Preparing your pet for travel: Required documents and photos

Review of required documents and photos

At least 5 days prior to the start of your pet’s travel, you must submit four required items to PetSafedocs@united.com to be reviewed. If you have not submitted these items prior to travel, your pet's reservation will be canceled. Detailed descriptions of these items are provided in the sections below.

The required items that must be submitted to United PetSafe prior to travel include:

  • Scanned copy of the completed, signed and dated Customer Acknowledgement Form
  • Scanned copy of your pet’s Health Certificate from a licensed veterinarian dated within 10 days of travel (or the timeframe required by the destination country)
  • Digital photo of your pet clearly showing their face to verify breed
  • Digital photo of your pet’s travel crate to verify compliance with Petsafe’s crate requirements

Completing the required steps above will allow you to correct any common errors before your pet’s travel day and prevent cancellation of your pet’s reservation.

United reserves the right to review all PetSafe travel reservations, based in part on your submission of the required documentation set forth above. United will notify you as soon as possible regarding the status of your submitted items, or if we require additional information or documentation regarding your pet.

For your pet’s safety, acceptance for travel is always subject to final review, inspection and approval by United PetSafe when you drop off your pet at the airport on travel day.

Health certificates

  • Health certificates are required for all cats and dogs. It's important to note that the pre-travel veterinary visit to obtain a health certificate is not standardized and may not detect pre-existing and chronic conditions, or exposure to viruses and parasites, that can impact your pet's health during or following the stress of traveling. To identify risks that may not be discovered in the brief pre-flight checkup, you should ask your vet to conduct a comprehensive examination of your pet.
  • Health certificates must be issued by a licensed veterinarian dated within 10 days of travel (or the time frame required by the destination country). If the return flight occurs more than 10 days after the date your pet's health certificate was issued, a new health certificate is required for the return flight.
  • Please note that for international travel, some countries impose shorter time frame requirements of less than 10 days for health certificates for pets traveling inbound to such countries.
  • If your pet's travel on United precedes or follows international travel, the health certificate must be issued in English or, if bilingual, include an English translation.

Customer Pre-Travel Information Packet and Customer Acknowledgement Form

Upon making a booking for your pet, United will send you a PetSafe Customer Pre-Travel Information Packet and a Customer Acknowledgement Form.

  • The packet is designed to inform customers about pre-travel planning and the requirements and risks of pet travel.
  • After you have reviewed the information in the packet, please complete and sign the Customer Acknowledgement Form. The Customer Acknowledgement Form summarizes the known risks of air travel for pets and details the steps needed to prepare your pet for a safe journey.
  • You must submit a completed and signed Customer Acknowledgement Form to PetSafedocs@united.com at least 5 days prior to travel and present two copies of the signed Customer Acknowledgement Form when your pet is dropped off for travel with United PetSafe. If someone else is dropping off your pet, ensure they bring the completed and signed forms. Please note that the shipper/pet owner must have previously signed the Customer Acknowledgement Form in the event that someone else is dropping off your pet at United’s facilities.

Additional documents and requirements for international travel

Effective June 18, 2018, bookings for international travel via United PetSafe are accepted only from professional pet shippers who are members of IPATA. A list of IPATA members can be found at ipata.org.

Many countries have strict regulations regarding international pet travel, so it's important that you work closely with an IPATA member to obtain all required documents, such as health certificates, import/export permits for international travel and applicable paperwork for customs brokers or freight forwarders.

  • Review all entry requirements for the animal's specific destination with your IPATA shipper. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pet travel website provides details for pet travel to and from the U.S. and most countries.
  • It is important to note that certain breeds and animal types are not allowed into some countries.
  • Customers must contact the destination country's embassy or consulate at least one month before departure to ensure all country-specific entry procedures are followed.
  • We strongly recommend that you discuss your pet's travel plans with a veterinarian, well in advance of travel, to ensure your pet will be in compliance with all pet import regulations.