Travelling with your Pet

Travelling with your Pet

You can bring your cat or small dog in the cabin with you provided it is small enough to fit and stay comfortably in its carrier under the seat in front of you.

Just remember that your pet in its carrier will count as one standard item toward your carry-on baggage allowance.

On which flights can I travel with my cat or dog in the cabin?

Your pet can travel with you in the cabin on these flights:

  • A flight operated by Air Canada or Air Canada rouge
  • An Air Canada Express flight operated by Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian or Exploits Valley Air

However, your pet cannot travel with you in the cabin if you:

Are there weight and size restrictions? And what will it cost?

Maximum carrier size allowed1 Hard-sided
Height: 23 cm (9 in)
Width: 40 cm (15.5 in)
Length: 55 cm (21.5 in)
Soft-sided
Height: 27 cm (10.5 in)
Width: 40 cm (15.5 in)
Length: 55 cm (21.5 in)
Charge for one-way travel

Within Canada and Canada/U.S.(except Hawaii)2
$50.00 - $59.00 CAD/USD4

International3
$100.00 - $118.00 CAD/USD4

On Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft, the pet carrier cannot be more than 21 cm (8.25 in) in height, 38 cm (15 in) in width and 43 cm (17 in) in length.

1 Pet carriers that exceed the maximum allowable size indicated above can be transported in the checked baggage compartment, provided they do not exceed 45 kg (100 lb) in weight, or 292 cm (115 in) in linear dimensions (length + width + height). Please contact Air Canada Cargo (AC Animals) for rates and assistance in shipping even larger pet carriers.

2 Flights to/from Hawaii:.pets are not accepted in the cabin or the baggage compartment. Please contact Air Canada Cargo (AC Animals) for rates and assistance in shipping your pet to Hawaii 

3 See restrictions regarding certain international destinations.

4 Fees are inclusive of the minimum (0%) to maximum (18%) tax which may apply, based on your itinerary.

What else do I need to know?

  • Only one cat or small dog in the cabin is allowed per passenger.
  • Your pet must:
    • Be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned.
    • Remain at all times in a closed pet carrier stowed under your seat.

You’ll need to arrive a full 30 minutes prior to the recommended check-in time for your flight as you must see an agent at check-in. Passengers travelling with pets cannot check in online or at airport self-service kiosks.

  • Must be leak proof and well ventilated. Both soft-sided (preferred) and hard-sided carriers are accepted in the cabin;
  • Must be big enough to allow your pet to stand up, turn around and lie down safely and comfortably. No part of the pet may extend outside the carrier. The pet must remain in the carrier and the carrier must remain under the seat and closed at all times;
  • Will count as the one standard carry-on item, which you’re allowed to bring on board.

If your pet is travelling in the cabin with you, pet restraint devices (e.g. pet strollers and car seats) are accepted as checked baggage only (all checked baggage rules apply).

This is because you are allowed one standard carry-on item and your pet in its carrier already counts as that one item.

Your pet can't fly in the cabin with you? It can still travel safely and comfortably on the same flight as you, in the pressurized cargo compartment of most of our aircraft.

On which flights can I travel with my cat or dog?

Your cat or dog can travel with you if you’re travelling on:

  • A flight operated by Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge
  • An Air Canada Express flight operated by Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian or Exploits Valley Air
    • See specific pet carrier size and weight restrictions beneath table for Air Georgian and Exploits Valley Air flights.

Are there weight and size restrictions? And what will it cost?

Maximum carrier size allowed1 292 cm (115 in) in linear dimensions
(length + width + height)1
Maximum allowable weight Up to 45 kg (100 lb)1
(pet and kennel combined)
Charge for one-way travel

Within Canada and Canada/U.S.(except Hawaii)2
$105.00 - $120.75 CAD/USD4

International3
$270.00 - $318.60 CAD/USD4 

  1. Please contact Air Canada Cargo (AC Animals) for rates and assistance in shipping kennels that exceed 45 kg (100 lb) in weight, or 292 cm (115 in) in linear dimensions (length + width + height).
    On Air Canada Express flights operated by Air Georgian and Exploits Valley Air, carrier cannot exceed 80 x 57 x 61 cm (32 x 22.5 x 24 in) in size and 8 kg (17.8 lb) in weight.
  2. Flights to/from Hawaii: pets are not accepted in the cabin or the baggage compartment. Please contact Air Canada Cargo (AC Animals) for rates and assistance in shipping your pet to Hawaii.
  3. See restrictions regarding certain international destinations.
  4. Fees are inclusive of the minimum (0%) to maximum (18%) tax which may apply, based on your itinerary.

