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Pet restrictions

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

Countries with pet travel restrictions

Many countries have strict regulations regarding international pet travel. To ensure your pet’s safe and smooth international travel experience, please follow the steps below:

  • Contact the consulate or embassy of the country you plan to travel to in order to determine pet travel regulations and requirements.
  • Contact your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is in compliance with foreign pet health regulations.
  • Obtain all necessary paperwork for your pet’s travel (health certificate, vaccination certificates, etc.). These documentation requirements vary by destination.

Please note that additional fees may apply if your pet requires customs clearance, kenneling or veterinarian services during travel.

A partial list of locations with pet travel restrictions is included below. Visit the International Air Transport Association's website for additional country-specific regulations.

Origin or destination Pet policy
(warm-blooded live animals)
Australia For shipping guidelines, contact your local specialized IPATA-regulated pet shipping agent.
Dominican Republic Pets cannot be transported due to space constraints.
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.
Greece Arriving animals require a customs broker. All documentation must be submitted to PetSafe® at least two days prior to departure.
Hawaii Animals are accepted as cargo only. For specific requirements, contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Quarantine Station. Visit the Animal Quarantine Information page.
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 Animals are accepted from commercial shippers (IPATA members) only, at the discretion of the airline. (No individual shipments.)
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.
Singapore Pets cannot be transported into or out of Singapore via the PetSafe program until further notice.

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 Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester. The UK government requires that all animals landing in the United Kingdom arrive as manifested cargo.

Pets that meet the guidelines established by Great Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs may travel on United flights to the UK without being quarantined. To avoid quarantine, a pet must travel on the same flight as its owner or within five days. If the owner is unable to travel within this timeframe, another person with written permission from the owner may travel with the pet on the same flight or within this five-day period. Pets must also have an Annex IV health certificate or an EU pet passport completed by an authorized EU veterinarian, as required by EU Decision 2011/874.

Before finalizing travel plans, customers should get further information about Britain's PETS program.

Listed below are United's agents for clearing and processing live animals. After confirming a booking for your pet, customers must contact the respective agent 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.

Edinburgh:
Extrordinair, Ltd.
Room 1/10 Spitfire House
Edinburgh Airport
Cargo Village Turnhouse Road
Edinburgh
EH12 0AL
Phone: +44 (0) 131-317-7277
Fax: +44 (0) 131-317-7030
Email: arc@extrordinair.co.uk
Website: www.extrordinair.co.uk

Glasgow:
Pets on the Move
Animal Reception Area
Glasgow Airport
Phone: +44 (0) 156-382-9262
Email: karen@petsonthemove.co.uk
Website: www.petsonthemove.co.uk

London Heathrow:
PBS International Freight (agent/customs brokers)
Unit 23
Airlinks Industrial Estate
Spitfire Way
Hounslow
TW5 9NR
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 178-444-9341
Fax: +44 (0) 208-848-8511
Email: info@pbs-int.co.uk
Website: www.shipyourpet.com

Heathrow Animal Reception Centre:
Dept. of Environmental Services
Beacon Road
Heathrow International Airport
Hounslow
Middlesex
TW6 3JF
Phone: +44 (0) 208-745-7894 or +44 (0) 208-745-7895
Fax: +44 (0) 208-759-3477
Email: harc.generalenq@cityoflondon.gov.uk
Website: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Manchester Animal Reception Center:
Pets on Jets
Building 300
World Freight Terminal
Manchester Airport
M90 5BA
Phone: +44 (0) 161-209-7670
Fax: +44 (0) 161-209-7672
Email: info@petsonjets.com
Website: www.petsonjets.com

Short-nosed (brachycephalic) dog breeds

Extra care is required when the following breeds travel 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 Griffon
  • Bull Terrier
  • Dutch Pug*
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Japanese Pug*
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shih Tzu

*On the recommendation of our consulting veterinarian, United requires customers to follow these guidelines 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 3/4-inch keyhole bit.)
  • Acclimate the pet to the kennel by letting the animal spend time in the kennel for several days before its departure.
  • Include water but not food in the kennel during the flight

Embargoes

Dog breeds requiring reinforced crates

The following dog breeds and their mixes that have reached six months of age or weigh 20 pounds (9 kg) will be accepted only in a reinforced crate meeting International Air Transport Association (IATA) Container Requirement #82.

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

Breed, age or weight of the animal should be confirmed by the animal's health certificate (dated within 10 days of transport). If the breed listed on the health certificate is inaccurate, United reserves the right to refuse the animal. Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender.

Find complete details about reinforced crate requirements in the Kennels section.

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 or weigh more than 20 pounds at any time of year. Dogs of these breeds and their mixes that are younger than six months or weigh less than 20 pounds are accepted year-round. Refer to the shipping requirements in the short-nosed (brachycephalic) dog breeds section to ensure the safety of your animal.

All American Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs and breed mixes

United will accept American Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs and mixes of these breeds according to the following conditions:

  • Puppies of these breeds that are between eight weeks and six months of age or weigh less than 20 pounds (9 kg) will be accepted at any time of the year for travel within the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information on puppies being imported to the U.S., please see the restrictions for puppies section below.
  • Adults of these breeds that are older than six months of age or weigh more than 20 pounds (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 no higher than 85°F (29°C) at the time when the animal's flights are 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 does not accept shipments of live adult poultry at any of our worldwide cargo or QuickPak® locations. With the exception of the United States 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. Please check with the operating airline for specific restrictions for your flight.

United's SkyWest partner limits animals on some flights as well as kennels larger than the #400, measuring 36 inches (91.44 cm) long x 24 inches (60.96 cm) wide x 26 inches (66.04 cm) high.

Restrictions for puppies

Puppies traveling on United within the U.S. and Puerto Rico must be at least eight weeks of age prior to traveling with United. Puppies weighing less than one pound must be at least ten weeks of age.

Puppies imported to the U.S. must be at least 16 weeks of age and must be fully immunized against rabies before being imported into the U.S. The rabies vaccination must be administered no earlier than 12 weeks of age of the dog and at least 30 days before arrival to a U.S. port of entry.

Visit the International Air Transport Association’s website for further country-specific regulations for shipping animals.

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 destination, unless the primates are service animals.