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Travelling with a Pet


Are you planning to travel to another country with your pet? It is extremely important to know ahead of time what is required by that country for animal entry.  Knowing in advance will help reduce some of the added stress and frustrations that can occur by being unprepared.


The first place we advise owners to check is on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website for Exporting a Pet. This website has links to which general documents are needed to be completed prior to your travel and sometimes direct links for what all is required for individual countries as it can vary vastly.


While we do our best to advise on what documents and medical requirements are needed for travel it is the pet parent’s responsibility to research what is required for their travels. It is always recommended to contact the CFIA and discuss what may be required and which specific documents are needed.


In some cases a Rabies Serology Titre is required for entry. A rabies serology titre can take up to 8 weeks for us to receive the results as your pet’s blood needs to be sent to a specific laboratory for testing.  An appointment needs to be schedule to have your pet’s blood taken and sent out for this testing in advance so make sure to confirm if it is needed for your travels. If your pet is not up to date on their rabies vaccination an appointment needs to be scheduled to have this completed. There is a waiting period usually between 21-30 days (depending on the country of import) before the blood sample can be collected and sent for testing.


Most countries require pets to be microchipped with an ISO microchip for identification purposes. If your pet has already been microchipped we still need to scan your pet and confirm the chip is still working/present. If your pet does not have a microchip an appointment needs to be scheduled for insertion and registration. Be aware some countries require the microchip to be placed at least 21 days prior to travel. There are some countries that require a Rabies Vaccination to be completed after microchipping.


An examination is required prior to travelling where we will review, fill out and sign the required travel documents. Most countries will require external parasite prevention and internal parasite treatment prior to travel so double check what your country is requiring. Make sure to schedule an appointment with the CFIA to notarize your travel documents with the Travel Vet after your appointment with your regular vet.


Know what your airline requirements are ahead of time including if your pet is safe or accepted for travel. Most airlines will not accept brachycephalic breeds to travel via cargo as they are at an increase risk for health complications. The cargo hold of a plane is not temperature regulated like the cabin of the plane and pets can experience extreme temperature fluctuations. Some airlines will require specific paperwork to be handed in during check in. Make sure that you confirm what brand/type of travel crates are accepted. Consider getting some calming medication to give to your pet during your travels to reduce some of the stress and allow their travel to be more relaxing.


Be Aware, as of August 1, 2024, the United States of America require documentations to be completed prior to crossing the border. Previously only proof of rabies was required to cross the border. Information can be found at this link