Taking a Pet to Canada

a cat on a suitcase
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Canada welcomes furry (and non-furry) visiting pals but various requirements must be met depending on the type of pet you plan to bring into the country. 

Dogs and Cats

Dogs that are 8 months and older and cats that are at least 3 months old need signed and dated certificates from a veterinarian verifying that they have been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years.

The certificate must: 

  • Be written in English or French
  • Be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian
  • Identify the animal (breed, sex, color, and weight)
  • State that the animal is vaccinated against rabies
  • Indicate the date of vaccination
  • Indicate the trade name and the serial number of the licensed vaccine
  • Specify the duration of immunity (otherwise, it will be considered valid for one year from the date of vaccination)

A European Union pet passport that confirms all the above criteria is also acceptable.

For canines that are less than 8 months old and cats less than three months old, a certificate of rabies vaccination is not required to enter Canada but animals must be in good health when they arrive.

Neither dogs nor cats need to be quarantined upon arrival in Canada nor do they need a microchip (though vets recommend microchipping all pets). Travelers to Canada from the United States may bring a personal supply of up to 20 kg of dog food with them as long as it was purchased in the United States and in its original packaging.

Birds

Feathered friends have their own list of requirements to accompany owners into Canda:

  • The birds must accompany the owner or be in the possession of an immediate family member at the time of entry into Canada.
  • The birds must be found to be healthy when inspected at the port of entry.
  • The owner must sign a declaration stating that the birds have been in his/her possession. for the 90 day period preceding the date of importation and have not been in contact with any other birds during that time.
  • The owner must sign a declaration stating that the birds are the owner's personal pets and are not being imported for the purpose of resale.
  • The owner or any member of the family must not have imported birds into Canada under the pet bird provision during the preceding 90 day period.

Non-Traditional Pets

For those that have unusual pets like pigs, ducks, and pigeons, the immigration requirements are more stringent as they are considered to represent the same level of animal disease risk as farmed animals. These animals may be tested and even quarantined before being allowed to enter into Canada.

Detailed requirement information is provided on the Government of Canada Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website for a wide variety of pet types, including amphibians, birds, fish, rodents, foxes, skunks, horses, rabbits, and even scorpions. 

Pet Travel Resources

Pet-Friendly is an informative website for people traveling with their pets, including listings of pet-friendly accommodation right across Canada. 

Pet Travel is dedicated to international travel with pets, including information on pet insurance, pet-friendly hotels, transportation policies, and immigration requirements worldwide.