Pet Travel – Crossing The Border

by Amy Burkert

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This week Buster and Ty, the Life with Dogs travel correspondents, come to you from across the border in Victoria, BC! The rules for taking your pet abroad depend on the countries you’re visiting, and we’ve got the information you’ll need if you’re planning a vacation to Canada.

Ty: When I heard we were taking a fairy to Canada I thought, “We’re already packed like sardines in this little RV – I hope this fairy doesn’t have a lot of luggage.”

Buster: But, I think having a fairy to play with would be fun!

Ty: It wasn’t long before we figured out we were taking a FERRY – not a FAIRY.

Buster: I was kind of disappointed.

Ty: Taking your dog to Canada, whether by car or by boat, is pretty easy. Here’s all you have to worry about:

What YOU Will Need

If you are a run-of-the-mill adult US citizen, you need a passport. For more information on applying for or renewing your passport, read this. Children under the age of 18 will need their birth certificates and if you have some unusual circumstances, Wikipedia has a good overview of the information you need to know and additional documents you may need to bring.

What Your DOG Will Need

Pet dogs can enter Canada for any period of time without quarantine from any country. What you need to prove is that your dog has a current vaccination for rabies. Here is a summary of 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 he or she enters Canada, and no vaccination or certification is required if your dog is less than three months old.



Notice About Pet Travel in Ontario

Currently, there is a ban on “pit bull type” dogs in the entire province of Ontario. That means that any police or animal control officer can perform a search and confiscate any dog deemed to be a “pit bull type.” If the dog is proven to be a pit bull, it will be euthanized – even if it hasn’t done anything wrong.

There are no exceptions for tourists traveling with their pets. So, if your dog is, or could be mistaken for a pit bull, we recommend you avoid Ontario.

Do you have any tips for traveling with your dog to another country?