Man and dog travelling in car

Crossing the Border With Pets



Ready to embark on a road-tripping adventure with your furry pal(S)? Stock the car with water and snacks and get those tunes playing! Crossing the border with your pet can be easy and seamless so long as you have the appropriate documentation. Here’s what you need to know about crossing the U.S.-Canada border with your pet.

Your pooch won’t need a passport for the border authorities, but you will need to present a rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian. The certificate must include:

  • Information about your dog such as breed, sex, age and any identifying features;
  • the date of the vaccination, as well as the expiry date (note: the vaccination needs to be valid for the duration of your stay in the U.S.); and,
  • your vet’s signature.

If your puppy is under 4 months old, they will not be allowed to cross the border. This is because dogs must be 3 months old to receive a rabies shot and, for the first rabies shot, a dog must then wait 30 days before they can cross into the U.S.  It’s also important to know that your pup must be in good health. If they look sick, or have an illness that could spread, they will not be allowed to cross the border. This applies to service dogs as well.

While cats do not require a certificate of health or other documentation to cross the border into the U.S., you will need a rabies certificate for re-entry into Canada. Your cat will also be subject to inspection at the U.S. border. If they have signs of any infectious disease, or if they appear ill, they could be denied entry.

If you travel with your pet, microchipping is a great way to protect your pet should they escape during travel or while you are staying in the U.S. It can help to reunite you with your pet quickly should they go missing. Read our Importance of Microchipping article to learn more!

If you’re planning a trip with your pet, we’d love to see some of the highlights! Share your best pet travel selfie with us on Instagram @PetsPlusUs.