California Entrance Requirements for Dogs

puppies in grass field


Bringing dogs into California (e.g., from out of state or international locations) is regulated in order to control and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases such as rabies, and other communicable diseases among animals. The requirements below are informed by Assembly Bill 1809 as part of the California Health & Safety Code Section 121720.


  • Within the 10 days prior to arrival from outside California, a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) also known as a health certificate must be completed by an accredited, licensed veterinarian for all dogs brought into San Diego County for the intent of sale or change of ownership.
  • Dogs over 4 months of age must have documentation of current rabies vaccination.
  • Within 7 days of the arrival of the dog(s) send health certificate(s) to the address below:

          County of San Diego
          Vital Records
          P.O. Box 429001
          San Diego, CA 92142

Additional Requirements for Receiving Party

The receiving party (e.g., pet stores, rescues, owners, breeders) may reject any shipment of dogs that arrive without valid health certificates. All persons transporting dogs via commercial air should contact the airline for any additional requirements.

The United States Interstate and International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals (APHIS Form 7001) is the certificate that California accredited, licensed veterinarians complete prior to the interstate exportation of dogs and cats. This form is available here.

For state-specific information regarding the movement of pets from California to other U.S. States or Territories, please visit the California Department of Public Health website

International Pet Importation & Exportation

dog in grass field

Federal Regulations

The federal regulations are in addition to the requirements of Health & Safety Code 121720 above. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) govern the international importation of pets.

Currently, the CDC has suspended the importation of dogs from High-Risk Rabies countries.

Please visit the CDC website and USDA website for more detailed information.

Information regarding pet exportation can be found on the USDA website here.


dog sitting next to travel carrier

Complaints for violations of Health & Safety Code Section 121720 should be directed to your local animal control provider.

In the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee, and Solana Beach, please contact:

San Diego Humane Society
5500 Gaines Street
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 299-7012

In the unincorporated areas of the County of San Diego, please contact:

County of San Diego
Department of Animal Services
5480 Gaines Street
San Diego, CA 92110

Importation of Livestock

See the guidelines outlined by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) here.