2022
After January 7, 2022
Who is eligible to import a dog from a high-risk country? Anyone Limited to
  • Return travelers (US citizens or lawful residents) on vacations or visits who are not relocating to the US, but who left the United States before July 31, 2021 and are returning before January 7, 2022; or
  • US government employees with official travel orders;
  • US citizens or lawful residents relocating to the United States, such as for employment or education;
  • Owners of service dogs that are specifically trained to assist the owner with a disability (as defined by DOTexternal icon);
  • Importers of dogs for science, education, exhibition, or law enforcement purposes as defined in
    42 CFR 71.50external icon

(people in one of the above-mentioned categories can apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit)

Return travelers are no longer eligible for
CDC Dog Import Permits.
Otherwise, same as Transitional Period
Importation documents required upon arrival Valid rabies vaccination certificate Valid rabies vaccination certificate
CDC Dog Import Permit
Same as Transitional period
Minimum age requirement for dogs 4 months minimum age

(must have been vaccinated on or after 12 weeks of age, at least 28 days before arrival)


6 months minimum age



Same as Transitional period
Limit on the number of dogs imported No limit Maximum of 3 personal pet dogs for
1 trip only 

(exceptions apply for research and government-owned animals)
Same as Transitional period
Can dogs be imported for resale, adoption, rescue, or transfer of ownership? Yes No No
Is rabies serologic testing required? No
  • Yes, if the dog’s current rabies vaccination was given outside the United States.
  • No, if the dog’s current valid rabies vaccination was given in the United States.


Same as Transitional period
Can the dogs enter the United States through any port of entry? Yes No. Dogs with a CDC Dog Import Permit must enter at these 18 airports: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD) No. Dogs with a CDC Dog Import Permit must enter the United States only at these approved ports of entry

NOTE: A CDC Dog Import Permit is not required for dogs arriving from countries NOT at high risk for dog rabies.
CDC requires all dogs to be healthy upon arrival. In addition to CDC regulations, you must comply with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and your destination state’sexternal icon requirements.