New Regs for Bringing Dogs Into the US Set to Begin August 1, 2024

What hunters need to know to return their dogs home from Canada and elsewhere this fall

By Bill Miller

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has implemented new restrictions on bringing dogs into the United States that will impact hunters traveling with their duck dogs even between Canada and the United States. The new restrictions also prohibit the importation of any dogs younger than six months of age.

For hunters traveling outside of the United States with their dogs, the biggest change is that having an implanted microchip is no longer optional. It is mandatory. The chip must have been implanted prior to any required rabies vaccination, and the matching chip number must be documented on all required forms and veterinary records.

Additional paperwork is also required in completion of a “CDC Dog Import Form.” It is preferred that this document be completed online 2-10 days prior to crossing the border into the States, but it can even be completed as late as while standing in line at the U.S. Customs station, as long as there is a viable internet connection.

This new form also requires the attachment of a clear photograph of the dog showing its face and body. For dogs less than one year of age, the photo must have been taken within 10 days prior to the border crossing.

So far, the new requirements apply only to bringing dogs into the United States; however, there is a possibility that Canada (or other countries) may create requirements that mirror the CDC’s. The most likely possible snare for any hunters caught unaware of the new regulations this fall is that you could take your dog out of the country without any problem but then run into serious legal issues trying to bring the same dog back into the United States.

The complete list of requirements under the new regulations is posted at:

Especially troubling is that the restrictions entirely prohibit the importation of dogs less than six months of age. This could pose complications for breeders and buyers of retrievers purchased for import from Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe.

Delta Waterfowl’s chief policy officer John Devney said, “We are working with the AKC and other organizations to get our hands around these new regulations. We’re joining together to determine what might be done to modify the requirements to make them less onerous on dogs crossing the border for hunting, competition, training, and other legitimate purposes. We recognize that the intent of the CDC is justified in trying to manage some bad actors importing dogs into the country, but the unintended consequence ensnares a bunch of healthy working dogs—our duck dogs—in an overburdensome process.”

Watch and Delta Waterfowl magazine for updates if and when the requirements may be adjusted. However, as of now it appears these regulations will be enforced when the 2024-25 hunting seasons begin in Canada. If you are planning on taking a dog to Canada this fall, consider beginning the preparation now.

The American Kennel Club’s publication explaining these new regulations is at: Understanding CDC’s New Rule for Bringing Dogs into the United States.