Travel | November 26, 2021 11:20 am

CDC Has Good News for International Dog Travelers

The agency refined its guidelines on rabies

A dog feeling happy
The CDC's new guidelines are excellent news for many dogs.
Pauline Loroy/Unsplash

Over the summer, the Center for Disease Control took a dramatic step towards addressing concerns over the spread of rabies in the United States. Beginning on July 14, the agency put a temporary stop on the import of dogs from no less than 113 countries. Why? Because the countries in question were at a high risk for rabies — and because a number of imported dogs had falsified or inaccurate rabies vaccination certificates.

Thankfully, the global rabies situation seems to have alleviated somewhat — and the CDC has updated its guidelines as a result. At The New York Times, Debra Kamin has more details on the revised policy, and what it might mean for dog owners and people looking to adopt a dog from overseas.

What’s possible under the revised guidelines? It’s not a blanket reversal of the earlier policy, but it does outline certain conditions under which dogs can return to the United States. The CDC will no longer require a Dog Import Permit for dogs returning from a country designated as high-risk as long as the dog has a microchip, is over six months of age, is healthy when it arrives, arrives via an approved port of entry and has a rabies vaccination certificate issued by the United States.

The dogs must also have been vaccinated in the United States by a veterinarian licences by the US.

As the Times‘s article notes, this change in policy will not help the situation of soldiers and aid workers from the United States who adopted dogs while based overseas. And the requirement about approved ports of entry also complicates matters somewhat — there are 18 total in the country, each with a CDC quarantine station. Still, this should provide some breathing room for at least some dog owners during a moment in time where a canine companion can be most helpful.