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Pet Food Program

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates pet food imports and related products to prevent animal diseases from being introduced into Canada.

The CFIA also provides verification and certification services for pet foods that are made in Canada and intended for export.

Pet food in Canada is a growing business sector. It has sales of approximately $2.0 billion a year, according to the Pet Food and Pet Care Products in Canada published by Euromonitor International in 2009. This growth is partly due to the high value many owners place on the health and comfort of their pets and the expansion of specialty product sales.


The following products are regulated under the Health of Animals Regulations if they are imported into Canada.

  • pet food
  • pet treats
  • some compound chews

A review of the specific risks is required before the CFIA will issue an import permit. In some cases, the CFIA may require an inspection of the producing establishment in the foreign country (to obtain more information) before it makes a decision.

Personal Imports

Travellers may bring into Canada a personal import of pet food (limit of 20 kg), if the import meets all of the following requirements:

  • The pet food or product must be of United States origin and be commercially packaged.
  • The pet food or product must be in the possession of the traveller at the time of entry from the U.S.
  • The animal that will eat the imported product must accompany the traveller at the time of entry.
  • The imported product is fed only to the animal that accompanied the traveller into Canada.

For more details, see Section 6.5 of the Health of Animals Regulations.


Pet foods exported from Canada may need to have an official zoosanitary health certificate, which is issued by the CFIA. The completed certificate confirms that the sanitary requirements of the importing country have been met.

The CFIA negotiates import conditions with the importing country's veterinary officials. It also does inspections of Canadian export manufacturing establishments. It does this to verify that the products, manufacturing facilities, and practices meet the importing country's market access requirements.

Additional government and industry information can be found at:


For more information, please contact:

Pet Food Program