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How to bring your pet to Canada?

Posted on January 22, 2020
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Pets to canada

All animals entering Canada must meet the import requirements. The requirements for importing animals can include testing and quarantine prior to the animals entering into Canada. The import rules apply to all kinds of pets, that is, domestic as well as non-traditional or exotic animals.

An animal that does not meet Canada’s import requirements might be denied entry into the Canadian territory by the government of Canada.

The relocation of animals across international borders, that is, both import into and export from Canada, comes under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The CFIA requires that all animals, as well as animal products entering Canada, have the proper documentation.

Do keep in mind that the CFIA only considers cats, dogs, and ferrets as pets.

If you will be travelling with any other non-traditional pet – reptiles, birds, aquatic animals, insects etc. – you will have to find out the specific import requirements directly with the CFIA.

Remember that certain import requirements for pets have to completed at a specified time. If not completed on time or done incorrectly, your pet will be regarded as ineligible to travel and will be refused entry into Canada.

It is the sole prerogative of the CFIA to grant or refuse entry to any animal that is presented before the CFIA for importation.

Protecting pets when they travel:

All animals have to be kept safe from any harm or injury at the time of traveling – by air, sea or land.

Here, we have compiled a basic checklist for protecting your pets when they travel –

  • Health check to ensure that your pet is fit enough to travel.
  • Get health certificates and other documentation.
  • The pet carrier should be large enough. While in the carrier, the animal should be able to stand in its natural position, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
  • Adequate ventilation is essential in the pet carrier.
  • The pet carrier must be secure enough so that the animal does not get injured or escape.
  • The pet carrier should be as per the animal to be transported. For example, you should not transport a snake in a carrier for dogs and vice versa.
  • Contact the airline and inform them well in advance that you will be travelling with a pet.
  • Usually, airlines have their own requirements for transporting animals. Find out the exact requirements beforehand.
  • The CFIA regulates the import of pet food to prevent the introduction of any animal diseases into Canada.
  • Pet treats, pet food, and certain compound chews are subject to regulation under the Health of Animals Regulations if imported into Canada.
  • A traveler can bring into Canada a total of 20 kg (44 pounds) of pet food under personal import, provided that certain conditions are met.
  • The pet food must be commercially packaged and made in the US.

Do keep in mind that your pet might be required to be kept under quarantine if the relevant paperwork is not completed or the vaccinations are not done.

To make your pet’s travel smooth, it is advisable to get in touch with your local veterinarian as soon as you work out your travel details. Do keep in mind that you might have to arrange a health certificate, get vaccinations updated, have certain tests conducted, and also administer certain medications.

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