Your animals were meant to fly!

AC Animals is Air Canada Cargo's designated shipping solution for live animals. We understand that while air travel can be stressful to passengers, it can be extremely difficult for animals. That’s why your animal's safety and comfort are our top priorities.

With specially-trained staff to care for the animals, designated holding facilities (at select stations) and dedicated transport vehicles, we help to make your animal’s journey a little easier.

The AC Animals Solution

The AC Animals solution offers the following benefits for you and your animal:

  • Priority1 service
  • Specially-trained staff to care for your pet or animals
  • Designated holding facilities at select stations for your animal’s comfort
  • Dedicated transport vehicles for safety and comfort
  • Designated agents for bookings and questions about live shipments
  • Bonded kennel facility in Toronto for comfort stops when in transit
  • Easy new pricing for the transport of dogs and cats within Canada and between Canada and the US.
  • Veterinary consultant services
AC Animals News
Get news and updates about shipping live animals
IATA TRAVELLER'S
PET CORNER
Detailed information about shipping your cat or dog by air

About Animals Shipping

What animals can be shipped?

Air Canada Cargo accepts a wide range of live shipments, designated in the following categories:

  • Pets - Cats and dogs
  • Animals - All other types of live animals (warm and cold blooded)
  • Aquatics/Insects - For live fish, coral, bees, etc.

There are also certain animals that Air Canada Cargo does not accept for carriage:

  • Non-human primates intended for laboratory research and/or experimental purposes
  • Threatened species and related products, or wildlife known as unsustainably traded and related products.

Important!

Air Canada Cargo also has certain in place to ensure the health and safety of live cargo. Be sure to check these restrictions before planning your live shipment.

Due to the special needs and nature of live shipping, all animals must be brought to an Air Canada Cargo facility and retrieved upon arrival. Note that not all cities served by Air Canada have cargo facilities. See if your city has an Air Canada Cargo facility.

Flying in Cargo

People shipping their pet for the first time often wonder what will happen to their animals once they are dropped off. All animals booked with AC Animals fly in the cargo hold, along with baggage and other cargo, and receive special handling during ground transport.

The cargo holds on all of our aircraft are pressurized and most of our aircraft also have temperature-controlled cargo compartments. If temperature control is needed but not available on the route you book your animal on, the booking agent will suggest a different route or an alternate travel date. See our to learn more about how Air Canada Cargo ensures the safety and comfort of your pets.

Kennels are also secured to avoid movement during the flight, and are placed for maximum ventilation.

Some small pets can travel inside the cabin with passengers, or in the checked baggage compartment. Visit the Air Canada website for more information about passenger travel with a pet.

Comfort Stops at the Toronto Kennel Facility

Our goal is to make the journey as comfortable as possible for your pet, so if a comfort stop or overnight stay is required, plan to take advantage of our on-site, bonded .

IATA Regulations
IATA Regulations
Important information and updates for live animals
IATA Traveller's Pet Corner
IATA TRAVELLER'S
PET CORNER
Detailed information about shipping your cat or dog by air

AC Animals Restrictions

Air Canada Cargo adheres to strict regulations for the transport of all live animals. We regularly review our procedures and guidelines to ensure that animals travelling with Air Canada Cargo are safe and comfortable. If you have questions about any of our AC Animals travel restrictions, please contact us.

Temperature Restrictions
Most Pets Cannot Travel During Periods of Extreme Heat

For their safety and comfort Air Canada Cargo does not accept warm-blooded animals for transport when the outside ground temperature is higher than 29.5°C (85°F). If the temperature is 29.5°C or higher at the departure city, the destination, or any point in between on a route with connections, animals will not be accepted and will therefore be rebooked for the next available flight(s).

Exception:

Day old chicks, cold-blooded animals, provided they are tendered in containers that adhere to the current IATA Live Animal Container requirements.

