How To Get A Canadian Dog Passport – Travel Guide

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Here is what you need to gather if you want to take your dog outside Canada, or bring him in. Check what a Canadian dog passport is and how to get it.

Traveling with your pet is so exciting. You get to plan, organize, and visit your new favorite destination with your canine.

Still, no matter how open the world is to pets and especially dogs, there are still corners of the world where taking your dog is harder than it should be.

This is why many decide to visit globally-known friendly-pet countries to take their dog with them.

With that in mind, did you know that Canada is one of the most common destinations to fly to with your dog?

Just like pets love following their owner to Canada, many dogs frequently travel from Canada to the most remote world areas.

If you are thinking about taking your dog this year to another place for an adventure, you need to have the proper documentation to get your dog safely from point A to point B.

Whether you are planning on traveling with a pet to or from Canada, there are strict rules that apply.

Here is what you need to know about when it comes to your dog having a Canadian dog passport.

First Thing… Research

Are you thinking about taking your dog to Canada, or getting your dog from Canada?

There are some differences when it comes to entering and exporting, but the very first thing that you should do in both cases is research.

Getting A Canadian Pet Passport To Enter Canada

Are you ready to take your dog to Canada? You have found the best trails and you have your hiking gear on?

If you are passionate about nature and your dog is custom to exploring the wilderness next to you, then you are in for a real adventure.

The only thing that could make your trip a nightmare is not being well-prepared for it. This is why you should do your research first and be ready to check out every step and get your dog safely to Canada.

Do you have a small size dog like Pomeranian or a large size dog like Great Dane? You need to think about breed’s species when planning your travelling.

Are there (where you are heading) enough dog-friendly areas, if your dog’s breed is allowed to enter a specific country (or Canada in this case)? You will need to consider your dog’s age as well.

For different pet species, there are different entry regulations.

For example, your dog may enter Canada, but he may not be allowed to enter certain provinces in Canada.

Make sure that your pet is permitted. If you are flying, you need to ensure that you will land at an airport that allows the import of pets. Plus, you will need the right documentation.

Second, but equally important stop, after proper research on if your dog is welcome across the border, is to visit your veterinarian.

This is relevant because your dog will need a health check and proper vaccinations.

Suprisingly or not, a microchip is not required but is highly recommended.

What about getting a pet passport to export pets from Canada?

This may be slightly more challenging than you expected it to be, because entry requirements for different countries may vary.

What Is A Canadian Pet Passport?

Did you know that Canada doesn’t have an official pet passport as most countries do?

In Canada, a pet passport is a term used to describe the specific documents that one needs to travel to and from Canada with a pet.

These documents are what you need to show customs officials to clear your dog.

As commonly used, a pet passport is a guarantee that your pet is fit and healthy to travel – that he can enter another country.

In a way, it’s a guarantee that your pet won’t harm anyone in another country.

You probably know that in most countries any pet crossing the border is required to face a quarantine period.

However, with a Canadian Pet Passport, your pet won’t have to face this. At least, that is the case in most circumstances.

Canadian Pet Passport

Your Canadian Pet Passport should contain all the necessary documents needed to enter or leave Canada with your dog.

Again: this document is important because it shows that your dog is no danger to other animals.

Here is what a Canadian Pet Passport should contain:

  • Ownership data (name, address, passport number, telephone, etc.)
  • Dogs detailed info (name, species, breed, date of birth, etc.)
  • Your veterinarian’s contact
  • Rabies vaccination certificate
  • Microchip details
  • Health certificate
  • An optional photo
  • Rabies antibody titer test results
  • Additional parasite treatment records
  • Additional vaccinations record and treatment records
  • Anti-echinococcus treatment record

At a bare minimum, a Canadian pet passport will contain the first four points. In fact, the first four points are mandatory to travel to Canada with a pet.

Every point onward is a potential requirement that you might need, whether you are visiting Canada or traveling outside of Canada.

Important: every document must be signed and stamped by your official veterinarian. There should be official stickers from the medication used.

How To Get A Canadian Pet Passport?

If you are traveling from Canada to another country with your dog, there are certain steps to follow.

1. Do Your Research

First of all, you need to get familiar with the entry requirements for your destination.

In fact, you need to learn if your dog is welcome in a specific country and region or not.

In most cases, especially if you are traveling to Europe, your dog will need a rabies vaccination, health certificate, and microchip.

Some countries may demand additional requirements, such as:

  • Tapeworm treatments
  • Addition vaccination, like for parvovirus or hepatitis
  • Import licenses
  • Government endorsement

2. Visit Your Veterinarian

Before you take your dog to the veterinarian’s office, make sure that you have scheduled an appointment first.

During the call inform your veterinarian or the representative that you are planning to travel and where, so they can save you time and money, and prepare your pet’s vaccinations before your arrival.

