Importing Pets into the US from the EU

Another question, this time about bringing a dog into the United States from Europe.

I'm traveling from Germany to Illinois with a Cocker Spaniel. I just got his health
certificate, but found out he was behind on his rabies shot. They gave him an
update, but is it too soon to fly? We leave in 2 days. Thanks

Hi S.,

That's a great question. Thanks for stopping by to ask us.

Coming from Germany into the pet friendly US, you will need a health certificate dated within 10 days of the flight and a rabies certificate that is older than 30 days but less than 1 year (it can be up to 3 years if the rabies shot is a 3 year vaccination).

In your case, you will not have time to fulfill the requirement for the rabies shot. That doesn't mean that your dog can't come with you to the US, though. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), if you bring a dog into the US that is not vaccinated for rabies, you will need to fill out a "confinement agreement" and show that document (if asked) at the port of entry. For more information on this, go to the CDC page regarding importing pets:
Then, scroll down to the "Dogs" section. You will see the confinement agreement listed in that section as an Adobe file that you can download and fill out ahead of time.

The confinement agreement basically says that upon your arrival in the US, you will keep your dog confined in-home -- don't worry, you are not agreeing to send him into quarantine. You will be able to clear through customs with your pup and take him home with you, just please make sure you keep him away from other animals until the 30 days is up.

As a side note, I also recommend that you contact the airline that you are flying on and double check that they do not have an airline-enforced policy regarding rabies shots. Most airlines just require the health certificates.

I hope this helps answer your question! Let me know if you need any more information.

Happy traveling and wagging tails!

Rachel Farris


PetRelocation Team




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