What restrictions apply to travelling with a cat or dog in the baggage compartment?

Click on the links below to learn about very important rules and restrictions that apply to travelling with your pet in the baggage compartment.

Your cat or dog must be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned to be accepted for travel.

You’re allowed to travel with up to two pets as checked baggage.

Two pets travelling in one kennel are counted as two pets regardless of combined weight.

You'll need to contact Air Canada Cargo Opens in New Window (AC Animals) no more than 30 days or less than 7 days prior to your anticipated travel date if you’re travelling with more than two pets.

Pets may not travel in the baggage compartment of all or some of our aircraft on the dates and for the reasons listed below. Please note also that temperature controlled and ventilated baggage compartments are available only on certain aircraft.

June 20 to September 10
Pets as checked baggage
No pets are accepted as checked baggage on any flights due to potentially high temperatures on the ground at some airports, as well as heavy loads during peak summer travel periods.

Air Canada Cargo still accepts animals during this time (see exceptions below).
May 15 to September 30
Pets as cargo

Due to extreme heat and USDA regulations, the transport of pets in the baggage compartment is prohibited or strictly regulated to and from airports in the following cities:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Phoenix (PHX)

Contact Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window for complete details.

Pets may not travel in the baggage compartment of all or some of our aircraft on the dates and for the reasons listed below. Please note also that temperature controlled and ventilated baggage compartments are available only on certain aircraft.

Cold weather restrictions

November 1 to March 31
and at any other time when temperature is 0 °C (32 °F) or below

Pets as checked baggage

Cats and dogs weighing less than 4.5 kg (10 lb) are not accepted in the baggage compartment of any of our aircraft.

Pets are not accepted on the following flights and aircraft:

It is not recommended to transport animals as checked baggage on our Airbus A319-100, A320-200 and A321-200 aircraft: the cargo compartment is not heated and temperatures can be as low as 2 °C (36 °F).

Peak winter travel restrictions

December 15 to January 12

Pets as checked baggage

Due to increased passenger and cargo loads during the peak winter travel period, no pets are accepted as checked baggage or cargo.

September 14 to January 14

Pets as checked baggage

Due to increased passenger loads during the peak winter travel period, no pets are accepted as checked baggage on:

  • Air Canada flights AC991 and AC993 between Toronto and Mexico City
  • Air Canada rouge flight AC1800 between Montreal and Mexico City

Pets can be accommodated by Air Canada Cargo during the winter months on certain aircraft. Find out more about the transport of pets in the cargo hold during winterOpens in New Window.

Always remove your pet’s leash before placing it in its kennel.

  • The pet carrier must be hard-sided to be accepted as checked baggage. Most carriers are made of hard plastic with holes for ventilation.
  • No part of the pet may extend outside the carrier. Therefore, wire carriers are not permitted.
  • All carriers must be secure and leak proof.
  • Collapsible kennels are not accepted.
  • The carrier must be big enough to allow your pet to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably, as per international regulations.
    • If the pet carrier is not big enough for your pet to do this, we must refuse transport.
  • The carrier can contain a maximum of 2 dogs who are used to cohabitation:
    • Each dog must not weigh more than 14 kg (31 lb).
    • The applicable fee will be charged twice.
  • The carrier can’t have wheels attached.
    • Any wheels must be removed prior to check-in.

Your pet carrier must meet all of the conditions listed above or it won’t be accepted for travel.

See the ‘Dog breeds classified as strong or aggressive’ section below for important information on special containers or crates required for the transport of such breeds.