Seasonal Restrictions
May 15 to September 30
  • US extreme heat restrictions: Due to extreme heat and USDA regulations, the transport of live animals 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) and Phoenix International (PHX).
July 1 to August 31
  • Asia/Middle East extreme heat restrictions: Due to extreme heat, the transport of live animals is prohibited or strictly regulated to and from airports in countries within Asia and the Middle East.
November 1 to March 31
  • Extreme cold restriction for hairless breeds: For their comfort and security, Air Canada Cargo will not transport hairless breeds of cats and dogs during the winter months.
  • Limitations on travel in unheated cargo holds: Live animals are not accepted as cargo on some of our narrowbody fleet, as the cargo holds of these aircraft are not heated. Reptiles, amphibians, live tropical fish, insects, worms, bees, live coral rock and rodent species are permitted during this period provided the packaging meets IATA Live Animal Regulations container requirements and the appropriate waiver is filled out by the shipper.
December 15 to January 12
  • Holiday Restrictions, Canada and United States: Cats and dogs are not accepted for transport with Air Canada Cargo within Canada and to and from the United States, or on international flights with a connection in Canada during this time. This restriction applies to shipments from breeders, kennels and freight forwarders, and to pets travelling as checked baggage. Cats and dogs are allowed on all other direct flights (destined elsewhere than to Canada and the United States). This restriction does not apply to other animals.
Snub-Nosed (Brachycephalic) Breeds Not Accepted for Travel in the Cargo Hold

Air Canada does not accept brachycephalic, snub-nosed or mixed breeds of snub-nosed animals when the breed on the Health Certificate states the following:

Dogs
  • Affenpinscher
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bull Dog (all breeds)
  • Chihuahua – Apple-Headed
  • Chow Chow
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shih Tzu
  • Shar-Pei
  • Teddy Bear Dog
  • Tibetan Spaniel
Cats
  • British Short hair
  • Burmese
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Scottish Fold

This full embargo on snub-nosed breeds was implemented July 21, 2015. It applies to pets travelling with Air Canada Cargo, and as checked baggage.

Safety is Air Canada’s top priority, and this extends to the animals we transport. Despite implementing lower temperature restrictions and larger cage requirements, we find that air travel continues to be distressing and potentially harmful to these animals.

Snub-nosed pets may travel in the cabin with passengers to destinations where this is permitted. Passengers should consult aircanada.com for all information related to pets travelling in the cabin.

FAQ on brachycephalic breeds and air travel

Restrictions for Puppies, Kittens and Breeding Females
  • The minimum age for puppies and kittens is 12 weeks. Those under 12 weeks of age will not be accepted for carriage. However, specific countries have their own regulations with regards to immunizations and age limits. If your animal is travelling to another country, including the United States, please make sure to verify with that country’s animal importation regulations to make sure your animal is of age to travel.
  • A valid health certificate from a veterinarian is required for all puppies and kittens travelling on Air Canada Cargo, including those travelling within Canada.
  • Females with suckling young and weaned puppies younger than 8 weeks old will not be accepted for air transportation.
  • Shipment of females in heat (estrus) is not recommended.
US-Bound Dogs Must Be Immunized Against Rabies
  • The US Center for Disease Control requires that all dogs travelling to or being transported to the United Sates be fully immunized against rabies prior to entering the US.
  • The rabies vaccination must be administered no earlier than 12 weeks of age, and at least 30 days before arrival at a US port of entry. This means the youngest that a puppy can be to enter the US is 4 months of age.
  • Proof of immunization will be required for all dogs travelling to the US. Please make sure to have this documentation with you when bringing a dog to Air Canada Cargo.
Number of Animals Per Container
  • For travel to/from the U.S.:
    Species Age Number of animal permitted
    Dogs and Cats Up to 6 months old Up to 2 pets per kennel provided each
    animal weighs less than 9 kg (20 lbs.).
    Over 6 months old 1 pet per kennel
    All other animals Varies Varies by species. Contact us.
  • For all other countries:
    Please contact us.
Aircraft Type and Weight Limits

Depending of the aircraft type, we cannot accommodate all kennel sizes an each aircraft has their own animal weight limits. Please contact us for more details on accommodating your animal.

