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Dogs entering or returning to the United States must comply with requirements established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 Below is detailed information relevant to Costa Rica:
 General Requirements for all dogs:
 1. Microchip implantation or verification prior to rabies vaccination. The microchip must be compatible with the ISO standard. The microchip number must be documented in all pet records.
 2. They must be at least 6 months old at the time of entering the USA.
 3. Good health of the pet.
 4. Receipt of the “CDC Dog Import Form receipt” form that the pet owner must fill out online within 2-10 days prior to arrival in the USA, it is important to enter to the link in section 15 to review the requirements that will be established. This form will be available online starting July 15, 2024.
 In the case of dogs that have been kept for 6 months before entering USA in a country considered by the USA to be rabies-free or low-risk, such as Costa Rica, the pet must comply with:
 5. The General Requirements in sections 1 to 4.
 6. Vaccination against rabies from 3 months of age.
 7. Certificate of Exportation of Canines and Felines,
 8. Screwworm Certification issued within 5 days prior to the trip.
 
In the case of dogs vaccinated against rabies in the United States and returning to that
 country from Costa Rica with a current vaccine must comply with:
 9. The General Requirements in sections 1 to 4.
 10. Canine and Feline Export Certificate,
 11. Screwworm Certification issued within 5 days prior to the trip.
 
Additional Information:
 12. Dogs that have remained in a country considered by the USA as high risk for rabies, they must comply with the guidelines established for this category, for example serological titers against rabies.
 13. Animals in transit through the USA must meet the established requirements as if they were a “definitive export”.
 14. The health requirements established for cats are maintained (up-to-date vaccinations
 according to age and Certificate of Exportation of Canines and Felines).
 15. Access to official information is available at the following link:

by Dra Sharine Alice

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