Bringing a Dog into the United States
Beginning July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension for dogs imported from high-risk countries for dog rabies. CDC has the authority to issue a CDC Dog Import Permit for US citizens and lawful residents relocating from high-risk countries to bring their dogs into the United States. Such permits will be issued on an extremely limited basis.
First 90-Day Transition Process
From July 14 through October 14, 2021, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits can enter the United States at one of these 18 airports: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit, Honolulu, Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, and Washington, DC (Dulles).
After October 14, 2021, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits must enter only at approved ports of entry.
All dogs imported into the United States must be healthy on arrival.
Dogs that have not been in a high-risk country in the previous 6 months are not required by CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or other paperwork, but vaccination against rabies is recommended.
All dogs must appear healthy to enter the United States.
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 regulationsexternal icon, which may be more strict than federal regulations. Please be aware that dogs imported for commercial (resale or adoption) purposes have additional requirements from USDAexternal icon.
Dogs Imported for Research Purposes
If you have any questions about importing dogs for research purposes overseen by an institutional animal care and use programexternal icon, contact CDC-INFO.
At New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the belly of the Boeing passenger jet opened to reveal the cargo hold filled with stacked crates of whimpering dogs, many more than usual. All were young puppies—most too young to leave their mothers—cowering and huddling in their cages, shivering while covered in their own waste after their long international flight. Witnessing the scene was a team of federal agents from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and JFK’s veterinarians accredited by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).