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Pet travel from the U.S. to Canada

Pet travel from the U.S. to Canada

Pet dogs OLDER than 8 months do NOT require any health certificate.

  • Proof of rabies vaccination is all that is required for dogs in the following categories:
    • any dog greater than 8 months of age
    • assistance animals certified as guide, hearing or service dogs, if the person accompanying the dog to Canada is the user of the dog
    • two or less pet dogs accompanied by their owner to Canada
    • any dog exported on a temporary basis for competition in a show or trial, if at the time of importation proof of entry in a show or trial is provided.
  • Rabies vaccination certificate as proof of rabies vaccination
    • Required for all dogs greater than 3 months of age (with the exception of assistance dogs certified as a guide, hearing or service dogs which accompany their user into Canada)
    • Issued by licensed vet, proving vaccination within 3 years of importation into Canada.
    • Proof of rabies vaccination by documenting on a health certificate, if a health certificate is required.

Learn more about traveling with your dog from the U.S. to Canada

Pet dogs YOUNGER than 8 months old MAY require a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian in the United States. Please see below for more information:

The below information applies to non-commercial shipments of privately owned pets only. If you are shipping pets for commercial purposes, please view the requirements on Canada’s page of APHIS’ International Regulations (IRegs) website.

Unaccompanied dogs (puppies not traveling with their owner):

  • Shipments of 1-2 dogs less than 8 months of age which travel unaccompanied are required to be examined and have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 72 hours of arrival in Canada.
  • The full travel requirements are described in the provided health certificate*. This certificate does not need to be endorsed by APHIS.

Health Certificate

Accompanied dogs (puppies traveling with their owner):

  • Shipments of 1-2 dogs less than 8 months of age traveling with their owner are only required to travel with proof of current rabies vaccination*. 

*Dogs younger than three months old are not required to be vaccinated for rabies but proof of the dog’s age must be available to Canadian Officials. All dogs greater than 3 months of age, with the exception of assistance dogs certified as a guide, hearing or service dogs which accompany their user into Canada, must have proof of current rabies vaccination to travel to Canada.

Learn more about traveling with your dog from the U.S. to Canada

Pet cats do NOT require any health certificate

  • Rabies vaccination certificate - issued by licensed veterinarian, proving vaccination within 3 years of importation into Canada
    • Kittens under 3 months of age exempt from rabies vaccination
    • Date of vaccination and the type of vaccine must be on the vaccination certificate

Learn more about traveling with your cat from the U.S. to Canada.

A USDA endorsed health certificate IS required to take a pet bird to Canada. 

NOTE: For import purposes, the term pet bird means a personally owned and cared for bird, and applies only to species commonly known as caged birds such as psittacines (birds in the parrot family), song birds, toucans, canaries, finches, cardinals, etc. The term does not apply to pigeons, doves, species of wild or domesticated fowl, or game birds.

Health Certificate
USDA Accredited Veterinarians may submit this health certificate to APHIS online using the Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS). To access VEHCS or navigate VEHCS, see the links below:

New and Returning Users, Access VEHCS HERE

Need Help? Click HERE to view step-by-step guides for using VEHCS, or contact the dedicated VEHCS Help Line

Pet ferrets do NOT require any health certificate.

Ferrets over 3 months of age should have received a rabies vaccination within the 12 months prior to travel to Canada. 

Rabies vaccinated ferrets should travel with a rabies vaccination certificate documenting the pet’s most recent rabies vaccination. The vaccination certificate should clearly identify your pet and must minimally include its sex, age, and breed. The rabies vaccination certificate must be signed by a licensed veterinarian of the United States.

Additional Information
Any ferret over 3 months of age traveling without proof of rabies vaccination can be immediately vaccinated upon arrival in Canada at a veterinary clinic without quarantine.


More information about pets can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agencyweb site.

For pet travel requirements not listed, APHIS has not been officially informed by the foreign country about the requirements for your pet’s travel. We recommended that you contact a government official of the country you are traveling to for more information.

Country of destination contact information:  

Considerations for airline travel:

Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any. 

Additional information for pet owners, airlines, and others about APHIS endorsement of international health certificates.

View requirements for returning to the US with your pet


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