Flying With Your Pet FAQ

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How do I know if air travel is appropriate for my pet?

Not all pets can or should travel by plane. Air travel is stressful for pets, so you should consider a number of factors before deciding to transport your pet on an airplane, including your pet's disposition, age, breed and health.

Heat or Pregnancy. Animals who are in heat or who are pregnant should not travel by plane.

Age. Federal law requires that animals be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned (meaning weaned for at least five days) before they travel in the cargo hold of a plane. Although the law does not say so, veterinarians generally recommend against putting elderly pets through the discomfort of air travel.

Breed. Pug-nosed animals should never travel in the cargo hold of a plane. This is because of the structure of their faces, which may inhibit their breathing during air travel. If your dog is of one of the breeds listed below, be sure to discuss the issue with your veterinarian and with the airline. Many airlines will not accept pug-nosed animals for air travel, including:

  • American Staffordshire
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Dutch Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Brussels Griffin
  • Pekinese
  • Boston Terrier
  • English Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • Japanese Pug, and
  • Japanese Spaniel.

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