AC Live


Minimum age requirements

  • Dog and cats must be 12 weeks old for air transportation. 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.
  • Shipment of females in heat (estrus) is not recommended
  • Females with suckling young and weaned puppies younger than 8 weeks old will not be accepted for air transportation.

For other animal types, contact us.

Number of animals per container

The number of animals allowed per kennel varies according to your origin or destination.
For details, contact us.

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 limit

Depending of the aircraft type, we cannot accommodate all kennel sizes and each aircraft has their own animal weight limits.

Please contact us for more details on accommodating your animal.

Seasonal Restrictions

For details on any of the restrictions described below, please contact us.

Temperature Policy

Most Pets Cannot Travel During Periods of Extreme Heat!

For their safety and comfort, warm-blooded animals cannot be transported during periods of extreme heat.

In accordance with IATA regulations, no warm-blooded animal may be exposed to temperatures higher than 29.5°C (85°F) for more than 45 minutes while being delivered to and from the aircraft, including wait time on the ramp prior to loading and the closing of the aircraft hold.

  • 1 - Air Canada Cargo does not accept warm-blooded animals for transport when the outside ground temperature is 29.5°C or higher at any location in the routing.

    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).

What You Can Do to Help Your Animal: Before bringing an animal to Air Canada Cargo for their flight, please verify the forecasted temperature range at the departure city, the destination, and if applicable, transit points in between.

If you are not sure whether your animal can travel due to extreme heat or any other weather extremes, please contact the Air Canada Cargo station the animal is departing from.

  • 2 - United States: Restrictions for Shipping Animals from May 15 to September 30
    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).

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

  • 3 - June 20 to September 10
    Air Canada does not accept any live animals as checked baggage from June 20 to September 10 on all flights. Your animal will have to fly as cargo.

    If you are travelling with a pet during this time, please refer to the information below.
Air Canada Passengers

Even if you are a passenger on the same flight as your animal flying as cargo, your animal must be brought to and retrieved from one of our cargo facilities. These facilities are located close to the airport. Make sure to verify the address of the cargo facility at your origin and destination city before you leave for the airport.

Allow at least one hour for tendering your animal before you check in for your own flight at the airport, and another hour to retrieve your animal at destination.

Connecting Flights on Air Canada

If there are Air Canada connections on your itinerary, a cargo booking for your animal will ensure that the animal will follow the same itinerary as you.

Connecting on Other Airlines

If you have connections on other airlines, we recommend you book your pet as cargo on all legs of the flight. This way, you will not have to retrieve your animal at the point of connection; it will be transferred as cargo to the other airline. You can retrieve your pet once at your destination from the local cargo facility.

If you choose to check your pet as baggage on another airline, you must retrieve your animal from the Air Canada Cargo facility at the end of its journey on Air Canada, before checking in for your next flight. If you have any question, please contact your local Air Canada Cargo office.

November 1 to March 31

Air Canada Cargo will not transport hairless breeds of cats and dogs during the winter months, for their comfort and security.

November 1 to March 31: Restrictions on Narrowbody Aircraft

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 for Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs are not accepted for transport with Air Canada Cargo within North America, or on international flights with a connection in North America during this time.

The restriction applies to shipments from breeders, kennels and freight forwarders, and to pets travelling as checked baggage.

Cats and dogs are allowed on direct international flights. The 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 Cats
American Staffordshire Terrier
Cane Corso
Bulldog (all breeds, including American)
Boston Terrier
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Dogo Argentino
Dogue de Bordeaux
English Toy Spaniel
Japanese Chin
Lhasa Apso
Mastiff (all breeds)
Pit-bull (all breeds)
Presa Canario
Pug (all breeds)
Shih Tzu
Tibetan Spaniel
British Short hair
Exotic Shorthair
Scottish Fold

This full embargo on snub-nosed breeds was implemented July 22, 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 for all information related to pets travelling in the cabin.

FAQ on brachycephalic breeds and air travel

Shipping non-human primates

Air Canada Cargo does not accept shipments of non-human primates intended for laboratory research and/or experimental purposes.

Shipments of non-human primates not intended for laboratory research and/or experimental purposes are accepted. These shipments must be accompanied by a shipper's (or the shipper's agent) declaration form stating that the non-human primates are not intended for laboratory research and/or experimental purposes.

Shipper's Declaration of transport of Non-Humain primates

  1. Fill out the form on a computer.
  2. Print out the completed form.
  3. Bring the form with you at the time of tender.

Threatened species and related products

Air Canada Cargo does not accept shipments of threatened species and their related products, or wildlife known as unsustainably traded and their related products. These are only accepted for carriage if the shipper (or the shipper's agent) completes and presents the declaration form included below certifying that the species are either:

  • Sustainably sourced
  • Transported for the conservation and protection of the species
  • Carried under a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) permit

Such shipments will not be accepted for carriage without the duly completed declaration.

Shipper's Declaration of transport of Threatened species

  1. Fill out the form on a computer.
  2. Print out the completed form.
  3. Bring the form with you at the time of tender.

Requirements for transport of puppies and kittens

A valid health certificate from a veterinarian is required for all puppies and kittens travelling on Air Canada Cargo, including those travelling within Canada.

The minimum age for puppies and kittens to travel on Air Canada Cargo will change to 12 weeks. Puppies and kitten under 12 weeks of age will not be accepted for carriage.

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.