IATA Regulations
IATA Regulations
Important information and updates for live animals
IATA Traveller's Pet Corner
IATA TRAVELLER'S
PET CORNER
Detailed information about shipping your cat or dog by air

Toronto Kenneling Services

Our facility at Toronto Pearson is equipped with an on-site, bonded kenneling facility. The Air Canada Cargo Pet Stop is for animals travelling with Air Canada Cargo requiring a comfort stop or overnight stay.

The Pet Stop consists of eight roomy enclosures for dogs and a separate room for cats, and all the necessary amenities for pet care. The newly renovated facility is bright, well-ventilated and temperature controlled.

Pets staying at the Pet Stop enjoy:

  • Proximity to the runway, which reduces unnecessary transport
  • Care by dedicated Air Canada Cargo employees that are fully trained in animal care and first aid
  • Regular walks in a fenced-in grassy area
  • Quality food
  • Access to veterinary services when necessary
Care for all animals staying at the Pet Stop is fully documented and logged.

If a comfort stop or overnight stay is required for your animal, the Air Canada Animals reservation agent will let you know upon booking. For questions, please contact us.

OAL Services

Other airlines operating out of YYZ can also book pets for stays at the Pet Stop. Kenneling services available to other airlines include:

  • Lodging
  • Food and care for the animal
  • Transport to and from the aircraft in dedicated AC Animals vehicles
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) clearance and paperwork
For OAL rates and bookings, please contact us.

Pet Stop Kenneling Brochure
Pet Stop Kenneling Brochure
For more information about Kennel services in Toronto
Rates And Charges
Rates And Charges
Quick access to our rates, charges and fees

AC Animals Rates, Charges & Fees

RATE* (CAD)

RATE* (USD)


For any questions, please contact one of our AC Animals agents:

Not all US stations are equipped to handle live animals. For any questions, refer to our list of AC Animals stations and please contact one of our AC Animals agents:

Take Note: Not all US stations are equipped to handle live animals. Review the list of stations here.

Dogs and Cats Traveling Outside North America, and All Other Animals

The overall rate for your shipment needs to be confirmed by an AC Animals agent. Please contact us at:

Not all US stations are equipped to handle live animals. The overall rate for your shipment needs to be confirmed by an AC Animals agent. Please contact the closest AC Animal certified station:

The overall rate for your shipment needs to be confirmed by an AC Animals agent. Please contact us at your nearest station:

Charges for the shipment of animals are based on:

  • The origin and destination of the shipment
  • The type of animal being shipped
  • The actual or dimensional combined weight of the animal and kennel/container, whichever is greater. For instructions on how to calculate dimensional weight, please consult our How To Calculate Dimensional Weight(.pdf) guide.

We don’t recommend using our services for transporting an animal from within the United States to another location in the United States.

If you want more information, please review our list of stations that handle live animal shipments in the United States.

Terminal Fees

Terminal fees cover the processing of your animal either within the facility, or through Customs. Within Canada, that fee is $60.00 CAD per shipment, and in the US, it is $50.00 USD per shipment.

Security Screening Fee

All animals shipped as cargo need to be security screened. The security screening fee is $0.15 CAD/USD per kilogram, with a minimum charge of $15.00. The fee is charged at the station your animal departs from and is based on the actual weight of your animal and its kennel.

Comfort Stops

Air Canada Cargo requires a comfort stop for cats and dogs under the following conditions:

  • If the animal's journey includes a connection time that is longer than 6 hours, whether the connection time is part of the itinerary or due to severe weather or other event beyond Air Canada Cargo's control.
  • If the animal is not retrieved from the destination after 4 hours

Under these circumstances, the animal will be sent to a kennel or veterinarian service and fees will apply.

  • All fees incurred due to an unplanned overnight kennel are assumed by the shipper. Air Canada Cargo provides no compensation.
  • The shipper and consignee are notified of the charges, which are added to the air waybill by the station where the overnight kenneling occurs.
  • All overnight charges are collected from the consignee at destination.

Other Charges

Other charges may apply if an animal is not retrieved within the tender and retrieval times specified for the destination.

