How to Import Your Dog from Another Country

by Jessica Bee
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Schnauzer Road Trip

Schnauzer Road Trip

There are many reasons why you might need to bring a dog from one country to another. Did you fall in love with a pup while travelling and want to bring them home? Do you have to move for work? Are you going on an extended vacation and can’t bear to spend that much time apart? It might sound complicated to import a dog, but there’s really no reason why you can’t manage the transition with ease.

The first thing you should do is bring your dog to the vet for a check-up. Just like people, dogs who travel should be in tip-top condition so that the plane ride doesn’t make existing issues even worse. Although there’s no age limit or list of pre-existing ailments that stop a dog from border crossing, you should use your discretion. Will your dog be traumatized by the journey? Will they be able to adapt to life in a new country? These are all things to consider and they’re every situation is different.

The most important part of your dog’s vet check-up is the rabies vaccination. You should make sure that you have the paper certification just in case someone wants to see it. When it comes to rabies, there are three classifications of countries: Rabies-free, Rabies-controlled and High-rabies. Travelling between and within those categories changes the need for your dog to be quarantined upon arrival. There’s no quarantine for rabies-free to rabies-free, for example, but in other cases you’ll need a Blood Titer test, microchip or pet passport forms that come with a waitlist up to 180 days. Make sure to research the rules ( where you’re headed.

Then, once you’re ready to book tickets, make sure you indicate that you’re travelling with a dog. For some airlines, this requires calling them directly. There’s usually an extra fee and sometimes they only let a certain amount of pets onboard at once, so you should secure your spot ahead of time. Don’t just show up at the airport with your dog!

Lastly, there are a few things you can prepare at home before the big move. Dogs love routine so check if you can buy the same food in your new home, ship some of their food ahead of time or consider switching their food to another brand a month or two before you leave. You can also research parks and paths for dog walks, as well as local dog groups to help connect with new furry friends. The other thing you can set up is pet insurance. Vet bills are costly no matter where you go and making sure you’re covered from day one will help bring you peace of mind.

Jessica Bee is a writer for Pawzy (

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