Import / Transit Requirements for Cats and Dogs into USA

Age Of Animal

The animal has to be 3 months or older. Animals under the age of 3 months that are too young to have had their own rabies vaccination have to then travel under the mothers rabies certificate. In this case you then need the mothers valid rabies vaccination certificate. The mother has to have a valid rabies vaccination – the vaccination must be at least 30 days old and no more than 12 months old before the birth of the puppy/kitten.

Rabies Vaccinations

All international destinations require a valid rabies vaccination for travel. Valid means that the vaccination must have been given no more than one year and no less than thirty days before the intended travel date.

We suggest that you check your pet’s vaccination certificate in good time, so as to ensure that there will be no problems when the time comes for your pet/s to travel.

Normal Canine and Feline vaccinations

The veterinary authorities are mainly concerned that the rabies vaccination is current. However it is important for your pet’s health that these vaccinations are given annually and it is advisable that these vaccinations be updated when necessary. In addition, should your pet require boarding before they travel all reputable kennels would insist that you produce a valid vaccination certificate.


Pets must be microchipped, the microchip must be either implanted before the Rabies vaccination or with the rabies vaccination.

Health Certificate (Valid for 5 days)

The pets have to be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a private veterinarian certifying compliance with the above requirements and this Health Certificate must be stamped & signed by the SA State Vet. In general this certificate is valid for 5 days from the date of issue.

Dogs entering the USA have to be tested for “screwworm” and this needs to be done 5 days before departure.

~ Our clients will be supplied with the correct & filled in Heath Certificate.

Import Permit

Not required.