Shipping Your Pet

If your pet doesn’t fit in a carrier in the seat in front of you, you can ship your pet with our special shipping service Delta Cargo, opens in a new window. Remember, special exceptions apply for passengers traveling with service animals and U.S. Military or U.S. State Department Foreign Service Offices.

Due to changing flight schedules in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Cargo will temporarily embargo all PET shipments effective April 1, 2020, until further notice. The embargo applies to all live animals transported in cargo under the PET product code throughout the domestic and international network. Impacted customers will be proactively notified.

Shipping Your Pet with Delta Cargo

Our specialized shipping service Delta Cargo provides safe, reliable, year-round transportation, with service to address the needs of all pets that are shipped without their owners. Review the following before booking:

  • A separate booking from their flight itinerary is required. Additional fees and charges may apply
  • A pet shipped domestically via Delta Cargo, opens in a new window cannot be booked until 14 days prior to departure
  • Pets are not guaranteed to be shipped on a customer’s same flight or flight schedule
  • Shipping a pet requires dropping it off at a Delta Cargo, opens in a new window location at least three hours before departure time at a location separate from passenger check-in
  • Picking up a pet would also occur at a Delta Cargo, opens in a new window location
  • Delta Cargo only accepts international pet shipments from known shipping companies. Delta requires international customers use a pet shipper, opens in a new window approved by the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association. Customers would then need to follow acceptance procedures set by the shipper


Health Requirements

Understanding the Risks

Transport via cargo can be stressful for animals. Exposure to unfamiliar environments, people and movements impacts each animal differently and poses risks that could lead to illness, injury, escape, or death. While obtaining a health certificate, please discuss the risks of air travel with your veterinarian. Consider your animal’s age, medical history of pre-existing conditions, and/or whether it has anxiety disorders that may be exacerbated during travel.

  • Animal age: Since life expectancy varies among breeds, there is no maximum age set for air travel. However, impaired vision or hearing, heart, liver or kidney disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, senility, and weakness can often impact older animals. Please ensure you have discussed the stress of travel and its impact on your pet due to its age with your veterinarian.
  • Breed: Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs and cats and their mixes are not permitted on Delta or Delta Connection flights. See Delta Cargo, opens in a new window for a full list of embargoed dog and cat breeds.

Health Certificate

A health certificate is required when shipping your pet as cargo, and for all pets checked as baggage like those traveling with a U.S. Military or U.S. State Department Foreign Service Office Member. Your veterinarian, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, opens in a new window, or the Department of Agriculture for your destination state may provide you with more information.

A health certificate is required and must be issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of transport and must include:

  • Shipper's name and address
  • Tag numbers or tattoos assigned to the animal
  • Age of the animal being shipped: USDA regulations require animals be at least 8 weeks old (10 weeks old to carry in cabin) and fully weaned before traveling domestically, at least 16 weeks old before traveling to the U.S. from other countries and at least 15 weeks old for European travel
  • Statement that the animal is in good health (if the shipper knows that the pet is pregnant, it must be noted on the health certificate)
  • List of administered inoculations when applicable
  • Signature of the veterinarian
  • Date of the certificate

Live Animal Checklist/Confirmation of Feeding

When you check in your pet, you will be asked to complete a live animal checklist. When you sign this checklist, you are confirming that your pet has been offered food and water within 4 hours of check-in. On the checklist, you must also provide feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period. If in-transit feeding is necessary, you must provide food.


The use of pet tranquilizers at high altitudes is unpredictable. If you plan to sedate your pet, you must have written consent from the pet's veterinarian. This information must be attached to the crate. The sedation of household dogs and cats is not permitted.  Please keep in mind that Delta agents cannot administer medication of any kind.

Weather Requirements

To keep your pet safe, we observe seasonal restrictions on pet travel. For your pet’s safety, we don’t ship pets during extreme weather. This includes if the temperature exceeds 80˚F (27˚C) or if the temperature falls below 20˚F (-7˚C) while the animal is on the ground at any point in the routing.  A Certificate of Acclimation is required when temperatures fall between 20˚F (-7˚C) and 45˚F (7˚C).