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May 23 2024

New Developments for Navigating International Travel with your Dog

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Travelling with your dog across borders just got a bit tricker. Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated requirements for bringing dogs into the US. These requirements will apply to any dogs entering the US – including those returning to the US after traveling – and will take effect August 1, 2024.

Why are new requirements needed?

The requirements have been strengthened to better protect people and animals from the potential importation of the canine strain of rabies – a nearly always fatal disease. This strain of rabies was considered eradicated in the US in 2007 but the country has continued to be at risk of its return through imported dogs. Although human cases have been rare in North America in the last 50 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that rabies still causes an estimated 59,000 deaths in people every year or about one death every nine minutes!

These tighter requirements enable safer importation of dogs from high-risk countries – something that has been banned in the US since 2021.

What do I need to know?

There are different requirements depending on whether the dog is coming from a low-risk country like Canada or Mexico (and have been there or the US for the past six months) or from a high-risk country like the Dominican Republic.

All dogs entering the US must be over six months of age, microchipped, and appear healthy. A CDC Dog Import form must be completed and submitted 2-10 days before entry. Other forms are required to be filled out by veterinarians, including government veterinarians. The type of form and rabies vaccination requirement depends on whether the dog has been to a high-risk country in the past six months.

Travel Takeaway

If you’re planning to travel across the US border, start planning early, because the process is not as straightforward as it used to be. The CDC website has helpful travel checklists for dogs entering the US and a “dogbot” that can guide you through the process.

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.