Day-of-travel preparations

Sedation policy

United supports the American Veterinarian Medical Association’s recommendation to not accept pets that have been sedated. United will not accept a cat or dog that has been sedated or that United determines, in its sole discretion, appears to have been sedated. United accepts no liability for the death or sickness of a pet caused by any drug. Check with your veterinarian for alternative therapies to aid in calming your pet.

Food and water container requirements

Two dishes or one divided dish must be firmly attached to the inside of the crate and accessible from the outside so the dishes can be filled without opening the door. Dishes must be sturdy, durable, commercially made and specifically designed to attach securely to the crate. Metal bowls are acceptable, provided that the bowl does not slide out of a ring.

Examples of acceptable food/water containers
Examples of unacceptable food/water containers

Certification and feeding instructions

United is required to attach a certification to the outside of the crate that states the last time the cat or dog was offered food and water. This certification must be signed by the customer and include any special feeding and watering instructions.

IMPORTANT: Do not feed your animal in the two hours prior to departure, as a full stomach can cause discomfort for a traveling pet – including stomach bloating and vomiting, among other conditions.

Additional crate items

Along with the required food and water containers, there are several additional items that pet owners may wish to include in or attach to their pet’s crate. For the safety and comfort of your pet, items allowed and not allowed are specified below.

Items allowed in or attached to the crate:

  • Up to 16 ounces of dry food, securely attached to the crate, to be used for long itineraries, during delays or diverted flights
  • Drip-style water bottles as shown above
  • Blankets, towels, beds or crate pads 3 inches thick or less
  • Only flat-style collars are allowed. These may be worn around a pet's neck or securely attached to the top of the crate. Leashes must also be securely attached to the top of the crate

Items not allowed in or attached to the crate:

  • Toys
  • Bottled water, except for drip-style drinking water bottles as shown above
  • Blankets, towels, beds or crate pads thicker than 3 inches
  • Non flat-style collars, including shock collars, chokers, metal or loose fitting types, as well as muzzles
  • Any medication, including over-the-counter or prescription (United does not administer medications)
  • Straw, hay or wood shavings