Traveling with Your Dog to Canada
What YOU Will Need
If you are traveling with children under the age of 16, they will need their birth certificates.
If you have some unusual circumstances, like being a divorced parent having or sharing custody of a child, Wikipedia has a good overview of the information you need to know and the additional documents you need to bring. If you’re still not finding what you need, consider contacting an attorney who specializes in immigration law before you leave the country.
If you’re pending the night in Canada you’ll need to find a great pet friendly hotel! It’s easy to find the perfect spot by searching online or reaching out to your friends for recommendations.
What YOUR DOG Will Need
Pet dogs can enter Canada for any period of time without quarantine from any country. Canada’s entry requirements take into further consideration the rabies status of the country of origin. And no, the US is not a country that Canada recognizes as being rabies free.
So basically, you need proof that all vaccinations are up to date, and by vaccinations I mean rabies. Here is the official take on the required proof:
Domestic or pet dogs may enter Canada if accompanied by an original valid rabies vaccination certificate, which is issued by a licensed veterinarian (a veterinarian who is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the country of origin) in English or French and which clearly identifies the dogs and states that they are currently vaccinated against rabies.
This certificate should identify the animal as in breed, color, weight, etc., and indicate the name of the licensed rabies vaccine used (trade name), including serial number and duration of validity (up to three years). Please note that if the duration of validity is not indicated on the certificate, the vaccine will be considered to be valid for one year.
There is no waiting period imposed between the time your dog is vaccinated for rabies and the time she enters Canada. However, your dog will need to be vaccinated at least 30 prior to crossing the border back into the States. (See the Update below.)
Note that a rabies vaccination or certification is not required if your dog is less than three months of age. But you’ll need to pre-approved to cross the boarder back into the US with an unvaccinated puppy. (See the Update below.)
Still wondering what it’s really like to cross the border with your pets? Here’s what happened to us on our last trip to Canada and back.
Update: New Requirements for Dogs Entering the United States
On August 11, 2014, the United States enacted new requirements for dog entering the country without proper rabies vaccination records. In the past, pet owners could proceed across the border without proper documentation if they entered into an agreement to vaccinate their dog and isolate him until the inoculation took effect. Due to an increase in requests for these agreements, an investigation was performed that revealed that many people were not complying with the requirements. Now all requests for confinement agreements will be be individually reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and must be pre-approved before crossing the border into the United States. Find out the steps you need to take to make sure your travel plans are not derailed.
Traveling Through Ontario
The Province of Ontario has an ugly BSL that grants police or animal control officers sweeping powers. This includes search and seizure of a dog deemed to be a “pit bull type” based on visual inspection. If the dog is, in fact, judged to be a pit bull type, the dog will be euthanized – even though it may not have broken any other law.
There are no exceptions for tourists traveling with their pets. Having papers to prove your dog’s pedigree could make all the difference.
Here is a summary of the law from Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General.