Payment

  • Methods of Payment: Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express); debit cards (at stations equipped with point of sale machines). Please note that cash and cheques are not accepted as form of payment.
  • All payments for animal shipments must be made at the time of tender at the origin station.
  • An animal shipment can be sent collect if the shipper provides a valid Air Canada Cargo account number for the consignee.
  • Shipments of insects (such as live bees) and aquatic life forms (such as live tropical fish, coral), can be sent collect even if the consignee does not have an Air Canada Cargo account.
Pet Stop Kenneling Brochure
Pet Stop Kenneling Brochure
For more information about Kennel services in Toronto
Rates And Charges
Rates And Charges
Quick access to our rates, charges and fees

Meet our Veterinary Consultant, Dr. David Landers!

At Air Canada Cargo, transporting living animals is done with the utmost care and consideration. The variety of living creatures that fly with us is vast, from cats and dogs to rabbits, crocodiles, donkeys, cows, pigs, snow leopards, parrots, crickets and exotic fish, all of them requiring specific attention and conditions during transit and travel.

Keeping all these animals safe and comfortable requires careful planning, extensive training, as well as guidelines and policies on issues such as minimum age requirements, health certification and temperature restrictions. Our solutions, operations and procedures teams work together to regularly review and adjust our processes.

We're pleased to welcome Dr. David Landers to the AC Animals team. An experienced veterinarian, Dr. Landers is the owner of AirVets Pet Relocation. He is an expert in international pet shipping, export and import documentation and travel-related pet health. Dr. Landers holds a certification in Live Animal Transportation from IATA and has been Director at Large on the board of IPATA as since 2013.

Air Canada Cargo will work in close relationship with Dr. Landers to support and validate our animal travel policy and procedures.

Dr. Landers is also available to Air Canada Cargo employees for ad hoc consultation on specific cases, and will provide veterinary opinion and services when required.

Dr. Landers will provide consistent, expert guidance and be a vital part of the AC Animals team, working to ensuring all animals travel safely and that our services meet the evolving needs of our customers.

Pet Stop Kenneling Brochure
Pet Stop Kenneling Brochure
For more information about Kennel services in Toronto
Rates And Charges
Rates And Charges
Quick access to our rates, charges and fees

Shipping Requirements

To meet performance expectations and current regulatory and security control requirements, Air Canada Cargo adheres to a rigorous goods acceptance process. All shipments, including live cargo, must meet and follow all applicable IATA regulations. Visit IATA Traveller’s Pet Corner for more information.

Shipper’s Responsibility

Any person that makes a booking to ship an animal with Air Canada Cargo is considered the shipper and must take certain steps to ensure proper transport and care for the animal. This includes following the steps detailed in our as well as ensuring that your shipment complies with all applicable national, carrier and IATA regulations and is acceptable for transport as detailed below.

Shipping Requirements

Animal Health

Only animals that are in good health and condition and fit to travel to the final destination, should be tendered for carriage by air. The shipper is required to declare when animals are pregnant, or have given birth in the last 48 hours. Mammals that are declared to be pregnant must not be tendered for transport unless accompanied by a veterinary certificate certifying that the animal is fit to travel and there is no risk of birth occurring during the journey.

Air Canada Cargo requires that for all dogs and cats travelling as cargo must be accompanied by a valid health certificate (referencing the animal's age, sex, breed and an attestation of the animal's overall health) issued by a licenced veterinarian.

Documentation

You must complete, before you tender the animal, all the necessary documentation, including all health certificates and documents required by Customs or any governmental body and bring them with you at the time of tender. Otherwise, the animal may not be able to enter the destination country. It may be returned to origin or licensed into quarantine upon arrival. If this occurs, extra fees will apply and your animal will be delayed.

Depending on the type of animal being shipped, you may also need to complete the following declaration forms. Complete the forms online, print, and bring with you at the time of tender.

Shipper's Declaration of Transport of Non-Human Primates

Shipper’s Declaration of Transport of Threatened Species

All documentation must satisfy all ports of entry. Make sure to complete the required documentation for all the entry points along the route as well as the final destination. For specific import rules and regulations, information on vaccination and documentation requirements when bringing animals into a particular country, contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country and all ports of entry along the route.

If you have questions about the required documentation, please contact us.

