The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) governs the importation of dogs, cats, turtles, monkeys, other animals, and animal products capable of causing human disease. Requirements for the importation of the most common pets are described below. Pets taken out of the United States are subject upon return, to the same regulations as those entering for the first time.
The CDC does not require general certificates of health for pets for entry into the United States. However, health certificates may be required for entry into some states, or may be required by airlines for pets. You should check with officials in your destination state and with your airline prior to the travel date.
Dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. If a dog appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's expense might be required at the port of entry.
Proof of rabies vaccination: Dogs must have a certficate showing they have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry in the United States. These requirements apply to both pets and service animals.
Importation of Dogs from Rabies-Free Countries: Unvaccinated dogs may be imported without proof of a rabies vaccination if they have been located in a country that's free of rabies for at least six months.
Following importation, all dogs are subject to state and and local vaccination or health certificate requirements. All pet dogs arriving in the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam, even from the US mainland, are subject to locally imposed quarantine regulations.
Importation of Dogs for Commrcial/Breeding Purposes: There are no seperate CDC regulations for dogs to be used for commercial purposes, rather than as pets. When importing puppies, the importer is responsible for maintaining quarantine according to the vaccination and confinement agreement signed at the time of importation.
Dogs not accompanies by proof of rabies vaccination, including those that are too young to be vaccinated (i.e. less than three months of age), may be admitted if the importer completes a confinement agreement (see below) and confines the animal until it is considered adequately vaccinated against rabies (the vaccination is not considered effective until 30 days after the date of vaccination). Puppies that are too young to be vaccinated must be kept in confinement until they are old enough to be vaccinated, and then confined for at least 30 days after the vaccination.
Unvaccinated dogs must be vaccinated within four days of arrival at their final US destination and within ten days of entry into the United States, and must be kept in confinement for at least 30 days after the date of the vaccination. Dogs may not be sold or transferred to other owners during this period of confinement, and the person that signs the confinement agreement is responsible for ensuring the conditions of the agreement are met.
Importers must provide a contact address where the dog will be kept during the confinement period. If the importer will be housing the dog at several addresses or traveling with the animal, all points of contact must be provided.