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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am driving from Ludington, MI to Lewisburg, PA, tomorrow, on a trip I am taking. The dogs came with to keep me company. There is an option of going through Canada (lower Ontario) and Niagra Falls, or back down through Southern MI and Cleveland.

I think it would be lots of fun to go the Canada route, but I don't know how it would be to drive through the border with my dogs. I would be crossing by Point Edward. According to my research, I need to prove that the dogs have had their rabies shots. I have their tags but no paper documentation or anything. I am slightly concerned that they wouldn't just turn me around if I don't have to correct documents- they would take the dogs. Maybe that irrational but I've been following a story about Johnny Depp's wife being arrested in Australia for bringing her dogs! I have been to Toronto and Niagra Falls before, about three years ago, as well as visiting most parts of Canada- therefore it isn't exciting enough for me to completely throw caution to the wind and do it despite the small misgivings I have.

Anybody have any experience with crossing the border with their dogs? What about finding hotels that allow your pet?? Let me know your advice. My parents say "don't bother" but adventure is calling!
 

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I haven't done it myself, though I know people who have and they said that for them it wasn't terribly complicated.

You can get shot records on paper from your vet - usually they'll be happy to print them out for you.

Obviously there will be hotels that don't allow dogs, but the places I've been in Canada seemed more dog friendly than the US. Plenty of dog friendly options. :)

As for taking your dogs - Johnny Depp had already snuck his dogs into Australia, they didn't confiscate them at the border. It also helps that the US and Canada share a continent so most, if not all, of the diseases we vaccinate against are exactly the same. As long as you prove your dogs have been vaccinated, all should be well.

Best of luck! And have a fun trip!!
 

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If you don't have all the required documentation and cannot call ahead to verify, I would skip it. I've been stopped at the Canadian border over something minuscule and it put about a 2 hour dent into my trip. Canada will always be there to visit. Borders/customs can be very tricky and specific.
 

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One of my past dogs came from the US. All they needed was proof of rabies. Your vet can reprint the vaccination certificate in a second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately, the problem is that I've already been gone for 3 days and my vaccinations binder is at home! I am wondering if I can make it over with just tags.
 

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Oh, I'm not sure. Are you staying in a hotel? If you are able to gain access to a fax machine you may be able to have the records faxed to you, or potentially even scanned/emailed and you could print out.
 

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I am in Canada but I know going from Canada, you just have to have a current Rabies shot. I have never been asked for proof but have always had the papers from the Vet with me. I don't think they would just accept the tags because they have no way of knowing if they are actually on the right dogs.
 

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Watch out for reentering the USA too. I have heard that reentry can be more of a hassle than going into Canada for people in the states. You'd want to be sure you're all set for reentering the USA with your dogs and that you have all the needed paperwork and everything else. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, thanks for sharing your experiences. I think I will skip it, I just don't want to run in to any problems and it serves me right for forgetting my certificates and being too lazy to turn around and get them!
 

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Unfortunately, the problem is that I've already been gone for 3 days and my vaccinations binder is at home! I am wondering if I can make it over with just tags.
Depends on the border official you get. Some don't ask, other's will require a certificate. Like other's have said, it takes 3 seconds for a receptionist to ready one up, have the doctor sign, and email it to you - pending you have access to a free computer or printer.
 

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My parents cross the border with their large dog(s) probably 10x + a year. In the beginning my mum was neurotic about ALWAYS having her vaccination paperwork with her.

In the 15 years they've been going back and forth they've been asked to show documentation once. My mum rarely even has it with her now. I think she does have an e-mail confirmation in her phone though that she could draw up if necessary. Her other back up plan is that if she get's pulled over to the side, she just has the officers inside call the vet. She hasn't had to do it though.

But it totally depends on your officer and the border crossing. We usually cross at a small crossing that doesn't see much traffic other then people traveling to their holiday homes. I would think the major thru-ways are probably more thorough.

All their dogs also just sleep in the trunk of the car (all SUV's) -- so more often then not the officer probably doesn't even realize their there.
 
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