Travel documents for your pets

Before you leave Canada, contact the embassy of your destination country about its requirements for importing animals.

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).

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

Travelling with exotic pets

Do you travel with an exotic pet? Examples of exotic pets include parrots, many lizards, many turtles, hybrid cats, some fish and some snakes. If you are travelling between countries, your exotic pet may require a CITES permit.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was established to prevent over-exploitation of wildlife species through international trade and illegal poaching. Imports and exports of species listed under 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.

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 3 years, authorizes multiple exports and re-imports, and is recognized by certain countries (e.g., USA).

For more information, please consult the Environment Canada brochure Endangered species and the international traveller and the Government of Canada’s requirements for bringing your pet to Canada.

Exporting other animals and pets from 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.

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