a close up of a dog
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

New Rules on Bringing a Dog Into the United States Effective As of August 2024

These rules apply regardless of where the dog resides — including the United States.

New rules on bringing a dog into the United States effective as of Thursday, August 1, 2024 have been officially announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.

New Rules on Bringing a Dog Into the United States Effective As of August 2024

a close up of a dog
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

In order for a dog to enter the United States, the dog must:

  • Be a minimum of six months of age at time of entry or return to the United States.
  • Have a microchip that is compatible with the International Organization for Standardization to be eligible for importation — regardless of where the dog resides — and the:
    • Microchip must have been implanted prior to any required rabies vaccination.
    • Microchip number must be documented on all required forms and in all accompanying veterinary records.
  • Appear healthy upon arrival to the United States
    • Dogs may not enter the United States if they are carrying a disease contagious to people.
    • Isolation of the dog, veterinary examination, and additional testing — at the expense of the importer — may be required to determine if the dog has a contagious disease; and prevent spread if the dog does not appear healthy upon arrival.
  • Have receipt of an official Dog Import Form from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as this form:
    • Should be filled out online ideally within ten days before arrival; however, it can also be completed right before travel — even in line at the border crossing — if you have access to the Internet. If the information on the form changes before the dog arrives, you must submit a new form and indicate you are making changes to an existing form. All information — including port of entry where the dog is arriving — must be correct at time of arrival.
    • Requires you to upload a clear photograph of the dog showing its face and body. Dogs that will be younger than one year of age at time of arrival should have the photograph taken within ten days before arrival.
    • Is free of charge for importers who submit it.
  • Have additional documentation for dogs which varies — depending on where the dog has been in the six months before entering or returning to the United States, or if the dog has a current rabies vaccine administered in the United States:

This means that even if you own a dog who has lived in the United States all of his or her life and took the dog on a trip to another country, the dog will be denied entry into the United States without the aforementioned requirements.

Why Entry of Dogs Into the United States Is Controlled

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

Rabies is over 99% fatal and is 100% preventable”, according to this article from the official Internet web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The United States eliminated dog rabies in 2007, but dog rabies is not controlled in over 100 countries—creating a risk to the United States in imported dogs. Through regulations, CDC strives to protect America’s families, communities, and pets by preventing the reintroduction of dog rabies into the United States. Preventing infected dogs from entering the United States is a public health priority. Each dog imported with rabies could infect people and other animals and could cost more than half a million dollars to contain.”

The list of 112 countries and territories in which dog rabies is not considered to be controlled include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Ceuta
  • Chad
  • China — excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Côte d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini, which was formerly known as Swaziland
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel — including the West Bank and Gaza
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Melilla
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania — Including Zanzibar
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Final Boarding Call

a dog lying on a red and black rug
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

I am not sure why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided that this is the time to restrict — and increase the control of — the importation of dog rabies in the United States…

…especially when the agency admits that the “disease is rare in humans in the United States, with only 1 to 3 cases reported each year. Still, rabies poses a serious public health threat, because of its high death rate in people. It is also present in many wildlife species, nearly 3 in 4 Americans live in a community where raccoons, skunks, or foxes carry rabies.”

I do not oppose this extra layer of protection, as rabies is a viral disease that is fatal — and yet, it can easily be prevented — but the United States is currently confronted with significantly more important issues which need to be mitigated or resolved, in my opinion…

All photographs ©2021, ©2022, ©2023, and ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

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