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Traveling With Your Dog to Canada

August 3rd, 2011 38 comments

Traveling to Canada with Your Dog

Traveling from the United States to Canada with your dog is easy when you know the legal requirements.

Canada, like most countries, has specific rules for bringing dogs and other animals into the country.  The good news is that domestic dogs entering Canada do not have to be quarantined.  The bad news is that the United States is not considered a “rabies free” country under Canadian law.  Thus, there are some pretty strict requirements for traveling with your dog to visit our beautiful northern neighbor.

Signed Rabies Vaccination Certificate

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, dogs entering Canada from the United States (or from any other non-rabies free country) that are accompanied by their owners must have a signed rabies vaccination certificate.  The certificate must:

  • Be written in English or French
  • Be issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian
  • Identify the dog by breed, color, weight, etc.
  • Confirm that the dog is vaccinated against rabies
  • Include the date of vaccination
  • State the trade name and serial number of the vaccine
  • Specify the duration of rabies immunity.

There is no waiting period between the time the dog is vaccinated for rabies and the time you may travel to Canada with your dog.  Additionally, dogs younger than three months of age do not require a rabies certificate to enter Canada from the United States.

It is important to note that different rules apply for dogs that are not accompanied by their owners when they enter Canada.

Dogs Entering Canada Without the Proper Rabies Certification

If you travel to Canada with your dog without the required rabies certification, you will have to have your dog vaccinated within a specified period (at your own expense).  The vaccination record will then have to be provided to a Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

Assistance Dogs are Exempt

Assistance dogs certified as vision or hearing dogs entering Canada from the U.S. are exempt from the import requirements, so long as the person who is assigned to the assistance dog accompanies it to Canada.

Be Aware of Local Laws

If you are traveling to Canada with your dog, you should also do some research into the local laws of your destination to see if additional rules and restrictions apply.  For example, the province of Ontario maintains a ban on pit bulls and does not allow pit bulls to enter the province.

Doing your homework ahead of time and having the appropriate documentation can make for a stress-free and enjoyable vacation in Canada for you and your dog.

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Categories: Traveling With Dogs

Dog-Friendly Wilderness Adventures in West Central Florida

February 27th, 2011 15 comments

Take the Dogs to Florida's Wilderness Parks

Even the most pampered house dog loves getting outside into nature and sniffing out new adventures.  In West Central Florida, there are plenty of opportunities to get your pooch out into the wilderness. 

Dogs are Welcome in Many Florida Wilderness Parks

Thanks to the preservation efforts of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, there are approximately 10,000 square miles of beautifully preserved Florida lands in 16 counties in West Central Florida.  The land has been preserved to protect Florida’s delicate ecosystem and natural water cycles.  Nearly all of this land is available for public use and recreation.  The parks within the District provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, bird watching, camping, horseback riding, boating and fishing.

Hiking With the Dog in Florida's Wilderness Parks

Best of all for dog owners, many of the parks within the District are dog-friendly.

Dogs Are Welcome in Many of Florida’s Most Beautiful Wilderness Parks

There are 15 parks within the Southwest Florida Water Management District territories that allow dogs.  In Hillsborough County, eight of the District’s parks are dog-friendly.  These include:

  • Edward Medard Park and Reservoir
  • Dead River Park
  • Flatwoods Park
  • John B. Sargeant Park
  • Morris Bridge Park
  • Off-Road Loop Trail
  • Trout Creek Park
  • Tampa Bypass Canal

J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park is Dog-Friendly

Pinellas and Pasco Counties each have two dog-friendly parks within the District.  Pinellas County has Cliff Stephens Park and Sawgrass Lake Park.  In Pasco County, dog lovers will enjoy J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park and the Withlacoochee River Park.

Charlotte, Citrus and Sarasota Counties each have one dog-friendly park within the District.  These are:

  • Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park in Charlotto County
  • Chassahowitzka River and Coastal Swamps in Citrus County
  • Myakka State Forest in Sarasota County

Rules for Dogs in Florida’s Wilderness Parks

In order to maintain these breathtakingly beautiful and delicate lands in their pristine state, dog owners must follow specific rules when taking their dogs to the parks within the Southwest Florida Water Management District lands.  In general, these rules include:

  • Dogs must be on a six-foot leash at all times.
  • Dog owners must pick up after their dogs.
  • Dogs are permitted only in the areas that are designated as dog-friendly (e.g., some parks do not allow dogs in the campgrounds, equestrian trails, or playgrounds).
  • Dogs must not be allowed to destroy or disturb any wildlife or vegetation.
  • Dogs must be well-mannered.

