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News / Northwest

New rules to make it harder to bring dogs across border

CDC requirement for microchip, rabies shot set for Aug. 1

By Daniel Schrager, The Bellingham Herald (TNS)
Published: June 12, 2024, 7:13pm

BELLINGHAM—Taking your dog with you on a trip into Canada is about to get a lot more complicated. On June 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that you’ll need to follow a new set of requirements to bring your dog across the border, following a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rule change announced last month. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules, which go into effect on Aug. 1.

New rules for crossing the border with a dog

In order to cross the border into the U.S., your dog has to appear healthy, be at least six months old and have an International Organization for Standardization-compatible microchip. The CDC requires that the microchip was implanted before the dog was vaccinated against rabies, and that you have the microchip number available to use on any forms.

Additionally, you have to fill out the CDC’s Dog Import Form online before bringing your dog across the border. The CDC asks that you fill out the form between two and 10 days before your trip, but if you forget, you can submit the form at the border, provided you have internet access. The form will be made available July 15. The requirements go into effect Aug. 1.

Rabies vaccine requirements

Assuming your dog hasn’t been to a country with a high risk of rabies, according to the CDC you only need either a Certification of U.S. Issued Rabies Vaccine, which you can obtain from the vet who administered the vaccine, or a U.S. Department of Agriculture-issued health certificate.

If your dog has been to a county where they would be at a high risk of contracting rabies, you’ll need a Certification of U.S.-Issued Rabies Vaccine form. The full list of high-risk countries is available on the CDC website.

What were the previous requirements?

Under the current rules, if your dog hasn’t been to a high-risk country in the sixth months prior to your trip, you can bring them into the U.S. as long as they appear healthy and you provide a written or verbal statement saying that they haven’t been to a high-risk country during that time frame.

If your dog has been in a high-risk country, you have to submit a form with their vaccine and microchip information.