How do I ship my pet ?
Whether you are moving domestically within the US or internationally, there are airline requirements and country regulations for shipping your pet.
Each airline has their own regulations which can vary depending on the breed of your pet. In addition, for international pet shipping, each country has their own import requirements. Some countries require specific vaccines and tests prior to import and the timing of these vaccines and tests can be pertinent to ensuring that your pet is accepted upon import without issue.
All domestic and International pet shipping will require your pet to have a health exam and health certificate stating that your pet appears to be in good health. Depending on the destination, the health exam and health certificate may be required to be issued by an accredited vet and include USDA endorsement.
Travel Crate Requirements
An IATA approved travel crate must be used for travel. Crate size regulations may very depending on the airline used as well as the breed of the pet. International shipping requires that the kennel be ventilated on all 4 sides and there must be at least 3″ of clearance above the pet’s ears.
Here are a few tips to ensure the welfare of your animal during its journey:
Put a soft ‘comfort blanket’ with your scent on it and your pet’s favorite toy in the transport container; the familiar scent will help to calm your pet. Get your pet used to the transport container at home: put the animal in the container for an hour or two at a time and then reward it with a treat. Many pets are very nervous before and during a flight, however it is not recommended and is prohibited by most airlines to sedate your pet prior to travel. An animal’s reaction to sedatives cannot be foreseen because it can lead to circulation problems during the flight. Please speak to your vet about this.
Please visit our guide on how to measure your pet.
Please note the following essential points.
- Minimum requirement for cats ex USA and Canada is a series 200 kennel.
(200 series =28×20.5×21.5″)
- Minimum requirement for snub nosed dogs and cats is a 10% larger container than the minimum.
- The container must be strong enough to protect your pet during transport, be secure enough to contain it and have sufficient ventilation on all four sides, to ensure the air quality in the container will not deteriorate.
- The door must be secured in such a manner that it will not open accidentally or your pet cannot open it during handling and transport.
- Your pet’s nose and paws should not be able to fit through any ventilation opening or door mesh.
- The container must have a water container and a food container accessible from the outside.
The water container must be secured and in proportion to the size of the pet but not take up too much of the floor space.
- These dimension are minimum internal dimensions, please allow extra room if you are placing a blanket or bedding into the kennel. Pets must be able to stand , sit erect without touching the top of the kennel.
Certain breeds, such as examples listed below, may require an IATA 82 reinforced travel crate.
Dog breeds requiring reinforced crates with select airlines
The following dog breeds and their mixes that have reached six months of age or weigh 20 pounds (9 kg) will be accepted only in a reinforced IATA 82 Travel Crate
Airline Policies Regarding Temperatures
American Airlines – Allows pets to ship as cargo when temperatures are between 45-85 degrees Fahrenheit at each port of transport. If the temperature is forecasted to fall below 45 degrees, the pet will be required to have a certificate of acclimation. All snub nosed breeds are restricted year round.
Delta Airlines – Allows pets to ship from and to authorized ports that participate in the Summer Pet Program from May 15- September 15. If the port is not included in the Summer Pet Program, the pet can not fly when temperatures exceed 85 degrees. All snub nosed breeds are restricted if temperatures exceed 75 degrees.
United Airlines – Allows pets to ship year round. Requires snub nosed breeds to travel in a crate that provides at least 3″ of clearance above the ears and is ventilated on all 4 sides. United does not accept English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogges or mixes of these breeds that are older than six months or weigh more than 20 pounds at any time of year. Dogs of these breeds and their mixes that are younger than six months or weigh less than 20 pounds are accepted year-round.
Lufthansa – Dogs which belong to the snub-nosed breeds are especially sensitive to temperature and stress. Lufthansa will not ship certain breeds if the temperature at your departure, transfer or destination airport exceeds 27 °C (80.6 °F)
The at-risk breeds include: Boston Terrier, Boxer , Bull Dog (all breeds except the American Bulldog) , Chow Chow, Brussels Griffon, Japanese Chin, English Toy Spaniel, Pugs, Pekinese. Shih Tzu
Once you determine that you are relocating, it is recommended that you contact a pet relocation company to assist with the details.
Please contact Continental Pet Relocation for all your pet relocation and pet shipping needs.