Pet Travel Destinations: Canada, Your Dog, and You

dog travel Canada

If you live in the US and you are looking for a good place to go on an adventure with your four-legged friend, you need look no further than Canada. Crossing the border from the United States to Canada is a pretty simple process, even when you have a dog with you, but there are a few things that you need to know if you’re planning to treat your pooch to a Canadian Adventure. If you live anywhere else in the world, a trip with your beloved pet to Canada might be more complicated, but still worth it!

What You Need

If you are a US citizen over the age of 16, you will definitely need your passport to drive over to Canada. If you are driving, you will also need to bring your enhanced driver’s’ license, and you will need medical insurance.

If you’re traveling with a child under 16, you’ll have to bring along their birth certificate, and possibly other documentation if you are in a shared custody situation.

Some of you may also need to apply for a visa to get into Canada. You can find out more about this at, and you should not travel without your documentation if you need it, or it is highly likely that you will be turned away at the border and yours and your dog’s fun will be ruined!

road trip Ontario Canada

What Your Dog Needs

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for permitting pets into the country, and they look at the rabies status of the country of entrants before they are allowed in. Unfortunately, the United States is not considered to be a rabies-free area, which means you will need to obtain proof that your dog has an up-to-date rabies vaccine. You can find out more about rabies vaccines at Vacines.Gov, but in most cases, you will simply have to take your dog to the vets and have them administer a shot.

Once the shot has been administered, your veterinarian will need to write out a certificate which includes the breed, weight, color and other characteristics of your dog, along with information about the type of vaccine used to enable you and your pet to gain entry to Canada.

The French Poodle - Montréal, Québec, Canada.jpg
Even statues have dogs! Montréal, Québec

Generally, the Canadian authorities only recognize vaccines as being valid for one year, so try to get your dog vaccinated as close to your trip as possible, and puppies aged three months or less will not require a rabies vaccination.


The good news is that Canada does not require a quarantine period on pets arriving from any country in the world, so you will not have to part with your precious pooch for even a second upon reaching Canada.

dog hunting salmon, Canada
Salmon fishing!

Health Certificates

If your dog is a healthy happy chappy, it is unlikely that you will need a health certificate, but if he seems to be ill, border control could request that you present one, stating that your dog is not contagious. So, if you know or suspect your dog may be ill, having him checked over by the vet before you travel would be a good idea.


dog visiting ontario canada
Ontario, Canada, dog on a walk

You can bring a small amount of dog food for personal use into the country providing you bring no more than 44 pounds with and that they are commercially packaged and sealed. You must only feed your own dog with this food, and it must be on your person at the moment you enter the country.

Now, all that remains is to book a great pet-friendly hotel and enjoy your stay in beautiful Canada.

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Pet Travel Destinations: Canada, Your Dog, and You



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