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Canada Updates Regulations Regarding Importing Dogs

(Wednesday, October 09, 2013)

UPDATE (October 10):  The new CFIA regulations apply to those that are classified as "commercial animals".  The CFIA has specific guidelines for dogs that are being imported into Canada as pets.

Contact the CFIA directly for further information on Canadian regulations regarding the importation of dogs.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which oversees animal imports into Canada, has clarified its regulations regarding the importation of "commercial" dogs, which includes dogs for shows and exhibitions as well as breeding dogs.

FOR DOGS UNDER EIGHT MONTHS OF AGE ENTERING CANADA FROM THE UNITED STATESDog owners and exhibitors with dogs under eight months of age are now required to present proof of their entry in a dog show, trial, or other competitive event when crossing the American-Canadian border.  This is in addition to the already-existing requirements of:

  • A rabies certification (does not apply to animals three months old or younger)
  • a veterinary certificate of health whether or not they are accompanied by their owner
  • a microchip

Individuals without proof of entry in a show, trial, or other event are instead required to contact the CFIA Animal Health Area Office for the province they intend to enter at least 30 days before the dog is imported to apply for the permit and allow sufficient time for processing prior to entry into Canada.

FOR DOGS OVER EIGHT MONTHS OF AGE ENTERING CANADA FROM THE UNITED STATES Dog owners and exhibitors with dogs over eight months of age are required to present a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. (Dogs imported for research purposes must meet more stringent requirements.)

Individuals interested in taking dogs into Canada for show, trial, or other event purposes are encouraged to refer to the CFIA's Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) at http://inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/imports/airs/eng/1300127512994/1326599273148. The system provides detailed requirements personalized for each user.

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