As of August 1st, the CDC is changing the rules for bringing dogs into the United States. This includes leaving the U.S. and returning from a quick trip up to Canada as many folks in our area enjoy doing.

Here are a few of the changes. For more details, please visit the CDC webpage at

  • No puppies under 6 months old will be allowed into the United States. No exceptions. You cannot buy a puppy abroad and bring it into the country. You also cannot take your U.S. born puppy on a trip abroad (even to Canada!) and return before the puppy turns 6 months old.
  • For your dog vaccinated for Rabies in the United States to return back home to the U.S. you must get and pay for a Certification of U.S. -Issued Rabies Vaccine from a USDA licensed veterinarian and it must be endorsed by the USDA. This is different from a health certificate or regular Rabies certificate. This form is then valid for as long as the Rabies vaccine is current.
  • Your pet must be microchipped with an ISO compatible chip and must be chipped prior to the administration of a Rabies vaccine. Even if your dog is current on their Rabies vaccine but isn’t microchipped, then it must be microchipped and given an additional Rabies vaccine. You then must wait 4 weeks from the vaccine to be able to cross the border back into the United States.
  • If your dog’s Rabies vaccination lapses, you will need to get it boostered and then wait 4 weeks to be able to cross back over the border.  It will be important not to let it lapse if you frequently visit Canada.
  • You will need to complete a CDC Dog Import Form on their website which will need to include a photo of your cute furry family member.
  • A very sad effect of this is that these new regulations will make it extremely difficult and costly to bring rescue dogs from other countries into the United States.

This of course is all very new and confusing and we are still learning. If you plan to continue to travel out of the country with your dog, PLEASE educate yourself by spending some time on the CDC website.

Summer Travel

With summer approaching and hotels, parks and restaurants becoming more dog friendly, traveling with your furry companion is easier and more fun than ever.  While enjoying your travels, remember how quickly a parked car can get deadly hot.  Always be safe and have fun!


Which plants are safer for your pets?

This beautiful spring weather has some of us itching to get out and dig around in our yards. And our furry family members want to “help”! Below is a link to the ASPCA’s toxic and non-toxic plant list to help you make the most informed decisions about what to plant to keep your (and other’s) fur babies safer.

Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

New Unknown Respiratory Pathogen?

There have been recent reports in the media of an “atypical canine infectious respiratory disease” with signs of sneezing, coughing, ocular discharge and lethargy. Affected dogs have been found in New Hampshire, the Midwest, Oregon and Washington and have been largely limited to upper respiratory signs.

There are numerous bacteria and viruses that are known to work alone or together to cause what veterinarians commonly refer to as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex. Thus far, none of the known infectious agents including Canine Influenza Virus have been isolated from affected dogs.

The doctors at Maple Leaf Veterinary Care Center have not yet diagnosed any of their patients with this possibly new pathogen and it appears to not be present at significant levels in Washington State. According to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory there have been no deaths in Washington from this new agent.

Our doctors will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as the situation evolves. Meanwhile, what can you do while we learn more about this pathogen? Make sure your dog is up to date with its vaccines including for Bordetella and Parainfluenza. While Canine Influenza Virus has not been isolated from affected dogs, Maple Leaf Veterinary Care Center does have this vaccine available for those dog owners who wish to have their dogs vaccinated for it.

Additionally, depending upon your degree of concern:
 Consider alternatives to large-group boarding situations and measure the benefits of dog park exercise with the potential risk of exposure to potentially sick dogs.
 Avoid sharing of water bowls among large number of dogs of unknown health.
 Have your dog examined by our doctors if it is exhibiting signs of respiratory or other illness.

happy new year!

In observance of New Year’s Day, we will be closed on Monday, January 1st.

We will re-open at 8:00am on Tuesday, January 2nd.

We wish you, your family and your pets a safe and fun holiday!