These regulations do NOT include the State of Hawaii. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets. .
The United States does not require that your pet should be identified with a pet microchip, but it is recommended that you microchip your pet with a 15 digit ISO 11784 compliant microchip and register your contact information prior to traveling as a means of identification should your pet be lost or separated from you
Pets can enter the United States at international airports in many cities including but not limited to New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry. If the animal is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owner’s expense.
All pets entering the United States unaccompanied as air cargo must be claimed by someone with US legal resident status or a citizen of the US and must have a valid US address.
It is strongly advised that dog owners importing more than 5 dogs owned personally by them via air cargo contact the CDC to avoid having the import be classified as commercial.
Puppies and Kittens
Kittens are not required to be vaccinated for rabies to enter the US, however, they should travel with a recent health certificate and can be subject to State requirements which is why rabies vaccination is recommended.
Non-Commercial Import of Puppies
Puppies entering the United States for non-commercial reasons from all countries not listed in step #7 must be vaccinated for rabies at 3 months of age and wait for 30 days before entering the country. In certain cases, pre-approval for home quarantine can be obtained from the Center for Disease Control for unvaccinated puppies entering from non-rabies-free countries. See step 2 for more information.
Proof of age should be available.
Commercial Import of Dogs and Puppies
Pets entering the United States intended for resale* or adoption must be 6 months of age and may not enter the United States from any country until fully vaccinated (rabies and distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza virus (DHLPP) and accompanied with an import permit.
This includes dogs being imported from Puerto Rico and all US territories. An exception would be dogs being imported for veterinary treatment that is unavailable in the originating country or dogs being imported for research purposes.
*The term “dogs imported for resale” includes dogs imported for sale in wholesale channels, at retail, and for adoption after arrival in the United States, as well as dogs imported for other purposes involving transfer of ownership or control of the dog to another person for more than de minimis consideration after the dog’s arrival in the United States.
This rule does not apply when there is no transfer of ownership or control of a dog to another person for more than de minimis consideration after the dog’s importation into the United States. Therefore, dogs imported by a person who will use the dog as a personal pet, for sport, for shows or competitions, or for breeding or semen collection are not subject to the 6-month age restriction or any other requirements of this rule.
There are no rabies requirements for other species of rodents, rabbits, ornamental fish, intervebrates, amphibians and reptiles imported to the United States. These pets should travel with health certificates issued prior to travel.
Birds entering the United States from any country will require permits from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The following regulations assume an import of 5 or less birds.
Birds entering the United States from Canada by air or seaport will require an import permit, and veterinary inspection. Your airline may require a health certificate.
Birds entering the United States from Canada by land will require a veterinary inspection.
Birds entering the United States from Mexico or other HPAI-infected country** must undergo 21 days pr pretravel quarantine in Mexido and enter by air at international airports located in Miami or New York and be subject to 30 days of quarantine. An import permit, health certificate and veterinary inspection will apply.
Birds entering the United States from HPAI-free countries are subject to all requirements above except the 21 day pre-travel quarantine.
After February 19, 2018, pet birds weighing more than 100 grams, must be identified by one of three approved means (microchip, leg band or tattoo) in order to qualify for home quarantine, in lieu of Federal quarantine, upon returning to the United States from HPAI-FREE countries. The identification must be documented on the accompanying U.S. origin health certificate.