United Airlines Pet Policy 2023: Fly with your dog, cat and service animals

United Airlines Pet Policy

Traveling from one place to another can be a stressful experience, and bringing your pet along can make the procedure quite complicated for everyone. United Airlines allows service animals, and for the other animals, there are specific rules and regulations that you need to adhere to. In this article, we will study United Airlines Pet policy in detail:

United Airlines Pet policy:

Always remember that United Airlines allows only dogs and cats to travel as in-cabin pets. United Airlines charges about $125 for a single-way itinerary, which allows your pet to come with you to the cabin. Also, United Airlines charges $125 more if you travel within the United States and have a four-hour stopover or travel internationally with a 24-hour stopover.

For domestic flights, kittens and puppies must be 60 days old. For international flights, per must be at least 120 days old and fulfil all the vaccination requirements.

Some countries never permit any pets to travel with travelers. At the same time, others have strict rules and regulations for rabies vaccination. Ensure that all the vaccination proof and paperwork you have before leaving.

Do know that your pet will require a reservation, and you need to communicate with the airlines before you start travelling. There is a limitation on the number of pets that can onboard the flight and in-cabin space. Although the traveler can add a pet anytime once the booking is finalized, it is best to check the availability of the pet while booking the flight itself. Right now, United Airlines do not charge any change fees, so the chances are high that you can be stuck with rescheduling a particular flight as your previous booking is not accepting more in-cabin animal reservations.

Pets are never permitted to be carried in Business or First class on Boeing 777, 767, 757 or 747 aircraft because of a lack of space available under the seats.

United Airlines’ pet carrier requirements

The policy for United Airlines can support soft-sided and hard-sided carriers. The measurements for a soft-sided carrier should be at most 7.5 inches in height by 12 inches in width and 17.5 inches in length. Also, United Airlines mentions that the soft-sided pet carrier should be fitted under the front seat. For the hard-side carriers, the requirement is the same. It should fit under the seat placed in front of you.

Hard-sided Carrier:

Soft-sided Carrier:

Image source: www.united.com

Also, per the guidelines, the traveler can bring a single pet in a pet carrier. Also, the pet policy for United Airlines mentions that the pet should be able to turn around or stand in the carrier.

United Airlines cargo pet policy

The pets do not travel in cargo with United Airlines. Although previously United Airlines used to permit pets to travel as cargo. The United Airlines cargo pet program, known as Petsafe, was suspended a few years ago as many pets died a tragic death while travelling. There is no news of when the program will be able to resume.

Tips for traveling with pets 

  • Do carry all the essentials to care for your pets while at the airport and flight. The essentials are plastic bags, leashes, bowls and treats.
  • The pet needs to be calm while travelling, so to keep them engaged, do, pack up their favourite pillow, toy or blanket so that the ambience is quite familiar to them.


If you are travelling with your pet, then for check-in, you need to bring the confirmation numbers for yourself and your pet too. The number is under the “My Trips” heading or in your email. The carrier is also provided with a particular tag from United Airlines.

Pet Relief Areas:

Many airports have dedicated places to keep your pet from using the bathroom. You can use the map feature of the airport on the United Airlines app to check out their location.

What are the compulsory travel restrictions and rabies vaccinations rules in the United States for pets?

United Airlines requires a health and rabies certificate for travelling internationally. The rabies vaccinations are allowed to be completed 28 days before arrival in the United States, and it is viable for both cats and dogs. Also, any additional rules and regulations for travelling to the United States depend on whether the traveler is coming from a country considered high risk for rabies infections by CDC. 

United Airlines pet policy: Service Animals

The service animals allowed to travel on United and United Express flights are only dogs over four months old and are provided with specialized training for performing tasks.

Types of service animals

United Airlines allow service animals to travel with their owners. The other dogs and cats are allowed to travel as pets. 

Service Animals

Dogs are also trained to help someone having a disability. The disability can be cognitive, psychiatric, sensory, physical or various disabilities that need assistance.

Therapy Animals

Animals that are registered and trained for the therapy organization. They are trained to visit schools, nursing homes and hospitals. Travelers at United Airlines can travel with their therapy cat or dog as a pet. 

Emotional Support Animals

Pets that are trained to ease the owner’s depression or anxiety via companionship. The passengers can travel with an emotional support cat or dog as a pet.

United Airlines Travel Policy: Flying with Service Animals

If you tend to fly with the service animal, you must submit DOT or Department of Transportation forms. The forms need the details of the service animals. On filling out the form, you will ensure that you provide a guarantee that your pet will not relieve themselves on the flight or fate. They are adequately trained and always maintain control. 

If you are on a domestic flight, then you can complete these forms online and try to save them in the “My Trips” section. When required, you can download them, followed by printing them. At the airport, you should carry these printed forms with you. If you are boarding an International flight, including flights to Guam and Hawaii, these forms can never be completed. You had to print and fill them out and keep them with you while travelling.

The United Airlines pet policy is crystal clear and helps people if they seek guidance for travelling with their pets. At times passengers face issues with travelling with their service dogs, too; the above article will clarify all your doubts and help you travel with United Airlines without any issues.

United Airlines Pet Policy: Frequently Asked Questions:

Here is the list of frequently asked questions related to the United Airlines Pet Policy

Do you know about U.S. travel restrictions and rabies vaccinations?

As per the United rules, health and rabies certificates for cats and dogs are very much required. For arriving in the U.S., cats and dogs should have rabies vaccinations not older than 28 days. Additional regulations are dependent on the destination you are travelling from. The CDC guidelines must be followed if you come from a country categorized as high risk for rabies. The traveler needs to have a look at CDC guidelines and make their preparation 60 days ahead of their trip.

As per the United Airlines pet policy, if you travel to the United States with your pet, you need to have a health certificate from your pet. The United authorities may ask you to present the certificate upon reaching out. It should be inclusive of:

  • Your address, name and phone.
  • Pet info inclusive of any marking, age, breed, sex and color.
  • Complete a list of recent vaccinations, including expiry, issued date, and pet names.

Does the United States have a state or military department pet exemption?

United provides pet exemption for United States military members for permanent station changes and the State Department foreign service people.

What should be the age of the pet to fly with United?

The cat and dog should be at least 60 days for domestic travel. The animals should be four months old for international flights and fulfil the vaccination requirements.

Does United Airlines still offer Petsafe?

No, United have stopped offering Petsafe.

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