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. Remember, special exceptions apply for passengers traveling with service animals  and U.S. Military or U.S. State Department Foreign Service Offices.

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 warm-blooded animals 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 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 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 location
  • Delta Cargo only accepts international pet shipments from known shipping companies. Delta suggests that 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

NOTE: Effective October 1, 2016, Delta and Delta Cargo will no longer accept warm blooded animals on flights with an average flight time of greater than 12 hours.

Health Requirements

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 . Per some destination states may require a health certificate for your pet. 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.

If a health certificate is required, it 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 10 weeks old 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 kennel. 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.