Most airline now require the use of an agent to book a flight – in other words, owners may not be able to call and book travel for their own pets.

Past terrorist events have prompted strict guidelines from the government for shipping cargo. Pet owners may not be able to ship their pets themselves or travel with them as excess baggage. Some airlines and countries will require pets be shipped as cargo through a pet transportation company which has an established account with the carrier.

Shipping Pets Overseas

Be aware if traveling overseas, you may need to hire a pet shipping agent to ship your pet home.

European authorities are enforcing the EU rules: your pet must have a microchip implant FIRST, then a rabies vaccine after it, then a rabies titer test (if applicable) in order to enter Europe. A pet with a microchip implanted after the rabies vaccine may be held, or returned to the USA, or quarantined.

Other countries may require advance testing and waiting periods up to 6 months in advance of shipment. Whenever possible, we like to start with a plan well in advance of travel.

Many foreign countries do not allow individuals to ship their own pets back to the USA, and Homeland Security also requires an agent for pet transportation into the USA - so be aware if traveling overseas, you will need to hire a pet shipping agent to ship your pet home. We can help you and make arrangements with one of our colleagues. You will need to contract for shipment back to the USA in advance in order to meet the new regulations.

Restricted Breeds

Many airlines restrict the acceptance of snub-nosed/short skull (brachycephalic) breeds of dogs and cats, but several airlines also now limit any perceived “strong-jawed” breeds. In fact, at least one airline uses this list of breeds (and mixes thereof) that they reject.

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

Other Restrictions

United currently limits the size of crates accepted to 34"—up to a PP90/600 crate. American Airlines also limits the size of crates accepted on many aircraft. Delta has temperature restrictions outside of 45 – 80 °F. Delta also no longer accepts any crates taller than 24" – so no big dogs at all with that airline.

Most airlines want to see a space of at least 3" over the top of the highest point of the dog (ears/hair/skull) when sitting/standing inside the crate. Many crates are indented in the top and bottom, so the outside measurements may be 1-2 inches bigger than the actual available space inside the crate. Please see our how to measure your pet and appropriate crate pages.

Temperature Restrictions

Excessive heat or cold can prohibit pet shipments. Each airline and airport can put embargos in place that prevent moving a pet when it is under 45 degrees or over 80/85 degrees at either end of the move, or any port of transit in between. These restrictions are for the safety of your pet. Professional pet shippers and airlines must abide by these regulations. If your pet can not be moved as scheduled because of cold or heat, then the shipment is delayed until conditions are appropriate.


Use of tranquilizers is expressly forbidden and will cause the airline to reject the shipment. Every airline will ask us if the pet has been given any medications. If we reply yes, then they will say goodbye.

Tranquilization was once the leading cause of injury, illness or death during pet shipment. These drugs lower blood pressure, cardiac rate and output, and lower body temperature. If you have concerns or questions about this policy, please contact us. There are some all natural alternatives that may work for your pet. We want your pet to arrive safe and alive!