Canada has reopened its borders to tourists since last September 7, and there are not a few who are eager to visit this country and its incredible nature. If you want to visit Canada and do it with your dog, you must first bear in mind that air travel can become a stressful experience for animals. Therefore, you must be careful and consider a series of requirements before traveling with a dog to Canada.

In addition to the preparations that you must make to travel with your pet, there are others that you must manage for yourself and your human travel companions. Among them, you will need to apply for an eTA in advance.

Here are some tips and information about the necessary procedures that will help you prepare well for the trip to Canada with your faithful companion.

Requirements to travel with a dog to Canada

To travel with a dog to Canada, first of all, you have to take into account the import requirements for pets. These differ by country.

The basic guidelines for importing or traveling with pets to Canada are set by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency). Travelers are required, by law, to declare that they bring a pet on their trip.

The dog must be over three months old, microchipped, and vaccinated against rabies. Although it is probably not required on arrival in Canada (yes on return to Spain), it is recommended to bring the pet’s passport, a health certificate, and proof of rabies vaccination.

The animal does not have to be quarantined and is not subject to medical inspections upon arrival in Canada. Thanks to this, you can immediately explore the new environment with your dog after leaving the airport. On your return to Spain from Canada, you will also be asked for certain procedures:

  • You will have to prove that the animal is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.
  • You will also be asked for a European passport for pets.
  • You will need to enter with your pet through one of the designated entry points. The purpose is to declare it at the customs control of the Civil Guard.

Changes may be made to these requirements or others may apply to your situation. For this reason, it is always recommended to consult the Canadian government website and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Travel with Pets for the latest information and to avoid last-minute surprises.

Travel by plane

In most cases,  you can bring your dog in the cabin if it is more than ten weeks old as long as it is in a suitable carrier that fits under the seat.  In addition, this carrier must have a waterproof bottom and good ventilation.

The allowed weight of the dog to travel in the cabin may vary depending on the company. Iberia, for example, allows a maximum of 8 kilos including the carrier (as opposed to the 45 kilos allowed in the hold).

Whether the dog travels in the cabin or in the hold, it is important to know that not all companies accept any breed on board. This is because flat-nosed breed dogs (such as boxers, pugs, Pitbulls, or bulldogs) tend to have more difficulty breathing during flight.

In any case, it is recommended to medicate the animal according to the prescription of a veterinarian so that it is calm and sleeps throughout the flight.

It is also advisable to consult the airline in advance about the conditions for traveling with a dog and to book the flight at least two weeks in advance to guarantee a place.

Request an eTA

In addition to the previous procedures for your dog, you must request an eTA.

The eTA Canada is a mandatory electronic travel authorization for visa-free travel to Canada that can be completed entirely online through a digital application form.

Once granted (which takes a maximum of three days), the eTA is valid for five years and can be used multiple times during this period for trips of up to six months at a time. It is not necessary to print it as it is electronically linked to the passport, but it must be able to be displayed on the mobile, tablet, or laptop.

Now that you know what to take into account when traveling with a dog to Canada, do you dare to live that adventure with your faithful companion?