Travel and Transport

If you have questions about exporting animals, including pets, from the US to another country, you should contact the USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services office in the State from which your pet will be transported.


Drawing of animals looking through the windows of an airplane Travel with a Pet

USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

Dogs, cats, and most other warm-blooded animals transported in commerce are protected by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) enforces this law. APHIS' shipping regulations help ensure that people who transport and handle animals covered under the AWA treat them humanely. Airlines and other shippers are affected by regulations established to protect the well-being of animals in transit.

Gibbon mother with infant Importation of Pets and Other Animal & Animal Products into the United States

CDC. National Center for Infectious Diseases. Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

Information on the importation of dogs, cats, turtles, monkeys and other animals and animal products capable of causing human disease. Pets taken out of the United States are subject, upon return, to the same regulations as those entering for the first time. The US government does not require general certificates of health for pets. However, because airlines sometimes require health certificates for pets traveling with them, you should check with your airline prior to your travel date.

Also see Frequently Asked Questions about Importation of Animals. It provides answers and links to pertinent regulations and documents governing such importation.

Customs dog Pets and Wildlife - General information

DHS. U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

General information on entering pets and/or wildlife into the United States.

Importation of Pets and Other Animals into the United States

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The USDA has certain restrictions on the importation of dogs. Collies, shepherds, and other dogs that are imported from any part of the world except Canada, Mexico, and regions of Central America and the West Indies and that are to be used in the handling of livestock must be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry for a sufficient time to determine their freedom from tapeworm.

We also suggest you contact your State, county, municipal authorities for local restrictions on importing dogs. Some airlines require health certificates for dogs traveling with them. You should contact the airlines prior to your travel date.

Import Procedures for Pet Birds (both US origin and non-US origin) Entering the United States: The USDA defines pet birds as those that are imported for personal pleasure of their individual owners and are not intended for resale. Poultry, which includes pigeons and doves, are not considered pet birds.

Transporting Live Animals

US Department of Transportation.

Over two million pets and other live animals are transported by air every year in the United States. Federal and state governments impose restrictions on transporting live animals. In addition, each airline establishes its own company policy for the proper handling of the animals they transport. As a shipper or owner you also have a responsibility to take the necessary precautions to ensure the well being of the animal you ship.

International Animal Export Regulations

USDA. APHIS. Veterinary Services.

Regulations governing the export of animals to other countries.

Hawaii's Animal Quarantine Laws

Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Hawaii is a rabies free state. Importation of dogs, cats and other carnivores into Hawaii is governed by Chapter 4-29 of the State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture Administrative Rules. This law says that these animals are required to complete a 120-day confinement in the State Animal Quarantine Station. If specific pre-arrival and post-arrival requirements are met, dogs and cats may qualify for a 5-day-or-less quarantine. The Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Information Brochure contains information about pre-arrival requirements, quarantine station locations and contacts, procedures, policies, rules, operations, and fees.

Air Travel for Your Pet

Airlines for America.

Provides guidelines for safely traveling with pets by air.

Cabin Safety-Pets in the Cabin Frequently Asked Questions

DOT. Federal Aviation Administration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about traveling on airlines with animals in the cabin.

Traveling Abroad with Your Pet Bird (PDF | 57.2 KB)

US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Discusses regulations implementing the Wild Bird Conservation Act that provide for permits to allow foreign travel with your pet bird (domestic travel and sales are not affected).

Taking Your Pet Abroad

UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (defra).

This site explains what you have to do to bring your pet dog, cat or ferret into (or back into) the UK through the Pet Travel Scheme (or PETS for short) without putting it into quarantine.

It is against the law in Great Britain to possess certain types of dogs and meeting the requirements of PETS will not change that. Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 prohibits four types of dog:

- the Pit Bull terrier
- the Japanese tosa
- the Dogo Argentino
- the Fila Braziliero

If you bring one of these dogs into Great Britain, you could be prosecuted and the dog seized and destroyed.

Canada: Pet Imports

Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The National Animal Health Program is responsible for establishing import requirements for animals and animal products coming into Canada, including pets. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has prepared basic guidelines for frequently imported pets and provides these on its web site.

Traveler's Pet Corner

International Air Transport Association.

Provides information on shipping your pet dog or cat, including container requirements, shipping recommendations, and specific country regulations.