Pet Travel Between the United States and Canada

Couple hugs dog before US-Canada pet transport

You must meet the destination’s requirements if you want to bring your pet from the US to Canada or vice versa. So, there is some paperwork at the border; without that, your pet can’t enter the country. Canada and the US have special import requirements to protect their people, animals, and the environment from pet diseases. All the import obligations must be met before importing an animal to these countries. For instance, if an animal does not fit the import requirements, the CFIA will order to remove the pet from Canada. On some special occasions, an investigation might be started, and according to the non-compliance, the CFIA enforces proportional actions.

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Importing Your Pet to Canada

The government can refuse any animal entry that doesn’t meet the requirements. Some documents must be prepared for CFIA before entering any animal or animal products into Canada. CFIA stands for Canadian Food Inspection Agency. There are some regulations from the CFIA regarding pet food import to prevent pet diseases inside the country. A commercially packaged pet food made in the United States is allowed for your pet in Canada, but it must be in a small amount. Travelers willing to bring birds to Canada must inspect the requirements in advance. The Canadian Wildlife Service is in charge of the importation of birds. A permit system controls the import of species listed under CITES. If you travel with a CITES-listed pet, a permit will be required.

A cat ready for pet travel in and near Blaine and Vancouver

Requirements to Import Your Pet to the US

If you want to bring your pet from Canada or another country to the United States, first of all, it must be healthy. All the pets must be up to date with rabies shots and other vaccinations, and you need to have a document from your vet regarding the general health and records of immunization. Rabies shots are not technically required for cats, but most border guards demand them. You need to check the websites of departments monitoring the import of pets before traveling. The USDA is the organization in the United States overseeing pet imports, and you can check its website to find the regulations.

 Keep in mind that some states have their requirements regarding bringing animals. For instance, Hawaii imposes a quarantine period before allowing pets to enter the state. Micro-chipped pets are recommended for identification because the pet might escape during travel or your stay in the US. You need to remove cats from cat carriers, which can be troublesome. So, ensure that you have gloves and appropriate clothing to handle the issue.

Some Tips for Air Traveling

Air traveling is much easier than traveling by car. It is crucial to check the airline’s pet policies because they are not the same in different airlines. Some airlines are more pet-friendly than others, and these policies might affect your decision regarding which airline to choose. If your pet is petite, it can be in the passenger cabin but under the seat. All airlines won’t allow this, depending on the time of the year. So, ensure to ask all your questions before buying your flight ticket. When you buy a ticket, you need to tell the airline that you are traveling with your pet.

Some airlines have strict rules about the carriers of your pets. Therefore, you must ask about this issue and ensure you have a carrier that complies. The carrier must be large and comfortable enough for your pet to rest on it. Some carriers are not allowed in the cabins, and they have special rules. Don’t forget to ask about this issue because you want your pet in your place. A mild tranquilizer can be helpful for your pet before air travel. Some sprays are available for the carriers that relieve anxiety. Make sure to ask your vet about these types of tips.

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A girl hugs a dog ready for car transport between Canada and the US

Some Tips for Car Travel

You need considerable preparation and planning if you want to travel by car with your pet. First, you need hotels and motels along the way that allow pets. There are websites for checking that. You must reserve hotels in advance to avoid your pet staying in the car for too long. Many hotels and motels will apply a surcharge for having a pet. Make sure to have enough food for your pet during the journey and check that you can import those foods and treats. Otherwise, it would help if you stopped in your destination (the US or Canada) and purchased food again. You must have several bottles and bowls to carry water and food. Don’t forget any medications required for your beloved pet.

A crate or carrier is required for the journey. It is wise to have some puppy training pads for any accidents or sickness. It is better to have some valuable items like towels, rubber gloves, leashes, trash bags, and more. A litter box and litter tools are also required for cats staying in hotels. If you travel by car, your pet should remain in a carrier or a cage. It is the best solution for the safety of you and your pets. They remain restrained in those carriers. If you want to open the carrier, be sure your car doors are closed because your pet might escape outside the car. Southern US is very hot, and traveling through it can not be easy. It’s better to use all the rest stops during your journey to avoid your dog being annoyed and upset in a hot car. You can take out the dogs on a leash for breaks, but it’s better to keep the cats in the car and feed and water it inside the car because there is a high risk of escape for cats. Choose the quickest roads and don’t forget the interstate highways because they are so convenient. It is not a good time to go through scenic and mountain roads. High and winding roads can make most pets sick. The best thing is a quick arrival at your destination.

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