How to bring a dog to the USA?

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To enter the United States, all dogs must look healthy. With dog transport, it will be needed a valid rabies vaccination certificate and depends on the country they come from. Written or oral statements and any other documents must be in English or have an English translation.

Pet Entry into the US

The rules for you to immigrate with your dog to the United States are covered by the US Regulations (Certificate of Rabies Vaccination required). Besides, the United States Department of Agriculture, through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, controls the entry of certain animal species.

For example, Collies, Shepherds, and other dogs are used for herd management. If they come from anywhere in the world except Canada, Mexico, and the Central American and Antilles regions, they must be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry. A general health certificate is not required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the entry of dogs into the United States, although some airlines or states may require it.

However, dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry to the United States if there is evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. If a dog appears to be ill, an examination by a licensed veterinarian with the owner in charge may be necessary at the port of entry.

Proof of rabies vaccination

Dogs must have a certificate showing they have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry into the United States. These requirements apply equally to service animals such as guide dogs.

When the pet comes from another country it must meet the following requirements:

  • The dog must be accompanied by a certificate signed by an authorized veterinarian from the region of origin that guarantees that the dog has been inspected and that it does not have the “screwworm” parasite, within 5 days before shipment to the United States.
  • If the animal was sick with the parasite, the certificate must guarantee that the dog was treated and kept in quarantine until free of the larva.

FMD screening

Owners of dogs imported from countries or regions affected by FMD should take the following precautions:

  • The legs, hair, and bedding of pets must be free of any dirt or mud.
  • Pet bedding must be free of any straw, hay, or bedding made from natural fibre.
  • The pet must be bathed as soon as it reaches its final destination.

Importation of unvaccinated dogs

Dogs that are not accompanied by a rabies vaccination certificate, including those that are too young to be vaccinated (i.e. under 3 months of age), may be admitted if the importer completes an animal confinement agreement until considered adequately vaccinated against rabies (the vaccine will not be considered effective until 30 days after the date of vaccination).

Puppies that are too young to be vaccinated (i.e., less than 3 months old) should be kept in confinement until they are old enough to be vaccinated, and then confined for at least 30 days after the date of vaccination. Unvaccinated dogs must be vaccinated within 4 days of arrival at their final destination in the US and within 10 days of entry into the United States and must be kept in confinement for at least 30 days. after the date of vaccination.

Importation of dogs from rabies-free countries

Unvaccinated dogs can be imported without the requirement of a rabies vaccination certificate if they have been located for a minimum of 6 months or more in rabies-free countries. One of the countries that are allowed to transport a dog without a rabies vaccination certificate is the UK. Upon importation, all dogs are subject to state and local health or certified vaccination.

All dogs arriving from the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam, including from the continental US, are subject to locally imposed quarantine requirements. Additional information can be found in the Compendium of Prevention and Control of Animal Rabies.

Dog transport from the UK to the USA

In this case is recommended to get your dog vaccinated against rabies 30 days before entering the US, just as a precaution. What you’ll need to obtain is a veterinary certificate from a registered vet that should include the following health certificate:

  • Full name and contact details of the owner
  • The dog’s breed, colour, gender and age, and any details of markings that would help to identify them.
  • The date of vaccination and the expiry date of vaccination
  • License number, contact details of the veterinarian that administrated the vaccination.

Having your dog microchipped is not mandatory, but it’s highly advised in case the dog runs away once in the US.

If you are looking taking the dog from the UK to the USA, you should think of everything, since the aeroplane alone journey to the US won’t be the most pleasant thing for your dog. Before you decide on buying the plane tickets make sure that the flying company is pet friendly and ask for the airline’s pet policy. This will make you choose the right airline so you can make it as easy as possible to take your dog to the US.

The airline will send you a list of requirements but still, you should pack a collar with ID tags, a leash, a small dish and dog food, and a photo of your dog with your contact info on the back.

Now you are ready to immigrate with your dog, your best friend without having to overthink all the forms, documents that we have already provided to you. Just follow the list, and enjoy the change.

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