Take a Pet From the United States to Another Country (Export)

Last Modified: July 05, 2024
A cartoon woman shows a woman with a suitcase and a dog on a leash. She is standing in front of a map-like image of the United States with two planes flying away from it, representing travel out of the country

Traveling with a pet in a foreign country can be complex and time-consuming. You need to meet the destination country's specific entry requirements for pets. These may include vaccinations, tests, treatments, and a health certificate (also called an international health certificate, a veterinary health certificate, a veterinary certificate, or an export certificate). Find out what you need before you and your pet travel.

Not all animals qualify for pet travel.

What is considered a pet? A pet is a privately owned companion animal not intended for research or resale and includes only certain animal groups.

Find out if your pet qualifies to travel

Your animal doesn't qualify for pet travel and is subject to different import regulations and export regulations if you:

  • Don't see your pet listed below.
  • Are exporting semen or embryos from any animal.
  • Have a pet that's considered livestock or poultry, like pigs or chickens.

The following animals qualify as pets, meaning they're subject to pet travel requirements:

 

Dogs
Cats
Ferrets
Rabbits
Rodents
Hedgehogs/Tenrecs
Reptiles
Amphibians
Birds (not all types—see below)

The following birds DON'T qualify as pets, meaning they're subject to different regulations:

Because they may carry and transmit certain diseases to the U.S. poultry industry, these birds are regulated as poultry.

  • Chickens
  • Doves
  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Grouse
  • Guinea fowl
  • Partridges
  • Pea fowl
  • Pheasants
  • Pigeons
  • Quail
  • Swans
  • Turkeys

View import regulations and export regulations if the type of animal you have does not qualify as a pet.

Before You Start the Process

Traveling With a Dog? Know the Latest Requirements

Rabies Alert

For all dogs imported into the United States including U.S.-origin dogs returning to the United States: 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the primary government authority for dogs imported into the United States. For all questions related to CDC’s updated dog import requirements for dogs entering or returning to the United States please contact the CDC at 800-232-4636 or by visiting CDC INFO | CDC.  Pet owners and accredited veterinarians with questions on how to complete the CDC “Certification of U.S. issued Rabies Vaccination” Form should also contact CDC. 

For specific questions on how to access VEHCS please visit Using the Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS) | Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (usda.gov)

APHIS may also have specific requirements for dogs entering the United States. These requirements are different and separate from the CDC import requirements for dogs.

Find a USDA-Accredited Veterinarian

With help from a USDA-accredited veterinarian, you can learn more about your destination country's entry requirements for pets, including any needed vaccinations, tests, or treatments. We recommend creating a schedule to make sure you meet all requirements within the specified timeframe.

Are you a USDA-accredited veterinarian? Here's what you need to know.

Gather This Information for Your USDA-Accredited Veterinarian

  • The type of pet traveling
  • The destination country
  • If applicable, countries where your pet will stop (for customs clearance or upon leaving the airport or seaport) on the way to the destination country
  • The date of departure from the United States
  • Whether the pet will be traveling alone, as cargo, or with a person in the cabin of the plane
  • Note: If you're traveling with a pet bird or exotic animal, you may need to work with additional agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Visit the pet travel requirements page for your destination country (see dropdown menu below).

Read These Resources

Where Are You Traveling With Your Pet?

Your destination country sets the entry requirements for pets, which can change at any time. You must verify the country requirements every time you plan to travel with your pet.

Find Your Destination Country Requirements

If your country is not listed in the menu, visit Pet Travel: Unknown Requirements.