Dog Passport Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Find out how to secure a dog passport in Canada for hassle-free travel with your pet. Get the latest info on vaccinations, documents, and more. Start planning your trip now and consider hiring our expert pet travel service for a truly effortless experience. Contact us today!
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    Getting Your Canadian Dog Passport

    As you prepare for your next adventure, consider the ease and convenience that comes with professional pet relocation services. Your journey can be as enjoyable for your pet as it is for you with Your Dog Butler’s dedicated support. Start planning today and make your travel experience unforgettable!

    Whether you’re planning a quick getaway or a long-term relocation, working with Your Dog Butler to manage your pet’s travel arrangements means peace of mind for both you and your beloved companion. We’ll navigate the complexities of international pet travel, assisting with everything from obtaining the necessary health certificates to arranging comfortable transportation.

    Steps Before Traveling With Your Dog to Canada

    Before you head to Canada with your dog, there are important steps you need to follow. Bringing your dog into Canada involves meeting certain import requirements. These depend on a few key factors:

    • Where your dog is coming from
    • Your dog’s age
    • The purpose of bringing your dog into Canada
    • Whether you’ll be with your dog during the travel

    To ensure everything goes smoothly, check the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) pet import tool tailored to your specific situation. It’s important to make sure all these requirements are met well before you travel to Canada.

    And remember, if you’re planning to head from Canada to another country, you will also need to adhere to that country’s import rules for pets.

    Dog Passport Canada Regulations Overview

    Canada has specific regulations concerning the importation of pets to ensure the safety and well-being of both the animals and residents. Notably, there are stringent measures in place for dogs arriving from countries that pose a high risk for rabies.

    Restrictions for Dogs from High-Risk Rabies Countries

    Dogs imported for commercial purposes from countries deemed high-risk for rabies are not permitted to enter Canada. This blanket restriction affects dogs brought in for various commercial reasons, including but not limited to:

    • Change of ownership
    • Resale
    • Adoption
    • Fostering
    • Breeding
    • Participation in shows or exhibitions
    • Research purposes

    The prohibition also applies to dogs that have spent time in high-risk rabies countries within six months prior to entering Canada.

    Please note, these specific import restrictions do not apply to cats.

    No Quarantine with Compliance

    Quarantine is not a requirement for pets entering Canada, provided all necessary conditions are met.

    Canada Pet Passport Checklist

    To travel internationally, your dog will need its own form of documentation – essentially a dog passport. This includes proof of rabies vaccination, a Canadian International Health Certificate, and sometimes a microchip number. The cost of a dog passport in Canada varies based on veterinary fees and any additional tests or treatments required.

    1) Pet Microchip Requirement

    In Canada, a pet microchip is not mandatory for non-commercial pet imports. However, for commercial pet imports, microchipping is required (details below). It is highly encouraged to have your pet microchipped with a 15-digit ISO 11784 compliant chip for identification purposes.

    A qualified veterinarian, veterinary hospital, or trained nurse should perform the microchip implantation. Upon implantation, you’ll be given documentation detailing the microchip’s manufacturer and guidance on registering your pet’s information in the manufacturer’s database

    2) Vaccinations

    If you’re bringing your dog (over 8 months old) or cat (over 3 months old) from a country Canada considered rabies-free, you’ll need:

    • Proof of rabies vaccination (an EU Pet Passport works) or
    • A health certificate in English or French from a vet in the originating country. It must identify your pet and confirm that rabies hasn’t been in that country for 6 months. Your pet should have lived there for the same period or since birth. A local vet can issue this if a governmental authority endorses it.

    Countries Canada considered rabies-free include Australia, Fiji, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK.

    Other Countries

    For pets from other places, you’ll need:

    • A rabies vaccination certificate in English or French from your vet (an EU Pet Passport is okay). There’s no wait time after the shot. Without an expiration date on the certificate, it’s seen as valid for one year.

    Please be aware that some airlines might also ask for a health certificate.