Kennels and Containers

Please see or details about selecting the appropriate kennel or container for your animal. You will also need to ensure that your containers or kennels conform to Air Canada Cargo's regulations and/or IATA's Live Animals Regulations.

Identification and labelling

If applicable, clearly indicate the animal's given name on the outside of the kennel or container. Attach a label with feeding and watering instructions, indicating the date and time the animal was last fed and given water.

A Live Animal and This Way Up label/tag is mandatory. If the kennel did not come with these labels, they can be provided for you when you tender the animal. Place the This way Up label/tag on all four sides of the kennel.

All packages in the consignment must be marked with the consignee's name, street and city address, including ZIP/postal code (as on the Air Waybill) OR, have one or more packages marked with this information with an appropriate reference on all other packages in the consignment.

A completed cargo identification label or stencil must be attached to each package. Labels must be fully visible and all old labels and markings must be obliterated.

Feeding and special instructions

Identify any special care required upon making the booking and ensure that this information is provided on a label on the kennel or container. Provide a record of any medication given (i.e. type of drug, dosage, time given and route). This information must accompany all other documents.

Compliance

Shipments are only acceptable for transportation when the shipper, consignee or owner has complied with the rules and regulations of the tariffs and all laws, ordinances, and other governmental rules and regulations governing the transportation of the shipment.

Air waybill

The air waybill must be accurate and complete in all respects. It must include the weight, number of pieces, dimensions, nature of goods, all information required by Customs and known/unknown security status. The air waybill must also contain the conditions of contract. An E-Air Waybill is also acceptable (where authorized).

How to complete an Air Waybill

When applicable, complete House AWB information must be available for manual input or electronically transmitted to either Air Canada or directly to Customs.

Note: Any adjustments made to an Air Waybill that could impact the expected billing amount, such as re-weighing, calculating or re-calculating the dimensional weight of your shipment, will be communicated to the shipper with a Notice of Correction. This Notice of Correction will be sent electronically to your attention.

Security adherence

All shipments undergo security screening and must be prepared for carriage according to the security control instructions provided by the National Authority and any additional instructions provided by Air Canada Cargo.

Note: Any cargo that cannot be screened to a satisfactory standard may be broken down into smaller pieces in order to obtain a clear image. Break-down and build-up fees may apply. See Security screening fees in Rates, Charges and Fees.

AC Animals Acceptance Requirements

Live animals are acceptable for transportation when:

  • The animal is acceptable for travel based on the AC Cargo
  • The shipper, consignee or owner complies with the rules and regulations of the tariffs and all laws, ordinances, and other governmental rules and regulations governing transport of the shipment.
  • It is agreed that the animal being shipped is accepted in apparent good health, is in the proper kennel or container and is in a condition for carriage that is in conformity with IATA regulations, and are subject to the conditions of the contract (the Air Waybill).
  • Shipments are delivered on time and have a confirmed booking from origin to destination.
  • Volume and weight match the booking at time of acceptance.

Are you ready to ship? Visit the

IATA Regulations
IATA Regulations
Important information and updates for live animals
IATA Traveller's Pet Corner
IATA TRAVELLER'S
PET CORNER
Detailed information about shipping your cat or dog by air

Kennel Requirements

For the comfort and safety of the animals, all cats and dogs must be transported in kennels that comply with regulations set forth by the International Aviation Transportation Association (IATA) when travelling as air cargo. Animals other than dogs and cats can be transported in kennels described below, as long as the kennel meets the container requirements of the IATA Live Animals Regulations. You can contact our AC Animals representative to get more information.

As the kennel becomes the animal's home away from home, it's a good idea to purchase the kennel well in advance of travel so the animal can become accustomed to it before travelling.

Construction

Most pets can travel in the type of container included in IATA’s Container Requirement.

