Traveling With Pets To The United States, Requirements

A dog high in the mountainsBringing your pets to the US with you on your next trip isn’t much more complicated or time consuming than learning how to fly with your pets from the US to Europe. As with the former, you’ve got to start the process early – a month in advance is usually enough time to get all of the tests, paperwork, and send of for stamps. The US will also want proof of rabies vaccination which must be administered 10 days prior to any travel, otherwise you risk quarantine. It should be noted that this guide only applies to dogs and cats, as well as to only the mainland United States and Canada. The state of Hawaii has different requirements and also implements a 5 day quarantine (you can speed this up by with extra paperwork and paying extra fee to expedite).

Nation Of Origin

For the United States, so long as you have the proper paperwork filled out and meet all of the import requirements for your nation of origin, where you’re coming from isn’t a major factor. You’ll need a valid visa too but otherwise this makes figuring out the requirements for wherever you’re from much easier. The difference is that you’ll need to know the US federal requirements as well as the requirements for the US state of first entry. So if you’re landing in Newark, New Jersey to make a connection to fly out to Kansas, you’ll need to know what New Jersey requires for pets at customs as well. You can find the specific information for each US state on this government directory. One thing the United States is particularly careful about is screwworm and if you’re coming from any of the countries on this list you’ll have some extra tests and paperwork done 5 days before arriving.

US Pet Requirements

Avoid putting any natural materials like bedding or straw in your pets crate. Doing so will significantly increase the amount of time you spend in customs and could cause real problems for you and your pet. Use a blanket, or pillow made of all synthetic material and don’t place real animal bones in the crate for your dog. Buy plastic chew toys instead and purchase bones when you arrive in the US. Bones showing up on luggage X-rays aren’t the best thing when you’re trying to get through security quickly.

You’ll need to show proof of rabies vaccination – the shot must have been administered 30 days prior to your arrival in the US. While we recommend waiting, if your dog is less than 3 months old you’ll need to fill out the confinement agreement. If you arrive in the US without meeting these requirements you pet will be given the shots and returned to you after 30 days or quarantine.

Cats – They don’t require any specific shots, just a form from a vet stating they are in good health. Since requirements may change due to a variety of circumstances it’s always best to get the latest requirements from the Centers of Disease Control and call them if you have any questions.

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