Dogs Part 2 - Page 4

Canada - Dogs Part 2

Importing dogs eight (8) months of age or older from countries recognized by Canada as being rabies-free

Dogs may enter Canada if they are accompanied by rabies certification, which means they must have:

  • a signed rabies vaccination certificate;
  • OR
  • a signed veterinary certificate, declaring that the dog is originating from a country recognized by Canada as being rabies-free.

The rabies vaccination certificate must:

  • be written in English or French;
  • be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
  • identify the animal (as in breed, colour, and weight);
  • state that the animal is vaccinated against rabies;
  • indicate the date of vaccination;
  • indicate the trade name and the serial number of the licensed vaccine; and
  • specify the duration of immunity (otherwise, it will be considered valid for one year from the date of vaccination).

The veterinary certificate must:

  • be written in English or French;
  • be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
  • identify the animal as in breed, colour, and weight;
  • state that the animal has been in the exporting country since birth or for at least six (6) months immediately preceding shipment to Canada; and
  • be accompanied by documentation from a competent government authority*, stating that rabies has not occurred in the country of origin for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the animal's shipment to Canada.

*Note: a competent government authority refers to a veterinary agency or other government agency that manages a country's animal health and welfare situation, as well as handles the responsibility of veterinary certification for the purposes of international trade. The document can be either:

  • a letter issued on the competent government authority's letterhead, dated, stamped, and signed by an official of the competent government authority in the country of origin; or
  • a signed letter by the licensed veterinarian who issued the certificate, which must be endorsed by the competent government authority.

Importing dogs eight (8) months of Age or older from countries not recognized by Canada as being rabies-free

Dogs may enter Canada if they are accompanied by:

a rabies vaccination certificate.

  • The rabies vaccination certificate must:
  • be written in English or French;
  • be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian;
  • identify the animal (as in breed, colour, and weight);
  • state that the animal is vaccinated against rabies;
  • indicate the date of vaccination;
  • indicate the trade name and the serial number of the licensed vaccine; and
  • specify the duration of immunity (otherwise, it will be considered valid for one year from the date of vaccination).

Additional Information

The import requirements also apply to dogs that were originally from Canada and are returning to Canada from a rabies-free country.

The import requirements also apply to dogs leaving a country that imposed quarantine, if the dog leaves before that quarantine period is completed.

Dogs do not require rabies vaccination or certification if they are less than three (3) months of age at the time they are imported into Canada.

Canada does not require a waiting period between the time the animal is vaccinated for rabies and the time the animal is imported into Canada.

If a dog does not meet the import requirements for rabies certification, owners will be required, at their own expense, to do the following:

have the animal vaccinated against rabies within a specified period of time; and
provide the vaccination record to a Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

There may be additional requirements for dogs that are being imported for breeding or commercial purposes.

If you frequently import dogs or import several dogs at once, it may be considered commercial.
Commercial shipments are defined by the Canada Border Services Agency as any dog from which revenue may be generated, including breeding dogs that are not for immediate retail sale.
Please refer to the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) for more information.

Assistance dogs are exempt from import requirements when the person who is assigned to the dog accompanies it to Canada. This includes dogs certified as vision or hearing dogs.

The province of Ontario does not permit pit bulls to enter the province. For information on Ontario's pit bull ban, visit the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website.

Other provincial or municipal legislation may also apply. Please check with local authorities before you import a dog.

 

Incorrect or missing information? Please contact us and let us know.

 

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