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Importing Dogs into Canada

The Government of Canada has a number of safeguards in place to ensure dogs being brought into the country are in good health and free from diseases. The procedures differ depending on whether you are bringing a dog across the border for personal reasons (to be your pet), or for commercial purposes (for sale or adoption), but any time you cross a border, you will need to prove your dog has an up-to-date rabies shot (dogs under three months old do not require a rabies shot, but you must have proof of the dog’s age).

Importing Dogs – Commercial Purposes

The Government of Canada may require 30 days-notice before importing dogs into the country for commercial purposes. Further details can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.

Dogs Under 8 Months Old

 Puppies under 8 months old being imported to Canada for resale or for adoption must come from a registered kennel.  Additionally, these dogs require the following:     

  • a rabies vaccination certificate   
  • a veterinary certificate of health      
  • a microchip    
  • an import permit

Dogs Over 8 Months Old

Stray or rescue dogs fall under this category unless they are being imported as a pet.  Dogs over 8 months old being imported to Canada require the following: 

  • a rabies vaccination certificate 

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has prepared a Dog Importation Checklist to help with the process of bringing dogs into Canada require the following: Dog Importation Checklist

Additional information about restrictions for dog importation from various countries, as well as information on other animals, can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website.


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