If you plan to take your pet abroad or import one on your return, please get a copy of the Customs booklet, Pets & Wildlife (PDF 253). You should also check with state, county, and local authorities to learn if their restrictions and prohibitions on pets are more strict than federal requirements.

Leaving Bulgaria for cats and dogs

A certificate from the Municipal Veterinary Clinic, proving that the dog or cat has a valid rabies vaccination, will need to be given to the Veterinary Control at the airport. The Municipal Veterinary Clinic will issue the certificate based on proof of vaccination (pet passport or a letter from your vet). The vaccination must have been administered within 12 months of departure and at least 20 days prior to the issuance of the certificate. The certificate is valid for 10 days.

If in Sofia, the Regional Veterinary Clinic is located in Banishora, bl. 39, tel. 832-21-98.

Entering the United States

Importing animals is closely regulated for public health reasons and also for the well-being of the animals. There are restrictions and prohibitions on bringing many species into the United States.

Cats must be free of evidence of diseases communicable to humans when they are examined at the port of entry. If the cat does not seem to be in good health, the owner may have to pay for an additional examination by a licensed veterinarian.

Dogs, too, must be free of evidence of diseases that could be communicable to humans. Puppies must be confined at a place of the owner’s choosing until they are three months old; then they must be vaccinated against rabies. The puppy will then have to stay in confinement for another 30 days.

Dogs older than three months must get a rabies vaccination at least 30 days before they come to the United States and must be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate. This certificate should identify the dog, show the date of vaccination and the date it expires (there are one-year and three-year vaccinations), and be signed by a licensed veterinarian. If the certificate does not have an expiration date, Customs will accept it as long as the dog was vaccinated 12 months or less before coming to the United States.