For traveling with your dog outside of Canada you will probably need extra treatments.

As expected, your dog will need:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination
  • Health check

Once your veterinarian confirms that your dog is both healthy and happy enough for travel, they will review and stamp your paperwork.

Depending on your travel destination, some countries might require a blood test – in this case, your veterinarian will need to take a blood sample from your dog. This usually means that the blood sample will be sent to a laboratory for testing.

Once the dog’s blood results are acceptable, you are good to go.

Luckily, in most cases, these tests are done fast and results can be delivered if not the same, then the following day.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Canadian Pet Passport?

This document can be done in only one hour if you are traveling to Canada. This is the case when scheduling an appointment at an official veterinary clinic.

Always inform the veterinarian that you want to get a dog passport. This way they will prepare everything before you arrive and save you time.

The duration of the appointment may vary. This depends on where you are heading and how many vaccinations or treatments your dog needs.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t leave this for the day before your flight – ask how earlier you can have testing done.

If your dog is already microchipped and has been vaccinated against rabies, that the appointment shouldn’t last long.

If traveling from Canada with a dog, it may take longer than a day to get your complete dog passport.

If you are traveling to a country where a rabies titer test is mandatory, you will have to prepare months ahead. In this case, you should start preparing four months before your trip.

The reason for this is the following – you must wait 30 days after your pet’s rabies vaccination to have their blood sample taken.

Once you get your results, you need to wait for additional three months before your dog is allowed to travel, so always consider this.

Planning a trip? Give your veterinarian a call and check how long you must wait for specific tests.

Travel Documents For Your Pets

Not sure if your own research is enough? In that case, you can use more official representatives to plan your trip properly.

Before you leave Canada, you can contact the embassy of your destination country about its requirements for importing animals. Many companies accompany pet dogs and cats to other countries.

To get your dog from Canada to another country, you will need the Canadian International Health Certificate. This certificate must be printed on legal paper (8.5″ X 14″).

No other format will be accepted. This is useful if your destination country accepts this document.

To have it officially recognized, this document should be completed (no excuses) by a veterinarian in Canada and endorsed by an official government veterinarian. There is a fee for this service.

If you are traveling to countries that provide their health certificates or to specific areas that have negotiated specific veterinary health certificates with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), you don’t need a Canadian International Health Certificate.

For more information, you can always contact the CFIA office.

How Much Does A Canadian Pet Passport Cost

Bigger the dog, the higher the expenses? In some cases, this might be the truth, because the cost of a Canadian Pet Passport can vary on many factors.

The price will depend on the factors listed below:

  • Your home country
  • Where you are traveling
  • The veterinary clinic
  • The breed of your dog
  • Whether your dog is already microchipped and had a rabies vaccination

Different countries will have different billing and veterinary clinics will have different prices for needed treatments and vaccination.

If you want to save some money, make sure that you check the prices of different veterinary clinics.

Plus, some dogs may require more vaccines and treatments than others. Therefore, dogs will always require tapeworm treatment when traveling to:

  • Ireland
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Malta, and
  • The UK

Different countries have different requirements for importing dogs, and pets in general, and their rules should be followed.

All in, if your pet is microchipped, and had a recent rabies vaccination, you will pay less for your Canadian dog passport.

Taking Your Dog From The States To Canada?

Steps for taking your dog from the States are no differnet than those for taking the dog across the Canadian border.

You will still have to do your research, make an appointment with your veterinarian, and have all the right documents.

When we say research, we mean that you know for sure if your dog can enter Canada or not.

Many countries have a ban on different dog breeds for specific reasons, and Canada is no exception.

Breeds that are labeled as dangerous and aggressive are usually breeds that cannot pass the border, even with quarantine periods. This ban is in place to protect the masses from dog attacks.

So, before you make any pet travel plans make sure that you get familiar with the list of prohibited dog breeds in Canada.

Interestingly, Canada doesn’t have a blanket ban on specific breeds, but some provinces in Canada ban certain dangerous dog breeds.

Here are prohibited dog breeds in Manitoba province and Ontario province.

Manitoba Province

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Ontario Province

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

If you are traveling to Canada with an officially banned breed, make sure that you stay away from these provinces.

Make traveling plans in such a manner that your dog feels safe and well-handled.

The Bottom Line

Having a Canadian pet passport is mandatory if you are planning to go outside Canada, or get in.

Since obtaining this document is really simple, you should be able to easily follow the guidelines in providing one.

Remember that how to get this passport will heavily depend on your dog’s breed, age, and where you are traveling to or from. If you are traveling to Canada with your dog process should be simple.

On the other hand, if you are traveling from Canada to another country, you should be prepared in advance.

Your pet will simply need a valid rabies vaccination certificate which demands time.

As a general rule, your dog will alwasy need a microchip, rabies vaccination, and health certificate.

Happy travels!