Moving Your Pet to the United States

Emigrating is both exciting and daunting. Leaving Kitty and Fido behind is not an option, so here’s some information to help you plan their international move alongside yours. Also, have a look at CDC’s website – the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

1. Microchip
Microchipping of your pet isn’t required but it is recommended. If your pet is microchipped then your details will be readily available should you accidently get separated from him/her.

2. Vaccinations
Cats don’t need a rabies vaccination certificate to enter the United States but check with the state you are moving to, just in case local law states you need one.
Dogs entering the United States from the following countries, don’t need a rabies certificate, although a rabies vaccination is recommended.

Owners must prove that they have owned their pet for six months prior to moving and confirm that their dog has lived in one of the following countries: –
Albania, American Samoa, Andorra, Anguilla, Antarctica, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cabrera, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Corsica, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Easter Island, Estonia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, Formentera, France, French Polynesia, Galapagos Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Ibiza, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau SAR, Majorca, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Micronesia, Minorca, Monaco, Montserrat, Nauru, Netherland Antilles, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway (except Svalbard), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Portugal, Saint Kitts (Saint Christopher) and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Island, Spain (except Ceuta and Melilla), Sweden, Switzerland, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands (US and British), Wake Islands, US Pacific Islands, Wallis and Futuna Islands.

If you are arriving in the States from a country not on the above list, then you will need to show evidence of a current rabies vaccination. If your pet has never been vaccinated against rabies, it must be vaccinated at least 30 days before its arrival. The three-year rabies vaccination is accepted in the United States.

3. Blood Titer Test
A Titer test is not required, no matter which country you are coming from.

4. Dogs – Screwworm Inspection
Dogs being brought to the United States from the following countries must have a screwworm inspection between 1 and 5 days before they arrive in the States: –
Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Congo, Congo, Democratic Republic, Dominican Republic, Easter Island, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, French Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paracel Islands, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spratly Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

5. Health Certificate
A health certificate should accompany your pet. This should be in English, or at least have an English translation attached to it. It should detail the pet’s name, age, any vaccinations that it’s had, expiry dates of the vaccines and the manufacturer.

6. Arriving by Air
Pets arriving by air will be given a medical exam. Should they be unwell, further examination will be necessary at your expense. All pets entering the US must be collected by someone who is a US citizen or has legal resident status with a legitimate US address.

7. Kittens and Puppies
Puppies arriving from countries listed in number 2 above, must be at least 10 weeks old. Puppies arriving from other countries must be vaccinated against rabies at 3 months and then wait 30 days before transportation. Owners must be able to prove their puppy’s age. There are completely different rules for people importing puppies for resale. Kittens don’t need to be vaccinated against rabies but they should have a Health Certificate.

8. Banned Breeds
The United States doesn’t ban any breed of dog from entering the country, but some cities do, so check beforehand.

9. Other Pets
Rodents (including hamsters, guinea pigs and hamsters), rabbits, fish, amphibians and reptiles need a health certificate to be issued before travel.

Birds can only be brought into the States via New York and Miami and have to be quarantined for 30 days. Note, birds from the following countries will not be allowed into the United States: – Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Any pet which is protected by CITES, is subject to obtaining additional permits.

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