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Canada - Obtain Pet Passport

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Pet passports, also known as Certificates of Ownership, are available from Environment Canada for people who travel frequently outside of Canada with their CITES-listed exotic pet. If you are a resident of Canada and intend to take your pet temporarily and frequently out of Canada strictly for personal purposes, you can apply for a CITES Certificate of Ownership. This “pet passport” is valid for three years, authorizes multiple exports and re-imports, and is recognized by certain countries (e.g., USA).

If your pet is traveling to Canada, they will need documentation regarding their health and vaccination history. Canada requires proof of rabies vaccination for entry. If you are entering Canada from a rabies free country, then you will need a health certificate for entry. If you are shipping a puppy under 8 months unaccompanied to Canada as a commercial transaction (breeder), then you will need an Import Permit and a pet microchip. You can select that form in the options above.


If you are a resident of Canada and intend to take your pet temporarily and frequently out of Canada strictly for personal purposes, you can apply for a CITES Certificate of Ownership. This certificate, also known as a “pet passport,” is valid for three years, authorizes multiple exports and re-imports, and is recognized by certain countries (e.g., USA).

The Canadian International Health Certificate may be used to accompany pet dogs and cats to other countries. This certificate must be printed on legal paper (8.5" X 14"). No other format will be accepted.

If your destination country accepts this document, have it completed by a veterinarian in Canada and endorsed by an official government veterinarian. There is a fee for this service.

You do not need a Canadian International Health Certificate if you are travelling to countries providing their own health certificates or to countries or zones that have negotiated specific veterinary health certificates with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

List by country/jurisdiction

For further information, please contact the CFIA Office for your province.

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The Government of Canada can refuse entry to any animal that does not meet its import requirements.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires documents for all animals and animal products entering Canada.

Dogs and cats under three (3) months of age are exempt from import requirements.

Medically Certified Guide Dogs: Assistance dogs that are endorsed as a guide, hearing or other service dog are not subject to any restrictions for importation when the person importing the dog is the user of the dog and accompanies the dog to Canada.

To learn more about the specific requirements for exporting other animals, such as ferrets, horses, rodents, fish and birds from Canada, visit the CFIA’s Terrestrial animal health – exports page.

Required Information

The typical pet passport will include primary information about your pet, which often includes a photograph, description of the pet, and information (name, contact info…) about the owner. It can also consist of details about the pet’s microchip or identification tattoo; as to these identifications are necessary for pets applying for pet passports. Pet passports also contain proof of rabies immunization and blood tests to validate the presence of rabies antibodies. This information is typically located on the Pet Passport which is issued and signed by a vet.


Domesticated dogs and cats entering Canada from the following countries:

The countries officially recognized as such by Canada as rabies-free include: Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Finland, Iceland, Ireland (Republic of), Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (Netherlands Antilles), Saint Pierre et Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Turks and Caicos, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland), and Uruguay.

  • Proof of current rabies vaccination (If the certificate is not provided, as an alternative, the animals could enter Canada subject to rabies vaccination at the owner's expense.) or
  • A current Veterinary Certificate completed by a licensed veterinarian in either English or French and dated within 10 days prior to departure to Canada must accompany your pet. If you are not traveling with your pet, then certificate must be signed within 36 hours of the time tyour pet enters Canada. The certificate must clearly identify your pet(s) and show that rabies has not existed in the originating country for the six (6) month period immediately preceding the shipment of your pet; and, the animals have been in that country for the six (6) month period or since birth.
  • Certificate of health issued 72 hours or less prior to entry. (Required only for dogs not accompanied by their owners.)

The same requirements apply to dogs that originated from Canada and are being returned directly from a country designated by the Minister as having been free from rabies and living there for not less than six (6) months.

Dogs and cats entering Canada from non-rabies free countries:

  • Dogs may enter Canada if accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued, in either English or French, by a licensed veterinarian from the country of origin. There is no waiting period after the vaccination is given. Canada does recognize the three year rabies vaccination. Please note that if a validity date does not appear on the certificate, then it will be considered a one year vaccine.
  • Veterinary certificate of health issued 72 hours or less prior to entry. (Required only for dogs not accompanied by their owners.)

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Required Documents

  • Certificate of health
  • A current Veterinary Certificate
  • Proof of current rabies vaccination


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


The certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue by the licensed veterinarian until the date of the checks at the travellers' point of entry, with the exception of dogs to Finland, Malta, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, where the echinococcus treatment will be the time-limiting factor for length of validity for entry (i.e. treatment must occur between 120 and 24 hours of entry). For the purpose of further movements within the Union, the certificate is valid for a total of four months from the date of issue or until the date of expiry of the anti-rabies vaccination, whichever date is earlier.

Documents to Use

Bilingual Canadian International Health Certificate - PDF (238 KB)

Trilingual Canadian International Health Certificate - PDF (254 KB)

Pet Passport – Certificate of Ownership (PDF; 51 KB) (HTML)

Sample Documents

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time

Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.

Office Locations & Contacts

For further information, please contact the CFIA Office for your province.

Contact the Animal Health Office in your area.

Contact the Minister of the Environment

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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

Information which might help

A veterinarian authorized by the competent authority (i.e. a licensed veterinarian) must provide all the pertinent information regarding identification and vaccination as requested in the veterinary health certificate.

It is recommended that the certificate be printed double-sided on letter-size paper in English and the language of the Member State of entry, and that it be completed in block letters. The reference number of the certificate must appear at the top of each page. The pages should be numbered (page # of total # of pages) so as to make each sheet part of an integrated whole. The signature and stamp must be in a different colour to that of the text of the certificate.

When the certificate is presented for CFIA endorsement, it must be accompanied by supporting documentation, or a certified copy of it, including vaccination details and official microchip certification. The documentation must bear the identification details of the animal concerned. It is also highly recommended to bring this supporting documentation for presentation at the port of entry in the EU , should it be requested.

Veterinary Certificate: All countries have unique veterinary certificates. This form may differ from the veterinary certificate issued by veterinarians in the United States. (APHIS 7001) It is an essential part of the cat or dog passport.

Pet Microchip: Although Canada does not require a pet microchip unless the import is deemed commercial, we strongly recommend that you microchip your cat or dog prior to traveling.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate

A pet passport helps you to ship your pets into and around Canada without any problems.

Whenever you travel to a foreign country it is always advisable to carry some form of identification indicating ownership of your pet.

Failure to comply with these regulations will mean that your pet will be refused entry or returned to the country of origin or placed in quarantine, all at the expense of the person responsible for your pet.

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Other Animals: Birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter Canada. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the country of destination.

If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Search their database. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITIES regulations.

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