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What are the rules for bringing a pet into the country or taking your pet to another country?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has launched a new Web site devoted to international pet travel. Pets are often considered part of the family, but traveling with a pet isn’t as simple as just booking a flight or driving across the border. We can help make sure your pets have all required documents, vaccinations, treatments, and/or tests before they travel.

We know this process can be stressful. That’s why the USDA designed a new Web site to help guide you through each step. Some countries have pre-travel requirements that take advanced planning and time to complete, so it’s important to start the process early.

On the pet travel Web site, you’ll find detailed information about taking a pet from the United States to another country (export) and bringing a pet into the United States from another country (import). The Web site covers the import and export of certain types of pets, including:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Birds
  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits
  • Rodents
  • Hedgehogs and tenrecs
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians

Taking Pets to Another Country

Countries often have detailed animal health requirements that must be met before pets can cross their borders. These rules can vary greatly, so it’s important to find out the exact requirements for the destination country and type of pet.

With the help of APHIS’ pet travel Web site, you can find the most current information available for a particular country. There, you’ll also find country-specific health certificates and instructions for completing them. This will help you fill out the forms correctly so they are accepted by foreign officials. Please note that you must use a USDA-accredited veterinarian for any international health certificates that require APHIS endorsement.

To help you through the process, the site also provides:

  • Frequently asked questions and answers,
  • A step-by-step checklist to better understand and prepare for international travel requirements,
  • Detailed documents on sending pets to select countries, and

Bringing Pets Into the United States

APHIS’ mission is to protect the health and value of American agricul­ture and natural resources. To prevent the entry and spread of foreign animal diseases into our country, pets entering the United States from other countries may need to meet specific APHIS requirements. You can find information about these requirements on the Web site. And for pet bird owners, the site provides a list of APHIS-approved ports of entry and contact information for our animal import centers.

Other Federal agencies also have rules for bringing pets into the United States. The new Web site includes links to those agencies’ sites to help you meet all of your needs.

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