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This afternoon, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an update to its current emergency rule that generally prohibits the importation of dogs into the U.S. from countries that are considered high-risk for rabies.

Effective December 1, 2021, eligible travelers, U.S. citizens, or lawful U.S. residents with a valid U.S.-issued rabies vaccination certificate traveling with their personal pet dog(s) from a country at high risk for rabies will no longer be required to apply for a CDC Dog Import permit, and will be able to travel with their dogs during the remainder of the suspension.

To re-enter the U.S., dogs with a valid U.S.-issued rabies vaccination certificate must (1) appear healthy on arrival, (2) be at least six months old, (3) have a microchip for identification listed on their rabies vaccination certificate, and (4) provide proof of a valid U.S.-issued rabies vaccination certificate upon arrival.

The rabies vaccine must be administered by a US-licensed veterinarian in the United States on or after 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days before arrival if it is the dog’s initial vaccination.  Booster rabies vaccines administered in the United States after 15 months of age are valid immediately.

According to the CDC, permits will not be issued for foreign-vaccinated dogs if the dogs are (1) traveling temporarily to the U.S. with their owners (such as for vacation or to visit friends and family); (2) being imported for rescue, resale, or transfer of ownership; (3) participating in conformation dog shows; (4) participating in obedience trials or dog sport shows; or (5) participating in other types of exhibition not meeting the definition in 42 CFR 71.50 (i.e., zoos or trained animal acts).

All dogs arriving from high-risk countries for rabies must enter the United States at an approved port of entry for the remainder of the suspension.  They include all 18 U.S. airports that have a CDC Quarantine Station: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

AKC Government Relations (GR) will continue to provide updates on the emergency rule as more information becomes publicly available.  For more information, go to CDC’s Bringing a Dog into the United States page, or email AKC GR at