Shipping pets in cargo

Shipping a dog in a kennel


Ship a dog or other pet safely by reading our pet policy

We know how much you care about your pets. Following the regulations below will help us ensure that the furry members of your family arrive safely. Here is some important information about shipping pets with WestJet Cargo.

  • We highly recommend that you don’t feed your adult dog or cat 6 hours before the departure of the flight (4 hours before for puppies and kittens).
  • Weaned puppies or kittens younger than eight weeks must not be shipped due to the possibility of dehydration during air transportation.
  • Tranquilization of cats and dogs is not recommended, however, if the shipper plans on sedating the animal, a notice from the administering veterinarian must be presented at the time of tender stating the animal is in good health and able to travel.
  • Dogs and Cats, between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, must receive a certificate of health from a veterinarian before the flight.
  • All live animals shipped as cargo must be booked and approved in advance by WestJet Cargo.
  • Live animals cannot be held overnight at our cargo facilities.
  • Whenever possible, WestJet Cargo plans to ship live animals on a non-stop or direct flight, however, we will allow live animals on a flight with a maximum of one connection.
  • On weekends, pets may only be booked on direct flights.
  • There are limits on the number of cargo pets per flight. Please contact us for details.
  • Pets are not permitted in the cabin as cargo shipments.
  • Guests must transport animals to the warehouse at least two hours prior to flight departure.
  • WestJet assumes no responsibility for the care or feeding of pets while in transit, so it is important that you prepare your pet for its journey.
  • Kennels must be made of fibreglass, metal or rigid plastic.
  • Kennels with wire roofs are not allowed.
  • Kennels with plastic doors are not allowed.
  • If a kennel has wheels, they must be removed or rendered inoperable.
  • A maximum of two animals of comparable size, no more than 14 kg each, which are used to co-habitation, may be shipped in the same container. Animals over that weight must travel individually.
  • A maximum of three animals, up to six months old and from the same litter, may be shipped in the same container.
  • A combination of pets is not permitted in the same container (i.e. dog and cat).
  • The container must allow the animal(s) to stand up, turn around, and lie in a natural position.
  • No water or food containers are allowed in the kennel, unless it is a spill-proof container, firmly attached to the kennel.
  • The kennel floor must be solid, leak-proof and covered with a layer of absorbent non-consumable bedding material.
  • The maximum allowable weight of a kennel (including the animal) is 160 lbs. (72.5 kg).
  • Kennel doors must be fastened securely with plastic zip ties.

Breed Restrictions

  • Pit-bull (all breeds) are restricted in Ontario.
  • WestJet Cargo does not recommend shipping brachycephalic dog breeds (common Brachycephalic breeds that will struggle with flying include American Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Boxer, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chow Chow, Lhasa Apso, Pug, Chinese Char-Pei, Pekingese and Shih Tzu).

Seasonal embargos

Heat embargo – In effect from May 15 to October 31 inclusive to the following WestJet Cargo regions:

  • All stations in the USA
  • All stations in the Caribbean
  • All stations in Mexico

Winter peak embargo – Due to heavy holiday travel, there is limited space available in the cargo hold. A seasonal embargo of all pets travelling as cargo will be in effect from December 15 to January 6 (inclusive). Dates subject to change annually.

For more information see restrictions.

Shipping to the United States

  • Dogs being shipped from Canada to cargo destinations in the United States require rabies certificate documentation.
    • Original rabies documentation must accompany the shipment.
    • This documentation applies to initial rabies vaccinations, as well as rabies booster shots.
    • Puppies must be at least 12 weeks old to have an initial rabies vaccination.
    • Rabies vaccinations take 30 days to take effect. Puppies cannot travel until they are at least 16 weeks old after receiving their first rabies shot.
  • In addition to complying with the US CDC regulations, dogs must also comply with additional State requirements. California, Texas and Florida all require rabies documentation for canine entry. Please refer to the USDA Import Guide for more information.

Book your pet in cargo

If you would like to speak to one of our cargo experts, call 1-866-952-2746.

Import export pets:

All necessary travel documentation, including required health certificates, must be completed before you ship your pet with us. Proof of compliance is required for all regulations required by the country your pet is travelling to, from or through. Failure to ensure that the required documentation is provided may result in your pet being quarantined upon arrival. You will be required to pay any additional fees directly to the authorities and your pet will be delayed. Additionally, any charges related to the care of your pet while in quarantine or the potential cost of returning your pet to where its journey began are your responsibility.

If your pet's flight stops in a number of countries, you must satisfy the entry requirements for each country. WestJet Cargo assumes no responsibility for inaccurate or incomplete documentation. For specific pet import and export regulations, vaccination and documentation requirements, contact the consulate or embassy of the countries your pet will be entering on their journey.

Kennel sizes

SizeDimensions (in)Dimensions (cm)
Miniature 20 in. x 12 in. x 12 in. 50 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm
Small 21 in. x 15 in. x 15 in. 53 cm x 38 cm x 38 cm
Junior 27 in. x 20 in. x 19 in. 69 cm x 50 cm x 48 cm
Medium 32 in. x 22 in. x 23 in. 81 cm x 56 cm x 59 cm
Large 36 in. x 24 in. x 24 in. 91 cm x 61 cm x 61 cm
Extra large 40 in. x 27 in. x 30 in. 101 cm x 68 cm x 76 cm

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