Moving to the USA with Pets

More United States pet photos

Importing pets to the US requires careful planning, but the good news is that US pet import rules are generally simpler and easier to follow than most other country rules. See below for information about out how to safely import your pet to the USA.

If you're already in the United States and want to learn about cross country pet transport instead, click on this link to find out more about the process:

Shipping Pets Across Country

Relocation Info According to Species

Bringing Pets to the USA

Attention: This information is to be used as general guidelines and may not be updated to meet the current requirements. Before you travel, be sure to contact the appropriate authorities or a PetRelocation Specialist.

For travel to the US from another country, you’ll need the following:

All pets need a health certificate stating they are healthy and fit to fly. This certificate must be completed by your vet within 10 days of travel.

Dogs

Current Rabies Vaccine

Pets from rabies free countries are not required to have a current rabies vaccine, however, it is strongly recommended to vaccinate your pets since most US states do require it.

Optional vaccines: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Para-influenza, Bordetella

Note: Dogs must be 30 days old prior to import.

Cats

Rabies vaccines are not required for cats but are highly recommended.

Optional Vaccines: Feline enteritis (also known as Feline panleucopenia or Feline distemper), Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus

US Regulations by State

Different states have different laws regarding rabies and other vaccines as well as breed and housing rules, so once you've settled into your new home it's a good idea to find a veterinarian and double check your state's official regulations.

It's likely that no special import rules apply to your state beyond the general US pet import rules, however if you're moving to one of the states below, take a look to learn more.

Alaska

Arizona

California

Colorado

Florida

Hawaii

Nevada

New York

Texas

Washington

Pet Travel Stories

“The cats ended up arriving home half an hour before I did! They were just fine, and maybe it was a little easier. They weren't afraid to come out of their crates and generally seemed as if it was just another day.”

— Nicole

Cat Travel Story: Chloe and Charlie Return to the US

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