Rules for Moving with Dogs, Cats, and More

Moving to the USA and worried that Fido, Bella, or other furry friend won’t be able to make the trip? Don’t be. In fact, rules for importing pets to the USA are actually simpler than many other nations, especially if you’re coming from Canada.

Moving with pets is an extra hassle, but it’s well worth it. No family should have to leave their best friends behind. It isn’t as complicated as one might think! Use these following guidelines to better understand the process of taking your dog, cat, or other pet south of the border.

Moving Dogs to America

** If your puppy is younger than four months, it is not allowed to enter the USA. This is due to the rabies vaccine that is not administered to dogs younger than three months. Consider delaying your trip to allow sufficient time for your pet’s proper treatment. **

If your dog is older than four months, the requirements for bringing them to the USA are as follows:

Healthy-looking: Border guards can and will refuse entry for dogs that they believe are unhealthy. Clean your dog up and make them look their best.
Proof of rabies vaccination: All dogs going to the USA must be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccine certificate with the proper information, including the owner’s name and address, the breed, and vaccination dates. Dogs that have never been vaccinated must be vaccinated at least 30 days before arrival. If your dog is 15 months or older and has previously had a vaccine, they may be imported immediately after a booster vaccine.

These regulations are applicable to all dogs (including service dogs).

Moving Cats to America

Cat lovers will be happy to know that, in general, there are no restrictions on bringing domestic cats to the USA. That means no vaccination requirements or documentation.

The only important note to make is that your cat is subject to inspection at your port of entry, and they must be free of any signs of diseases that may be communicable to humans. Your airline may subject you to different requirements, though. Make sure to check with them.

Other Common Pets

Unless you are bringing extremely exotic pets into the USA, the restrictions are simple to navigate:
●Birds: Birds imported for personal reasons (not for resale) are subject to the following regulations:
○You must obtain a USDA Import Permit
○You must provide a current health certificate issued by a full-time salaried vet
○Your pet must be quarantined for 30 days

Rabbits: There are NO restrictions! Bring your pet rabbit in!
Reptiles: The CDC does not regulate the importation of snakes or lizards; however, you can only import up to six small turtles as pets. No turtles are allowed for commercial purposes.

If you’re moving from Canada to the USA and want to bring your pets along, the guidelines are fairly straightforward. Bringing your best friends from back home will make your move way easier.

Understanding regulations and transporting your pet across the border can be difficult. Talk to an international Canadian moving company for more information about how to move to the USA from Canada!


    on your next move!