How to Qualify for TSA Dog Adoption

Maybe your heart is set on adopting a bomb-sniffing labrador or golden retriever. Perhaps you’ve always wanted nothing more than to take home a Belgian Malinois and give her an awesome name like “Chocolate.”

Or maybe you’re ready for the challenge of adopting an explosive detection canine that seems destined for less glamorous work: sniffing out explosives in the mail. But how do you know if you qualify for TSA dog adoption? Here’s the lowdown on who qualifies, how long it takes, and what happens next.

Applicants must be current on all vaccinations and required medication.

Requirements for vaccinations and medication include:

  • Up-to-date vaccinations. All dogs must have current rabies and distemper vaccines, as well as bordetella (kennel cough) if they’ve been boarded at a facility or groomed in the past six months.
  • Current immunizations for the dog’s age. Puppies should have had two rounds of vaccines before adoption; older dogs will need up to four rounds depending on their age when adopted.
  • Up-to-date immunizations for the dog’s breed if applicable: many breeds that compete in obedience competitions require additional vaccines beyond what is needed by all dogs, including parvo virus and corona virus.

Applicants must have a secure, fully fenced yard with a minimum of six-foot fences for security or working dogs.

Applicants must have a secure, fully fenced yard with a minimum of six-foot fences for security or working dogs. If you are not able to meet these requirements, you can still help the TSA by donating to their program. You can also volunteer to walk dogs that are still in training or participate in other aspects of the program such as fostering puppies until they’re old enough to be trained as an explosive detection canine.

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Applicants must be able to provide adequate exercise and socialization for the dog.

If you have the time and resources to exercise your dog daily, this is great news for everyone. However, if you are not able to provide adequate exercise and socialization for a TSA dog, then this may not be the right pet for you.

The amount of exercise required varies from dog to dog depending on their age and health condition. For example, younger dogs need more exercise than older dogs because they are still growing. If a TSA dog is older than 5 years old or has any health conditions such as heart disease or arthritis that limit its mobility or activity level, then they will require less exercise than other types of dogs might need in order to stay healthy.


These qualifications are in place to help ensure that these dogs are going to be well cared for, and that the best possible outcome will occur for everyone involved. With all of this in mind, if you think you’re up to the task, please come visit and apply at our new adoption center today. You won’t regret it!