These short/snub-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds of cats and dogs cannot travel in the baggage compartment because they are susceptible to increased risks of heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to extreme heat or stressful situations.

Certain dog breeds are classified as strong dogs and must be transported in a special reinforced container or crate when travelling in the baggage compartment.

About the container or crate:

The container must be constructed of weld or wire mesh, metal, wood or a synthetic material other than plastic. The crate door must be made of wire mesh, metal or wood and should have a secure lock that can’t be opened accidentally.

We reserve the right to refuse any animal that exhibits aggressive behavior and/or cage destruction.

Pets travelling via Air Canada Cargo

When your pet has to travel alone, for a variety of animals, including cats and dogs.

Air Canada Cargo ships a wide variety of animals, from cats and dogs to hatching eggs, insects and tropical fish. You can be sure that your pet will travel safely and comfortably to its destination.

Please contact Air Canada Cargo for complete details on their AC Animals serviceOpens in New Window.

All animals, upon landing in any country, may be inspected by government veterinary officials. Please note that veterinary inspection fees may be charged. Local veterinary health certificates obtained from animal clinics are not sufficient to clear government veterinary inspections. To obtain these additional documents, such as government approved health certificates, please contact the consulate or embassy of the country to which you are travelling.

Below is a partial list of countries with restrictions on the entry of animals. For specific restrictions, as well as information on vaccination and documentation requirements when bringing animals into a particular country, always contact the embassy or consulate of your destination country.

Flights to Antigua and Barbuda:

Pets are accepted in the cabin and the baggage compartment if they’re accompanied by an Official Health Certificate and an Import License issued by the Veterinary and Livestock Division in Antigua.

Flights from Antigua and Barbuda:

Pets are accepted in the cabin and the baggage compartment.

Due to government regulations, pets are not accepted for travel in the cabin or in the baggage compartment on flights to and from Australia. They may travel only as cargo, and all bookings must be made through Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window

Flights to Barbados:

Pets are not accepted for travel in the cabin or baggage compartment due to government regulations.

Flights from Barbados:

Pets are accepted in the cabin and baggage compartment.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency Opens in New Window is responsible for establishing requirements for all animals entering Canada, including pets.

Due to Ontario government regulations, pit bulls are not accepted in the cabin or the baggage compartment, or as cargo for travel into or via the province of Ontario. Breeds defined as pit bulls are the pit bull terrier and the Staffordshire terrier. For more information on Ontario's pit bull ban, visit the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website.

Visit the Canadian Food Inspection AgencyOpens in New Window website for information on travelling with your pet to a country that is part of the European Union.

Flights to or through Hong Kong:

Due to government regulations, pets are not accepted in the cabin or in the baggage compartment. However, they may travel as cargo, and all bookings must be made through Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window.

Flights from Hong Kong:

Pets are accepted in the cabin and the baggage compartment

Flights to Ireland:

Pets are not accepted for travel in the cabin or baggage compartment due to government regulations.

Flights from Ireland:

Pets are accepted in the cabin and baggage compartment.

Due to government regulations, pets are not accepted for travel in either the cabin or the baggage compartment on flights to and from Jamaica. Pets may travel only as cargo, and all bookings must be made through Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window.

Due to government regulations, pets are not accepted for travel in the cabin or in the baggage compartment on flights to and from New Zealand. Pets may travel only as cargo, and all bookings must be made through Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window.

On flights to and from Peru, only cats and dogs weighing up to 6 kg (13 lb) and seeing eye/guide dogs are accepted in the cabin. Cats and dogs over 6 kg (13 lb) must travel in the checked baggage compartment or via Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window.

Pets must be accompanied by one of the following: a veterinarian good health certificate, rabies vaccination certificate or other vaccination and deworming certificate (if applicable), issued at the point of origin.

Seeing eye/guide dogs must be accompanied by a training certificate and remain muzzled during the entire flight.

Due to quarantine laws, pets are not accepted into Trinidad and Tobago in the cabin or in the baggage compartment. For more information, visit Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine AffairsOpens in New Window website.

