United States Pet Passport Regulations (excluding Hawaii)
These regulations do NOT include the State of Hawaii. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets. Owners of other pets should refer to item 11.
The United States does not require that your pet be identified with a pet microchip, but it is recommended that you microchip your pet and register your contact information prior to traveling as a means of identification should your pet be lost or separated from you.
Unless your dog is entering from a country the US considers as rabies free. (see item #6 for list of countries), your dog will need proof of a rabies vaccination more than 30 days prior to entry but not more than the expiration date of the manufacturer of the vaccine. All requests to import an unvaccinated dog must be approved in advance. Rabies vaccinations for cats are not required to enter the country, but requirements may be subject to State and Local ordinances.
Blood Titer Test
A blood titer test is not required to enter the United States from any country.
Screwworm Treatment - Dogs Only
Before your dog can enter the United States from the following countries, it must be treated against certain screwworms one to five days prior to entering the United States. Your veterinarian must verify that your pet has been inspected for screwworm, and the results are negative. Screwworm Countries: Angola, Argentina, Bhrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, French Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Easter Island (Isla de Pascua), Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Maui, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Paraacel Islands, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spratly Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
A licensed veterinarian must complete and sign a veterinary certificate. This certificate should be in English or be accompanied by a version translated in English. It should identify the animal, the dates of vaccination, the manufacturer and the expiration date of the rabies vaccine. The United States does accept 3 year rabies vaccinations.
Countries that do not require a rabies vaccination for dogs
Dogs entering the United States who have lived in the following countries for at least 6 months do not require a rabies vaccination, however, it is recommended and may be required by state ordinances: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Corsica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Guam, Germany, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg Malaysia (Sabah only), Martinique, Mauritius, Micronesia, Miquelon, Monaco, Montserrat, Netherland Antilles, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway (except Svalbard), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Qatar, Réunion, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saint Pierre, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (except Ceuta and Melilla), Sweden, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands (US and British)
Entering the United States by Air
Pets can enter the United States at international airports in many cities including but not limited to New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry. If the animal is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owner's expense.
Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens may not be vaccinated for rabies prior to 3 months of age. Unvaccinated puppies entering the United States with their owner and are not intended for resale or rehoming are permitted entry to the US only if they are pre-approved for home confinement by the Center for Disease Control. Puppies entering the United States intended for re-homing or re-sale may not enter the United States until fully vaccinated and 6 months of age. This includes puppies being imported from Puerto Rico and all US territories. An exception would be puppies being imported for veterinary treatment that is unavailable in the originating country or puppies being used for research purposes. Puppies will also be required to have all DHLPP shots and an import permit prior to entering.
The United States does not ban breeds, however, some cities do. Visitors to these cities will be responsible for their pet's behavior.
All resident pets leaving the United States must send relevant paperwork required for the destination country to the State USDA office for endorsement prior to leaving the country. Additionally, transiting pets whose permits or health certficiates have expired will be required to obtain these documents in the United States and have them endorsed prior to leaving the country.
Pets returning to the United States are subject to the same passport requirements as those entering for the first time. This means that pet owners returning to the United States should have a new health certificate completed by a vet in the country you are visiting if you stay for more than 30 days.
There are no rabies requirements for other species of rodents, rabbits, birds, ornamental fish, intervebrates, amphibians and reptiles imported to the United States. These pets should travel with health certificates issued prior to travel.
Birds may only enter the United States at international airports located in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. All birds entering the United States will be subject to 30 days of quarantine.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITIES regulations. .
Need More Advice?
The information published here is a guideline for pet owners importing their pet to the United States. Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com. We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 4:00 PM EST.