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Worldworx Travel Travel Health: Traveling with Pets

National Center For Infectious Diseases
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine
(formerly the Division of Quarantine)
DQ Home

Importation of Pets and Other Animals Into the United States

Pets
CDC has regulations governing importation of the following pets: dogs, cats, turtles, and monkeys. Pets taken out of the United States are subject, upon return, to the same regulations as those entering for the first time. The U.S. government does not require general certificates of health for pets. However, because airlines sometimes require health certificates for pets traveling with them, you should check with your airline prior to your travel date.

Dogs
Pet dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry for evidence of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans. If a dog appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian might be required. In addition, dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry into the United States, except for puppies younger than 3 months of age and dogs originating or located for 6 months or more in areas that are free of rabies. A dog with an unexpired vaccination certificate meets these requirements. Following entry into the United States, all dogs are subject to state and local vaccination requirements. All pet dogs arriving in the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam, even from the U.S. mainland, are subject to locally imposed quarantine requirements.

Cats
Pet cats are subject to inspection at ports of entry for evidence of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans. If a cat appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian might be required. There is no rabies vaccination requirement for cats. Following entry into the United States, all cats are subject to state and local vaccination requirements. All pet cats arriving in the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam, even from the U.S. mainland, are subject to locally imposed quarantine requirements.

Turtles
Turtles with a carapace (shell) length of less than 4 inches may not be imported for any commercial purpose. An individual may import as many as six of these turtles for noncommercial purposes. Larger turtles are not subject to CDC regulations.

Monkeys and Other Nonhuman Primates
Monkeys and other nonhuman primates may not be imported as pets under any circumstances. Importation for permitted purposes is strictly controlled through a registration process.

CDC�s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Field Operations Branch administers these regulations.

CDC's Office of Health and Safety administers regulations pertaining to the following:

  • Live BatsAbout PDF (13 KB, 2 pages)
  • Etiologic Agent and Vector Species

Animals not specifically mentioned in this text are not subject to CDC restrictions or requirements. The following sites address the requirements of other federal agencies.

  • U.S. Customs
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Traveling Outside the United States With Your Pets
If you are taking a pet to another country, contact that country�s consulate or embassy for information about any requirements you must meet.

 

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