In March, United began a comprehensive review of the transportation of animals and, in May, announced it will be working with American Humane, the country's first national humane animal organization, to improve the well-being of all pets that travel on United. 

Effective June 18, 2018, United will implement several new policies and customer requirements for pet air transportation to improve the safety of the travel experience. Throughout the remainder of the year, United and American Humane will continue to make enhancements as needed to further improve the safety and care of animal transportation.

As American Humane has noted, transporting pets introduces a variety of risks. It's critically important customers visit for (1) important tips to help them further ensure the comfort of their animals during travel and (2) full details on our improved standards, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Update: Effective April 3, we are allowing an exception to our suspension of new PetSafe reservations for members of the military and their spouses, and State Department Foreign Service personnel and their spouses, who wish to travel with or ship their pets out of Guam.

PetSafe® is our specially designed program for transporting cats and dogs that are not eligible to travel in the aircraft cabin. PetSafe offers airport-to-airport travel for cats and dogs traveling to approximately 300 destinations, and members of our PetSafe team are trained professionals who love animals and are dedicated to ensuring that all pets receive the best care throughout their entire journey.

PetSafe travel planning, considerations and risks

Pets are important members of the family. To ensure their safe and comfortable travel with United, be sure to review all the requirements before booking.

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Ensuring a safe and comfortable journey

Follow these important guidelines to prepare your pet for travel.

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Before you book

Crate selection and preparation

Help your pet travel safely and comfortably by using an approved crate that meets United's requirements.

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Pet restrictions

View limitations on international travel and certain animal breeds.

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Check the current cost to ship your pet with PetSafe.

Before you go

Required documents

Plan ahead to obtain all the required documents for your pet, including health certificates and acknowledgment forms. As a first step, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) documentation guidelines for pet travel.

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PetSafe drop-off and pickup information

Find the right location for dropping off and picking up your pet.

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Industry-leading comfort and safety features

We prioritize the safety and well-being of cats and dogs through every step of their journey with PetSafe. We have over 80 custom designed, climate-controlled vehicles to safely transport pets in all weather conditions. As a part of our loading process, pets are placed onto the aircraft last and removed first to minimize stress. While in the air, pets remain secure and comfortable in climate-controlled, pressurized compartments, and our onsite kennels and offsite facilities accommodate pets during long connection times and before international travel.

Our program includes a dedicated PetSafe Customer Service Center that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, and monitored by trained staff. Each pet’s itinerary is confirmed via telephone by a PetSafe agent, who plans each route to minimize the pet’s travel time. You can book your pet's travel up to 30 days in advance but all reservations must be made at least five (5) days prior to each pet’s departure — this allows for planning and consultation on all transportation requirements and helps ensure that pets have the best experience when traveling with us. You can also earn 500 MileagePlus award miles for each PetSafe shipment within the U.S. and 1,000 miles for all other shipments*.

*This offer is subject to change. See the complete rules of the MileagePlus program.

Frequently asked questions

Read the answers to common questions about our PetSafe pet transport program.

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Contact PetSafe

If you can't find the answers to your questions on the website, submit your question online.

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PetSafe’s Performance Guarantee**

PetSafe provides a 100% refund of the shipping charges when pets do not travel as booked, if they are dropped off by the required time and meet all acceptance criteria. To request a refund according to the Performance Guarantee, please submit a claim request form.

**No refund will be paid if the delay was caused by weather conditions, mechanical delay of aircraft, or for any other reason beyond United's control. Performance Guarantee claims requests must be submitted within seven days of the promised time of availability.

Updated PetSafe standards

Effective June 18, 2018, these improved PetSafe standards will be updated continually and include the following:

New PetSafe EmbargoesEffective June 18, 2018, United PetSafe will*:
Animals Accepted for PetSafe
  • Accept cats and dogs ONLY. NO other household pets or animals will be accepted as PetSafe
Reservation and Travel Resume
  • Allow reservations beginning June 18, 2018 for pets traveling on the same flight as their pet parent or guardian beginning July 9, 2018.
  • Allow reservations beginning July 16, 2018 for pets traveling alone for travel beginning July 30, 2018.
BreedsNot accept reservations for the following brachycephalic (or short- or snub-nosed) dogs and cats and strong-jawed dog breeds*, out of concern for higher adverse health risks:

Dog Breeds

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Bully
  • American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull
  • American Staffordshire Terrier/"Amstaff"
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog
    • American Bulldog
    • English Bulldog
    • French Bulldog
    • Old English Bulldogges
    • Shorty Bulldogs
    • Spanish Alano/Spanish Bulldog/Alano Espanol
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chow Chow
  • English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff
    • American Mastiff
    • Boerboel/South African Mastiff
    • Bullmastiff
    • Ca de Bou/Mallorquin Mastiff
    • Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff
    • Dogo Argentino/Argentinian Mastiff
    • Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff
    • English Mastiff
    • Fila Brasileiro/Brazilian Mastiff/Cao de Fila
    • Indian Mastiff/Alangu
    • Kangal/Turkish Kangal
    • Neapolitan Mastiff/Mastino Napoletano
    • Pakastani Mastiff/Bully Kutta
    • Pyrenean Mastiff
    • Presa Canario/Perro de Presa Canario/Dogo Canario/Canary Mastiff
    • Spanish Mastiff / Mastin Espanol
    • Tibetan Mastiff
    • Tosa/Tosa Ken/Tosa Inu/Japanese Mastiff/Japanese Tosa
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
    • Dutch Pug
    • Japanese Pug
  • Shar-Pei/Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Shih-Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier/"Staffys"
  • Tibetan Spaniel

Cat Breeds

  • Burmese
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Himalayan
  • Persian

* Including mixed breeds

Weather Restrictions
  • Monitor weather and assess the station capability of handling during extreme temperature or other operating conditions. United may decline acceptance or alter the routing if temperatures are outside of a safe range.
  • No longer accept reservations to and from the following airports annually between May 1 and Sept. 30, due to high temperature restrictions
    • Las Vegas (LAS)
    • Palm Springs (PSP)
    • Phoenix (PHX)
    • Tucson (TUS)
Reservation Timeframe
  • Accept pre-reservations between 30 days in advance (maximum) and five (5) days (minimum) prior to travel for customers traveling with their pets and/or for pets traveling alone
  • Require additional conditions for acceptance (see below) prior to reservation confirmation.
Additional conditions for acceptance
  • Require the customer to provide PetSafe with several pieces of information (e.g. documents, photos, crate information, etc.) before any reservation is confirmed. PetSafe Customer Service Center will be able to provide additional details of this requirement at the time of booking
Locations Served
  • Not accept any reservations to and from India and Australia at this time. To confirm service in other locations, please contact the PetSafe Customer Service Center.
Flight Segments (Connections)
  • Place limitations on the number of connecting cities in the routing. Please consult the PetSafe Customer Service Center for available routings.
International Routings
  • Require international routing to be arranged through an International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) pet shipper only. A list of IPATA members near you can be found at
  • Not accept crates taller than 30", including the 700 series crates.
  • No longer sell or provide crates at airport facilities. All cats and dogs traveling with a PetSafe reservation must have a compliant crate, which may be purchased via in advance for acclimation and travel.

*Last updated May 1, 2018; please note embargoes and information will be updated as detailed requirements are rolled out and is subject to change at any time.