TAKING YOUR PET ON HOLIDAY TO CANADA

Source: FemaleFirst (Extract)
Posted: March 31, 2021

It’s the struggle of every pet owner. You want to go on a nice holiday, but have trouble finding the right temporary home for your pet. It’s always a worry if they will be taken care of properly.

If you’re planning to travel to Canada, why not just bring your pet along? More and more travellers are bringing their pets along to enjoy the holiday alongside them. There are however a number of important requirements to keep in mind, such as applying for an eTA permit, and we’ll go over them in this article.

Requirements

Import requirements for pets differ per country. Thankfully, Canada is quite lenient in this. The basic guidelines for importing or travelling with pets are imposed by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency). Travellers are required by law to declare that they are bringing a pet on their trip. Your pet must also be over three months old, microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. You do not need to present a legalised pet passport or health certificate and rabies titre test upon arrival. In addition, your pet does not have to go into quarantine, so you can immediately explore the new environment with your pet!

When returning to the UK, you will not only need to show that the animal has been microchipped, but you will also be asked for a pet passport. In addition, in order to book the flight, each airline asks for a health certificate to be issued by a certified veterinarian ten days before departure. Make sure to follow these rules, as you risk extended quarantine of your pet if you fail to do so.

These rules are often subject to change, and your particular situation might differ from what is written here. That’s why it is always important to check the website of the Canadian government for the most recent information.

The flight

If your pet is older than ten weeks, you can in most cases take it on the flight without any problems. A small pet is allowed in the cabin, as long as it can be transported in a suitable travel bag that fits under the seat. Make sure that you book your flight at least 14 days in advance, so that you are guaranteed a place on the plane with your pet.

If your pet is heavier and/or larger than the maximum allowed for the flight, it will travel in the cargo hold. Aggressive pets, such as attack or guard dogs, are not normally permitted in the hold. Dogs with a flat nose, such as certain bulldog breeds, have more difficulty breathing during the flight and are therefore also not accepted in the hold by some airlines.

As the rules regarding travel bags, kennels and dog breeds differ from airline to airline, it is advised reading the airline’s website carefully before booking.

Best time to travel

High temperatures are not ideal for travelling with your pet. Canada isn’t exactly known as the hottest of countries, but you’d be surprised how high temperatures can get. Canadian summers in particular can catch many a traveller off guard. Since temperatures vary greatly in Canada depending on the area, it is better to plan in advance when the best time to travel to your desired area is. It would be a shame if you would be forced to leave your pet in the hotel for the majority of your trip.

eTA travel authorization

Another key preparation that needs to be made is arranging for the right travel permit. For British travellers, this generally means applying for an a eTA Canada travel authorisation. An eTA is a mandatory travel permit required in order to travel to Canada without a visa. An eTA has a maximum validity of five years and can be used multiple times for travel with a maximum stay of up to six months. It does not have to be printed, but it can be shown on your phone, tablet or laptop.

But what do you pack for your pet besides the health declaration, the vaccination certificate and an animal passport? In addition to a food supply, toys and grooming utensils, a first aid kit for animals can often come in handy. It is also important that you always have a water bowl and non-carbonated water with you.

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