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Airline Pet Policy - United Airlines

United logo

Can my pet fly with me in the cabin? Yes (Certain Flights)
Can my pet fly with me as checked baggage? (Military on PSC orders only)
Can my pet fly with me as manifest cargo? Yes

Pets are not permitted on United flights to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.


United Airlines In-Cabin Pet Policy

cat flying in-cabin

If your dog or cat meets the requirements listed in United Airlines pet policy to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved airline pet carrier. The carrier must have a waterproof bottom, have room for your pet to stand up and turn around, must fasten securly and have adequate ventilation.

Pets Allowed:

United and United Express permits small cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds to travel in the cabin on flights within the continental United States (not Hawaii).

Age Requirements:

Pets must be at least 8 weeks old, over 1 pound, and their carrier must fit comfortably under the seat in front of you. Your pet airline carrier will count as a piece of carry-on luggage. One pet is allowed per carrier and one carrier per passenger with the exception of small birds and two of them are permitted per carrier.

Route Restrictions:

Pets traveling to the United Kingdom cannot travel in the cabin unless they are service animals. No pets are allowed in the cabin on flights to Australia, Hawaii, Guam or other countries that require that they enter as manifest cargo. No service is provided to Lagos, Nigeria or Dubai.

Pets are not permitted in First or Business Class on Boeing 747, 757, 767 or 777 aircraft due to lack of space under the seat. 

Carrier Requirements:

If your dog or cat meets the requirements listed in United Airlines pet policy to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved airline pet carrier. Carriers can be rigid or flexible and must have a waterproof bottom, adequate ventilation and secure fasteners. (Zippers are preferable.) The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm). The maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm).


You must notify United Airlines that you are traveling with a pet. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-800-864-8331. We suggest that you make your airline reservations as far ahead as possible as there are a limited number of pets allowed in the cabin of each flight. Travelers with pets are also not permitted to sit in bulkhead seats or seats in exit rows.


You will check in at the passenger counter as animals are not checked in at curbside. A fee will be collected at the time of check in. Your pet airline carrier will count as a piece of carry-on luggage.


$125USD for this service which can be paid at the reservations counter at the time of check in. (An additional charge of $125 on flights with layovers more than 4 hours in the US or more than 24 hours outside of the US.)

Service and Comfort Animals

Trained service animals are permitted to travel in the cabin with qualified individuals with disabilities. Comfort animals are also permitted with appropriate documentation provided at least 48 hours in advance by calling 1-800-228-2744 and verification by United to your mental health care professional. Therapy animals are considered neither comfort nor service animals.


United Airlines Cargo Pet Policy - (PetSafe® Program)

checked baggage

For pets that are too large to travel in the cabin or are animals other than a dog or cat, United Airlines will transport them under their PetSafe Program in the cargo hold.

Pets Allowed:


Route Restrictions:

United does not provide service to Dubai or Lagos, Nigeria. All pets flying to Australia must enter at Melbourne.


Call PetSafe Help Desk at 1-800-575-3335.


More than one pet is permitted to travel in one crate if it is a mother with an unweaned litter or 2 pets weighing less than 20 pounds each and are between 10 weeks and 6 months of age.


See United's cost table to transport pets.


Puppies and kittens must be at least 2 pounds and 10 weeks or older for domestic travel. For international travel, proof of rabies vaccination no sooner than 3 months must be provided. Puppies and kittens cannot travel with United internationally until 30 days after the rabies vaccination was administered.

Piglets must be 8 weeks or older.

Forms Required

A health certificate issued within 10 days of travel is required. The certificate must be endorsed by the USDA or CFIA if traveling from the US or Canada. Additionally, all required paperwork for the country of destination will need to accompany your pet.

Proof of current rabies vaccination administered no sooner than 30 days before travel must be provided.

Pick Up and Drop Off

Refer to United Cargo Pick Up and Drop Off Locations in the United States. For international destinations, it will depend on the airport and you should contact United for that information. For flights into Mexico City, pets can no longer be collected at baggage claim; they will be taken to United's cargo facility where an agent will clear your pet with customs officials. You will pay for these fees when you pick up your pet. Note that pets should not be flown into Mexico City during the weekend when customs is closed.

Breed Restrictions

see restrictions below

Temperature Restrictions:

All Boston Terriers, American Bulldogs, Pugs and mixes of these breeds will not be transported between May 15 and September 15. Travel between September 16 and May 14 are restricted to routes where the temperature will not exceed 85 degrees F.

Comfort Stops

Comfort stops will be required on flights with one or more layovers that exceed 12 hours in total. Pet owners are responsible for fees associated with comfort stops.

Crate Requirements:

United will allow 2 puppies or kittens under 6 months to travel in the same carrier as long as they are of the same species and there is room for them, otherwise, only one pet is allowed per carrier. Note that United cannot transport Series 700 kennels on their 737 700/800 and 900 aircraft.

Metal hardware must be used to fasten the top and bottom halves of your pet' crate together. Crates with clips securing the top and bottom of crate will not be accepted. Additional holes secured with crate hardware must be added.

The crate must have air ventilation on 3 sides for domestic flights and 4 sides for international flights and all flights with snub-nosed dogs. (see banned breeds below)

Crates must be hard plastic, wood or metal. Your pet must be able to sit up, stand up and turn around in the crate without touching the top of the crate. See more on measuring your pet for its pet crate.

Click here for more crate requirements.

Need an IATA compliant pet crate? Have a crate already? Need accessories for your crate?


Airports Served


United serves locations worldwide in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, India, the Caribbean, North and South America including the United States, Canada and Mexico.

United is also approved to fly into London Heathrow, Edinburgh, and Glasgow (accompanied pets only) which are approved Border Inspection Posts for the United Kingdom.


Puppies and Kittens

UK puppy or kitten import

United will transport puppies and kittens over 10 weeks of age.


Banned Breeds

Banned Dogs in UK

United does not accept English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogs, Shorty Bulls/Bulldogs, Spanish Alano or mixes of these breeds that are older than six months or weigh more than 20 pounds at any time of year. Dogs of these breeds and their mixes that are younger than six months and weigh less than 20 pounds are accepted year-round.

American Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Pugs (all types) over 6 months or exceeding 20 pounds will not be accepted between May 15 and September 15. During other times, temperatures cannot exceed 85° F at any airport along the route. Crates must be one size larger than normally required and there must be ventilation on all 4 sides.

Boxers, Brussels Griffons, English Toy Spaniels, Prince Charles Spaniels, Japanese Chins, Lhasa Apsos, Pekinese, Shar Pei, Chinese Shar Pei and Shih Tzu over 6 months of age and 20 pounds will be transported in a crate one size larger than normally required and there must be ventilation on all 4 sides.

United will ship the following dangerous dog breeds over 6 months and 20 pounds in IATA-compliant CR82 reinforced crates: American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier (Pit Bull), Ca de Bou (Perro de Pressa), Belgian Malinois, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasiliero Canario, Pit Bull Terriers, Tosa Inu.


Other Animals

rabbits turtles other animals

All warm blooded mammals and birds including show or exhibition animals. United Cargo will not ship dangerous or offensive animals, unhealthy animals or pets that will be banned by the country of destination.



Need more information?

Have a question?

To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on reflect the current regulations. We cannot predict how a given airline may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to deny your pet boarding privileges. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the airline your pet is flying.

Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 4:00 PM EST.


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