Cars & Other Vehicles
A pet can be brought to the United States from another country.
It is not easy to bring a pet to the United States.As exciting as it may be to bring your pet with you to the US, don't let your excitement get in the way of making sure that you have a pet that meets the requirements for entry when you arrive.Leaving plenty of time to research the entry requirements, obtain the proper documentation, and prepare for your pet's air travel will make the process go much more smoothly.
Step 1: Do you have any options for your pet's air travel?
Having your pet travel with you on the same plane can be one of the options for airline travel.If you will be traveling on the same plane with your pet, he can travel in the cabin with you, be checked in as baggage, or be shipped as cargo.Only small dogs and cats are allowed to travel in the cabin with you and they must be stowed under the seat in a special carrier.Ask your airline if your pet will be allowed in the cabin.Dogs and cats must be in a sturdy carrier that will allow them enough space to comfortably stand, sit and lie down.Airlines try to make the flight comfortable for pets that are shipped as baggage or cargo.The baggage and cargo area is quiet and pressurized.You can buy shipping crates at your local pet store.The crate should be USDA-approved.Follow your airline's pet travel requirements to ensure a smooth traveling process for you and your pet.
Step 2: Inquire about the pet travel requirements of your airline.
Before you book your flight, you should know your airline's pet travel requirements.Pet travel requirements will vary from airline to airline, and may differ between US and non-US airlines.Pets traveling internationally must have a health certificate.Some US airlines require the certificate to be no older than 10 days old, while others may require a certificate that is less than that.Pets that weigh 100 pounds or more will be considered cargo.Check with your airline to find out if your pet will be charged a cargo fee.You should inquire about where you should pick up your pet after the flight lands.
Step 3: Attach identifying information to your pet.
This is very important.The address to where you will be traveling should be included.Attaching a clear picture of your pet to his carrier would be helpful if he escapes.Attach a sign with arrows to the side of the crate that should face up.
Step 4: Inform airline employees that you have a pet.
Inform as many airline staff as possible that your pet is on the plane when you check in.Special accommodations may be made to make your pet comfortable and safe.
Step 5: Ensure your pet is comfortable during the flight.
It is possible to make air travel as comfortable for your pet as possible.You can give your pet a light meal two hours before you get to the airport.You don't want him to have a lot of food on his stomach while he's on the plane.If you have a dog, it is a good idea to take him for a walk before you head to the airport.He will have an opportunity to go to the bathroom before he gets on the plane.The number of layovers should be minimized.Depending on where you are traveling, layovers may be unavoidable.If you can't get a direct flight, an itinerary with as few layovers as possible will minimize the stress of loading and unloading your pet.The night before your flight is a good time to freeze a pouch of food and water.It is possible to make it easier for you or the airline staff to feed your pet by freezing the food and water.
Step 6: Do you need a health certificate for your pet?
The entry of most pets into the US does not require a health certificate.Most airlines and some states require health certificates.To find out more about health certificate requirements, check with your airline and state.Call the American Embassy in your country to find out if there are any specific entry requirements for that state.A health certificate must be signed by a licensed vet.There may be restrictions on the age of the health certificate.Before you travel to the US, pay attention to these restrictions to make sure you get the health certificate in time.
Step 7: You can learn about the entry requirements for the vaccine.
Puppies and service dogs are required to have a vaccine for the disease.Your dog must have a certificate from a licensed vet.Your contact information, your dog's age, breed, and vaccine product information will be included in the certificate.If your dog has not received a vaccine before you arrive in the US, he will need to get one at least 30 days before.If you have your dog at least 15 months old, you can have him receive a booster vaccine less than 30 days before he arrives.If you have lived in a country that is free of the disease for the past six months, your dog won't need a vaccine.You can find a list of countries that are free of the disease at: http://www.cdc.gov/importation/rabies-free-countries.html.
Step 8: Understand the entry requirements for pet birds.
Bird imports are not allowed in some countries due to the risk of bird flu.You can find a list of these countries on the USDA APHIS website.If you aren't traveling from one of the banned countries, your pet bird will have to go through a 30-dayQuarantine at the USDA Animal Import Center.
Step 9: There are entry requirements for pets other than cats, dogs, or birds.
There are no restrictions on the import of animals.Pets must be healthy at the port of entry if you have one.The length of the turtle's shell is important for his entry into the US.A turtle with a shell less than four inches long can enter the US if he is not used for commercial purposes.
Step 10: Take your pet to the vet.
Ensuring that your pet is healthy and up-to-date on his vaccinations is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a safe and smooth entry into the US.The time frame for this visit is usually no more than seven days before you travel.If your pet looks sick at the port of entry, it will need to be examined by a licensed vet.Before you travel, your vet will make sure that you have all of the necessary documentation for your pet.To verify the exportation of animals, your vet must be approved by your country.Do you know if your vet is certified to do this?You can contact the government agency in charge of the import/export of animals in your home country.They should be able to give you a list of trained vets.It is a good idea to get in touch with the American Embassy in your country to find out if there are any specific requirements for getting a pet into the US.Depending on what diseases are common in that country, this may be different.
Step 11: You can check your pet's vaccine status.
The US has a vaccine status for dogs and cats.Cats are not required to have a vaccine.Some states may require your cat to have a current vaccine.You should check the requirements for the state in which you will be traveling.
Step 12: Discuss air travel with your doctor.
Pets can be difficult to travel with.Traveling and being on a plane can cause stress for your pet.The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals strongly advises giving sedatives to a pet for air travel since they can affect his breathing.Talk to your vet about ways to keep your pet calm during the flight.
Step 13: Do you have a pet?
This applies to dogs and cats.The US does not require a microchip for entry, but it is recommended for air travel.Your pet will be identified if he escapes.During the appointment, your pet's overall health can be checked.Make sure your dog or cat has an ID tag.
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