Bringing your pet to Canada
The Government of Canada can refuse entry to any animal that does not meet its import requirements.
- Amphibians and reptiles
- Birds (From the United States)
- Birds (From countries other than the United States)
- Horses (from the US)
- Horses (from countries other than the US)
- You can review import requirements for horses using the Automated Import Reference System
- By following the appropriate prompts, you will be able to determine current requirements based on the type of horse you intend to import
- Insects and spiders
- For example, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and rats
- Tropical aquarium fish
Your pet may require treatment before it can stay in Canada. You are responsible for all costs related to your pet’s quarantine, treatment or disposal.
Pet food imports
The CFIA regulates pet food imports and related products to prevent animal diseases from being introduced into Canada.
You can import a small amount of commercially packaged pet food made in the United States for the use of your pet while you are in Canada.
For information on importing pet food or pet treats visit the CFIA's Import Policies - Pet Food page.
Bringing pet birds to Canada
Travellers who want to bring live birds into Canada should check the requirements well in advance.
The importation of birds into Canada is also subject to the control of the Canadian Wildlife Service (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species - (CITES).
The CFIA and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada work together for responsible commercial pet imports and sales.
If you witness bird smuggling at a Canadian border crossing or airport, report it immediately to a Canada Border Services Agency officer.
To provide information concerning bird smuggling at other times, call the Canada Border Services Agency at 1-888-502-9060 / TTY: 1-866-335-3237.
Imports and exports of species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) are controlled through a permit system. If you are travelling with a CITES-listed exotic pet, you will require a permit. It is illegal to bring a CITES-listed animal across Canadian and many international borders without the appropriate CITES permit.
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).
- Importation of Pet Aquatic Animals, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
- CFIA's Import Policies - Pet Food, (CFIA)
- Permit application form for a Canadian travelling with an exotic pet, Pet Passport Certificate of Ownership, Environment Canada (EC)
- Permit application form for importing or exporting an exotic pet, Animals Application form, (EC)
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