Can I Bring My Pet Into Canada?

Pet Dog Border Crossing

If you are planning to cross the border between the United States and Canada (whether as a visitor or under a temporary resident visa) and you wish to take your dog along, you probably have some uncertainties and questions regarding the pets border crossing formalities.

The upside is that the United States and Canada have similar rules for bringing your pet across the border. Common pets like cats, most dogs and birds can be easily taken across the border if they meet the conditions.

Requirements for Pets at the Border

One of the first requirements is for your pet to be in good health. Unless you are travelling to Hawaii, there will be no reason for you to quarantine your dog, provided that he or she meets the other requirements.

Nevertheless, your pet is subject to a quick inspection at the entry ports, where they are checked for signs of infectious diseases that may be transmitted to human beings. More than that, cats and dogs should have health certificates that are issued by licensed vets.

These certificates are used to identify each pet and certify that they are vaccinated against rabies at least once in the last 3 years. Kittens and puppies under three months can pass through without any kind of certification, but you cannot take more than two such pets across the border.

Importing or Adopting Pets

If however you import or export dogs frequently or you want to take several of them across the border at once, this may be considered for commercial purposes, and different regulations will be applied.

Moreover, there are some things that are universally prohibited at most entry spots around the world, such as fresh eggs, poultry, plants or too many fruits and vegetables. Also, you should not use hay, grass, straw or other types of natural bedding for your pet’s bed, as it may be seized, which will significantly slow your entry into your destination country.

For additional considerations and formal details, you might want to check the requirements imposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The CFIA sets the regulations with regards to pets border crossing and pet products importation.

However, if you only want to bring your dog with you in Canada, the most important thing is to remember to at least bring the vet papers that identify your canine and the proof of rabies shots from the last 3 years. If you are in doubt about whether your pet will cause a problem when crossing the border, consider asking an immigration professional.

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