It’s easier than you think to travel between Canada and the United States with a dog, if you have the right paperwork with you.
From the United States to Canada
In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes import requirements for all animals entering Canada-including domestic pets. Whether they’re moving, vacationing or just passing through, the requirements are the same:
(Pet) dogs do not have to be quarantined and they don’t need to have a microchip or tattoo to identify them.
But all dogs must have their Rabies Vaccination Certificate to cross into Canada. And all dogs must appear to be in good health.
The Rabies Vaccination Certificate you get from the Vet is the one you need, because it shows details of the type of vaccine, the duration of the protection and so on. Dogs less than three months do not require rabies certification. However, proof of the dog’s age must be shown if you are asked.
Rabies tags that go on the collar, are not acceptable
Not all people are asked of course, for this Certificate at the border. But if you are asked – you must have it, or face being turned away. It’s that simple.
From Canada to the United States
These rules are nearly the same: the dog or cat must have a certificate that confirms he is up to date on rabies shots, AS WELL AS a signed statement from a Veterinarian that the pet is healthy. The pet must be vaccinated at least ONE MONTH before the trip.
Pets under 3 months do not need proof of vaccination. However, you can only bring ONE unvaccinated, young pet across the border.
Always a good idea to check
EZCrossings.com has a handy list of the borders you might be crossing so that you can phone and confirm. They are:
- Washington State / British Columbia
- Idaho / British Columbia
- Montana / British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan
- North Dakota / Saskatchewan and Manitoba
- Minnesota / Manitoba and Ontario
- Michigan / Ontario
- New York / Ontario and Quebec
- Vermont / Quebec
- New Hampshire / Quebec
- Maine / Quebec and New Brunswick
The site also has other useful information about travel.
- Go Pet Friendly
- Dog Friendly which features accommodations across the U.S., Canada, Europe and more – who are welcoming to guests with dogs.
- Dog Jaunt – a delightful site
Finally, even if you don’t have a dachshund, you should check this site for fun: You Did What with Your Wiener? Besides the hilarious title, there are plenty of tips that apply to travelling with small dogs, no matter what the breed.
What about Air Travel?
BringFido.com has an excellent list of requirements here, by airline as well as contact info. But again, please call to check, since regulations often change.
ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK BEFORE YOU LEAVE – RULES ABOUT PETS ARE NOTORIOUSLY CHANGEABLE.
This list includes only those crossings known to have had Customs or Immigration services at the border. Other unattended roads are listed in the next section.
Just travelled to Florida from Ontario with our 3 dogs and not a single problem. We had all the paperwork as suggested above but the border guard didn’t look at it – just asked if they were in good health. If you want them groomed though they are very particular about the paperwork – which is a great thing.
Good to hear… always the way. The better prepared you are, the less you need it 🙂