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How To Bring Your Pets To Canada

Most pet owners believe that their pets are essential members of their families, and therefore many wonder how they can bring them to Canada when looking into Canadian immigration. Fortunately, while there are certain requirements and restrictions for individuals moving to Canada with pets, the import laws allow most domestic pets to be brought into the country.

Canadian Import Guidelines for Pets

When bringing your pet to Canada, you are technically engaging in the importation of animals to Canada. Customs officials at Canadian ports of entry (POE) inspect all animals and make sure they meet health requirements before allowing them entry into the country. The exact requirements and restrictions vary depending on the type of animal, species, country of origin, and purpose of importation—so newcomers should be sure to check with the CFIA website prior to traveling to Canada.

The requirements for importing pets vary according to the factors listed above. Some pet owners may need a permit allowing them to bring their pet to Canada, or they may require a certificate from a veterinarian stating that their pet has no diseases. Pets might be held in quarantine for certain periods of time before being allowed to enter Canada by CFIA agents. Be sure that you adequately understand the requirements for your pet in order to ensure you won’t have any problems entering the country.

Below are the import requirements and restrictions for some of the most commonly imported pets. You may also find useful resources for importing all varieties of pets.

Bringing Your Dog to Canada

While some restrictions do exist on the importation of dogs, as long as your dog is healthy and disease free, you should be able to bring your pup to Canada by following the proper procedures.

Personal Import

The import of a dog (regardless of age) that is owned by an individual Canadian resident and used as a pet; or, as a service dog that accompanies the person to whom it is assigned.

Commercial Import

Dogs for sale, adoption, breeding, show, exhibition, scientific research, or animal welfare organizations are among the most popular types of pets.

Documentation and Inspection Required for Dogs

Dogs are required to be up to date on their rabies vaccinations, have been spayed or neutered, and are microchipped. The dog must also be free of any diseases that might affect your health in Canada. If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with a disease such as leukemia or lymphoma, it may not be allowed into Canada.

In addition to this documentation, dogs must also undergo an inspection at the border before they can enter Canada. The inspection includes checking for parasites, parasites that are causing anemia in your pet’s bloodstream, and other diseases that could pose a threat to your pet’s health while in Canada.

Bringing Your Cat to Canada

Canada does have some restrictions and requirements for bringing your cat with you, but as long as you follow the required procedure, you shouldn’t have any trouble bringing your kitty to Canada.

The biggest health and safety concern when bringing a cat to Canada is the transmission of the viral disease rabies. All owners bringing their domestic cats to Canada must be prepared to prove their cats are free of the disease through a series of tests. There are two methods cat owners can take:

Rabies Vaccination Certificate: A cat owner can obtain a certificate from their veterinarian attesting to the fact that their cat has received the rabies vaccination. For more information on this certificate, please visit the CFIA website. The European Union pet passport is an acceptable alternative as long as all required information is included.

Veterinary Certificate: Cat owners who plan to bring their cats from a rabies-free country to Canada (or who are bringing cats into Canada from a rabies-affected country) can obtain a veterinary certificate attesting to the fact that their pets have not been exposed to rabies within six months prior to the trip.

Documentation and Inspection Required for Cats

If you are traveling with your pets, it’s important to know what documentation and inspection are required for cats.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has specific requirements for bringing cats into Canada. These include the following:

1. Cats must be microchipped and identified with a tattoo or collar tag.

2. Cats must be vaccinated against rabies at least 10 days before travel to Canada.

3. Cats must be on an approved rabies vaccine carrier that meets the requirements set out by CFIA standards and regulations. This carrier must also be approved by Transport Canada (TC).

4. Cats may only be transported in their carriers if they are properly secured in place and covered with a blanket or sheet to prevent escape during transport between countries or when parked at airports waiting to board aircraft departing from Canada bound for other destinations within North America (including Mexico).

General Tips to Prepare for Your Move to Canada

If you’re planning on moving your pets to Canada, there are a few things you should do before you travel. Here are some tips for making your move easier, and protecting your pet from health-related issues.

Prepare Your Pet’s Health Records

It’s important that you have all of your pet’s medical records available in advance of the move. This includes any vaccinations and tests they’ve had done, as well as their current medications. Make sure that all medications are up-to-date before leaving so that there aren’t any problems once you arrive at your new home.

Make Sure Their Vaccinations Have Been Up-To-Date

Vaccines are important because they help prevent infection and disease among animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every dog receive a rabies vaccination at least two weeks before leaving the United States (or three weeks after arriving). This will ensure that your pet doesn’t get sick while traveling abroad or when moving into a new environment like Canada.

To learn more about your options for immigration to Canada, please complete our free online assessments and one of our legal representatives will contact you to discuss your options.

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