Importing a Dog From Japan to the United States

Since Japan is a rabies free country (since 1957), entry to the US is pretty straightforward and simple. Microchipping and vaccinations are not mandatory, however I'd still recommend microchips and up to date multi vaccinations when travelling internationally with any dog. For entry from Japan, the dog must have resided in Japan for 6months or since birth (otherwise rabies vaccination 30 days prior to import is necessary).

Here are the CDC regulations

You may be required to sign a confinement agreement if your dog is not up to date on its rabies vaccinations. This agreement states that you will keep your dog confined in your home until 30 days elapse after a rabies vaccination.

Japanese export regulations require that a pup is at least 8 weeks old before being exported. I don't imagine anyone would be wanting to exported a pup younger than that anyway, but that's the regulation for you. One thing to pay attention to if you are trying to fly a pup back with you to the US is that some airlines have age specific and other regulations. ANA (All Nippon Airways) for example requires that all dogs are at least 4 months old. United and Delta only accept dogs as cargo, which means you need to book through a shipping agent like NIPPON EXPRESS and pay much more than you would if the dog was accepted as excess baggage (when shipping a dog as cargo you will end up paying for more than the price of a person's airlines ticket, in some cases double!). And of course, some airlines do not accept dogs period. So, check with your airline when booking your flight!

For airlines accepting dogs as check in baggage (in the climate controlled hold with other baggage), fees vary. In my experience you will usually be charged somewhere between 150-400 USD. Look into this in advance as well, since some airlines charge per kg which can end up being an exciting surprise. I delivered one pup to Narita airport a few years back only for its owner to discover that the check in fee for their dog would be over 1000USD.

As far as export procedures go, you will need to apply for an inspection at least 1 week prior to your flight. The inspection will take place at the airport you are flying out of. Here's the official Animal Quarantine website regarding departure from Japan for dogs/cats


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