Strict Rules for Bringing Your Dog Across the US Border Start Aug 1st

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

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All the Canadians who were considering bringing their pooches across the U.S. border are now facing new and very strict rules. Coming into effect August 1st, this new rule will require all owners to own vet-approved documentation that would prove that the dog was vaccinated against rabies. 

All those who were used to journeying to the USA will have to navigate these strict new regulations. The new rules were introduced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and prevent casual crossing of the international border with a canine. Instead, owners are required to present papers to the CDC in advance of a planned trip, and thus prove that their pooch is healthy, vaccinated against rabies, and has a valid microchip. In simpler terms, spontaneous travel to the USA is no longer possible.

So, beginning this August 1st, your dog will have to be at least six months old to travel to the U.S. and fulfill all the conditions above as well. Of course, owners have to be understanding too: these new measures are there to keep the U.S. free of rabies. One additional condition on the list is a requirement that “your dog hasn’t been in one of over 100 countries where rabies is not under control, in the previous six months.”

To help owners fully understand all these - and other - regulations, the CDC launched its special DogBot application that makes everything easier to understand. 

Even so, many owners are finding these changes radical. For years, taking your dog across the U.S. border was simple, regulated by border officials, and required few if any documents. But that is all about to change coming this August. Owners will have to complete a string of tasks before even considering travel. Vaccinations, vet visits, microchips – the list is hefty and mandatory. 

Many owners concluded that this new rule implies treating a dog as “chattel”, a thing you own, and not a friend and family member. But it’s not just the perception, but rather the unnecessary complications that come with it – you have to have a form filled out by a vet, to ensure that the microchip your pet has is compatible with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This brings up the question of whether the chips issued by vets are compatible with the ISO. So far, there is no explanation issued by the CDC to resolve this. 

The new rules also affect doggos that are younger than six months and thus cannot be vaccinated against rabies. Before, they could enter the U.S., but now this is no longer possible. Besides, the new rules and form requirements will be an additional expense for owners, who would already be burdened with the costs of travel.

Needless to say, the regulations will also have major implications for breeders, show dog owners, rescue organizations, and others. 

“If you don’t follow CDC’s rules, your dog won’t be allowed to enter the United States,” warns the CDC. “If denied entry, your dog will be sent back to the last country of departure at your expense. Country of departure is where the last trip originated - not where the dog was born or where it lives.”

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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