General Information for Bringing a Pet into the United States from Another Country
Animals entering the U.S. may be subject to regulation by USDA-APHIS and other federal agencies. Depending on your destination state, your pet may need to also meet additional health requirements. Not all birds or animals qualify as pets. Find out if your pet qualifies to travel.
Note: This site also includes APHIS Veterinary Services requirements for all dogs imported or returning from countries affected with screwworm.
Check the CDC website when bringing dogs into the United States. Dogs that have NOT been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months may enter the United States through any port of entry, and importers are NOT required by CDC to present rabies vaccination documentation. However, when your dog enters the United States, you must provide a written or verbal statement your dog has only been in a country NOT at high risk for at least 6 months or since birth if under 6 months of age. In this case, there is no limit to the number of dogs. What does CDC consider a for those leaving the United States with their pet and then trying to return to the United States with their pet? For dogs entering the United States from countries classified as high-risk for rabies, see the information below.
Notice of Temporary Suspension for Dogs Entering the United States from 113 Countries Classified as High-Risk for Dog Rabies Extended Through July 31, 2024
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implemented a temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States, specifically those that do not have a current U.S. rabies vaccine and are returning from 113 high-risk rabies countries, as designated by the CDC. Check the summary of most recent changes.
Check with the Airline You Intend to Use
Recent changes in airline policies could mean that returning pets will have to travel as cargo, depending on the airline. Do not assume that if you have shipped your pet as accompanied baggage to post that you can ship your pet in the same way back into the United States. Individuals flying with animals into the United States should check with the airline they intend to fly to confirm its policies on live animals as excess baggage / cargo / and in-cabin.
For Pets Entering the United States Prior to the Pet Owner
If a pet is traveling as cargo on a separate flight from its owner and is being collected at the destination airport by someone other than the owner, it is important that this person has the correct paperwork and permission from the pet owner to process it. Discuss this with your shipper, friend, or family member.
If you have additional questions, please visit the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) webpage.
Returning with Birds
The USDA website provides some information regarding the importation of birds into the United States.