    Puppies Under 8 Months Without Their Owner 

    Canada is cautious about puppies under 8 months traveling without their owner due to concerns about puppy mills. These puppies are treated as commercial shipments and need:

    • A microchip
    • A health certificate issued within 48 hours before entering Canada
    • An import permit

    They also must be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, parvo, and parainfluenza from 6 weeks old.. It is best to hire Professional Pet Relocation Companies , such as Your Dog Butler, to work with you and your breeder or broker to ensure all requirements are met with the airline, CFIA and Canadian customs

    Commercial Shipments

    Dogs brought to Canada for resale, adoption, breeding, shows, or research are considered commercial. However, puppies from the U.S. entering for competitions might not need an import permit if they’re registered for an event organized by a recognized association and meet all health requirements. Otherwise, an import permit is needed 30 days before arriving.

    Commercial imports of puppies under 8 months must fly as air cargo.

    Puppies Under 3 Months

    If your dog or cat is under 3 months old, they don’t need any special import documents when they’re traveling with you. Just bring proof of their age and that you’re their owner.

    Certified Guide Dogs

    Certified guide, hearing, or service dogs accompanying their user face no restrictions when entering Canada.

    3) No Rabies Titer Test Needed

    When entering Canada with a pet from any country, you don’t need a rabies titer test.

    4) Pet Health Certificate Requirements

    In addition to the rabies vaccination details mentioned earlier, if a pet health certificate is necessary, it must be:

    • Written in English or French
    • Filled out by a licensed veterinarian
    • Include your pet’s identification, vaccination dates, vaccine manufacturer, and vaccine expiration date. Remember, Canada recognizes 3-year rabies vaccines.

    For puppies coming to Canada without their owner, import permits are mandatory.

    5) Pets flying without Owners  by Air 

    You can bring your pets into Canada through various international airports, including those in cities like Vancouver, Calgary,  Toronto,Quebec, and Montreal.

    All dogs and cats arriving from countries other than the United States will undergo inspection. The fee for this inspection is approximately $30.00 USD for the first pet and an additional $5.00 USD for each extra pet. Pets will need to be cleared through Canadian customs which international pet relocation companies can manage on your behalf and even deliver your pet right to your home in Toronto.

    Upon entry, all pets must show no signs of diseases that could be transmitted to humans. If any pet appears to be unwell, a licensed veterinarian may need to conduct a further assessment at your cost.

    pet ready to travel

    6) Puppies and Kittens Guidance

    Puppies and kittens younger than 3 months, who have not yet been vaccinated for rabies, are not subject to import regulations when entering Canada. For details on requirements for puppies and kittens aged between 3 and 8 months, please refer to the previously mentioned guidelines.

    7) Restrictions on Certain Dog Breeds

    There are specific breed restrictions in place within Canada. In Ontario, bringing in or transiting through with breeds such as:

    • American Staffordshire Terrier
    • Pit Bull Terrier
    • American Pit Bull Terrier
    • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    • And any of their crosses is strictly prohibited

    If you’re planning to transit through Toronto with one of the banned breeds, it’s not allowed on WestJet. Should you need to transit through Toronto with a different carrier, advance notification is necessary, and an agent must handle the transit of your dog.

    8) Exporting Pets from Canada

    When you’re taking a pet that resides in Canada to another country, you need to prepare the necessary documents as required by the destination country. Then, you must submit these documents to the local CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) office so they can endorse an export permit for your pet before you depart.

    If you’re transiting through another country and your pet’s permits or health certificates have expired, you should renew these documents in Canada. Ensure that they are endorsed by the appropriate authorities before you leave the country.

    9) Importing Other Animals to Canada


    • From the United States: No documentation is needed, but border officials may inspect them.
    • From other countries: You must obtain an import permit and your rabbit will need to undergo quarantine. You should also have a statement affirming that the rabbit has always been your pet. Contact the local CFIA office in the province where you’ll be importing your rabbit.

    Rodents (guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, rats, chinchillas, hamsters)

    • These animals can enter Canada without a permit or a health certificate.


