CDC announces new rules for bringing a dog into the US

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Dog owners beware.

The U.S. is updating its rules for bringing dogs into the country starting Aug. 1.

The changes stem from new requirements adopted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and could vary from where the dogs are coming.

According to the CDC, whether you are a U.S. citizen, legal U.S. resident, or foreign national, the new rules apply to all dogs, including puppies, service animals, and dogs that left the United States and are returning.

“If you don’t follow CDC’s rules, your dog won’t be allowed to enter the United States,” the CDC says, adding that if your dog is denied entry, it will be sent back to the last country of departure at your expense.

CDC will require all dogs entering the U.S. to:

  • Appear healthy upon arrival
  • Be at least 6 months of age
  • Be microchipped
  • Be accompanied by an online submission receipt for the CDC Dog Import Form

In a news release issued Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the CDC also requires proof of rabies vaccination based on where the dog has been in the last six months and whether the dog was vaccinated in the United States or elsewhere. Dog owners can determine what rules apply to them by launching the DogBot on the CDC website.

The CDC says while rabies is over 99% fatal, it is also 100% preventable and was eliminated from the United States in 2007. However, 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 CDC says on its website.

And in addition to keeping Americans safe, the new rules address challenges created by fraudulent documentation.

“Regulating dog importation helps protect the health and safety of people and their pets,” said Donovan Delude, a port director.

The CDC and CBP have provided on their websites information about bringing dogs into the U.S. and how to obtain all necessary documentation.

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