PetSafe travel instructions

Pets are important members of the family. To ensure their safe and comfortable travel with United, we require pet owners to follow the guidelines below:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all dogs entering the United States to be immunized against rabies. Proof of vaccination is required before air travel begins.
  • Live animals must arrive at the designated airport drop-off area at least two to three hours before the scheduled flight departure.
    • For flights within the continental U.S.: 2 hours
    • For flights to and from locations outside the continental U.S.
      • From airports where the animal is traveling on an international flight: 3 hours
      • From all other airports: 2 hours
  • For PetSafe travel, United requires a minimum one-hour connection time when both flights are within the continental U.S., and a minimum two-hour connection time when either flight includes an origin or destination outside the continental U.S.
  • You will need your pet’s health certificate issued by a veterinarian, dated within 10 days of travel for both the outbound and return flights. If the return flight occurs more than 10 days after the date when your pet’s health certificate was issued, you will need to obtain a new health certificate for the return flight. Please note that if your pet’s travel on United precedes or follows international travel, the health certificate must be issued in English. For international trips, customers should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate at least one month before departure to ensure all country-specific entry procedures are followed.
  • Track a pet's itinerary online by entering the air waybill number you are given when you drop off your pet for travel.
  • Kennels and crates must conform to IATA and USDA regulations.
  • United supports the American Veterinarian Medical Association’s recommendation to not accept animals that have been sedated. United will not knowingly accept a dog or cat that has been sedated and accepts no liability for the death or sickness of an animal caused by any drug.
  • United agents will use an acceptance checklist at the time when you transfer your pet to our care. Please use the checklist for dogs and cats (PDF: 301KB) or the checklist for other animals (PDF: 130KB) to prepare your pet for travel.
  • If you are transporting small or toy dog breeds that are younger than 12 weeks old and less than three pounds (1.5 kg), it is recommended that you take the following precautionary steps:
    • Do not vaccinate or worm the puppy within three days of transport.
    • Ensure that no other medical procedures are performed on the puppy within three days of transport.
    • Use honey or light Karo syrup for "carbohydrate loading" for the 24-hour period prior to shipping to help maintain glucose levels in the puppy while in transit. Lowered glucose levels in puppies can result in hypoglycemic episodes, including seizures and a reduction of body temperature, severely compromising the puppy’s health.