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Bringing a Dog into the United States

A female traveler walking through an airport with a yellow roller suitcase and her small dog on a leash

Photo credit: Misty Ellis, CDC

All dogs must appear healthy to enter the United States. And depending upon what country the dogs are coming from, they may need a valid rabies vaccination certificate.

The rules for bringing your dog into the United States are covered under US Regulations (see Rabies vaccine certificate required when coming from these countries below).

These rules apply to all dogs, including puppies, service animals, and emotional support dogs. These rules also apply whether you are (1) just visiting the United States with your dog, (2) importing dogs into the United States, or (3) traveling out of the United States and returning with your dog after a temporary visit, such as a vacation or holiday, or for shopping or visiting friends and relatives. If you do not follow CDC’s rules, your dog may not be allowed to enter the United States.

In addition to CDC regulations, you must comply with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and your destination state’s regulations, which are often more strict than federal regulations. Please be aware that dogs imported for commercial (resale or adoption) purposes have additional requirements from USDA.

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