Pets And Quarantine Into America

Pets And Quarantine Into America
When you are moving your entire life and family to the US, it often includes the family pet. As with any country, the US imposes strict rules about what kind of live animals can be imported into the country and how you should go about doing it. In general, common household pets like cats, dogs and birds are welcome in the US but are still subject to a quarantine period when they first arrive.

The quarantine is designed to make sure your pet is not bringing rabies or other diseases into the country. In America the main documentation required is proof of a rabies vaccination. Each dog must have a certificate proving they have been vaccinated at least 30 days prior to the date of arrival in the US. This is not usually required for cats, but each state in the US has its own set of rules so it’s worth checking with the state government on this.

If you are bringing a puppy under the age of three months into America that is too young for a rabies vaccination, the animal must be kept in confinement until it reaches an age where it can be vaccinated. Thus it is not recommended bringing in puppies to the US. If the pet appears to be sick when it is examined by customs officials upon arrival it will be put into quarantine until its health status can be properly determined.

Other pets such as reptiles, ferrets and more exotic creatures each have their own restrictions regarding importation into America. Besides the federal level guidelines set forth by the CDC ( you also need to check with the state where you plan to move and see if they have any additional restrictions. In California, for example, it is prohibited to import a ferret into the state. All birds must be quarantined for 30 days and have a special Import Permit.

Of course, if your pet is so exotic that it falls under the US Fish and Wildlife Department’s list of endangered animals, then you should not even try to bring it into the country. If caught, the customs officials will simply confiscate the creature and possibly levy a fine against you for bringing an illegal animal into America. For example, all primates (monkeys) are not allowed into the US, and turtles must be a certain length.

You can check here to see the list of animals that the US government deems endangered: