Canada Pet Passport Regulations
All dogs imported commercially from countries at high-risk for dog rabies will not currently be permitted entry into Canada. Commercial transport will include, but are not limited to dogs for change of ownership, resale, adoption, fostering, breeding, show or exhibition, research, and other purposes. This includes dogs that have resided in or have visited high-rabies countries within the past 6 months. Cats are not included in this ban.
There will be no quarantine imposed on your pet when entering Canada as long as the following requirements are met. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets including service and emotional support dogs and cats. Owners of other pets should refer to item 9.
Canada does not require that your pet be identified with a pet microchip unless the import is commercial (see below), but it is strongly recommended that your pet be identified with a 15 digit ISO 11784 compliant pet microchip.
The microchip should be implanted by your veterinarian, veterinary hospital or trained nurse. You should receive documentation as to the manufacturer of the microchip and instructions on how to register your pet's information in the manufacturer database.
Dogs over 8 months of age and cats over 3 months of age entering Canada from countries Canada considers as rabies free*
Your dog or cat will need either proof of current rabies vaccination (EU Pet Passport is accepted) OR a health certificate in English or French and completed by a licensed veterinarian in the origination country.
The certificate must clearly identify your pet and a governmental veterinarian must state that rabies has not existed in the originating country for the six (6) month period immediately preceding the shipment of your pet; and, your pet has been in that country for the six (6) month period or since birth. A licensed veterinarian in your country can also do this as long as the certificate is endorsed by a governmental authority responsible for the import and export of live animals.
The same requirements apply to dogs or cats that originated from Canada and are being returned directly from a country designated by the Minister as having been free from rabies and living there for not less than six (6) months.
*Countries Canada classifies as rabies-free
Australia, Fiji, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Dogs over 8 months of age and cats over 3 months of age entering Canada from all other countries
If your dog or cat is entering Canada from a country not included on the list above, then you will need the following:
- A valid rabies vaccination certificate issued, in either English or French, by a licensed veterinarian from the country of origin. (EU Pet Passport is accepted.) There is no waiting period after the vaccination is administered. Canada does recognize the three year rabies vaccination. Please note that if a validity date does not appear on the certificate, then it will be considered a one year vaccine.
- Your airline may require a veterinary certificate of health.
Unaccompanied dogs under 8 months of age entering Canada from any country
Due to the problems with puppy mills and the movement of puppies, Canada is very sensitive to dogs entering the country under eight (8) months of age and will assume that, if you, as the owner of your dog, are not traveling with your dog and its papers are not in your name, it may be considered a commercial* shipment by customs and be subject to a microchip, health certificate issued within 48 hours of entry, and an import permit.
Puppies entering Canada without their owners or commercially* will need to be vaccinated for distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus, and parainfluenza, no earlier than six weeks of age. Arrangements should be made with veterinary officials at the port of entry for inspection outside of normal working hours.
See Note above for restrictions on commercial transport of dogs from countries classified as high-rabies.
Dogs imported for purposes of being given or transferred to another person, resale, adoption, fostering, breeding, show or exhibition and research will be classified as commercial.
An exception to this requirement involves puppies traveling from the United States entering Canada for competitions.
** If proof can be provided that your dog is entering Canada temporarily and is registered in a competition, show or a trial organized by a recognized association and meets all other requirements, an import permit is not required.
If this proof is unavailable, then the owner must apply for an import permit at least 30 days in advance.
All dogs entering Canada under 8 months for commercial purposes must enter Canada as air cargo, if flying.
Entering Canada with puppies under three (3) months of age
Dogs and cats under three (3) months of age are exempt from import requirements if entering Canada with their owner. Proof of age and ownership should be available.
Medically Certified Guide Dogs
Assistance dogs that are endorsed as a guide, hearing or other service dog are not subject to any restrictions for importation when the person importing the dog is the user of the dog and accompanies the dog to Canada.
Pet Health Certificate
See rabies vaccination requirements above. If a pet health certificate is required, it must be in English or French and completed by a licensed veterinarian. It should identify the animal, the dates of vaccination, the manufacturer and the expiration date of the rabies vaccine. The Canada does accept 3 year rabies vaccinations. Import permits will be required for puppies entering Canada unaccompanied.
Entering Canada by Air
Pets can enter Canada at international airports in many cities including but not limited to Vancouver, Calgary, Ontario, Quebec and Montreal.
Dogs and cats entering Canada from all countries except the United States will be subject to inspection. There is a $30.00USD fee for this service for the first animal and $5.00USD for each additional animal. Proof of rabies vaccination will be required.
All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry. If your pet is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owner's expense.
Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens under the age of 3 months and not vaccinated for rabies entering Canada are exempt from import requirements. See above for information regarding puppies and kittens between the age of 3 and 8 months.
The American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier and their crosses are banned from entering or transiting the province of Ontario. The City of Toronto also bans the breeds. Transiting Toronto is not permitted on WestJet. When transiting Toronto, advance notice must be provided and an agent must transit your dog.
The following dogs or their mixes are banned in Winnipeg: American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier.
Exporting Pets Living in Canada
All resident pets leaving the Canada must send relevant paperwork required for the destination country to the State CFIA office for endorsement of an export permit prior to leaving the country. Additionally, transiting pets whose permits or health certficiates have expired should obtain these documents in Canada and have them endorsed prior to leaving the country.
Rabbits entering Canada from the United States do not require documentation although they may be inspected by border officials. Rabbits imported from any country other than the United States will need an import permit and will be subject to quarantine. Your rabbit must be accompanied by you, the owner, and must be accompanied with a statement that they have always been in your possession as a pet. You should contact the local CFIA office in the province into which your rabbit will be imported.
Rodents (guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, rats, chinchillas and hamsters) do not need a permit or health certificate to enter Canada.
Ferrets entering Canada over the age of 3 months from the United States must be accompanied by proof of current rabies vaccination. If entering Canada from any other country with a ferret, an import permit issued by the local CFIA office in the destionation province is required.
Birds: Owners must accompany their domesticated birds into Canada from the United States. 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 that their bird is not intended for resale. The bird must be found healthy during inspection. The bird must not have entered Canada for 90 days preceeding their current visit.
Birds entering Canada from other countries will require an import permit from the local CFIA office in the destination province. Canada bans the import of birds from certain countries and has additional requirements from others. More information can be obtained at the local CFIA office.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations.
Need More Assistance?
To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on PetTravel.com reflect the current regulations. We cannot predict how a given country may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to make arrangements to put your pet into quarantine at your expense, return your pet to the country of origin, or euthanize your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the country you are visiting.
Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com under Pet Passports. We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 2:00 PM EST.
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