United Airlines Pet Policy

If you would love to know what the United Airlines Pet Policy is all about, then you have undoubtedly clicked on the right page.

In this article, you will learn about the United Airlines Pet Policy plus answers to frequently asked questions about traveling with pets.

United Airlines is a major American airline that allows passengers to travel with their pets in the cabin and also as checked baggage.

This airline has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

Furthermore, they operate out of 10 airline hubs in the Continental United States Guam, and Japan.

Above all this airline provides you with an avenue for safe trips with your pet.

Also if you are looking for an airline your pet can travel on unaccompanied, United Airlines got you covered.

Wondering why people travel with their pets? Read this article about Emotional Support Animals (Everything You Need to Know).

United Airlines In-Cabin Pet Policy.

Majorly, United Airlines only accepts small pets such as dogs, cats, and rabbits in the cabin.

If your pet is tiny enough to fit and stay comfortably in a container under the seat in front of you, United will allow them to fly with you in the cabin.

Some examples of pets United Airlines accepts in the cabin include;

  • 1 fully weaned dog or cat per carrier (minimum 6 months old);
  • Rabbits in captivity (1 per carrier)
  • Weaned puppies or kittens (minimum 8 weeks old, maximum 2 per carrier)
  • Domesticated birds in the home (maximum 2 per carrier)

Your Pets should remain in their carriers under the seat in your front throughout the flight.

Furthermore, you will pay a service fee of $125 for each in-cabin pet on a United Airlines flight

It is important to make advance reservations between 30 days maximum and 5 days minimum prior to your journey.

This is necessary whether you are traveling with your pet or your pet is traveling alone.

Moreover, United Airlines only accepts two dogs on most flights, therefore the earlier you make reservations the better.

If you want to register your pet so that you can legally have them with you all the time, then you need to read this article about the Letter for Emotional Support Animals.

United airlines pet policy, rules and regulations for travelling with pets in cabin

Other Requirements for In-cabin Pets

Basically, your kittens must be at least 2 months old for domestic flights. 

Furthermore, on international flights, kittens and puppies must be at least 4 months old because of rabies vaccination requirements.

Also note that in United Airlines, Pets are not allowed to travel with unaccompanied minors.

Also, your Pets must travel on the same flights as the traveler who is responsible for them.

Although United Airlines accepts pets on most flights, if there is an emergency, oxygen service won’t be available for pets.

United Airlines Checked Baggage Pet Policy

Your pet can travel in the aircraft’s pressurized and heated cargo area.

Pets traveling as checked luggage will be accepted at the airport check-in counter and delivered to your ultimate destination’s baggage claim area.

If your pet is traveling alone or too large to fly in the cabin, then you can make it travel through the United Airlines PetSafe program.

This program provides airport-to-airport transportation for cats and dogs traveling to about 300 destinations.

Moreover, United Airlines’ pet transportation service PetSafe, has teamed with American Humane to strengthen it. 

PetSafe can carry pets weighing from 2 pounds (1 kilogram) to 770 pounds (350 kilograms). 

Mostly, the cost of this service depends on the size of your animal and the nation from where you travel. 

Transporting a pet under 11 lbs (5 kg) from the United States to various domestic and international locations would cost between $201-$417 while transporting the largest pets 300-770 pounds (136-350 kg) would cost about  $963-$2410.

Guidelines for Your Pet Carrier

Carriers for pets traveling in the cabin must be hard or soft-sided. Hard-sided carriers can be 17.5″ x 12″ x 7.5″ (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm) while soft-sided carriers can be 18″ x 11″ x 11″ (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm) (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm). 

In their carrier, your dog must be able to stand up and turn around safely.

Furthermore, if your pet is traveling with PetSafe, then its carrier must be big enough for your pet to move without restrictions and stand with its head erect.

The carrier should be able to let your pet turn around and lie down in a normal position.

In addition, your carrier should be tall enough to provide enough room for your pet to stand and sit without its head and ears touching the top.

Ensure you construct the carrier with a suitable material such as rigid plastic, metal, or wood.

Most importantly your pet’s carrier should be such that provides enough ventilation to prevent suffocation.

Also, the carrier should have metal bolts to hold the pet securely inside it.

The carrier must also have food and water bowls firmly affixed to the interior of the crate and accessible from the outside for easy refilling without a need to open the door. 

Also note that PetSafe does not accept crates taller than 30 inches, including the 700 series.

Furthermore, all customers should bear in mind that United Airlines no longer sells or provides crates at its airport locations.

Service Animals on United Airlines

Animals that are specially trained to help people with impairments and disabilities are known as Service animals.

If you have a disability, then it is certain that you can travel with your service animal on United Airlines.

Moreover, you do not have to bother about incurring additional fees for your service animal.

That reason is that your service animal will not be charged any fee.

In addition, You can travel with your emotional support animal in the aircraft cabin so long as they do not obstruct an aisle or any other space for emergency evacuation.

Nevertheless, providing your service animal with a vest or harness will be quite beneficial.

This will help airport officials to be aware of the animal’s position. 

United Airlines Pet Restrictions.

It is important to note that there are route rules and regulations governing certain flight destinations.

As a result, you may not be able to fly with your pets in the cabin to such locations.

Therefore to ensure that you can travel with your pets onboard, it is best you call United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) within the U.S.

If you are from outside the U.S., then call your local reservations office.

Besides the route rules and regulations, there are other restrictions that will not allow you to fly with certain types of pets at certain periods of the year.

For instance, the following short-nosed dog breeds are not accepted in United Airlines from the 1st of June to the 30th of September of each year.

The breeds include;

  • American Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • English or French Bulldog
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pug
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shih Tzu 

Mixed-breed dogs that exhibit short-nosed characteristics of these breeds are not allowed either as checked baggage or cargo.

This restriction is for the safety of your animal.

However, it does not apply to animals traveling with you in the cabin.

The following cat breeds are not also accepted by United Airlines.

  • Burmese
  • Persian
  • Himalayan
  • Exotic Shorthair.

Key points to note to Ensure your Pet Travels Safely with United Airlines. 

Your animal’s comfort and safety during the journey are of utmost priority to United Airlines.

Indeed, United Airlines is concerned about your pet’s overall well-being. 

Therefore, to guarantee that your pet travels safely, here are some key points you should note.

#1. Ensure your pet is up to the required age.

Before traveling, your pet must be at least eight weeks old and properly weaned, according to the USDA.

#2. Make sure your pet is comfortable in the carrier.

It is good for your animal to become acquainted with its shipping container before traveling.

This helps them to be less stressed during the journey.

Nevertheless, ensure you provide them with the right carrier for a safe and comfortable trip.

#3. It Is very important to check if your pet is in good health before the travel.

Always consult a veterinarian to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to travel. 

In order to comply with state and federal rules, you’ll need a health certificate, which your veterinarian can provide. 

It should be granted no more than once for your travel to be valid.

If your pet is going with you, you must book at least 30 days ahead of time.

However, if your pet is unaccompanied it will travel by United cargo.

Therefore, the certificate must be issued at least 10 days prior to departure.


If you read to this point a big thumbs up to you.

Now you know the United Airlines Pet Policy, you can make informed choices and decisions.

Traveling with your pet is a big responsibility and you must take it lightly.

Therefore always ensure your pet is safe and comfortable as you are on any journey.


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