Shipping Your Pet

Until further notice, we are only allowing the shipment of pets for active U.S. Military or U.S. State Department Foreign Service Offices (FSO) traveling with active permanent change of station orders. To make an active U.S. Military or FSO pet booking, please contact the Delta Cargo Customer Service Center at 1-800-352-2746 (dial 711 for relay services). Keep in mind that you will be required to provide a copy of your permanent change of station orders.

Please note that existing live animal policies will still apply to all animals transported with cargo.

Shipping Your Pet

If you meet the transport requirements above and your pet is too large to fit comfortably in a soft-sided pet kennel or crate, you may be able to ship your pet with Delta Cargo. Delta Cargo provides safe, reliable transportation with services to address the needs of all pets that are shipped. We invite you to review the following guidelines prior to contacting us to arrange your pet’s travel:

  • A separate pet booking from the customer’s flight reservation must be made with the Delta Cargo Customer Service Center at 1-800-352-2746 (dial 711 for relay services). Additional fees and charges apply. Exceptions are made for service dogs that can’t be accommodated in the cabin.
  • Pets shipped via cargo cannot be booked until 14 days prior to departure.
  • Pets are not guaranteed to be shipped on the same flight or flight schedule as the customer.
  • Pets must be dropped off and picked up at a Delta Cargo location that is separate from passenger check-in. Please arrive at the cargo facility 4 to 6 hours prior to scheduled departure for domestic travel and 6 hours prior to international travel.
  • The cut off time for pet check in is 2.5 hours prior to departure for domestic travel and 4 hours prior to departure for international travel.
  • Delta Cargo requires international customers to use a pet shipper approved by the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association.

Health Requirements

Requirements for Cargo Travel:

  • Pets must be transported in travel crates/containers that comply with Container Requirement #1 in the current version of the International Air Transport Association Live Animals Regulations (IATA-LAR). The travel crate/container must allow the pet to stand, sit-upright, lie down and turn around without touching the top or sides.
  • After obtaining a crate/container that complies with the IATA-LAR, your pet must be acclimated to confinement, which is a process that can take weeks to months.
  • Your pet must have a health certificate deeming it medically fit for air travel via cargo from a USDA-accredited veterinarian or veterinary authority within 10 days of travel. When traveling internationally, an international health certificate is required, and it must be signed and/or endorsed by a USDA-accredited veterinarian or veterinary authority within 10 days of travel.

Understanding the Risks

Transport via cargo can be stressful for animals. Exposure to unfamiliar environments, people and movements impact each animal differently and poses risks that could lead to illness, injury, escape or, in rare cases, death. When you obtain a health certificate for your pet, please discuss the risks of air travel with your veterinarian. Consider your animal’s medical history and whether it has anxiety disorders that may be worsened during travel. Two major factors that should be discussed are your animal’s age and breed.

  • 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 that you have discussed the stress of travel and its impact on your pet due to age with your veterinarian.
  • Breed: Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs, cats and their mixes are not permitted on Delta or Delta Connection flights. Visit Delta Cargo for a full list of restricted dog and cat breeds.

Live Animal Checklist & Feeding

When you check your pet in, you will be asked to complete a live animal checklist confirming that your pet has been offered food and water within 4 hours of check-in. You must also provide food, along with feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period if an in-transit feeding is necessary.

Tranquilizers & Sedatives

The use of pet tranquilizers or sedatives at high altitudes is unpredictable and the sedation of household dogs and cats is not permitted. This also includes any medication that causes sedation of the pet.

Weather Requirements

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