    • From the United States (over 3 months old): Must have proof of current rabies vaccination.
    • From other countries: An import permit from the local CFIA office is required.


    • From the United States: You must accompany your birds and sign a declaration stating that they have been in your possession for the past 90 days, have not been in contact with other birds during this period, and are not intended for resale. Birds must be healthy upon inspection.
    • From other countries: An import permit is required, and specific rules apply depending on the country (due to some being banned). Check with the local CFIA office for details.

    For all animal imports, it is advisable to check the most current regulations through the local CFIA office as rules can frequently change.

    10. “CITES” for Pet Owners

    If your pet is a species other than a dog, cat, or ferret, particularly turtles or parrots, it’s crucial to check if it falls under the protections of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Should your pet be covered by CITES, you’ll need to secure additional permits. This international agreement is upheld by over 180 countries committed to ensuring that international trade does not threaten the survival of wild animals and plants.

    Tips for Flying With a Dog

    Understanding airline policies for dog air transport is crucial. Each airline has unique regulations regarding size of  pet if permitted in the cabin, crate and carrier requirements, pet carrier types allowed (hard-sided or soft-sided), and restrictions on certain breeds. It’s essential to research these ahead of time and prepare your dog for their journey in a comfortable, airline-approved travel carrier.

    Planning Ahead

    A recommended timeline for preparation can vary, but starting several months in advance is wise. This allows ample time to gather necessary documentation, ensure all vaccinations are up to date, and budget for related expenses. Dog transport services, like Your Dog Butler, can offer invaluable assistance in navigating these waters, providing expertise on dog passport Canada cost, international dog relocation services, and more.

    Canada Dog Passport FAQs

    Dive into these frequently asked questions to ensure you’re fully prepared for your next Canadian adventure with your pet.

    What is a dog passport for travel to Canada?

    A dog passport is a collection of documents that verify your dog’s health and vaccination status. For Canada, the passport typically includes a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination.

    Do I need a dog passport to enter Canada with my pet?

    Yes, you need to have documentation for your dog when entering Canada, including a rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary health certificate.

    What vaccinations does my dog require for a Canadian dog passport?

    The primary vaccination required is for rabies. However, it’s best to consult with your vet for any additional vaccinations that might be recommended or required.

    Does my dog need to be microchipped to enter Canada?

    Microchipping is not mandatory for dogs entering Canada, but it is highly recommended for the safety and identification of your pet.

    How long before traveling should my dog be vaccinated for rabies?

    Your dog should be vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days before entering Canada but check the latest regulations as this can change.

    Are there any breed restrictions for dogs entering Canada?

    Canada does not have any nationwide breed-specific bans for dogs entering the country, but some provinces and municipalities have their own restrictions, so it’s important to check the local laws.

    Can puppies enter Canada, and do they need a dog passport?

    Puppies can enter Canada, and those younger than three months old are exempt from rabies vaccination requirements. However, they still need a veterinary certificate of health.

    Is a dog passport the same as an EU pet passport?

    No, a dog passport for Canada is not the same as an EU pet passport. The requirements differ based on the country’s specific regulations.

    How much does it cost to get a dog passport for Canada?

    The cost varies depending on your vet fees, any vaccinations needed, microchipping, and additional tests. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian for the total costs.

    Where can I get more information on dog passports for Canada?

    For the most accurate and up-to-date information, visit the official Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website or consult wiith our team of international pet travel experts

    Make Traveling With Your Dog to Canada Easy!

    Traveling with your dog, whether you’re crossing the US-Canada border, moving internationally, or taking an overseas vacation, can come with its challenges. Utilizing dog transport services that have expertise in handling these situations can ease your stress and ensure a smooth journey for your pet.

    Your Dog Butler specializes in comprehensive dog relocation services. We manage all aspects of your pet’s travel, from securing a dog passport in Canada to navigating complex international pet travel rules. Our goal is to make your international pet travel worry-free.

    With proper planning and professional support, you and your dog can look forward to a seamless and enjoyable trip. Start planning your adventure today and experience a lifetime of memories with your furry companion!

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