Are you planning to move with your pet to Canada?

Whether you have been relocated for work or just want to move closer to friends or family, you may face the challenge of transporting your furry friend across the country. If driving is not an option due to the distance, we can provide you with some tips on how to fly with your cat or dog. Our advice page will help you get started in the right direction. The following is our list of general tips and ideas for moving your pets.

Moving with Your Pet to Canada: What You Need to Know

If you’re planning to move to Canada with your furry friend, it’s crucial to know what to expect. The process can be quite challenging and stressful if you’re not prepared, but with the right information, you can make the transition easier for both you and your pet.

Firstly, you need to determine whether your pet is eligible for entry into Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates the importation of pets, and all animals must meet their requirements. This includes being vaccinated against rabies and having the proper documentation to prove it. Make sure to check with the CFIA for any updates or changes to their requirements.

Once you’ve confirmed that your pet can enter Canada, it’s time to decide how to transport them. Depending on the size and type of animal, you can transport them as carry-on, checked baggage, or cargo. The type of transportation will depend on the airline’s policies and regulations, so be sure to research this well in advance.

If you plan to fly with your pet, ensure you have an appropriate container or crate that meets the airline’s requirements. The crate must be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If your pet is too large to travel as carry-on or checked baggage, they must travel as cargo, which can be more expensive.

Once you arrive in Canada, you will need to declare your pet to a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. The officer will verify that your pet meets the CFIA’s requirements and may conduct an inspection. You will also need to provide documentation, including your pet’s vaccination records and a copy of their health certificate.

It’s important to note that each province in Canada has its regulations concerning pets, including licensing and vaccination requirements. Ensure that you research and comply with the regulations in your new province.

Moving to a new country with your pet can be challenging, but with the right preparation, it can also be a rewarding experience. Take the time to research the requirements, prepare the necessary documentation, and make travel arrangements well in advance. By doing so, you and your pet can enjoy a smooth transition to your new life in Canada.

Things to know before calling an airline about making a pet reservation:

Will the pet be traveling domestically or internationally?

Obviously, domestic pet travel will be easier than international, which generally involves a great number of international live animal regulations. For a listing of the Canadian importation regulations. If you’re interested in importing your pet into America.

What is the date that your pet will be traveling?

Many airlines currently have blackout periods during which they will not transport animals. It is very important you find this information out well in advance of your move.

What is your pet’s size and weight?

Carrying smaller pets as carry-on luggage is permitted by some airlines, typically those weighing under 10 kg. However, the requirements vary considerably among airlines and there is no clear pattern to follow. To ensure that you have the most up-to-date information, you should check with your airline well in advance. For instance, Air Canada currently allows pets to be carried as carry-on luggage, subject to certain conditions such as the pet kennel being part of the carry-on baggage allowance and complying with the maximum size limitations of LxWxH – 55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm or 21 1/2 in x 15 1/2 in x 9 in, as well as a weight limit of 22lbs / 10 Kg – which is the same as the carry-on limit.

Do you possess an appropriate container for your pet?

Once again, the standards for container suitability differ among airlines. Typically, it is advisable to choose a hard-sided plastic crate with a secure lockable door and plenty of ventilation holes on the sides and rear. While a few airlines accept wire mesh crates, most do not, so it’s safer to opt for a hard-sided plastic crate. If possible, consult with your airline to see if they recommend any specific brands.

What is the size and weight of the pet’s container?

At present, Air Canada mandates that any pet and its crate whose combined weight surpasses 32 kg must be transported using their cargo service. This alternative will be significantly pricier compared to bringing the pet along with you on the flight.

How many animals will be traveling?

As per the International Air Transport Association’s Live Animal Regulations, “up to two adult animals (Dogs or cats) of similar size weighing up to 14 kg each, who are used to living together, can be transported in the same container. For animals weighing more than that, individual travel is mandatory. Up to three animals from the same litter, who are under six months of age, can be transported in the same container (provided there is enough space in the crate as per the previous question).” Regrettably, this regulation only applies to animals that are not traveling to or from the United States.

If you’re headed into or out of the US with the animal the following rules apply:

“A maximum of 1 dog or cat over 6 months will be accepted per kennel or a maximum of 2 pets of comparable size and if between 8 weeks and 6 months old and weighing less than 20lb (or 9kg) each.”

Will you be traveling on the same flight as your pet?

If it is at all possible, you should try to arrange to fly on the same airplane as your pet. Not only will this be easier on your pet, it will also be less expensive. Essentially, there are two major streams for shipping your pet – they can go as cargo [which is more expensive], or they can travel as a companion on your flight. This method is considerably cheaper.

The current prices for the shipping of pet which you accompany via Air Canada are as follows:

From anywhere in North America to any overseas country is currently $175 US or $295 Canadian.

Remember that these prices are only if you accompany the animal on the same flight. Considering that these costs have almost tripled from just two years earlier, [when they were 40 Canadian dollars] we can probably expect further increases in the future. If you’re interested as to Air Canada’s current air travel requirements for pets, please read this link to Air Canada traveling with your pet web page.

If you do not intend to travel with your pet, you’ll then have to ship your pet through Air Canada’s cargo service in this will raise the cost considerably. For more information see the Air Canada cargo pet FAQ.

And if you’re in America, here’s a listing of some American airline’s web pages as they relate to moving your pets:

American Airlines

Delta Airlines

Northwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines does not currently allow pets to be transported on their airplanes.

United Airlines

US Airways

As of November 1, 2005, US Airways no longer accepts pets on their airplanes.