Travel with Pets from US to CANADA

Can I travel with my pet from US to Canada?  Yes, most pets (Dogs, Cats, caged Birds and Ferrets) will only need a Rabies Vaccination Certificate and appear healthy at their physical inspection on arrival.  There are exceptions for unaccompanied dogs under 8 months and pets imported for commercial purposes. APHIS and CFIA. Canada is not considered a “high-risk” Rabies country by the US. There is no quarantine for pets (Dogs, Cats, Caged Birds, Ferrets).

1. DOCUMENTATION Requirements for Dogs, Cats, Ferrets and Birds:

A. DOGS: Is your Dog traveling accompanied or unaccompanied?

Dogs over 8 months old ACCOMPANIED and UNACCOMPANIED by the owner

Health Certificate is not required

A Rabies Vaccination Certificate is required issued by a licensed veterinarian, proving vaccination against Rabies within 3 years of importation into Canada is all that is required.

Dogs aged between 3 months to 8 months of age ACCOMPANIED by their owner

 Valid Rabies vaccination certificate

Dogs who’s age is 3 months to 8 months of age UNACCOMPANIED by their owner

Proof of Age

Veterinary Certificate of Health issued 72 hours or less before the Dog is imported into Canada.

Dogs younger than 3 months age, ACCOMPANIED by their owner to Canada need only proof of the dog’s age (you get this from a veterinarian).

Dogs younger than 3 months traveling UNACCOMPANIED by their owner.

Proof of age

A Health Certificate is required issued 72 hours or less before the Dog is imported into Canada.

B. CATS.  Cats do NOT require a health certificate.  Cats will be physically examined upon arrival for a healthy appearance.

CATS require a Rabies vaccination certificate issued by licensed veterinarian, proving vaccination within 3 years of importation into Canada.  Kittens under 3 months of age are exempt from rabies vaccination.

C. FERRETS and BIRDS do not require a Health Certificate or a Rabies Vaccination Certificate when arriving from the US. Ferrets and Birds will be physically inspected upon arrival for health. Birds excludes pigeons, doves, species of wild or domesticated fowl, or game birds. 

What is required of a Veterinary Certificate of Health? The Certificate must: EXPAND
  • be written in English or French
  • be issued on clinic letterhead
  • be issued and signed by the licensed veterinarian who performed the examination
  • identify the animal (age, breed, sex, color/markings, weight, and microchip/tattoo number if applicable)
  • identify the owner of the animal
  • specify the date and time of the examination
  • have the name and signature of the licensed veterinarian that issued the certificate and the date it was signed
  • state that the licensed veterinarian is satisfied that the animal:
    • is not less than 8 weeks of age at the time of the examination
    • is free of any clinical evidence of disease
    • was vaccinated, not younger than 6 weeks of age, for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza virus
    • can be transported to Canada without undue suffering due to infirmity, illness, injury, fatigue, or any other causes
  • be issued 72 hours or less before the dog is imported into Canada
  • You can use a private Veterinarian and the certificate does not need to be endorsed by APHIS.
  •  All information on the certificate must be legible.

2. Microchip Your Pet For Travel

NO, Except for dogs, under 8 months old, imported for commercial purposes.  Although some websites inform that it is required (mostly travel agents and veterinarian sites). The regulatory authorities are US APHIS and CDC and Canada: Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates importation of animals and animal food– and the answer is no.

3. Breed Restrictions for Pets to Canada

Ontario, which includes Toronto, prohibits importation of Pit Bulls, (including Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier, and any dog with the “appearance and physical characteristics” of a pit bull) This law applies to tourists, citizens and people moving to Ontario. There are exceptions for these breeds transiting with permission in advance, or carrying proof of a breed not Pit Bull, or participating in dog shows and tournaments of the North American Flyball Association.

4. FAQ  

Can I bring my pet’s food to Canada from the US?

Canada allows travelers from the US to bring up to 44lbs/20 kg, IF:

the pet food or product is of US origin, commercially packaged and you and your pet must be traveling together with the pet food. Source: Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  All other countries are prohibited from bringing pet food into Canada.

Does my pet need a Microchip to enter Canada from the US?  NO, according to the regulatory agencies: US, APHIS and CDC, and the Canada’s (CFIA). The only exception is animals imported for commercial use, adoption and rescue.

Your choice of airlines will have their own requirements including whether your pet may fly to Canada in-cabin, checked baggage or cargo.

Related: Pet Cargo Crate Requirements for Airlines-A COMPLETE Guide

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