United AirlinesA Star Alliance Member
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Travel information > Travel for animals > Pet restrictions

Pet restrictions

For select animal breeds and destinations, additional pet shipping regulations may apply. To prepare yourself and your pet for potential travel, please review the following restrictions before booking.

Short-nosed (brachycephalic) dog breeds

Extra care is required when the following breeds are shipped because they often have hereditary respiratory problems. These animals are susceptible to increased risk of heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to stress or extreme heat:

  • American Bulldog*
  • Boston Terrier*
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffin
  • Bull Terrier
  • Dutch Pug*
  • English Bulldog*
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • French Bulldog*
  • Japanese Chin
  • Japanese Pug*
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekinese
  • Shih Tzu

*On the recommendation of our consulting veterinarian, United requires the following to reduce stress and heat exposure when shipping or handling the breeds starred above:

  • Use a kennel that is one size larger than normally required.
  • Use a kennel with ventilation on four sides. (If the kennel does not have ventilation on four sides, modify the kennel by drilling seven holes in the rear top and seven holes in the rear bottom of the kennel using a three-quarter inch keyhole bit.)
  • Acclimate the animal to the kennel by letting the animal spend time in the kennel for several days before its departure.
  • Do not place food in the kennel during the flight. Please do include water.

Cities or countries with pet travel restrictions

A partial list of locations with pet travel restrictions is below. You may also visit the International Air Transport Association’s website for further country-specific regulations for shipping animals.

Origin or destination Pet Policy
(warm-blooded live animals)
Australia Pets are not permitted to travel in the cabin or as checked baggage on flights to or from Australia (exceptions may be made for service dogs such as seeing-eye or guide dogs). Pets may only travel to or from Australia as manifested cargo. Passengers should visit unitedcargo.com to learn more.
Dominican Republic Pets cannot be transported due to space constraints.
Greece Arriving animals require a Customs Broker. All documentation must be submitted to PetSafe® at least two days prior to departure.
European destinations Some Border Inspection Posts in Europe may require advance confirmation of an animal’s documentation. Consult PetSafe regarding the advance submission of your animal’s health and sanitation documents.
Hawaii Animals are accepted as cargo only.* Dogs (including service dogs) and cats must be quarantined 120 days upon arrival. The quarantine may be reduced to 30 days. Contact the Hawaii quarantine department for details (1-808-483-7151).

*Customers traveling with a service animal to Hawaii should contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Quarantine Station in advance for exact requirements and procedures for your service animal to accompany you on board your flight.
India (Delhi and Mumbai) All animals are required to have an import permit and customers must provide the permit number at the time of booking. Copies of the health certificate and import permit must be provided to PetSafe at least two days prior to departure.
Italy Commercial shippers (IPATA Members) only, at the discretion of the airline. (No individual shipments.)
Kuwait and Bahrain Due to extreme heat, United will not accept any pets as checked baggage for travel to or from Kuwait (KWI) and Bahrain (BAH) from May 1 through September 30. Pets can be carried only in United Economy® on flights to and from Kuwait. If the pet is carried in the cabin, the embargo time frame does not apply.
Mexico Animals arriving in Mexico will require a Customs Broker for clearance and local broker fees (paid upon arrival directly to the Broker) can vary greatly.
Micronesia (including Guam) Pets are not permitted to travel in the cabin on flights to or from Micronesia.
Peru All domestic cats entering the country of Peru must be registered with the Ministry of Agriculture at the Peruvian Agrarian Health National Service.

Traveling to the United Kingdom with your pet

United is approved under the United Kingdom's Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which eliminates the usual six-month quarantine for cats, dogs and ferrets traveling to Manchester and London. The UK Government requires that all animals landing in the United Kingdom arrive as manifested cargo. No animals will be permitted to enter the UK as checked baggage.

United customers whose pets meet guidelines established by Great Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs may travel with their animals on United flights to London Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport without the pet being quarantined. Before finalizing travel plans, customers should get further information about Britain's PETS program.

United's official agent at London Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport for clearing and processing live animals is PBS International Freight Forwarders Ltd. After confirming a booking for your pet, customers must contact PBS directly to plan for the arrival of their pet and to ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed in advance for the UK Customs clearance of your animal.

For assistance, contact the PetSafe desk.

