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PetSafe kennels

You and United are responsible for following all U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations regarding the size and type of kennels utilized. You may use your own kennel or purchase approved kennels of various sizes from United at some airport locations. Airline-approved kennels of various sizes are also available for sale at pet supply shops.

One of the most important steps you can take to ease the stress of travel for your pet is to make sure it becomes familiar with its kennel. Purchase the kennel as far in advance as possible. Veterinarians recommend leaving the kennel door open in the house with an old sock, snacks or familiar object inside so that your pet may spend time near the kennel and perhaps venture inside on its own. Since it is important that your pet be as relaxed as possible during the flight, familiarization with the kennel is essential.

Standard kennel types

The kennel types below are accepted on most United aircraft and are available for purchase at most United Cargo facilities and airport check-in counters.

Kennel type Kennel size (in.) Estimated kennel weight (lbs.) Pricing Aircraft type acceptance
100 21 l x 16 w x 15 h 7 $75 All United aircraft*
200 27 l x 20 w x 19 h 13 $90 All United aircraft*
300 32 l x 22 w x 23 h 18 $125 All United aircraft*
400 36 l x 24 w x 26 h 24 $145 All United aircraft*
500 40 l x 27 w x 30 h 32 $160 All United aircraft*
700 48 l x 32 w x 35 h 51 $250 Most Boeing aircraft**
*Kennel acceptance guidelines noted above apply to United aircraft.  Limitations may apply for travel on United Express flights.
**Cannot be accommodated on the Boeing 737, United Express aircraft and some narrowbody aircraft.

All kennels should follow the guidelines below:

Type and size of kennel

The kennel must be sturdy, properly ventilated and, most importantly, must be large enough for the animal to freely sit and stand with its head erect, turn around and lie down in a normal posture. To prevent accidental injury, no part of the animal's body can protrude through any openings in the kennel. For this reason, kennels made exclusively from wire are not accepted.

Super-sized kennels

United can transport dogs in "giant" crates or kennels (700 series) whose dimensions do not exceed 48 in. (length)  x 32 in. (width) x 35 in. (height) (121 cm x 68 cm x 89 cm) on most Boeing aircraft.

Closing mechanism

Check the closing mechanism to make sure it works properly. Do not put a lock on the kennel door. In accordance with federal regulations, your pet must be accessible in the event of an emergency.


United discourages kennels with wheels on the bottom unless the wheels have a locking device. If your kennel has wheels, they must be either removed or taped in order to prevent them from rolling in transit.

Required labeling

Federal regulations require that each kennel is labeled to safeguard your pet. When you drop off your pet, United will provide the required labels to adhere to the kennel. The labels include:

  • The words "LIVE ANIMAL" that will be adhered to the top and at least one side of the kennel in 1-in. (2.5-cm) letters.
  • Orientation labels that indicate the top of the kennel with arrows, or "This End Up" markings, and to be adhered to at least two sides of the kennel.
  • Additional information and requirements, which you may view in the Required labeling Instructions section.
Animals per kennel

Each kennel should contain no more than one adult dog or cat, or no more than two puppies or kittens younger than six months, of comparable size, and under 20 pounds (9.1 kg) each. Dogs and cats cannot travel together in the same container.

Include two empty dishes

Include two empty dishes (one for food and one for water), accessible from the outside of the kennel.

Absorbent material

The kennel must contain absorbent material or litter. (Black and white printed newspaper is a good choice. However, newspaper with colored ink or advertisements can be toxic to animals.) Please note that the use of straw, hay or wood shavings is prohibited for international shipments. Use of very thick blankets, comforters or similar items is also not permitted.

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