Pets are members of the family, and many newcomers wouldn’t think of leaving them behind when they decide to immigrate to Canada.
If you’re planning to visit Canada with your furry friend in 2023, here’s what you need to know.
Bringing your pet to Canada is easier than you think!
If you provide proof that your pet has received a rabies vaccine and you have the right documentation to show the Canadian Border Services Agent (CBSA), the process won’t be complicated. Vaccination is an easy and important way to protect your pet from this deadly virus.
What kind of documentation does my pet need?
Proof of a rabies vaccine
Canada is a rabies-free country and strives to stay that way. Every cat or dog that comes into Canada needs proof of rabies vaccination or that the pet is from one of the countries on the “rabies free” list. Without proof of either vaccination or that the pet comes from one of these countries, your pet will likely be denied entry.
The rabies vaccination certificate must:
- be written in English or French;
- be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
- identify the animal (age, breed, sex, colour/markings, weight, and microchip/tattoo number if applicable);
- 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 1 year from the date of vaccination); and
- have the name and signature of the licensed veterinarian that issued the certificate and the date it was signed.
Cats and dogs must be at least 3 months of age at the time of rabies vaccination. Puppies and kittens younger than three months, and are therefore not vaccinated, require proof of age.
You won’t have to worry about import fees, but there are a few other things you should keep in mind.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will inspect your documents and ensure that your pet is healthy and well-cared for when you arrive. This inspection typically costs just over $30 for the first pet, and an additional $5 per pet after that. If you’re entering from the United States, this fee doesn’t apply to you!
But, if a border agent feels like further inspection of your pet is necessary, they may call upon an official from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to evaluate it. An additional fee may be applicable in this situation.
Dangerous & Banned Breeds In Canada
Although there isn’t a nationwide ban on specific breeds, one should be informed about provincial and municipal bans.
In the province of Ontario, the city of Montreal, and the city of Winnipeg, the following breeds are banned (including mixed breeds):
- Pit Bull
- American Pit Bull
- Staffordshire Bull
- American Staffordshire
- Presa canarios
If you need to transit through Toronto airport with a banned breed, advance notice is required. Otherwise,your dog won’t be allowed to leave the airport.
Here are some frequently asked questions about importing a pet into Canada:
Question #1: How long will it take to get my dog into Canada?
The length of the process depends on many variables (such as the origin country, the age of your pet, etc.). In general, it can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
Question #2: Will my pet be quarantined once we enter Canada?
The Canadian authorities don’t require pets to be quarantined upon arrival. However, if a pet arrives without meeting the necessary requirements, quarantine can, and will be enforced, if applicable.
Question #3: The process sounds simple. Why should I use a pet relocation company?
Bringing pets to Canada is simple since the import process doesn’t require many documents.
However, if you are relocating with your pet for the first time, there is a chance that you’ll miss something. One tiny mistake could cause a big problem!
Every now and then we hear unfortunate cases of dogs/cats that are denied by the Canadian authorities because of a “small” mistake.
Question #4: Does my dog/cat need to pass a rabies titer test to enter Canada?
No, no matter where your pet is coming from.
Question #5: I need to reach a destination in Canada that isn’t Toronto or Montreal. How can I do so?
Canada is a large country and therefore, there are destinations that are hard to reach with pets (such as Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton and more). If you want to reach these destinations with pets, you will probably need to fly your pets as manifest cargo, with an airway bill.
It is important to note that sending pets as cargo is very expensive.
Are you looking to apply for any type of visa to Canada?
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We look forward to welcoming you soon!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
***Please note government fees are to be paid at the moment of submitting the application. They are also non-refundable if the application is refused.