Newcomers’ starter guide for pet care in Canada
By Sheetal Jose
Immigration is quite an experience. As newcomers learn the ropes of how things function here in Canada and experience life’s ups and downs, many prefer to have the comforting company of a furry friend. Whether you are bringing your pet along while moving to Canada or are keen to adopt or buy a pet in this country, here’s what you need to know for both scenarios.
Want to bring your pet with you to Canada?
If you are yet to arrive in Canada and have a pet animal you do not wish to part with, then there are ways to bring/import your pet to Canada. Through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Government of Canada has put forward specific requirements to follow for those considering travelling with pets to Canada. On their website, you can choose from a variety of pets, and specific instructions for each type would show up in the results.
Tips before you become a first-time pet owner in Canada
Choose your pet
Regardless of preference for furry or non-furry companions, commitment in terms of the amount of time that has to be dedicated to meet their daily needs is essential. Another vital factor to consider is your place of accommodation. In the case of rented accommodation, it is best to check with your landlord in advance to know if pets are allowed even before you sign the lease.
Rental accommodations that allow pets have guidelines for pet hygiene and common area usage, pet garbage disposal, and overall noise from the pet. Some landlords can also charge an advanced pet damage deposit. Hence, it is best to learn about the regulations to have a pet in rented accommodation and the time spent on the pet.
Research on potential pet needs
Every pet has unique needs ranging from food, treats, toys, and frequent visits required for veterinary checkups. You may join a specific pet lover’s Community or a Humane Society to learn more and plan on budgeting.
Buying/Adopting a pet in Canada
Once you have decided on the type of pet, the most exciting part is bringing it home. Before you make up your mind to buy one, do consider fostering or adopting from a shelter, rescue organization or private owners in your city or province. Each institution may have an adoption policy, and the cost to adopt each pet may vary. Specific adoption organizations also provide a few weeks of insurance for the pet with the vaccination and sterilization certificates.
However, if you decide to buy, you should know that a pet can cost you between less than ten dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on the pet type, nature, and size. It is best to purchase from accredited pet sellers or breeders through their websites before finalizing your decision. Check out some tips on choosing a dog or learn about cats.
License your pet
In certain cities or provinces in Canada, it is mandatory to get a license for your pet. To gain approval, you must register your pet with the pet licensing department and ensure that the pet wears its tag. This measure is for the safety of the pet in case of being lost or for emergencies. You may check your city’s website for pet licensing requirements.
Consider pet insurance
Pet insurance is a great way to protect your finances from surprise expenses that may arise from your pet. There are many pet insurance providers in Canada with monthly premiums that suit your needs. Make sure to carefully check the coverage on the percentage of vet expenses and coverage amount for other factors such as illnesses and accidents. You may also compare the policies offered by different providers before you buy pet insurance.
To conclude, having a pet is often considered to be a rewarding experience. If you are a newcomer passionate about pets, then with adequate research and proper planning, you could transform your desire to become a pet parent into reality. To quote George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), “Animals are such agreeable friends, they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”
The author of this blog, Sheetal Jose, is an Information and Referral Specialist at the YMCA of Greater Toronto and hopes that with this information, you and your chosen pet will have a beautiful life in Canada. Should you need assistance in your immigration and settlement journey as a newcomer to Canada, head to www.nextstopcanada.ca for more useful resources.
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