International travel with pets involves preparation and planning far in advance of your departure date. Requirements for taking your pet to a foreign country are set by the destination country. If you are you traveling to another country and bringing along your pet you’ll need to meet the animal health requirements of the country you are visiting. As soon as you know your travel details, contact your local veterinarian to assist with the pet travel process. Factors to consider may include meeting time frames for obtaining a health certificate, updating vaccinations, diagnostic testing, or administration of medications/ treatments. Prepare well in advance for traveling. Some countries require blood tests at least 6 months before departure to prove that your pet is vaccinated against rabies. Also, airlines may have separate and additional requirements for international travel with pets. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any.
Your destination country may have specific health requirements that must be met before your pet can enter the country. Since export requirements are determined by each country and can change frequently, every time you plan pet travel you will need to verify the export requirements. In addition, airlines may have separate requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any. Read more here.
Animals entering the U.S. may be subject to regulation by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) as all well as other federal agencies. Depending on your destination state, your pet may need to also meet additional health requirements. Read more here.
CDC regulations govern the importation of animals and animal products capable of causing human disease. Animals regulated by the CDC: dogs; cats; turtles; monkeys; civets; african rodents; and bats. Animals not regulated by the CDC: fish; small mammals & non-africana rodents; and horses. Pets taken out of the United States are subject upon return to the same regulations as those entering for the first time. The CDC does not require general certificates of health for pets for entry into the United States. However, health certificates may be required for entry into some states, or may be required by airlines for pets. You should check with officials in your state of destination and with your airline prior to your travel date. Read more here.
Whether you can bring a dog into the United States depends on where the dog is coming from—especially if from a high-risk country for dog rabies. To enter the United States, your dog will be required to meet specific criteria. 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; rabies vaccine certificate is required when coming from certain countries. 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. Read more here.
The CDC’s temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies implemented in July 2021 will be extended through July 31, 2024; all current requirements will remain in place. Learn more on CDC.gov.
A general certificate of health is not required by CDC for entry of pet cats into the United States, although some airlines or states may require them. However, pet cats are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. If a cat appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner’s expense might be required at the port of entry. Cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination for importation into the United States. However, CDC recommends that all cats be vaccinated against rabies, and some U.S. states may have additional requirements. All pet cats arriving in the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam, even from the US mainland, are subject to locally imposed quarantine requirements. Read more here.
International health certificates for the export of animals from the United States are completed by the accredited veterinarian who certifies herd and animal health status, conducts tests, and records test results for the individual animals being exported. Completed and signed international health certificates for the export of animals from the United States must be endorsed by a Veterinary Services area office in order to be valid. More information can be found here.
If you are taking your pet out of the United States to another country, whether permanently or for a visit, you should do the following:
Each country has its own regulations regarding live imports, aimed at keeping out diseases and invasive species. All countries require basic vaccinations and official proof of your animal’s good health before letting it in. Some countries require a specific health certificate they have developed. Some countries require your pet to use the US-origin international health certificate APHIS FORM 7001 (“United States Interstate & International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals”). Download APHIS FORM 7001
APHIS Pet Travel – Not all birds or animals qualify as pets
Find out which animals qualify for travel as a pet. Be aware that not all birds qualify as pets.
International Travel With Pets – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Learn the requirements for dogs and cats leaving the United States and arriving in the United States.
Pets and International Travel – U.S. Department of State
Import and Quarantine Restrictions, EU Pet Scheme, Certification requirements, Authentication of the USDA Certificate, Shipping of Pets.
Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Dog a Passport
If you plan on traveling internationally with your dog often, the best investment you can make is to get a Pet Passport for your furry traveler.
Use the drop down menu below to find a country’s rules for importing pets. Always confirm the pet travel regulations with the appropriate embassy or consulate office, and the airline on which your pet will be traveling.
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