Departure to Toronto

Customs and import to Toronto

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Importing Pets to Toronto

If you want to bring your pet abroad, it can be done but takes planning and preparation. Taking your pet into another country usually includes:

  1. Microchipping - to verify pets' identity. All microchips conforming to the ISO standards are easily readable.
  2. Vaccination - Vaccinations range from country to country, but in general every pet older than 3 months must be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before arrival. However, the vaccination cannot be older than 12 months from the date of arrival. Dogs may also get full shots for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, and DHLPP. Cats may also be vaccinated against Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Panleukopenia.
  3. Certificate of Good Health - Issued by a vet after an exam. You will usually need to get an official form from the consulate or embassy of the country you are moving to. It is often available on-line from the customs website.

All information must be written in English or French or accompanied by an official translation.

Banned Breeds in Toronto 

The province of Ontario, including the City of Toronto, has banned the following breeds from entering the province: The American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pitt Bull Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier and their crosses.

For more information on relocating with a pet, please visit EasyExpats article on "Expat Pets".

Transporting your Pet to Canada

Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane's cabin, provided their cage is small enough to fit under your seat. Small birds may also be able to travel in the cabin, but tropical birds such as parrots are usually not allowed.

If your pet's cage does not fit under your seat, you will have to ship it as checked baggage. Since the outside air temperature also affects the temperature in the cargo bay, airlines may restrict the transportation of pets during certain times of the year. Airlines have special requirements for containers in the cabin and cargo bay. Make sure you get detailed information from your preferred airlines before purchasing a cage or kennel.

Before leaving, acquaint your animal with the kennel or container. Add some familiar toys or some of your clothing items, so your pet has a sense of familiarity during the transport. Sedation of your pet during the trip is generally not recommended and should only be used as a last resort.

There are also pet relocation service that figure out all the details of the move. These services tend to be quite expensive, but take away the stress of doing it yourself.

Fees for Importing Pets to Germany

All dogs and cats entering Canada from all countries (excluding the United States) will be subjected to an inspection upon arrival. The fee for the inspection is $30.00 for the first animal, and $5.00 for each additional animal. For the inspection you will need to have documentation for proof of rabies vaccinations.

Quarantine for Pets in Germany

Canada does not require a quarantine of animals upon entry unless the requirements outlined for entry are not met.

Border Crossings with Pets in Canada

Customs must be cleared at the first point of entry to Canada, such as an airport or road crossing. At these crossings, your identification will be checked and you will be required to answer basic questions such as your destination, length of stay, and purpose of your visit. It is best to arrive with a passport as this is a universally recognized document. Be sure to have a visa if you require one to enter the country.  You must declare all foods, plants, animals, firearms, explosives, and ammunition when entering Canada. In Canada, if you are unsure whether or not you should declare something, it is better to declare it than not.

If you are travelling by air, you will receive a declaration card while on board your aircraft. You should complete this form before you arrive at the airport.

To check current wait times into the country, go to:

Custom's Resources

U.S. Citizens: The free pamphlet "Know Before You Go" at is very helpful. (Click on "Travel" and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure").

You can also contact:
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
1300 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 877/287-8667

U.K Citizens:  There is a useful guide form the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that discusses the essential information you need to know before moving or retiring abroad. Find that brochure here.

Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure is available from Australian consulates or Customs offices called "Know Before You Go". Call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to

Update 18/08/2018


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