Enjoy West Central Florida’s Dog-Friendly Parks

If you plan to travel with your dog to West Central Florida, be sure to make time to experience some of Florida’s natural beauty.  Your dog will enjoy it as much as you will.

Dogs Will Love Florida's Great Outdoors

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Categories: Traveling With Dogs

Stray Dogs and Cats in Cairo, Egypt

December 9th, 2010 1 comment

One of About 5M Stray Animals in Egypt

If you visit Cairo, Egypt, you cannot help but notice the large numbers of stray dogs and cats all around the city.  According to the Egyptian Gazette, there are approximately 5 million stray animals living on the streets of Egypt. 

Stray Dog Looks for Food in Cairo

Sad looking stray dogs slink around the tourist destinations looking starved and thirsty.  Entire litters of kittens skitter through the centuries-old Khan al-Khalili market hoping to catch a discarded crumb to eat.  Packs of dogs roam along the Nile, scrounging through trash. 

Cruel Eradication Procedures for Stray Animals in Cairo

Many of these stray animals face miserable lives that include not only deprivation, but outright torture.  And every year, numerous stray dogs and cats are shot by Cairo authorities as part of a seasonal stray animal eradication program.  According to the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt (S.P.A.R.E.):

Recently, Egyptian authorities responded to citizens’ complaints by shooting a pack of stray dogs who were left to die slowly or left to live with broken bones and permanent paralysis.  Common killing methods of the public include drowning, starving and torturing strays for either entertainment or eradication.  Glass filled meat is also fed to dogs which causes them to suffer extreme pain as the food is being digested.

Animal Cruelty Laws Are Lacking

Stray Cat Surviving in Khan al-Khalili Market, Cairo

Animals in Egypt are not afforded much protection in the law.  Article 357 of the Egyptian Penal Code criminalizes the willful killing or harming “without purport” of a domesticated animal and provides for up to six months in jail or a fine of up to 200 LE (approximately $35 US). 

Article 355 provides for a harsher punishment for the willful killing of livestock to include a sentence of penal servitude.  According to S.P.A.R.E., Article 355 was adopted in 1937 to prevent Egyptian farmers from killing each other’s animals out of revenge.  Article 357 was added in 1982 to include some protection for non-wild animals not mentioned in Article 355.

Unfortunately, the way the laws are drafted, and considering the sheer numbers of strays roaming the streets of Cairo, a person killing or harming an animal could likely claim they were simply trying to get rid of one more stray.  In fact, as the Egyptian Gazette reports, Dr. Sayyed Hegazi, a “veterinary expert,” recently advocated mixing poison into the garbage that stray dogs and cats eat.

Fortunately, groups such as S.P.A.R.E., the Egyptial Society of Animal Friends, and other Egyptian Federation for Animal Welfare organizations are working to rescue and shelter animals, advocate for stronger animal abuse laws educate the Egyptian public about animal welfare.

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Microchipping Your Dog: Does Your Dog Need Two Microchips?

December 6th, 2010 12 comments

Microchipping Your Dog May Save His Life if He Gets Lost

Microchipping your dog may save her life if she gets lost.  But because there is no uniform standard for microchips in the U.S., many microchip scanners are incompatible with some microchips.  This article discusses the two main types of microchips and whether it would be a good idea to have both microchip implants installed in your dog.

Two Main Types of Pet Microchip

Currently, dogs in the United States who have received microchip implants have one of two types based on radio frequency.  Most pets have been implanted with a microchip with a frequency of 125 kHz.  Many other countries have transitioned from using pet microchips at 125 kHz to the ISO standard microchip with a frequency of 134.2 kHz.

Many animal shelters in the U.S. still use the 125 kHz scanner.  These scanners do not detect or read any 134.2 kHz ISO microchip.  So, it might make sense to simply have one’s pet implanted with the 125 kHz chip.

However, it is predicted that the U.S. will begin moving toward the ISO standard microchip in the future.  And if you are planning on traveling to other countries such as Canada or countries in Europe, you will need to have the ISO standard 134.2 kHz pet microchip for your dog. 

Therefore, it might be a good idea to have both types of microchips implanted into your dog.  In fact, Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest general veterinary practice for pets in the world, has recommended implanting both types of microchips.  With both types of microchip implanted, the pet would be protected whichever type of scanner a shelter was using. The non-ISO standard, 125 kHz microchip and the 134.2 kHz microchip will not interfere with each other.  If your dog is scanned with a universal, or dual-read scanner, it will detect one or both microchips.  And if a scanner that reads only 125 kHz microchips is used, of course only the 125 kHz microchip will be detected.

Additional Resource:  How Do Pet Microchips Work?

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