PBS International Freight (agent/customs brokers)
9 Meadowbrook Industrial Centre
Maxwell Way, Crawley
West Sussez RH10 9SA
Phone: 44-129-355-1140
Fax: 44-129-355-1169
Email: info@shipyourpet.com

London Heathrow Animal Reception Center
Dept. of Environmental Services
Beacon Road
Heathrow International Airport
Phone: 0208-745-7894 or 0208-745-7895
Fax: 0208-759-3477
Email: HARC.GeneralEnq@int.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Manchester Animal Reception Center:
Pets on Jets
c/o BA Regional Cargo
Building 300
World Freight Terminal
Manchester Airport
M90 5BA
Phone: 0161-489-8220
Fax: 0161-489-8222
Email: info@petsonjets.com


Destination embargoes

The following destinations currently do not allow animals shipped via the PetSafe program:
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Other select locations – Please contact a PetSafe agent at 1-800-575-3335 or 1-832-235-1541 for additional embargoed locations

Dog breeds requiring reinforced crates

United will accept the following breeds of dogs once they have reached either six months of age or 20 pounds (9 kg) in weight (whichever comes first) only in a reinforced crate meeting International Air Transport Association (IATA) Container Requirement #82.** Please note: This includes mixed breeds of these dogs.

Breeds include:

  • American Bully
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Ca de Bou
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Presa Canario
  • Tosa (or Tosa Ken)

Determination of breed, age or weight of the animal is to be confirmed by the animal's Health Certificate (dated within 10 days of transport). Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender.

**IATA Container Requirement #82 states that the container or crate must be constructed of wood, metal, synthetic materials, weld mesh or wire mesh. Additional design principles regarding frame, sides, floor, roof and doors also apply. No portion of the crate may be plastic. The crate door must be made of heavy wire mesh, metal or reinforced wood and should have a secure means of fastening that cannot be opened accidentally.

Contact PetSafe for additional information at 1-800-575-3335 or 1-832-235-1541.

Embargo for adult Bulldogs

United does not accept English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogges or mixes of these breeds that are older than six months and/or weigh more than 20 pounds at any time of year. Puppies of this breed (dogs weighing less than 20 pounds and/or younger than six months) are accepted year-round.

All Boston Terriers, American Bulldogs, Pugs and breed mixes

United will accept Boston Terriers, American Bulldogs, Pugs and mixes of these breeds according to the following conditions:
  • Puppies of these breeds which are between eight weeks and six months of age and are less than 20 pounds (or 9 kg) will be accepted at any time of the year.
  • Adults of these breeds which are older than six months of age and/or weigh more than 20 pounds (or 9 kg) are subject to the following restrictions:
    • May 15 - September 15 – None will be accepted
    • September 16 - May 14 – These animals will be accepted as long as the forecasted temperatures along the itinerary are expected to be 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) or lower at the time the animal's flight(s) is scheduled to arrive and depart. Animals with connecting flights may also be kenneled during the day to avoid the heat.

Adult poultry embargo

In order to comply with the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, United will no longer accept shipments of live adult poultry at any of our worldwide cargo or QUICKPAK locations. With the exception of the U.S. Postal Service contract, the embargo prohibits the acceptance of live adult poultry shipments for transport on any United or United Express flight until further notice. Please note that baby chicks or day-old chicks will continue to be carried per our guidelines.

Embargo for some commuter aircraft operators

Due to heating limitations, United cannot transport pets on the Embraer Regional Jets (ERJ and SRJ) operated by ExpressJet Airlines. Regional Jets operated by other United Express carriers may carry animals without difficulty.

United’s SkyWest partner limits animals on some flights as well as kennels larger than the #400, measuring 36 inches long x 24 inches wide x 26 inches high.

Restrictions for puppies

United requires that puppies weighing less than 1 pound (2.2 kg) must be at least 10 weeks of age prior to shipping.

Restrictions for piglets

United requires that piglets must be at least eight weeks of age prior to shipping.

Primate acceptance policy

  • United Cargo® ships non-human primates to, from and between zoos and sanctuaries within the 50 United States and Puerto Rico. These primates must have a valid health certificate dated within 10 days of travel.
  • We do not book, accept or transport primates to or from medical research facilities.
  • Primates are not accepted if they are intended for the pet industry. We also do not ship pet primates for individuals.
  • Primate shipments are not accepted if the shipment has an international origin or international destination, unless the primates are service animals.