Bring a Pet Dog into the United States

Last Modified: April 04, 2024

Rabies Alert

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended its temporary suspension on importing dogs from high-risk rabies countries through July 31, 2024. For more details, visit the CDC.

If you have questions about CDC requirements, contact CDC-INFO or call them at 404-718-3660.

Dog lying in the grass

This page will guide you through the requirements for bringing privately owned, pet dogs into the United States from another country, including U.S. returning dogs.

If you're bringing dogs into the United States for commercial sale or adoption, additional requirements will apply.

Carefully read ALL requirements on this page.

  • Failure to meet these import requirements will result in problems upon arrival in the United States, and the pet may be refused entry.
  • Multiple U.S. agencies regulate pets imported into the United States. It's important that you notify and coordinate with all responsible Government agencies.

APHIS Veterinary Services Requirements


Dogs traveling from countries or regions where screwworm is known to exist may enter the United States if they're accompanied by a certificate signed by a full-time salaried veterinary official of the region of origin (official government veterinarian) stating:

  • The dog has been inspected for screwworm within 5 days before shipment to the United States, and
  • The dog is either free from screwworm, OR
  • The dog was infested with screwworm, held in quarantine, and treated until free from screwworm, before leaving the region.

Find out which countries are affected by screwworm

Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Dogs coming from a country that is affected by foot-and-mouth disease must meet the following requirements:

  • Their fur and bedding must be free of excessive dirt, hay, or straw.
  • The dog should be bathed as soon as it reaches its destination and kept separate from all livestock for 5 days after entering the United States.

Find out which countries are affected by foot-and-mouth disease

Additional Considerations for Dogs Used in Livestock Handling

Dogs used in livestock handling that are imported from any part of the world—except Canada, Mexico, and certain regions of Central America and the West Indies—should have no evidence of tapeworm infection.

Other Federal Requirements


The CDC has extended its temporary suspension on importing dogs from high-risk rabies countries through July 31, 2024. For more information, read the "Rabies Alert" notice at the top of this page or visit the CDC.

Dogs for Commercial Sale or Adoption

Dogs being imported into the United States for commercial sale or adoption must meet additional requirements. If you have questions about these requirements or need help applying for an import permit, contact APHIS Animal Care.

U.S. State and Territory Requirements

Domestic movement requirements are set by the receiving State or Territory.

Visit the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture to find your destination's agriculture department and check its website for requirements.

For questions or clarification on any of the requirements, contact the State or Territorial veterinarian's office.

Airline Requirements

Check with your airline to determine whether they have any additional requirements.

Need Help?

For general questions related to the import of a live animal:

Live Animal Import and Export