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CBP Offers Guidance for Dog Owners Crossing the Border

Release Date: 
January 14, 2016

SAULT STE MARIE, Mich. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations is reaffirming that dogs entering the United States must be vaccinated prior to entry.

The Center for Disease Control regulates the introduction of certain animals into the U.S. and dogs often accompany their owners entering at the Sault Ste. Marie Port of Entry.

“The Office of Field Operations enforces laws for numerous federal agencies,” stated Patrick Wilson, Port Director, “and we attempt to provide the traveling public with as much information as possible to help them in their travels.  We are providing this CDC information again, to assist travelers and reduce unexpected delays at the border.”

Photo of CBP Canine

Dogs must be vaccinated prior to entry into the United States

From The Center for Disease Control website,, “Rabies vaccination is required for all dogs entering the United States from a country where rabies is present. 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 received a rabies vaccination given no earlier than 3 months of age and that has since expired may be imported immediately following booster vaccination, without the need to wait for 30 days.

Dogs must be accompanied by a current, valid rabies vaccination certificate that includes the following information:

  • Name and address of owner
  • Breed, sex, age, color, 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 veterinarian who administered the vaccination

Puppies must not be vaccinated against rabies before 3 months of age, so the youngest that a puppy can be imported into the United States is 4 months of age.

These requirements apply to all dogs, including service animals such as guide dogs for the blind.”

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017