Travelling With Animals

All animals, including cats, dogs, exotic pets and reptiles, must be kept safe from harm and injury when they are travelling by land, air or sea. It is always a good idea to check the health of your animals before any long trip to make sure it is fit to travel. Health certificates or other documentation may be required when taking your pet on an airplane or to another country, including the United States.

Travel documents for your animals

Before you leave Canada, contact the embassy of your destination country about its requirements for importing animals. The Canadian International Health Certificate may be used to accompany pet dogs and cats to other countries. This certificate must be printed on legal paper (8.5" X 14"). No other format will be accepted.
  • Bilingual Canadian International Health Certificate
  • Trilingual Canadian International Health Certificate
If your destination country accepts this document, have it completed by a veterinarian in Canada and endorsed by an official government veterinarian. There is a fee for this service. You do not need a Canadian International Health Certificate if you are travelling to countries providing their own health certificates or to countries or zones that have negotiated specific veterinary health certificates with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). For further information, please contact the CFIA Office for your province.

Travelling with exotic animals

Do you travel with an exotic animals? Examples of exotic pets include parrots, many lizards, many turtles, hybrid cats, some fish and some snakes. If you are travelling between countries, your exotic pet may require a CITES permit. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was established to prevent over-exploitation of wildlife species through international trade and illegal poaching. Imports and exports of species listed under CITES are controlled through a permit system. If you are travelling with a CITES-listed exotic pet, you will require a permit. It is illegal to bring a CITES-listed animal across Canadian and many international borders without the appropriate CITES permit. Pet passports, also known as Certificates of Ownership, are available from Environment Canada for people who travel frequently outside of Canada with their CITES-listed exotic pet. If you are a resident of Canada and intend to take your pet temporarily and frequently out of Canada strictly for personal purposes, you can apply for a CITES Certificate of Ownership. This “pet passport” is valid for three years, authorizes multiple exports and re-imports, and is recognized by certain countries (e.g., USA). For more information, please consult the Environment Canada brochure Endangered species and the international traveller and the Government of Canada’s requirements for bringing your animals to Canada.

Animal carriers

Pet carriers must be large enough for the animal to comfortably lie down, turn around and stand in its natural position. The carrier should be secure so the animal cannot escape or be injured, but still provide adequate ventilation. The carrier for your pet should be appropriate to the species of animal you are transporting. For example, snakes and other reptiles require a different type of carrier than a cat or dog. Speak to your veterinarian if you are unsure about what type of carrier you should use for your animals.

In an airplane

Most airlines have specific requirements for transporting animals. It is recommended that you contact the airline well in advance to let them know you will be bringing your pet and to find out if you need to do anything before arriving at the airport, i.e. purchase a special pet carrier or obtain a health certificate from a veterinarian.

Dos and Don’ts when bringing your pet on the plane

Do

  • Remove your pet from its carrying case and send the carrying case through the screening equipment.
  • Hold your pet in your arms and proceed through the metal detector.
  • Take your pet out of its cage or carrier if it is being transported in the belly hold of the aircraft. A screening officer will screen the cage or carrier separately.
  • Be responsible for your pet and its behaviour throughout the screening process.
  • Contact your air carrier or travel agent in advance to determine the airline’s policy on passengers travelling with pets.

Don’t

  • Hand your pet to a screening officer to hold while you go through security.
  • Put your pet on the conveyor belt.

Bringing your animal to Canada

The Government of Canada can refuse entry to any animal that does not meet its import requirements. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires documents for all animals and animal products entering Canada. Your pet may require treatment before it can stay in Canada. You are responsible for all costs related to your pet’s quarantine, treatment or disposal.

Bringing pet birds to Canada

Travellers who want to bring live birds into Canada should check the requirements well in advance. The importation of birds into Canada is also subject to the control of the Canadian Wildlife Service (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species - (CITES). The CFIA and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada work together for responsible commercial pet imports and sales. If you witness bird smuggling at a Canadian border crossing or airport, report it immediately to a Canada Border Services Agency officer. Sources:
  • https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/air/pets
  • https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/documents/animals-certificate
  • https://travel.gc.ca/returning/customs/bringing-your-pet-to-canada
 

All animals, including cats, dogs, exotic pets and reptiles, must be kept safe from harm and injury when they are travelling by land, air or sea.

