We all love a relaxing vacation, but many of us hate to leave our pets behind (even at a cozy kennel or a friend’s house) when we go. But, if you’re planning to take your pet on your summer getaway with you, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Travelling within Canada
In general, the pets of Canadian citizens can travel freely within Canada with little restriction, though it’s always a good idea to make sure they are fully vaccinated (especially if camping!). Pets that leave Saskatchewan, where heartworm infection is very rare, may also be at risk of heartworm disease, which can be easily prevented with medication available from your vet. Flea and tick protection – such as Bravecto or Revolution – is also advised.
Travelling to the United States
Pets travelling to the United States must be vaccinated against rabies, and they must have a rabies certificate, signed by the veterinarian who administered the vaccine, to present at the border. Generally, you receive this certificate at the time your dog is vaccinated, but your vet can provide another if you no longer have one. It is advised to have all your pet’s vaccinations up to date if they are travelling to the United States. Parasite prevention – for fleas, heartworm, ect – is also advised. Another important note: unsealed bags of pet food are often not allowed to cross the border, so if you are travelling with your pet, it’s a good idea to have a new, sealed bag of pet food with you, or make arrangements to purchase your pet’s food after your cross the border.
International travel with your pet can be a complicated process, potentially requiring months of preparation. Pets who do not meet the travel requirements can be subject to long quarantine times in their destination country, deportation, or – in extreme cases – euthanasia; so it’s vitally important that you make sure to research the travel requirements for pets in your destination country well before your get on the plane. Many of the requirements are also time-sensitive, so if a visit to your vet or any other institution is required before your trip, you may need to book in advance.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulates the import and export of Canadian pets. Details on each country’s requirements for pet travel can be found on their website, or by contacting their Regina office at 306-780-5220.
And remember, wherever you go, have a safe and happy vacation!