Planning to Cross the U.S. Border with Your Pet?

Travelling across the border into the United States with your healthy dog and/or cat can be a smooth and stress-free experience if you are prepared beforehand. Here are the things you need to make your road trip with your pet that much more enjoyable.


Your dog must be healthy and have a valid rabies vaccination certificate to enter the United States. Puppies must be at least 12 weeks old (3 months) before they can be vaccinated against rabies. As a result, the youngest that a puppy can be imported into the United States is 4 months old because dogs that have never been vaccinated against rabies must be vaccinated at least 30 days prior to arrival. Adult dogs older than 15 months of age that have previously been vaccinated for rabies but have since expired are permitted to cross the border immediately after a booster vaccination and do not need to wait 30 days.

You must bring a copy of your dog’s current rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian including:

  • Your information: name and address
  • Your dog’s description: breed, sex, age, colour, markings, and other identifying information for the dog
  • Date of rabies vaccination and vaccine product information
  • Date the vaccination expires
  • Name, license number, address, and signature of a veterinarian who administered the vaccination

These requirements apply to all dogs, including service animals.

Some states may require other vaccinations and health certificates. Please check with your destination state’s health department before you leave on your trip.


Cats don’t require a rabies vaccination to enter the United States. However, most states and many other countries require it. Be sure to inquire with your destinations’ requirements and ask your veterinarian before travelling.

Written by: Annex Animal Hospital