Flights to or via the U.K.:
Due to quarantine laws, pets are not accepted in the cabin or as checked baggage. They may, however, travel as cargo, and all bookings must be made through Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window.

Air Canada was the first North American carrier to participate in the United Kingdom's Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)Opens in New Window which permits pet dogs and cats to enter the U.K as cargo without the usual 6 months quarantine as long as certain conditions are met.

Flights from the U.K.:

Pets are accepted for travel both in the cabin and in the baggage compartment.

Service animals:
If you wish to travel with a service animal, please contact Air Canada Reservations and ask for the Medical Assistance Desk.

  • Puppies entering the United States must be at least 16 weeks old.
  • Rabies vaccination is required for all dogs entering the United States from a country where rabies is present. Dogs must be accompanied by a current, valid rabies vaccination certificates.

Hawaii – Pets in the cabin

  • Are not accepted on flights to Hawaii
  • Are accepted on flights from Hawaii

Hawaii – Pets in the baggage compartment

Pets are not accepted in the baggage compartment for travel to and from Hawaii. They may only travel via cargo and all bookings must be made through Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window.

Cats or dogs in the cabin or in the baggage compartment

You'll need to let us know in advance of travel if you plan on travelling with your cat or dog in the cabin or in the baggage compartment.

The first thing you'll need to do is book your own flight*. Once that's done, contact Air Canada Reservations to register** your pet for travel on the same flight as yours.

At the time of your call, you'll be asked to provide:

  • the dimensions of the carrier and
  • the weight and breed of your pet.

We strongly recommend that you register** your pet within 24 hours of completing your booking. This will ensure that, if your pet cannot be accommodated on the flight(s) and date(s) you selected, your ticket will be refunded without charge. After 24 hours, any changes to your booking will be subject to applicable change and cancellation fees.

Please take note that you'll need to arrive a full 30 minutes prior to the recommended check-in time for your flight as you must see an agent at check-in. Customers with pets cannot use Web check-in or airport self-service kiosks.

* Please also view important information below about travelling on Codeshare flights/Flights with other airlines (in the 'What else do I need to know' section at the bottom of the page).
** Pets that have not been registered in advance will not be accepted at the airport.

If you're changing your reservation online or with your travel agent, you'll need to make sure to contact Air Canada Reservations immediately afterward to change your pet's reservation too.

If one of our Call Centre agents is handling the change to your reservation, your pet's reservation will be changed at the same time.

Cats and small dogs are allowed in our Maple Leaf Lounges only under the following conditions:

  • Your cat or dog must stay with you and must be kept in the pet carrier at all times;
  • The pet carrier must be leak proof and well ventilated (both soft and hard-sided carriers are accepted for carry-on);
  • No part of the pet may extend outside the pet carrier.

If your pet is travelling in the checked baggage compartment, pet restraint devices (e.g. pet strollers and car seats) are accepted:

  • as checked baggage (all checked baggage rules apply).
  • as carry-on baggage. The pet restraint device:
    • will count as the standard article in your carry-on baggage allowance
    • must meet carry-on baggage size restrictions
    • can’t be gate checked.

Always remove your pet’s leash before placing it in its carrier.

Since we assume no responsibility for the care or feeding of cats and dogs while in transit, it is most important that you prepare both the pet carrier and your pet ahead of time:

  • Feed your pet four to six hours prior to departure, as a full stomach may cause discomfort during travel.
  • Give your pet water right up to the time of travel. Be sure to empty the dish at check-in, otherwise spillage during the flight will give your pet a wet and uncomfortable ride.
    • Leave the dish in the carrier so our agents can provide water in the event of an extended wait before or after the flight, or during connections.
  • Tranquilizers and other medications are not recommended. Consult your veterinarian.
  • Cover the bottom of the carrier with absorbent material such as a blanket.

Do not lock the carrier door as Air Canada personnel may need to access your pet in the event of an emergency.

If you are shipping a pet for commercial purposes, please contact Air Canada CargoOpens in New Window (AC Animals).