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Vaccination schedule for pets travelling to the United States of America

Pets travelling into the United States need to fulfil several requirements satisfactorily to gain entry into the country. They must be healthy, vaccinated and have the right documentation for pet travel to the United States. The documentation is different for different countries; it is important to be aware of all the import requirements before planning your pet travel.

The United States has a specific vaccination schedule, and all pets must be fully vaccinated and have the right documentation to support it before travelling. If you are planning to travel to the US with your pet, here’s what you should know about the vaccination schedule:

Vaccination schedule for dogs entering the United States

Dogs going to America need to be fully vaccinated and must be accompanied by a rabies certificate if they are flying in from a country where rabies is prevalent.

All dogs flying into the United States must be at least 12 weeks old and must be vaccinated against rabies. If your dog has not been vaccinated against rabies before or if the vaccination is not current, you will have to wait for 28 days after the vaccination before travelling.

If the rabies vaccination is current, your pet can travel to the US without waiting for 28 days. Your dog’s rabies vaccination must be valid throughout the duration of your trip. If you are relocating to the US with your pet, make sure your dog gets their rabies booster shots on time.

Other optional vaccinations for dogs are Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, and Bordatella.

Travelling to the US from a high-risk country

If your dog is flying is in from a high-risk country, a valid rabies certificate must accompany your pet. High risk countries as defined by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) are Afghanistan, Algeria Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of the Congo, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

The rabies certificate must be valid through the duration of your trip and endorsed by a registered vet. All dogs flying from high-risk countries must be vaccinated for rabies at least 28 days before the date of travel. The rabies certificate must include the following information:

  • Pet owner’s name and address
  • Pet information such as breed, sex, date of birth, colour and other identifying marks
  • Date of rabies vaccination along with vaccine information
  • The expiration date of the vaccination
  • Vet’s name, license number, address and signature

Your dog does not need a rabies titre test (RNATT) to enter the United States.

Vaccination schedule for cats entering the United States

Cats flying into the United States do not need to be vaccinated against rabies. However, some states in the US require it; check with your pet travel agent about your destination’s regulations before travelling. It is a best practice to vaccinate your pet cat against rabies to protect your cat and because most countries require them for international travel.

Optional cat vaccinations to enter the United States are Feline Enteritis (Feline Panleukopenia or Feline Distemper), Rhinotracheitis, and Feline Calicivirus.

Pet travel to the United States of America?

Pet travel to the United States with your dog or cat can take up to four to six weeks to plan and execute. Speak to your vet and start planning the travel much ahead of the date of journey. If you are planning to move to the US with your dog or cat, reach out to Petraveller for more information and a detailed travel plan.