The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has many regulations on importing dogs and cats into the United States. Your dog needs to be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry, except for puppies that are younger than 3 months and dogs that have originated or have been located (for 6 months) in an area that is considered to be free of rabies. You also need to have a health certificate for your dog. You can find more information on the specifics of the requirements. There is no vaccination regulation for cats
There are additional restrictions on specific breeds of dogs that are to be used handling livestock. Collies, shepherds, and other dogs imported from any part of the world except Canada, Mexico, and regions of Central America and the West Indies must be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry to determine their freedom from tapeworm. In addition, there are certain requirements for dogs that are returning from a country affected with screwworm. You can bring dogs from regions known to have screwworm if you have a veterinary certificate that states the dog has been inspected for screwworm, within 5 days of shipment to the United States. The certificate must state the dog is free from screwworm or was found to be infested and held in quarantine and treated until free from screwworm prior to leaving. Every pet will be subject to inspection at their port of entry for any infectious diseases, and if you are importing your pet to Hawaii there is a quarantine period of 130 days.
Do not use any natural bedding such as straw, hay or grass in their travel kennel because these products are not allowed to be imported to the Unites States. If you’re bringing your dog from a country that’s affected with Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) you need to take the following precautions.
- Your pets feet, fur, and bedding should be clean and free of any excessive dirt or mud.
- Your pet’s bedding should be free of any straw or hay, or other natural bedding.
- Your pet should be bathed as soon as it reaches its final destination.
- Your pet should be kept separate and apart from all livestock for at least 5 days after entry into the United States.