Moving to Canada with Pets Guidelines and Regulations - Earthrelo
  • May 24, 2023

Moving to a new country can be an exciting and challenging experience, especially when you have beloved pets to consider. Canada is known for its welcoming attitude towards immigrants, but it also has strict guidelines and regulations regarding the importation of pets. Understanding these rules is crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free relocation for both you and your furry friends. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to moving to Canada with pets, covering everything from researching regulations to post-arrival procedures. Additionally, we will introduce Earthrelo, a reliable international moving company with expertise in pet relocation, to assist you throughout the process.

Preparing for the Move

Before embarking on your journey to Canada, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the Canadian regulations regarding pet importation. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the governing body responsible for setting and enforcing these rules. Some key aspects to consider include CFIA requirements, prohibited and restricted animals, and quarantine regulations if applicable. It is crucial to research and understand these regulations to ensure a smooth transition for your pets.

In addition to federal regulations, it’s essential to be aware of specific provincial or territorial regulations that may differ across Canada. Each province or territory may have additional requirements and restrictions for bringing pets into their jurisdiction. By understanding these regional variations, you can ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.

Contacting a veterinarian well in advance of your move is another vital step. A veterinarian will guide you through the process of obtaining veterinary health certificates and vaccinations for your pets. Microchipping and identification are also essential for your pets’ safety and security during the relocation process. Your veterinarian will perform health check-ups and provide necessary treatments to ensure your pets are fit for travel.

Planning the logistics of pet transportation is crucial to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for your pets. Researching airlines and their pet policies is necessary to choose the most suitable option for your pets. Additionally, selecting the right travel crate that meets airline and international standards is essential. Booking flights and arranging transportation to and from airports should be done well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.

Applying for Entry into Canada with Pets

Once you have completed the necessary preparations, it’s time to apply for entry into Canada with your pets. This involves completing the required documentation and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to apply for a pet import permit and a Canadian import license. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific forms and documentation required by the CFIA to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

Timing considerations and advance planning are crucial when applying for permits and licenses. It is advisable to submit applications well in advance to allow sufficient processing time. Additionally, seasonal restrictions on pet transportation should be taken into account when planning your move. Certain times of the year may have limitations or additional requirements for bringing pets into Canada, so thorough research and planning are necessary.

Paying attention to customs requirements is essential to ensure a smooth transition through the Canadian border. When moving to Canada with pets, you will need to declare them and any associated items to CFIA officials. Understanding duty and tax regulations for pet-related items is important to avoid any unexpected charges. Ensuring compliance with customs procedures will help facilitate a seamless entry into the country.

Traveling to Canada with Pets

Preparing your pets for the journey is crucial to ensure their comfort and well-being. Familiarizing your pets with their travel crates well in advance will help them feel more comfortable during the journey. Ensuring their comfort and safety during travel is essential. Providing them with familiar items such as blankets, toys, and treats can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Feeding and hydration guidelines should be followed during travel to ensure your pets remain healthy and hydrated. Regular exercise and comfort breaks are important to keep your pets comfortable during the journey. It’s essential to allow them time to stretch their legs and relieve themselves when necessary.

Managing anxiety and stress in pets is a significant concern during travel. Some pets may experience travel-related anxiety, which can manifest in various ways such as restlessness, excessive vocalization, or even aggression. There are several strategies you can employ to help alleviate their anxiety, such as using calming pheromone sprays, playing soothing music, or consulting with your veterinarian for appropriate anxiety medications if necessary.

While traveling, you may encounter potential challenges such as flight delays or cancellations. It’s important to stay informed about your flights and have contingency plans in place. Navigating layovers and connecting flights can also add additional complexity to the journey. Ensure that you have ample time between flights to allow for pet-related procedures such as bathroom breaks and feeding.

Handling emergencies and seeking veterinary care if needed is crucial during travel. It’s important to research veterinary clinics and emergency services at your destination beforehand. Keep a copy of your pets’ medical records, including vaccination certificates and any medications they may require, readily available. In the event of an emergency, knowing where to seek immediate veterinary care can make a significant difference.

Arriving in Canada and Post-Arrival Procedures

Once you and your pets arrive in Canada, clearing customs and immigration is the first step. Presenting the necessary documentation to CFIA officials is essential to ensure a smooth entry. Be prepared to provide all required paperwork, including veterinary health certificates, import permits, and identification for your pets. CFIA officials will verify the health and compliance of your pets with the regulations.

Complying with post-arrival procedures is crucial to ensure a seamless transition for your pets. Registering your pets with local authorities, such as municipal or city offices, is often a requirement. This includes obtaining pet licenses and identification tags, which are important for your pets’ safety and compliance with local regulations. It’s advisable to explore local veterinary services and resources to ensure ongoing healthcare and well-being for your pets in their new environment.

Settling your pets into their new environment is a critical aspect of their well-being. Creating a safe and comfortable space for them, such as a designated area in your new home, will help them adjust more easily. Establishing routines and providing familiar belongings, such as their bed or toys, can also provide a sense of security. Introducing your pets to the local community and other animals gradually can help them socialize and adapt to their new surroundings.


Moving to Canada with pets requires thorough preparation and adherence to guidelines and regulations. By researching Canadian regulations regarding pet importation, understanding specific provincial or territorial requirements, and contacting a veterinarian for guidance, you can ensure a smooth and successful relocation. Planning the logistics of pet transportation, applying for moving to Canada with pets, and preparing for travel challenges will contribute to a stress-free journey. Upon arrival, clearing customs, complying with post-arrival procedures, and settling your pets into their new environment will help them transition comfortably. Remember, thorough preparation, research, and assistance from a reliable international moving company like Earthrelo can make your move to Canada with pets a positive and memorable experience.

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