Source: Catster (Extract)
Posted: June 04, 2024

Have you always envisioned traveling with your cherished pet but feel uncertain about the necessary steps?

Before embarking on a journey with your pet outside Canada, it’s essential to obtain a Canadian pet passport. Although Canada doesn’t issue an official passport exclusively for pets, there are several documents you’ll need for traveling to and from Canada with an animal. The specific documentation required will vary depending on your travel destination.

Your pet may or may not require specific documentation, but commonly, a Canadian International Health Certificate is utilized. The expense for a veterinary examination to obtain this certificate typically starts at $49, with an additional fee of $20 for CFIA endorsement and stamping. However, the costs associated with acquiring this documentation can vary significantly based on your location within Canada. Moreover, there might be additional tests or vaccinations required, contingent upon the regulations of your destination country.

The Importance of Getting a Canadian Pet Passport

Lack of appropriate documentation can result in restrictions on your and your pet’s travel outside of Canada or entry into other countries. Customs officials require official documents verifying your pet’s health and fitness for travel before granting entry.

For cats and dogs traveling to other countries, the Canadian International Health Certificate is mandatory. This certificate must be endorsed by a licensed veterinarian. Your veterinarian will complete the certificate based on your pet’s vaccination records, confirming their freedom from infectious diseases and parasites and overall good health.

While some countries may not mandate a Canadian International Health Certificate, they might offer their own equivalent documentation. Moreover, certain countries and regions may have specific veterinary health certificates issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

How Much Does a Canadian Pet Passport Cost?

A trip to the veterinarian is all that’s required to have your pet’s health certificate endorsed. You’ll need to cover the examination fee at the very least for your vet to complete the form. Regrettably, if your pet is overdue for vaccinations, you’ll also need to address them during this visit. Additionally, the country you’re traveling to may mandate that your pet be microchipped.

Below, you’ll find an estimate of costs depending on what part of the country you live in.


West Coast (BC)

East Coast (Ontario)

North (Yukon)





Dog Vaccines

$20–$69 each


$25–$35 each

Cat Vaccines

$20–$69 each







As evident, costs differ significantly based on your location within Canada. Remote provinces and communities frequently incur higher veterinary care expenses due to service gaps and shortages of veterinarians in rural areas.

After your veterinarian has approved your pet’s health certificate, you must submit the original forms to the nearest CFIA office for endorsement and stamping. The CFIA endorsement fee is $20. If you’re traveling with multiple pets and your vet completes separate forms for each, you’ll need to pay for each individual form.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

The requirements for entering your destination country will vary based on your specific travel destination. Certain countries that are rabies-free may necessitate proof of your pet’s rabies-neutralizing antibody titer test (RNATT) results. This blood test measures the level of rabies antibodies in your pet’s bloodstream. If you’re from a rabies-free country yourself, you might be exempt from this test. However, it’s worth noting that very few countries are rabies-free, and Canada is not among them.

Only a few laboratories offer the RNATT test. For instance, rabies titers for cats or dogs destined for Australia are conducted in the United States at Kansas State University. This procedure costs $84, but your pet’s blood must first be drawn by your local veterinarian. They will collect the blood, centrifuge it to obtain the serum, and then send the serum sample to approved laboratories. You should anticipate paying for the blood work at your local vet and the RNATT test. Blood work at your local vet typically ranges from $80 to $150.

Certain countries may also mandate additional vaccinations. For instance, dogs traveling to Australia from Canada must have distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, canine influenza, and Bordetella vaccines. Conversely, dogs entering China only require the distemper, parvovirus, and coronavirus vaccines.

Some countries may also require pet owners to have an import permit and an export certificate.

What If the Country I’m Traveling to Has No Certificate Requirements?

If you’re heading to a destination without a pre-established export certificate, it’s crucial to reach out to veterinary authorities or the embassy of the destination country to obtain a copy of the necessary requirements. It’s important to note that negotiating an export certificate with certain countries can be a lengthy process, often taking months, so it’s advisable to start early and ensure everything is sorted well before your departure date.

If you’re uncertain about the validity of your health certificate, it’s recommended to promptly contact the CFIA animal health office in your area for clarification.