Chess Blog

Bringing a Pet from Australia to the US

If you're moving to the United States and you have a cat or dog to bring along, it's important to understand the laws governing the importation of animals. In the US, there are separate laws at the federal, state and local level of which you'll need to be aware.

Federal Laws 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention establish the federal rules for importing dogs and cats into the country. At this time neither pet dogs nor pet cats require a certificate of health or proof of immunizations from a veterinarian to be imported.

Because Australia appears on the CDC's list of rabies-free countries, dogs do not require rabies vaccinations, provided they have lived in Australia or another rabies-free country for at least 6 months prior to importation. Dogs less than 6 months old that were born in Australia also do not require vaccines, and there is no rabies vaccine rules for cats.


Upon entering the U.S., dogs and cats are examined by federal officials. If an animal appears sick, it must receive a certificate of health from a U.S. veterinarian before it can be brought home.


State Laws

Some states require that pet owners submit a certificate of health from an Australian or U.S. veterinarian before the pet can reside there. There may also be immunization requirements, depending on the state. Typically, state departments of health or agriculture are responsible for establishing these rules.


Local Laws

Health departments of counties and cities may establish vaccination or health requirements for pets that dwell within them. Some local governments also mandate that all pets be registered and wear a license and collar at all times.


Chess Moving can assist you with determining the specific requirements for moving your pet to the United States based upon your destination. We can also handle the exportation process for you. Contact us to learn more about our services.



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