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Nathan Ratchford, DU

This fall, hunters and their dogs bound for Canada should be aware of new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) guidelines.

Beginning Aug. 1, 2024, all dogs entering or re-entering the U.S. must comply with these specific health and identification requirements. The most significant changes are:

  1.  New mandatory microchip requirement
  2. New “CDC Dog Import” form
  3. New age requirement: six months or older


Leading up to the hunting season, Ducks Unlimited will remain in contact with the Administration and provide updates as available. Below is a detailed explanation of the new requirements that begin Aug. 1, 2024:

Requirements for All Dogs

All dogs must meet the following criteria to be allowed entry or return to the United States:

1. Age Requirement

Dogs must be at least six months old at the time of entry or return to the U.S.

2. Microchip

Dogs must have an implanted International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-compatible microchip. This microchip must be implanted before any required rabies vaccination.

Note: Even if your dog is up to date on their rabies vaccination , under these new rules that vaccination will be considered invalid if administered before the microchip was implanted. They will need a booster or a new vaccination after microchipping, because the microchip number must be documented on all required forms and in all accompanying veterinary records.

3. Health Status

  • Dogs must appear healthy upon arrival at the border crossing.
  • Dogs carrying diseases contagious to people will be denied entry.
  • If a dog does not appear healthy upon arrival, isolation, veterinary examination, and additional testing may be required at the importer’s expense to determine if the dog has a contagious disease and to prevent its spread.


4. CDC Dog Import Form

Hunters must have a CDC Dog Import Form receipt. This form should be filled out online ideally 2–10 days before arrival at the border crossing, although it can also be completed right before crossing if you have internet access.

Note: Some border crossings do not have cell service. We recommend you do this beforehand.

  • If any information on the form changes before the dog's arrival, a new form must be submitted with the updated details.
  • The form requires uploading a clear photograph of the dog showing its face and body. For dogs under one year of age at the time of arrival, the photograph should be taken within ten days before arrival.
  • There is no charge for submitting this form.


5. Supplementary Documentation

Requirements for additional documentation vary depending on where the dog has been in the six months before entering or returning to the U.S. and whether the dog has a current rabies vaccination administered in the U.S. For Canadian dog owners entering the U.S. or those whose dogs have been in high-risk countries, click here to find the specific requirements for you.

Additional Requirements for Dogs with U.S.-Administered Rabies Vaccination

Dogs with a current rabies vaccination administered in the United States that have not been in a high-risk country in the last six months must meet the following requirements in addition to the “Requirements for All Dogs” above: (Note: Canada is not considered high-risk)

1. Required Documentation

One of the following documents:

(A) U.S.-Issued Rabies Vaccination form certified by a USDA-accredited vet before the dog left the U.S.

Note: A USDA-accredited veterinarian is one that has completed formal training from theNational Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP)in the state(s) they are licensed to practice medicine in.Accreditation is State-specificand voluntary (not all veterinarians are accredited).

Call your vet to check if they are USDA-accredited or click here to use the USDA’s search tool.

More on this process here.

(B) A USDA-endorsed export health certificate, which must:

  • Demonstrate the dog is six months or older.
  • List the microchip number.
  • Indicate the dog's return itinerary originated from a rabies-free or low-risk country (valid for 30 days if it does not contain rabies vaccination information), or
  • Document a valid (unexpired) rabies vaccination administered in the U.S. (valid for the duration of the rabies vaccination, either 1 or 3 years).


2. Arrival Location

Dogs must arrive at the entry location listed on the CDC Dog Import Form receipt. This can be any airport, land border crossing, or seaport, but the location must be selected when completing the CDC Dog Import Form.

Accessing the CDC Dog Import Form

The CDC Dog Import Form will be accessible on the CDC’s website starting July 15, 2024, ensure all requirements are met to avoid any complications during entry.

By following these guidelines, hunters can ensure a smooth and compliant process when bringing their dogs from Canada into the United States. Stay informed and prepared for the upcoming hunting season.


Media Contact:

Nathan Ratchford

Conservation Communications Coordinator

(570) 406-4925