General Information

Importing Dogs and Traveling with Your Dog in Canada


A Guide to Traveling with Your Dog in Canada

Exploring the beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities of Canada is an exciting adventure, and what could be better than sharing that experience with your furry friend? Traveling with your dog in Canada can be a rewarding and memorable journey, but it’s important to plan ahead and make the necessary preparations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip for both you and your canine companion. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about traveling with your dog in Canada, from pet-friendly accommodations to outdoor activities and essential tips.

Preparing for the Trip:

Before embarking on your Canadian adventure, it’s essential to ensure your dog is prepared for the journey. Here are a few key steps to consider:

  • Health Check: Schedule a visit to the veterinarian to ensure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and has a clean bill of health. It’s also an opportunity to discuss any specific concerns related to your dog’s well-being during the trip.
  • Microchipping and ID Tags: Ensure your dog is properly identified by microchipping them and attaching an ID tag with your current contact information. This is crucial in case your furry friend gets lost or separated from you during your travels.
  • Packing Essentials: Pack necessary items for your dog, such as food, treats, medication (if applicable), water bowl, leash, collar with tags, waste bags, and a comfortable bed or blanket. Additionally, bring familiar toys or items that can help your dog feel more secure in unfamiliar surroundings.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations:

When it comes to accommodations, Canada offers numerous pet-friendly options, including hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. Many establishments have specific pet policies, so be sure to call ahead and confirm availability and any additional charges or restrictions. Websites and apps like BringFido, Airbnb, and can be useful resources to find pet-friendly accommodations.

Exploring Outdoor Spaces:

Exploring outdoor spaces with your dog can be a rewarding and exciting experience. From picturesque national parks to stunning hiking trails and dog-friendly beaches, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Here is some more information to help you plan your exploration:

National Parks:

Canada is renowned for its breathtaking national parks. However, it’s important to note that most national parks have strict regulations regarding pets. Here are a few national parks that offer dog-friendly trails and areas:

  • Banff National Park: Known for its breathtaking mountain scenery, Banff National Park offers numerous pet-friendly trails, including the Lake Minnewanka Loop, the Fenland Trail and Bow River Loop. Keep in mind that dogs must be on a leash at all times in national parks.
  • Jasper National Park, Alberta: Dogs are allowed on select trails and in designated areas, including the Valley of the Five Lakes trail, Old Fort Point Loop, and Athabasca Falls Viewpoint. Leashes are required.
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia: This park offers numerous pet-friendly trails, including the Skyline Trail (except for the boardwalk section) and the Bog Trail. Dogs must be leashed at all times.

CLICK HERE to read more from the Government of Canada regarding bringing your dog to a Parks Canada destination.

Provincial Parks:

Provincial parks in Canada also provide opportunities for outdoor adventures with your dog. Each province has its own regulations, so it’s essential to check the specific rules for the park you plan to visit.

  • Ontario: Dogs are welcome at all Ontario Parks, and are permitted on campsites, park roads and most hiking trails, except for a few specific campgrounds and sensitive areas. Bringing your dog to Ontario Parks
  • Alberta: Pets are allowed in Alberta’s Provincial Parks and Protected Areas – Dogs in Parks Alberta
  • British Columbia: Pets are welcome in many parks, and dogs can be exercised off leash in designated areas. BC Parks
  • Manitoba:Pets are welcome in all Manitoba provincial parks. Paws In Parks – Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Provincial Parks welcome all pets as they are viewed as a member of your family. Saskatchewan Parks
  • Quebec:Since May 17, 2019, dogs are allowed in all Québec national parks, except in the Anticosti and Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé national parks. However, dogs are only authorized in certain places.Quebec Parks
  • New Brunswick: Furry friends are always welcome, provided you follow a few rules. New Brunswick Parks
  • Nova Scotia: Dogs are allowed in parks but must follow the rules Nova Scotia Parks
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial beaches and most public beaches do allow dogs on leash. When exploring the PEI National Park, you may take your dog into picnic areas, camping areas and along trails. However, pets are not permitted on the beach in the National Park from April 1 to October 15. For a guide to pet friendly things to do in PEI, see Tourism PEI
  • Newfoundland & Labrador Dogs are welcome in all provincial park campgrounds and day use parks. More details can be found here: Parks NL

Hiking Trails:

Canada boasts numerous dog-friendly hiking trails that cater to various skill levels. Some popular options include:

  • West Coast Trail, British Columbia: Located on Vancouver Island, the West Coast Trail offers a challenging multi-day trek through stunning coastal landscapes. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash and must be capable of traversing rugged terrain.
  • Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador: This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a range of hiking trails, including the Tablelands Trail and Green Gardens Trail, where dogs are allowed on a leash.
  • Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario: The Bruce Trail, which runs through the park, offers breathtaking views of the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay. Dogs are allowed on a leash but not on the park’s main beach.

