Understanding restricted breeds on certain airlines is difficult for most pet owners as a pet parent of a Pit Bull or Mastiff-type dog, for example, knows their pet is super sweet & well behaved but are told their breed is “restricted” from the airline. Breeds are selected for the restricted breed list not because of any fear of the breed itself,but reported cases of a particular breed have a particularly strong jaw set and therefore being more likely to to break out of an airline crate during the trip. These special boxes are for the safety of the pet!
Many airlines will accept the “restricted breeds” if they are transported in a specially built wooden crate which meets IATA specifications (see example below). Pet Air Carrier can coordinate the construction and delivery to the airport of these boxes.
It is important to note that many countries have breeds that are not accepted in country even if the airline will take them. Our staff will advise if you are trying to ship a country restricted breed.
Most airlines will not take pets under 10 weeks of age for transport. Even if an airline will accept a younger pet it is crucial for the pet that you wait until 10 – 11 weeks at the earliest. Dogs and cats go through a fear impact period at 8-10 weeks and anything they perceive as tramatic can affect their personality the remainder of their lives.
Many countries will not accept dogs & cats that not have a rabies vaccine. It is important that you wait until 12 weeks to vaccinate with rabies, as most countries will not recognize the vaccine if given earlier than the manufacturer’s recommendation.
We are well informed of the ever changing breed restrictions which vary by airline. If you may have a “restricted breed”, contact our office for information and alternatives
Many American based airlines have temperature restrictions of 85 degrees for longer muzzled breeds & 75 degrees for “snub nosed breeds”. This restriction is in place for those airlines that take the pets to the plane with the baggage and are not transported separately and loaded more quickly into the aircraft. The aircraft loading area can be many degrees higher especially if later in the day than the actual temperature and the restriction is for the safety of the pet. Some airlines have temperature controlled vehicles on the ground or take the pets out separately from the luggage, and as a result have different or no temperature restrictions. Some airlines vary these restrictions by city or breed.
Another type of restriction is a seasonal restriction where airlines restrict breeds or their mixes (snub-nosed breeds for example) from May 15 – September 15 regardless of the temperatures. This is another safety precaution as the breeds have demonstrated more difficulty breathing in warmer temperatures.
Please contact our office and let us do the research for you – if there is an way to get to your destination, we will find it for you!
At Risk Breeds
- Bulldogs – most airlines will not accept bulldogs for flight. Please call us to discuss the best options to transport your bulldog breed. No domestic airlines will accept the breed; however, several international airlines will take bulldogs when temperatures are under 80 degrees.
- Snub nosed (brachial cephalic breeds) are not accepted on any domestic airlines; but are accepted on a number of international airlines.
- Very Senior/weak dogs – It is highly recommended that seniors have a geriatric blood panel done prior to flight versus just a clinical exam which may not show underlying health issues.
- Pregnant pets