When getting ready to take our trip to Alaska, I knew that I had to do some research when bringing our dogs into Canada. In all honesty, I read a variety of things on the internet that did not turn out to be true.
We were heading to Anchorage to stay at the My Place Hotels location there, and I had also read that Alaska had a lot of particular rules, which all turned out to be the same as the ones Canada has.
What You Don’t Need
One of the things that I saw the most was that each of our pets would have to have a health certificate before crossing into Canada. This means that before entering the country, each pet that you would be bringing would need to be examined by a veterinarian and they would need to issue a health certificate.
I also read that each pet needs a variety of updated vaccinations, including parvo. I even read a couple of times that your pets would need to be inspected by the border agents to make sure that they were healthy enough to enter the country. Turns out, you don’t need any of these things!
What You Do Need
After doing research on government websites, and ultimately actually calling the agencies at the border, I found out exactly what I actually needed for my dogs to be able to cross into Canada.
The only thing that my dogs needed was an updated and valid rabies certificate. It needs to have a description of the dog (which it likely would anyway) and to have the signature of a vet (also likely already there).
While I am sure there are exceptions as there are to every rule, this worked perfectly fine for us each time we crossed into Canada and into the United States, a total of seven times during this trip.
My Experiences Crossing The Border
Each time we crossed over the border was slightly different. When we first crossed into Canada, we rolled all of our windows down as you do when crossing the border. The agent first looked at our passports, and then asked if we had papers for the dogs and how many we had with us. We handed them their rabies certificates, and that was all he needed.
Another time the agent didn’t even ask to see the papers, he just asked if we had them.
Overall, this experience was nowhere near as complicated as I had anticipated it would be. We had a wonderful time and all we needed were rabies certificates for the dogs!
*As I mentioned, there are always exceptions to every rule, but this was my personal experience of crossing the border seven times within a one month period.