Pet Travel Guide: Ensuring a Purr-fect Flight Across Canadian and U.S. Airlines

Traveling with pets? Whether you're flying within the borders of Canada or heading to or from the United States, it's crucial to know each airline's pet policies to make your journey as smooth as possible. Here's a handy guide to help you and your pet jet-set without a hitch. 

U.S. Airlines' In-Cabin Pet Policies

Airline In-Cabin Fee Carrier Size Limits (LxWxH) Weight Limit Restrictions
American Airlines $125 Soft-sided: 18" x 11" x 11", Hard-sided: 19" x 13" x 9" 20 lbs or less Pets must stay in carriers, cargo option available
United Airlines $125 Hard-sided: 17.5" x 12" x 7.5", Soft-sided: 18" x 11" x 11" Not specified Pets must remain in carriers under the seat
Delta Air Lines $95 to $200 Contact for specifics, soft-sided suggested: 18" x 11" x 11" Not specified Limited pets per flight, breed restrictions, cargo only

Canadian Airlines' In-Cabin Pet Policies

Airline In-Cabin Fee Carrier Size Limits (LxWxH) Weight Limit Pets Allowed Other Information
Air Canada $50 USD (domestic), $100 USD (international) Hard-sided: 9" x 15.5" x 21.5", Soft-sided: 10.5" x 15.5" x 21.5" Not specified Small dogs and cats Pets must be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned
WestJet $50-59 CAD (domestic/US), $100-118 CAD (other destinations) 16" x 8.5" x 10" Pet and carrier not more than 22 pounds Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds Must fit under the seat
Porter Airlines $50 - $57.50 CAD/USD per direction Not specified Not specified House cats and small dogs Up to two pets in the cabin per flight

Tips for Flying with Pets:

  • Always double-check the airline's pet policy before booking as policies may change.
  • Consider all fees and restrictions that may vary based on the flight, aircraft, and destination.
  • Ensure your pet's carrier meets the airline's requirements for a secure and comfortable journey.
  • Remember to contact the airline well in advance to secure a spot for your pet, as spaces are limited.

Comparison of Pet Travel Requirements for Checked Luggage Across Major Airlines

Airline Types of Pets Allowed Age & Weight Limit Special Conditions
Air Canada Cats, Dogs Over 12 weeks, Max 100 lbs No short/snub-nosed breeds, health and vaccination certificates required
WestJet Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Birds Max 100 lbs Health certificate, no travel during extreme temperatures
American Airlines Cats, Dogs Flight duration up to 12 hours Breed and weight restrictions, not all aircraft types allow pets
United Airlines Dogs, Cats, Household Birds, Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs Over 8 weeks, more than 10 pounds via PetSafe Some pets only as checked baggage, pit bull breed restrictions
Delta Airlines Not as checked baggage - Pets can be shipped via Delta Cargo

By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and comfortable journey for you and your pet across American, United, and Delta Airlines, as well as Air Canada, WestJet, and Air Transat.

Please Note: This information serves as a general guide. Always contact the airlines directly to obtain the most current and detailed information regarding pet travel. Safe travels!


  1. For American Airlines, pets are not allowed as checked baggage, but a cargo option is available.
  2. United Airlines requires pets to stay in their carriers under the seat at all times.
  3. Delta Air Lines has limits on the number of pets per flight and breed restrictions.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for general guidance only and may be subject to change. Always verify directly with the airline for the most up-to-date and specific pet travel requirements.

If you're traveling with your furry friend soon, you might be worried about how to ensure a safe and comfortable flight for your pet! After all, pets can get anxious in unfamiliar surroundings, and the last thing you want is for your pet to get sick or distressed during a long flight. But don't worry, our Pet Travel Guide is here to help!

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about taking your pet on a flight across Canadian or U.S. airlines, from airline policies to documents and tips for a stress-free journey. So let's get started!

Part One: Airline Policies

Each airline has its own pet policy, so it's important to do your research before booking your flight. Some airlines don't allow pets at all, while others have strict rules about crate size and weight restrictions. Make sure you know your airline's policy and follow it to avoid any surprises or delays.

Part Two: Required Documents

Before you can even board your flight with your pet, you'll need to have all the required documents in place. This includes a health certificate from your veterinarian, proof of vaccinations and rabies shots, and a pet passport if you're flying internationally. Make sure you have all these documents well before your flight, as some airlines require them to be submitted in advance.

Part Three: Tips for a Hassle-Free Journey

Now that you know what to expect from your airline and what documents you need, let's talk about how to make the travel experience as smooth as possible for your pet. First and foremost, make sure your pet is comfortable in their travel crate before the flight. This can take some time and patience, so start training them to spend time in the crate well in advance of your flight.

Overall, traveling with your pet can be fun and stress-free if you plan ahead and follow the guidelines set by your airline. With our Pet Travel Guide, you'll have all the information you need to ensure a purr-fect flight for you and your furry friend!