Strong Dog Breeds

The following dog breeds are considered strong and must be placed in reinforced containers that fall under requirement 82 of the IATA Live Animal Regulations

  • Caucasian Ovcharka (Caucasian Shepherd Dog)
  • Karabash (Kangal Dog, Anatolin Shepherd Dog)
  • Pit-bull - all breeds
    Including: American Pit-bull, American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff), British Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Mastiff - all breeds
    Including: American, Argentine (Dogo Argentino), Bandog (Bandogge), Brazilian (Fila Brasileiro), English, French (Dogue de Bordeaux), Italian (Cane Corso), Neapolitan, Presa Canario
  • Rottweiller
  • Wolf Dog Hybrids

To find out more about the specifications for these containers, please contact an Air Canada Cargo Animals agent (number or email) or your local Air Canada Cargo station.

Kennel Size

Cats and dogs must be carried in appropriately sized kennels designed so that they cannot fit their paws through any of the openings on the kennel. The kennel must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down in a natural position.

The measurements below are based on the animal standing in a natural position

A = length of the animal from tip of the nose to the root of the tail.
B = height from the elbow joint to the ground.
C = width at the widest point.
D = height of the animal, when standing, from tip of the ears or top of the head (whichever is higher) to the floor – ears must not touch the top of the kennel when the animal is standing naturally.

The length of the kennel must be equal to A + 1/2 B.
The width of the kennel must be equal to C x 2.
The height of the kennel (top flat or arched) must be equal to D.

Inside the kennel

  • Food and water dishes must be attached inside the kennel with outside access for filling.
  • Kennels will not be accepted for carriage if there are water bottles or receptacles attached to the outside of the cage door.
  • Provide a light blanket, cushion or newspaper.
  • Wood chips or shavings are not accepted.

Outside the kennel

  • Clearly indicate your pet's name on the outside of the kennel.
  • Attach a label with feeding and watering instructions, and indicate the date and time the animal was last fed and given water.
  • A Live Animal and This Way Up label/tag is mandatory. If the kennel did not come with these labels, you can purchase them at most office supply stores or they can be provided for you when you tender the animal. Place the This Way Up label/tag on all four sides of the kennel.

Additional security

Secure the top and bottom portions of the kennel together with the supplied hardware. Clips alone will not be accepted.

Kennel Requirements PDF

For a list of kennel requirements you can take with you, download this PDF.

 Choosing the Right Kennel
Choosing the Right Kennel
A guide to selecting a shipping kennel for your pet
IATA's Container Requirement
IATA's Container Requirement
Visit the IATA website for details about containers for live shipping

Booking a Shipment

Booking an AC Animals shipment is easy with Air Canada Cargo. Our knowledgeable and experienced booking agents will help you through the booking process and will provide the information you need to ensure a secure and comfortable flight for your animal.

How to Book a Shipment

Bookings can be made up to 30 days prior to departure and must be made no later than the times indicated in the table below, depending on the destination.

Travel Minimum time to make a booking Contact
Within Canada 10 hours prior Call AC Animals at: 1-800-387-4865
6:00 am to 9:45 pm (EST), 7 days a week
or Contact an AC Cargo station
Between Canada
and the US
24 hours prior If your shipment is originating in the U.S., please consult our AC Animals Contact List
All other origin or destination 5 days prior Contact an AC Cargo station

You can also email: ACAnimals@aircanada.ca

Before you call, please see our

Due to some aircraft types, weight, weather and regulatory restrictions and , we may not be able to transport your shipment to all the destinations we serve. Your Air Canada Cargo station can help.

Before calling to make a booking, please have the following information available:

  • Shipping information:
    • Shipper's name, address, telephone numbers
    • Consignee/recipient name, address, telephone numbers
    • City of origin and destination
  • that may be required for transport
  • About the animal:
    • Type of animal and breed
    • Age
    • Weight, length and height
    • Name
  • (for cats and dogs)
AC Animals News
Get news and updates about shipping live animals
IATA TRAVELLER'S
PET CORNER
Detailed information about shipping your cat or dog by air
Tracking Your Shipment
Tracking Your Shipment
Tools to help you track your shipment every step of the way
IATA TRAVELLER'S
PET CORNER
Detailed information about shipping your cat or dog by air
Tracking Your Shipment
Tracking Your Shipment
Tools to help you track your shipment every step of the way
IATA TRAVELLER'S
PET CORNER
Detailed information about shipping your cat or dog by air