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Canadian dog owners brace for stricter rules for entering U.S.

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Travelling with a pet is already a challenge, but soon it could be even harder for dog owners heading down to the U.S.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control is bringing in new rules starting Aug. 1, which it says are intended to make sure dogs coming into the country are healthy and don't pose a risk.

Among the changes, dogs must be at least six months old and healthy. They’ll also need a microchip and a CDC dog import form receipt – even if you’re just hopping over for gas or groceries.

CTV News stopped by Vancouver's canine-friendly Hadden Beach on Wednesday and spoke with dog owners including Brandi Breen.

She was surprised by the changes.

"I have a son," Breen said. "I have my child coming over (the border). There’s not requirements for vaccines for my child, so why my animal?"

For Breen, the changes could mean leaving Penelope – still a puppy at nine months old – behind during an upcoming trip to Seattle.

"The paperwork for sure," Breen said when asked if it was a potential barrier. "I just wouldn’t want to deal with that, or what if I do it wrong and then I cross the border – or attempt to – and then am turned around because of an animal? That just seems a little bit excessive."

Another dog owner told CTV News his car was once searched by border guards concerned he was potentially bringing in food not approved for sale in the U.S. – and said he’s avoided cross-border travel with his dog since. Adding these new regulations will further discourage him from making the trip down, he said. 

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