It is always a good idea to check the health of your animals before any long trip to make sure it is fit to travel. Health certificates or other documentation may be required when taking your pet on an airplane or to another country, including the United States.

Travel documents for your animals

Before you leave Canada, contact the embassy of your destination country about its requirements for importing animals.

The Canadian International Health Certificate may be used to accompany pet dogs and cats to other countries. This certificate must be printed on legal paper (8.5″ X 14″). No other format will be accepted.

  • Bilingual Canadian International Health Certificate
  • Trilingual Canadian International Health Certificate

If your destination country accepts this document, have it completed by a veterinarian in Canada and endorsed by an official government veterinarian. There is a fee for this service.

You do not need a Canadian International Health Certificate if you are travelling to countries providing their own health certificates or to countries or zones that have negotiated specific veterinary health certificates with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

For further information, please contact the CFIA Office for your province.

Travelling with exotic animals

Do you travel with an exotic animals? Examples of exotic pets include parrots, many lizards, many turtles, hybrid cats, some fish and some snakes. If you are travelling between countries, your exotic pet may require a CITES permit.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was established to prevent over-exploitation of wildlife species through international trade and illegal poaching. Imports and exports of species listed under CITES are controlled through a permit system. If you are travelling with a CITES-listed exotic pet, you will require a permit. It is illegal to bring a CITES-listed animal across Canadian and many international borders without the appropriate CITES permit.

Pet passports, also known as Certificates of Ownership, are available from Environment Canada for people who travel frequently outside of Canada with their CITES-listed exotic pet. If you are a resident of Canada and intend to take your pet temporarily and frequently out of Canada strictly for personal purposes, you can apply for a CITES Certificate of Ownership. This “pet passport” is valid for three years, authorizes multiple exports and re-imports, and is recognized by certain countries (e.g., USA).

For more information, please consult the Environment Canada brochure Endangered species and the international traveller and the Government of Canada’s requirements for bringing your animals to Canada.

Animal carriers

Pet carriers must be large enough for the animal to comfortably lie down, turn around and stand in its natural position. The carrier should be secure so the animal cannot escape or be injured, but still provide adequate ventilation.

The carrier for your pet should be appropriate to the species of animal you are transporting. For example, snakes and other reptiles require a different type of carrier than a cat or dog. Speak to your veterinarian if you are unsure about what type of carrier you should use for your animals.

In an airplane

Most airlines have specific requirements for transporting animals. It is recommended that you contact the airline well in advance to let them know you will be bringing your pet and to find out if you need to do anything before arriving at the airport, i.e. purchase a special pet carrier or obtain a health certificate from a veterinarian.

Dos and Don’ts when bringing your pet on the plane

Do

  • Remove your pet from its carrying case and send the carrying case through the screening equipment.
  • Hold your pet in your arms and proceed through the metal detector.
  • Take your pet out of its cage or carrier if it is being transported in the belly hold of the aircraft. A screening officer will screen the cage or carrier separately.
  • Be responsible for your pet and its behaviour throughout the screening process.
  • Contact your air carrier or travel agent in advance to determine the airline’s policy on passengers travelling with pets.

Don’t

  • Hand your pet to a screening officer to hold while you go through security.
  • Put your pet on the conveyor belt.

Bringing your animal to Canada

The Government of Canada can refuse entry to any animal that does not meet its import requirements. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires documents for all animals and animal products entering Canada.

Your pet may require treatment before it can stay in Canada. You are responsible for all costs related to your pet’s quarantine, treatment or disposal.

Bringing pet birds to Canada

Travellers who want to bring live birds into Canada should check the requirements well in advance. The importation of birds into Canada is also subject to the control of the Canadian Wildlife Service (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species – (CITES). The CFIA and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada work together for responsible commercial pet imports and sales. If you witness bird smuggling at a Canadian border crossing or airport, report it immediately to a Canada Border Services Agency officer.

Sources:

  • https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/air/pets
  • https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/documents/animals-certificate
  • https://travel.gc.ca/returning/customs/bringing-your-pet-to-canada

 

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