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Travelling with Your Dog to the US: The Complete Guide

by Vetic Editorial
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Relocation with your dog to another country is not an easy decision, but leaving your family behind is not even an option. So, we are here to help you find out the nitty-gritty of travelling with your dog to the US. 

Contrary to what you may have heard so far, submitting an application for the CDC Dog Import Permit isn’t as complicated. It is true especially if you have the right guidance. 

Why Is Paperwork Necessary For Travelling with Your Dog from India to the US?

Sadly, India is still a (rabies) high-risk country. So, all dogs going to the US from India need to have a proper vaccination certificate. They also have to go through rigorous health tests and need to have the proper paperwork to receive a permit from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). 

So, let’s dive right into what you and your dog will need to enter the US. 

Your dog must appear healthy when they arrive in the US. Any dog that arrives injured or sick will require a thorough veterinary check-up by a USDA-approved veterinarian upon arrival. The expense of the veterinary checkup will have to be borne by the owner. 

It is mandatory since some illnesses in dogs can also spread to human beings. 

What Documents Will Your Dog Need for a CDC Dog Import Permit?

As of 1 February 2023, CDC has extended the temporary suspension on the entry of dogs from countries that are at high risk for dog rabies, such as India. All dogs going from India to the US will require CDC’s advance approval (CDC Dog Import Permit), US-issued rabies vaccination certificate or reservation at a CDC-approved animal care facility. 

Here’s how you can apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit

Photographs Of Your Dog’s Teeth

Your dog must be at least 6 months old. 

Two hands wearing blue gloves holding the sides of the dog's mouth open to show their teeth. Both frontal and side view of the dog's teeth are must to apply for the permit necessary for travelling with your dog to the US.

As proof of their age, you must attach clear photos of their teeth – front and side views of both upper and lower teeth. 

CDC-Approved Microchip And Rabies Vaccination Certificates

Your dog MUST have an ISO-compatible microchip. 

Have a valid rabies vaccination certificate (your dog should be vaccinated at least 28 days ago and not more than 1 year ago). For dogs older than 15 months, an anti-rabies (booster/repeat) vaccination is valid immediately. 

Your veterinarian needs to fill out the CDC-approved Rabies Vaccination and Microchip record. You can find the CDC-approved Rabies Vaccination and Microchip form right here

Serologic Titre 

A serologic titre report from a CDC-approved laboratory. You must ensure that this titre was collected at least 30 days after the first anti-rabies vaccine was administered. 

However, all dogs must wait at least 45 days since their titre was collected before entering the US. The titre reports are valid for only one year. 

Photographs 

Clear photos of the applicant’s and permit holder’s identification page of their passports. 

Details You Will Need to Provide for the CDC Dog Import Permit Application 

Applicant Details

While applying, you will need to provide your (applicant’s) complete details including your full name, physical address (where the dog will stay in the US until they received another dose of vaccinations in the US), your 10-digit contact number (in the US), email address and passport number. 

Permit Holder Details

You will also need to provide the details of the permit holder (which can be you or any other family member). The full name and physical address (in the US) of the permit holder, US telephone number, email address and passport number along with the country that has issued the passport. 

Entry and Final Destination Details

You will absolutely need to provide the estimated arrival date of your dog. Once the permit is approved, the permit will become valid 14 days before the date of arrival and remain valid 90 days after your puppy’s entry. 

Travel Plans

You need to provide your travel itinerary for taking your dog to the US. Check the list of approved airlines or put in the name under “other/charter” if it’s not specified. 

You will also have to mention whether your dog will be hand-carried in the passenger cabin with you, placed with the checked baggage or shipped as unaccompanied cargo. 

For more information, you should check with the US Embassy and Consulates in India. You can find pet expediters in the Delhi NCR area right here

More on Important Documents for the CDC Dog Import Permit Application

Shih-Tzu peeping out of a fabric travel career possibly while travelling by flight. You will need a IATA approved carrier for your dog while travelling by flight to the US.

We are sure you have kept your dog’s vaccination records, prescriptions, test reports and “fit to travel” certificates in one place. If not, you can try a mobile application such as Vetic that collates all reports and you can just print them out whenever you need them. 

CDC requires all documents to be in English. If the statements and docs are not in English, you need to get them translated ASAP. However, the translation needs to be certified – that is a signed statement from a licensed translator. It needs to be on an approved letterhead and should declare the statement to be accurate and true. 

Moreover, the translation should include the name, address and contact details of the translator. It must include the signatory stamp with the professional’s licence number. You can easily find a certified translator online who specialises in similar services. 

Ensure that your pup’s carrier is IATA approved. Any other dog carrier will not be allowed on international flights if you plan on travelling with your dog to the US.

Choice of Airports for Travelling with Your Dog to The US

You should always purchase tickets to any of the following 18 airports when travelling with your dog since they have CDC quarantine stations –

  1. Anchorage (ANC)
  2. Atlanta (ATL)
  3. Boston (BOS)
  4. Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
  5. Dallas (DFW)
  6. Detroit (DTW)
  7. Honolulu (HNL)
  8. Houston (IAH)
  9. Los Angeles (LAX)
  10. Miami (MIA)
  11. Minneapolis (MSP)
  12. New York (JFK)
  13. Newark (EWR)
  14. Philadelphia (PHL)
  15. San Francisco (SFO)
  16. San Juan (SJU)
  17. Seattle (SEA)
  18. Washington DC Dulles (IAD)

Make sure you carry all the documents that attest to the vaccinated status and healthy status of your dog while travelling. 

Word to The Wise

During this temporary suspension period, you can only take 2 dogs per person if they have Indian anti-rabies vaccination certificates. 

It takes quite a long time to receive the CDC dog import permit, so you should apply at least 2 months in advance. If any documents are missing, it will take additional time. 

If your dog needs ISO-compatible microchipping, get in touch with Vetic veterinary clinic. Our senior veterinarians can microchip your pooch safely and at the same time provide the certificate necessary for the travel permit and application.

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