USA pet travel regulations. How to enter United States with a dog or a cat

If you want to travel with your cat or dog to the United States, you not only need to familiarize yourself with the general regulations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but also with the specific requirements of the state you are about to visit, as well as the requirements of your airline.


If you are coming to the US with a dog, your pet must:


• Be at least 6 weeks old;

• Be in good health at the time of travel to the US;

• Have a valid rabies vaccination;

• Have an issued rabies vaccination certificate (if your dog has not been in a country with a high risk of rabies in the last 6 months, a certificate is not required, but written or verbal proof of the fact of being in such a country is needed. Remember that a certificate may be a requirement of the state you are travelling to);

• Have a microchip that complies with ISO 11784 or 11785. The microchip number must appear on the rabies vaccination certificate;

• Dogs from high risk countries for rabies should also be tested for rabies antibody titer.

The above rules apply not only to adult dogs, but also to puppies and service dogs.


There are several options for entering the US with a dog.

1) With a US issued vaccination certificate, you can bring in an unlimited number of dogs. You need to enter the country through one of the 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station;

2) If you only have a vaccination certificate issued in your country, you can apply for a CDC import permit prior to your departure. In this case, you can take no more than 2 dogs with you. You also need to enter the country through one of the 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station;

3) To bring 3 or more dogs into the country, you must arrive at the airport associated with the CDC-approved pet care facility that you have pre-booked for inspection prior to your departure.

Airports with CDC quarantine stations: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

CDC-approved animal care facilities can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/approved-care-facilities.html


High-risk countries include such countries as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Dominican Republic, India, Russia, UAE, Peru, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, etc. You can find the full list here: https://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/high-risk.html


A general health certificate is not required to bring a cat to the United States, but some particular states or airlines may require one. A rabies vaccination certificate is also not required, but your US destination's regulations may differ from the government regulations. Cats are subject to screening at arrival airports, and it is important for your pet to be in good health at the time of the screening.

For regulations regarding the importation of other pets (turtles, monkeys, snakes, etc.) into the United States, please visit the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.