Importation of Dogs into Canada

Importation of Dogs into Canada

Dogs are imported into Canada from other countries for many reasons:  

  • As personal pets accompanied by owners
  • For commercial purposes (e.g., breeding animals)
  • For financial gain by people selling the animals
  • By animal welfare organizations (e.g., shelters, rescue organizations) motivated by a desire to improve the lives of the affected animals 
However, importing dogs from another country can result in risk to public health and animal health and welfare. Dogs from foreign countries may have diseases that may not already occur in Canada. Additionally, animal welfare issues may arise from transporting animals with questionable health. Behavioural issues may be present, for example, in imported animals who are not well socialized and may never have lived in a home.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association recognizes that education is a key element in the effective management of disease risk from importation of dogs and from the transboundary movement of dogs within Canada. 
Listen to Dr. Enid Stiles’ and Dr. Duane Landals’ interview on importing dogs into Canada
If you have a client considering importing a dog into Canada from another country, ask them to book an appointment to discuss what should happen before and after the dog is imported. We have provided a checklist to help prompt the discussion.