Dog-Friendly Beaches:

If you’re looking to enjoy some fun in the sun with your furry friend, Canada has dog-friendly beaches along its coastlines. A couple of examples include:

  • Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia: This popular beach in Vancouver has a designated off-leash area where dogs can roam and play in the sand and water.
  • Parlee Beach, Shediac, New Brunswick: Parlee Beach offers an off-leash area where dogs can enjoy a swim in the warm waters of the Northumberland Strait.
  • Kew-Balmy Beach, Toronto, Ontario: Dogs are allowed on the western section of Kew-Balmy Beach in Toronto, providing an opportunity for them to cool off in Lake Ontario.

Remember to always follow local rules and regulations, clean up after your dog, and ensure they are well-behaved and under control. Additionally, be mindful of wildlife and other visitors in these outdoor spaces, respecting their experiences as well. Enjoy your outdoor adventures with your dog in the stunning landscapes of Canada!

Pet-Friendly Transport:

When it comes to traveling within Canada, you have various options for transportation with your dog:

  • Car Travel: Traveling by car provides the most flexibility, allowing you to easily stop for breaks and explore different destinations. Make sure your dog is safely secured in a crate or harness while in the vehicle.
  • Public Transportation: Some public transportation systems in Canada allow dogs on board, but specific rules and restrictions may apply. Research the policies of each transit system you plan to use, such as buses, trains, or ferries, to ensure a smooth journey.

Etiquette and Safety:

While traveling with your dog, it’s important to be a responsible pet owner and respect local regulations and guidelines. Here are a few etiquette and safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Leash Laws: Always adhere to leash laws and keep your dog on a leash unless you’re in a designated off-leash area. This ensures the safety of your dog, other animals, and fellow travellers.
  • Clean Up After Your Dog: Carry waste bags with you and promptly clean up after your dog. Keep the environment clean and maintain a positive image for dog owners.
  • Weather Considerations: Be mindful of weather conditions and plan your activities accordingly. In colder regions, provide your dog with appropriate winter gear, such as boots and a warm coat, to protect them from harsh temperatures.


Traveling with your dog in Canada offers an incredible opportunity to bond with your furry friend while exploring the country’s diverse landscapes and vibrant cities. By planning ahead, finding pet-friendly accommodations, and following etiquette and safety guidelines, you can create unforgettable memories with your canine companion. So pack your bags, prepare your pup, and embark on an adventure of a lifetime in the Great White North. Happy travels!

Travelling with your Dog

The following articles are for those looking for information about travelling with their dog — from Hotels that allow pets to information about importing your pet to another country — this section covers these topics and more.

Importation of Dogs


Additional Dog Import References

  • Importing or Travelling with Domestic Dogs (to Canada)
  • Importation of Pets into the United States: In general, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulations on the importation of dogs and cats into the United States includes the requirement that dogs be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry, except for puppies younger than 3 months and dogs originated or located for 6 months in areas considered to be free of rabies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also has other restrictions on the importation of dogs. See the Importing Animals (including Pets) and Animal Products on the CDC website and Animal Import and Export from the USDA website.
  • Animal Quarantine Information in Hawaii — Hawaii is a rabies free state and has a quarantine law designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the presence and spread of rabies. All dogs and cats, regardless of age (puppies and kittens included) or purpose, must comply with Hawaii’s dog and cat import requirements.
  • Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret to the UK — DEFRA — Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs — This site explains what you have to do to bring your pet dog, cat or ferret into (or back into) the United Kingdom through the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) without putting it into quarantine. It also explains the requirements for bringing many other types of pet animals into the United Kingdom. The site also includes information about quarantine in the UK for animals that do not qualify for PETS.

Breed Listing

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