Canada ranks near the top of dog-friendly destinations in the world. Both your pet and yourself must meet certain requirements, such as an eTA permit.
While the UK undoubtedly has many wonderful dog-friendly destinations you can take your beloved companion to, those looking for a change of scenery have an even wider variety of destinations to choose from. Canada ranks near the top of these. Here, we’ll go over some dog-friendly places you can visit up north, along with some helpful tips on arranging your visa, eTA or other travel permit
Getting to Canada: vaccinations, eTA and other permits
Like any country, Canada has import rules when it comes to bringing animals into the country. This also applies to dogs. Fortunately, Canada’s rules are far less strict than those of many other countries. For example, Canada does not require you to microchip your dog, nor does it have a mandatory quarantine period for your pet. The most important things you need to focus on are the rules for pet carriers and vaccinations. Check the International Air Transport Association website for more information about dimensions and other details of your pet carrier. For travelling to Canada with your dog, the most important vaccination your dog must have is the rabies vaccine. This is because the disease is still present in the country, albeit extremely rare. Always carry an official pet vaccination certificate with you, as well as a letter from your vet that verifies that your pet is in good health and fit to go abroad.
But you as a human must also meet certain requirements when travelling to Canada. A while back, being fully vaccinated against COVID was a mandatory requirement, but all COVID related rules have since been dropped. Travellers from the UK do have to meet Canada’s visa requirement. This can be resolved in two ways: getting an embassy visa, or getting an eTA for Canada online. The eTA is by far the cheaper option, and it is generally approved in a matter of days. Since UK nationals are eligible for the eTA, it is almost always the better choice when considering which travel permit to apply for. Your dog does not need a visa or eTA.
Canada’s national parks
If there is one thing Canada is known for, it’s the vast expanses of nature that make up a large part of the country. Canada has harnessed this wilderness to create some of the best national parks in the world. The most famous one has to be Banff National Park in the state of Alberta, to the west of Calgary. The park is filled with great hiking paths your dog will absolutely love. Examples include the hiking paths in Mistaya Canyon or the Tunnel Mountain Trail. Near Banff you’ll also find pet-friendly cabins, made especially for those travellers who can’t imagine being away from their beloved pets. One thing to keep in mind when exploring Canada’s national parks with your dog is that he will need to be on-lead. There are a wide variety of dangerous animals that inhabit these parks. Having your dog run off the trail could quickly lead to danger. But other than that, you and your dog will be in for an exciting adventure if you choose to go hiking in one of Canada’s many national parks.
Toronto: Canada’s dog capital
If you’re more interested in an urban experience with your dog, Toronto is the place to be. While Ottawa is Canada’s capital for us humans, dogs will undoubtedly consider Toronto the country’s capital. It is widely considered the most dog-friendly city in Canada, with well over 200,000 dogs inhabiting the city. Indeed, a number of studies have shown that Toronto consistently ranks near the top for most dog-friendly cities in the world. You’ll find no shortage of pet cafés, restaurants where your dog is welcome, and plenty of parks where you can let him run wild off his lead. During weekends, dogs can be taken on public transportation, making getting through Toronto with your pet a fair bit easier. Toronto is so popular among dog lovers that the city hosts an annual festival for them: Woofstock, the largest festival of its kind in North America. At Woofstock, you’ll encounter tens of thousands of fellow dog lovers, breeds of all kinds, and events, workshops and other fun activities both you and your dog can engage in.