New CDC Suspension will Impact Dog Relocations to the United States

On June 14, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a temporary suspension prohibiting the importation of dogs from:

  • countries classified by CDC as high risk for dog rabies; AND
  • countries that are NOT at high risk if the dogs have been in high-risk countries during the previous 6 months.

The action, which goes into effect on July 14, is intended to both ensure the safety of dogs being relocated to the United States and protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of canine rabies. If you’re planning to move to the United States with a dog, read below to see if you’re impacted and what you may be able to do to ensure your four-legged family members can safely relocate to the US.


Is Your Dog’s Move Affected?

Countries and political units around the world are on the extensive list, including:

If your country of origin is listed or your dog has visited or recently moved from a listed country within the past 6 months, please read below for more information. 


What to Do: Requesting Advanced Approval

Unfortunately, this is going to disrupt a lot of travel plans already set in motion. However, it will be possible to get your dog to the United States in some cases! 

On a limited basis, the CDC can issue advance written approval for dogs relocating from high-risk countries. This means you will need to request approval by filling out and submitting this dog import permit to no later than 6 weeks before intending to enter the US. Approval is not guaranteed, but could potentially help keep your pet’s move on track! Make sure to read the instructions very carefully and use an approved rabies serology lab—denial of an application is final and appeals are not currently considered. 


Who is Eligible?

According to the CDC, the following categories of importers are eligible to request a permit:

  • US government employees with permanent change of station or temporary duty orders;
  • US citizens or lawful US residents relocating to the United States for employment or education;
  • An owner of a service dog that is trained to assist a person with a disability

Those bringing dogs into the United States for the purpose of adoption, resale, or short-term travel are not currently eligible for an import permit.

You can read all the details for submitting a dog import permit application on the CDC website here.

PetRelocation is dedicated to providing unmatched support and expert guidance for international pet relocations, including staying up to date on regulatory changes that impact traveling pet families. We will continue to learn more about this action by the CDC and update this blog post with any new information.


PetRelocation Team






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