New guidelines for dogs entering the U.S.

05/16/2024

New Dog Import Rules for the U.S.

On May 8, 2024, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it will be introducing new requirements for importing dogs into the United States in an attempt to prevent dog rabies from being re-introduced into the country.

The new rules will apply to foreigners, as well as U.S. citizens and residents, and will affect Canadian snowbirds and other travellers who take their dogs to the U.S.

Beginning on August 1, 2024, all dogs entering the U.S. must:

  • Appear healthy upon arrival;
  • Be at least six months of age;
  • Be microchipped; and
  • Be accompanied by a CDC Dog Import Form online submission receipt. The Dog Import Form will be accessible on the CDC website beginning on July 15, 2024 and must be completed at least 2 – 10 prior to travel.

In addition to the requirements outlined above, for dogs that have been ONLY in countries that are dog rabies-free or low-risk during the 6 months before entry, which includes Canada, the CDC also requires that one of the following must be provided:

  • Certification of Foreign Rabies Vaccination and Microchip form, including the endorsement by an official veterinarian of the dog rabies-free or low-risk country where the dog has been located; AND EITHER (1) a valid rabies serology titer OR (2) veterinary records* (which list the microchip number) for the dog from the exporting country for the previous 6 months. The form must be completed within 30 days before arrival to the United States.
  • Certification of U.S.-Issued Rabies Vaccination form that was endorsed by USDA before the dog departed the United States,
  • Valid USDA-endorsed export health certificate that either:
    • Is for the dog rabies-free or low-risk country where the dog’s return itinerary originated (the form will only be valid for 30 days if it does not contain rabies vaccination information), or
    • Documents a valid (unexpired) rabies vaccination administered in the United States (the form will be valid for the duration of the rabies vaccination (1 or 3 years)).
  • Certification of Dog Arriving from DMRVV-free or Low-Risk Country into the United States form endorsed by an official veterinarian in the exporting country; AND veterinary records* (which list the microchip number) for the dog from the exporting country for the 6 months before traveling to the U.S. The form must be completed within the 30 days before arriving to the United States.
  • A foreign export certificate that documents the dog is at least 6 months of age, lists the dog’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-compatible microchip number, and has been endorsed by an official veterinarian of the exporting country; AND veterinary records* (which list the microchip number) for the dog from the exporting country for the previous 6 months

For dogs that have been in a country with high-risk of dog rabies in the 6 months before entry, there may be additional entry requirements.

You can find a full list of entry requirements for dogs to the United States once the new rules come into effect - along with checklists and timelines - here.

The CDC has also launched a DogBot application on its website to help travellers determine the requirements for bringing their dogs to the U.S.

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