Moving with a pet to Toronto

The decision to move is not only stressful for you. It can also be life-changing for any pets you have. Now, you can always consider giving them away for adoption or to friends, but you probably won’t. Given that we all get attached to pets, it can be hard to let go. So the only other logical decision is to take them with you. However, as easy as this might sound, it’s quite the opposite. There are a lot of things to consider when you decide to take your pet with you. In this case, we will help you on the basics you need when that new place is Toronto, Ontario.

Moving made easy for your pet
Make moving stress minimal for your pet

What you need to know when moving with your pet to Toronto

Even though the diversity of Toronto extends to pets just as well as people, there are other things to consider. For starters, you need to get familiar with the regulations. Then, you need to plan out the packing and transportation to your new Toronto neighborhood. And finally, you need to walk your pet through the adjustment phase for your new home. It is our hope that the following advice will help both you and your animal companion make a stress-free move.

Requirements for importing pets to Canada

We fully support your decision to make Toronto your new home. However, taking your pet with you will require some additional work. For starters, how about we go through the requirements that you will need in order for your pet to be allowed into Canada:

  • Rabies Vaccination and Certificatedocument which identifies the pet (breed, color, weight), states that the pet is vaccinated against rabies, indicates the date of the vaccination, indicates the trade name and serial number of the licensed vaccine, and specifies the duration of immunity. It can be provided in either English or French and needs to be signed by an approved USDA accredited veterinarian.
  • Microchip  – strongly recommended but not obligatory for Canada.
  • Additional Vaccines – depending on the animal, these vaccines vary. For example:
    • Dogs: Canine Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Leptospirosis
    • Cats: Feline Cat Flu-Feline Calicivirus, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Chlamydia Psittacosis, Cat Enteritis-Feline Panleukopaenia/Feline Parvovirus
  • USDA APHIS Health Certificate – also known as Form  7001. It shows that your pet is in good health and able to travel via airplane. The form needs to be issued within 10 days before the flight.
  • Customs Documentation – basically, you as an owner need to provide a copy of your passport, visa/work permit and the customs clearance form.

In addition to all of this, we would advise that you get familiar with Ontario law in regards to pets. Given that each province regulates different laws, it wouldn’t hurt to check for any particular requirements. Also, make similar inquiries in regards to the city of Toronto – local ordinances.

Transport preparations when it comes to pets

A happy pet makes for a calm passenger
Make sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible during transportation

Given how sensitive pets can be to new surroundings, you’ll need to plan out the moving and settling process carefully. If you haven’t already, make sure that your new Toronto home is pet-friendly and that the neighborhood has pets as well. It will be easier for your pet to be surrounded by others. You should also make inquiries into any nearby parks in case you have a dog.
Make an appointment with your vet. It might be a while before you find a new vet once you move, so make sure that everything is up-to-date. If any shots need to be given,there is no time like the present. Ask the vet for sedatives and the dosage needed for your pet during transportation. Make sure that you collect a copy of the documentation in regards to the treatment provided up to this day.
If you’ve decided on traveling via plane, make sure that you they accept pets. Cats and small dogs can often fly in a small carrier with you in the cabin. Larger pets and large carriers may require transport in the cargo area. You need to make reservations with the airline, as well as schedule boarding. And these two things should be done ahead of time, just so you don’t leave anything to chance. In case you decide on a road trip by car, make sure to plan out your route with any over-night pet-friendly motels/hotels.

Smooth transitioning to the new home

As all animals are territorial, you need to take some steps to prepare your pet for the new residence. For starters, make sure to have them groomed and relaxed before the move. Let them sleep, play with them and feed them their favorite treats. It’s important to have their spirits up as much as possible before the move.
The moment you actually arrive at your new home, make sure to take the following steps:

Pet accomodation
Play-time is good for both you and your pets

  1. Go into your new apartment first, before letting you pet inside. By inspecting the place for any potentially harmful substances, holes or wires, you will also leave your presence everywhere. This will significantly help your pet adjust as it will feel more like home.
  2. Make time for playing. Take out any toys your pet likes and plan out some play-time on a daily basis while the pet is getting adjusted. This will provide positive energy for both you and them, resulting in relaxation after the move.
  3. Keep to your old routines. Routines are very important, especially when so much else around them is changing. Feed and/or walk your pet at the same time that you would normally.

Now you’re all ready to enjoy your new home with your old pet. After all, at the end of the day, you are moving with a family member to start your new life.