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 three months 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 immunization. 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 or the veterinarian who administered it was not licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the US, 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 30 days after the animal’s initial vaccination is administered. Regardless of the animal’s age, if the initial vaccination was given less than 30 days prior to arrival, the animal must be confined for the balance of the 30 days. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may have additional requirements for animals arriving from another country; the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine may be contacted at 1-800-232-4636 or http://www.cdc.gov/animalimportation/ for further information. Please keep in mind that, even if the CDC states that dogs or cats under certain circumstances do not need to be vaccinated against rabies for entry into the US, the animal still needs to be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with Texas state law for entry into Texas. Contact the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for any country-specific travel/health certificates that might be required: 512-383-2408 or www.aphis.usda.gov.
If the animal is arriving from another state and is less than three months of age, home confinement is recommended until 30 days after the animal’s initial vaccination is administered. Regardless of the animal’s age, if the initial vaccination was given less than 30 days prior to arrival, the animal should be confined for the balance of the 30 days.
After moving to Texas, ensure that your dog or cat remains in compliance with rabies vaccination requirements by contacting a veterinarian in your area, as local vaccination ordinances may be more restrictive than state law.