Traveling with a dog is complicated enough without crossing any borders. There are a lot of rules and requirements you need to know about before you take Fido through U.S. Customs, so make sure you read through this guide below.
Whether you’re returning to the United States after a trip abroad or you’re bringing your dog into the country for the first time, make sure you’re aware of what you need to do to keep the process running smoothly.
Understanding the CDC’s Rules
The rules for entering the United States with a dog are set by the United State’s Center for Disease Control. The biggest thing you need to do is start planning early. You’ll need to not only have a healthy dog, but you’ll need to be able to provide the right documentation to prove that your dog has all of his or her vaccines.
Whether your dog is just visiting, staying long-term, or returning to the U.S. after a temporary visit abroad, you will have to follow the same rules. You’ll need to look up the specific requirements depending on where exactly you’re traveling from. If your dog is coming from a high-risk rabies country, you’ll need a rabies certificate. Even if you just visited this country for a short period of time, you’ll still need the certificate.
If your dog is coming from a low-risk or no-known rabies risk destination, you don’t need a rabies vaccination certificate. However, you will need written or oral statements that your dog lived in a country with low or no risk of rabies for at least 6 months. It’s always a good idea to travel with your dog’s medical records and contact information for their vet so you’re able to provide whatever necessary information at the time.
If your dog doesn’t have proof of rabies vaccination or they’re too young to be vaccinated, they might need to stay in quarantine. Check with your local laws and requirements before you travel with your pet so you know what to expect. If you’re flying with your pet to the USA, there might be additional rules for your airline.
Keeping Your Dog Safe While Traveling
Aside from always traveling with your dog’s medical records, make sure you take the right steps to keep your furry friend calm while traveling. Traveling is hard enough on us humans, so imagine how stressful it is to your dog.
Once again, a bit of planning goes a long way. If you’re able to help your pets get familiar with their travel environment in advance, this will reduce their stress on the big day. For instance, if you’re driving, practice driving with your dog in small increments. If you’re flying, get your pet familiar with their crate or carrier so it’s less scary.
It might be worth talking to your vet about ways to keep your pet calm during your travel experience. They might be able to recommend temporary medication or extra measures to keep Fido comfortable.
Travel with Confidence
While traveling with pets can be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be a challenging experience. As long as you’re prepared with the right documents and you know what to expect, you and your furry friend can enter the United States without any problems.
Remember to take your pet’s safety and comfort seriously while traveling. They don’t always know what’s going on. Plenty of praise and treats are always a good idea!