How to Bring Pets to Canada

Under the National Animal Health Program, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes import requirements for all animals and animal products entering Canada-including domestic pets. You are welcome to bring a pet to Canada when you come to visit but various requirements must be met and these vary depending on the type of pet you have.

The following documents are required to clear health and quarantine:

  1. Canada does not impose a quarantine on a pet arriving from any country, and there is no waiting period between the time your dog is vaccinated for rabies and the time he is welcome to enter Canada and does not require a microchip or tattoo identification for dogs imported as personal pets. However, dogs under 8 months of age imported under the commercial category (dogs for retail sale, breeding purposes, show or exhibition, scientific research, dogs in ‘special training status’, and dogs destined for adoption and/or animal welfare organization) must be identified by an electronic microchip.
  2. Dogs 8 months and older and cats that are at least 3 months old need signed and dated certificates from a veterinarian verifying that they have been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. Dogs less than 8 months or cats less than three months old do not need a certificate of rabies vaccination to enter Canada. Animals must be in good health when they arrive.
  3. A blood titer test is not required to enter Canada from any country.
  4. Banned Breeds: American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier is banned from entering or transiting the province of Ontario. The City of Toronto also bans the breeds; however, air transit is permitted. When transiting Toronto, advance notice must be provided and an agent must transit your dog.
  5. Rabbits entering Canada from the United States do not require documentation although they may be inspected by border officials. Rodents (guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, rats, chinchillas and hamsters) do not need a permit or health certificate to enter Canada and Birds entering Canada from other countries will require an import permit from the local CFIA office in the destination province. 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.

It is not essential for pets to travel with their owners when moving to Canada. They can be shipped into the country by a specialist pet moving company providing they have all the correct paperwork in place. If the pet does travel with its owner then the commercial airline may have different requirements as regards health paperwork so this will need to be checked in advance. Pets can enter Canada at international airports in many cities including but not limited to Vancouver, Calgary, Ontario, Quebec and Montreal.


For more information:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa ON K1A 0C5

Toll-free: 1-855-773-0241
Telephone: 613-773-1000
TTY: 613-773-2600
Fax: 613-773-1081