What Dogs Are Banned From Flying Cargo on United?

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated February 23, 2024

Ensure Your Furry Friend's Comfort!

  • Fast and easy
  • Only pay when you book

It’s essential to be aware of different airlines’ restrictions. This article will discuss the dog breeds that are banned by United Airlines, one of the country’s most popular lines. This information will help you make informed decisions about your pet’s travel arrangements.

Understanding United’s PetSafe Program

United Airlines offers a specialized pet travel program called PetSafe, designed to provide a safe and comfortable journey for animals not eligible for in-cabin travel. However, specific breed restrictions exist for dogs traveling as cargo on United Airlines. These restrictions are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet during air travel.

What Dogs Are Banned From Flying Cargo on United: Breed Restrictions

United Airlines has implemented breed restrictions primarily for brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dog breeds due to their increased risk of respiratory issues during air travel. The following dog breeds are banned from flying as cargo on United Airlines:

  1. Affenpinscher
  2. American Bully
  3. American Pit Bull Terrier
  4. American Staffordshire Terrier
  5. Boston Terrier
  6. Boxer (all breeds)
  7. Brussels Griffon
  8. Bulldog (all breeds)
  9. Cane Corso
  10. Dogo Argentino
  11. English Toy Spaniel
  12. Japanese Chin
  13. Lhasa Apso
  14. Mastiff (all breeds)
  15. Pekingese
  16. Pit Bull
  17. Presa Canario
  18. Pug (all breeds)
  19. Shar-Pei
  20. Shih Tzu
  21. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  22. Tibetan Spaniel

This list is subject to change, so it’s crucial to consult United Airlines’ pet policy before booking your flight.

Alternative Flight Options

If your dog is among the breeds banned from flying cargo on United Airlines, you may want to explore alternative transportation options. One option is to choose a different airline that allows your dog’s breed to travel, such as JetBlue or Alaska Airlines.

Another alternative is to use a pet transportation service like CitizenShipper. This service connects pet owners with experienced pet transporters who can safely and comfortably transport your pet by ground.

Consider Ground Transportation as an Alternative to United Airlines

With many restrictions around pet air travel, ground transportation is often a better solution. It’s the safest, most reliable and most humane way to send a pet long distances.

Preparing Your Dog for Air Travel on United Airlines

If your dog is not among the breeds banned from flying cargo on United Airlines, it is essential to adequately prepare your pet for air travel. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for your dog:

  1. Visit your veterinarian: Schedule a check-up with your veterinarian to confirm your dog’s health and ensure they have the required vaccinations and health certificates for your destination.
  2. Choose an appropriate pet carrier: Invest in a high-quality, airline-approved pet carrier that meets United Airlines’ size requirements. The carrier should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie comfortably.
  3. Familiarize your dog with the carrier: Encourage them to spend time in their carrier before the trip, making them comfortable with it. Place a familiar item, such as a toy or blanket, inside the carrier to help your dog feel more at ease.
  4. Maintain a consistent routine: As much as possible, keep your dog’s feeding and sleeping schedule consistent in the days leading up to your trip. This will help minimize disruption and stress during travel.
  5. Exercise your dog before departure: Help your dog expend energy before your flight by engaging them in a play session or taking them for a walk. A tired dog is less likely to experience anxiety during travel.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for your dog when traveling on United Airlines.

Tips for Picking the Right Airline for Your Dog’s Travel Needs

When deciding on an airline for your dog’s travel, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure their safety and comfort during the journey. Here are some tips for selecting the right airline for your pet:

  1. Research airline pet policies: Familiarize yourself with the pet policies of different airlines, including breed restrictions, fees, and carrier requirements. This will help you determine which airline best accommodates your dog’s needs.
  2. Consider your dog’s size and breed: Some airlines may have more lenient restrictions regarding pet size and breed, while others might have stricter rules. Choose an airline that is best suited for your dog’s specific requirements.
  3. Investigate layovers and travel time: Lengthy layovers and extended travel times can be stressful for your pet. Look for airlines with direct flights or shorter layovers to minimize travel time and ensure your dog’s comfort.
  4. Consult online reviews and forums: Research other pet owners’ experiences with different airlines to understand how well each airline handles pet travel.
  5. Look for pet-friendly amenities: Some airlines offer pet-friendly services and amenities, such as dedicated pet relief areas and onboard pet kits. These added features can make your dog’s journey more comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions About Banned Breeds on United Airlines

What is the cheapest way to transport a pet?

Typically, ground transport is the cheapest way to transport a pet.  Longer trips using a transportation service, like CitizenShipper, typically average around $1.00 per mile.  Using a pet transportation service ensures your pet arrives in your new location safely, while minimizing stress and overall cost. 

How much does it cost to ship a pet internationally? 

While shipping your pet domestically is a relatively straightforward process, international shipping can be more complicated.  Hiring a pet transport service to help with international logistics can save a tremendous amount of stress and time.  

Each country of arrival will have specific regulations regarding pet health checks, necessary vaccination, and possible quarantine requirements.  The cost to ship a pet internationally can vary, especially if you need to board your pet for an extended quarantine. 

How much does it cost to transport cats?

The cost to transport cats will vary depending on the transport method.  Cats can be transported via ground or air transit, and are often small enough to be considered a “carry on” item.  Transporting a cat can cost as little as $25 on Amtrak, or as much as $125 to fly in the main cabin of an airplane.

How much does it cost to travel with a small pet?

Traveling with a small pet, compared to a large pet, is much cheaper.  Smaller pets can fit under the seat in front of you and can often qualify as a “carry on” item.  Traveling with small pets on Amtrak can cost $25, while airlines can charge around $125.  Keep in mind certain companies will only allow cats and dogs to travel.  

What does it cost to ship a puppy?

While puppies are small enough to fly in most airline cabins, they can incur additional costs.  Puppies generally require more attention, and therefore can be more expensive than shipping an adult dog or cat.  

Many breeders will utilize an air nanny service to accompany your puppy.  If the air nanny is experienced, or a regular, certain airlines may provide discounted rates or waive certain fees.  Breeders regularly ship puppies to their new homes and are well-versed in arranging transportation.  

Bottom Line

Understanding what breeds are banned from traveling in Cargo on United is vital when planning air travel with your furry friend. If your dog is among the restricted breeds, consider alternative travel options such as a different airline or a pet transportation service to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being during their journey.