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    Infectious Disease Control Unit
    Mail Code: 1960
    PO BOX 149347 - Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street, Suite T801
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: 512 776 7676
    Fax: (512) 776-7616



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(Animals, Animal Control, Animal Shelters, Animals in Disaster, Animals in Public Places, Animal Friendly Program, Animal Ownership, Animal Bites)

Entry Requirements for Bringing Dogs and Cats into Texas

Although not required by Texas law, most airlines require a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within seven to ten days prior to travel.  Check with your airline for their exact requirements.

To enter Texas and be in accordance with its state law, all dogs and cats 12 weeks of age or older must be vaccinated against rabies and be accompanied by a rabies vaccination certificate dated and signed by the veterinarian who administered the immunizations.  Veterinarians in Texas are restricted to using vaccines approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); however, for entry purposes only, dogs and cats traveling into the state may be inoculated against rabies with killed, modified live, or recombinant vaccine.  Once in Texas, if a USDA-approved vaccine was not used, compliance must be achieved.  For entry into Texas, the following criteria must be met:

  at the time of vaccination, the animal was at least the minimum age prescribed for the vaccine; and

  the time elapsed since the most recent vaccination has not exceeded the recommended interval for the booster vaccination as established by the vaccine’s manufacturer.

Additionally, to qualify as being currently vaccinated, 30 days must have lapsed since the initial vaccination. 

If the animal is arriving from another country and is less than three months of age, it shall be confined at home until it reaches three months of age, at which time the animal must be vaccinated against rabies and confined for an additional 30 days.  Regardless of the animal’s age, if the initial vaccination was given less than 30 days prior to arrival in the U.S., the animal will be required to be confined for the balance of the 30 days.  The U.S. Public Health Service may have additional requirements for animals arriving from another country; the Division of Quarantine of the U.S. Public Health Service may be contacted at (404) 639-8107 or for further information.

After moving to Texas, a person’s veterinarian should be able to advise them on local ordinances pertaining to rabies vaccination, which can be more restrictive than state law.


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Last updated April 08, 2011