Shipping pets in cargo

Shipping a dog in pet cargo

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 within 6 hours of departure (4 hours before for puppies and kittens).
  • Weaned puppies or kittens younger than eight weeks will not be accepted due to the possibility of dehydration during air transportation.
  • A veterinary document must be provided for kittens and puppies under 12 weeks old, detailing the animals age and overall health condition. 
  • 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 by air, along with a record of the sedation.
  • All dogs and cats (puppies and kittens included) shipped as cargo must be booked and approved in advance by WestJet Cargo.
  • Female dogs and cats experiencing estrus (in heat) or are pregnant will not be accepted for travel.
  • Strong breed kennels (CR 82) are required for applicable dogs over the age of 6 months. Bookings must be made through a registered IPATA agent.
  • CR 82 kennels that appear to be homemade will be inspected to ensure they comply with guidance outlined in the IATA Live Animal Regulations.
  • Strong breed dogs under the age of 6 months can be booked directly with WestJet Cargo. The shipper must provide proof of age for strong breed dogs under the age of 6 months for them to be accepted in a standard kennel (CR1). Veterinary documentation must be used as proof of age.
  • Strong breeds (6 months or older) such as those listed below,  or any mix thereof, will require CR 82 kennels.
    • American Bulldog
    • American Staffordshire Terrier
    • Anatolian Shepherd
    • Bandog
    • Cane Corso
    • Caucasian Shepherd
    • Doberman
    • Dogo Argentino
    • Fila Brasileiro
    • Mastiff (all breeds)
    • Pitbull (all breeds)
    • Presa Canario
    • Rottweiler
    • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    • Wolf Dog Hybrids
  • WestJet does not restrict the use of collars on dogs or cats being shipped as they will typically include contact/registration information specific to the animal.
  • Snub nosed (Brachycephalic) breeds of cats and dogs listed below can travel as cargo with WestJet. However, guests should be aware of the increased health risk associated with these breeds travelling by air. Snub nosed (Brachycephalic) breeds of cat and dog must undergo a veterinary examination prior to travel and be tendered with a document which states the animal is fit to travel by air.
Brachycephalic Dog Breeds
  • Affenpinscher
  • Brasileiro
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Bulldogs (All Breeds)
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chihuahua (Apple Faced)
  • Chow Chow
  • Dogue de Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Shar-pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel
Brachycephalic Cat Breeds
  • British Shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Scottish Fold

Strong breed kennels are identified in the IATA LAR under container requirement 82 (CR82). Strong breed dogs identified in the above list must be transported in a CR82 kennel after the age of 6 months.
Shippers will have been referred to an IPATA agency for guidance on where to purchase CR82 kennels. 
The shipper must provide proof of age for strong breed dogs under the age of 6 months for them to be accepted in a standard kennel (CR1). Veterinary documentation or a birth certificate/breeder’s certificate must be used as proof of age.

  • Dogs and cats (puppies and kittens included) cannot be held overnight at our cargo facilities. Comfort stops may be available at some airports, please speak to our Customer Service team for more information.
  • Whenever possible, WestJet Cargo plans to ship dogs and cats (puppies and kittens included) on a non-stop or direct flight, however, should routings involving multiple connections be required, additional fees may apply.
  • The Shipper is responsible to pay for planned or unplanned well-being stops, along with potential overnight kenneling fees that may be required during transit
  • WestJet limits the number of kennels per flight.
  • Combinations of animal species is not permitted (i.e., dogs/cats).
  • A maximum of two animals of comparable size up to 14 kg each, which are used to cohabitation, may be shipped in the same container. Animals over that weight must travel individually.
  • Cargo shipments are not permitted in the cabin.
  • Dogs and cats (puppies and kittens included) must be tendered to the warehouse prior to published cut off for the intended flight. Visit our tender and retrieval time webpage.
  • WestJet assumes no responsibility for the care or feeding of Animals while in transit, so it is important that you prepare your dog or cat for its journey.

Dogs and cats (puppies and kittens included) transported as cargo must be carried in containers that meet the following safety requirements:

  • The maximum allowable size of a kennel (LxWxH) is 100x68x76 cm (40x27x30 in.). The maximum allowable weight of a kennel (including the animal) is 72.5 kg (160 lb.).
  • Kennels specific to strong breed dogs (CR 82) are exempt from the maximum allowable weight of a kennel (including the animal) as indicated above and will require advance arrangements.
  • Kennels must be made of a material approved in the IATA Live Animal Regulations. Kennels must be made of fibreglass, metal or rigid plastic. Kennels with wire roofs are not allowed. Kennels with plastic doors are not allowed.
  • For non-strong breed animals, the container door must be constructed of welded or cast metal of sufficient gauge or thickness so as to preclude the animal from bending or distorting the door. Doors made of plastic material are not allowed.
  • Door hinges and locking pins must extend beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening by at least 1.6 cm (5/8").
  • If a kennel has wheels, they must be removed or rendered inoperable.
  • The container must allow the animal(s) to stand up, turn around, and to lie in natural position.
  • Maximum allowable kittens or puppies in one kennel is (2) two.
  • No water or food containers are allowed in the kennel, unless it is in a non-spill container, firmly attached to the kennel. Feeding and watering should only occur for emergencies. Dogs and cats do not normally require additional feeding during the 12 hours following the time of tender. Water must be provided if the total journey time exceeds 12 hours.
  • Floor must be solid, leak-proof and covered with a layer of absorbent non-consumable bedding material, for example blankets or absorbent pads are acceptable.
  • Kennels must have solid roofs. Kennel roofs may have ventilation holes over the whole surface provided they do not reduce the integrity or the strength of the roof itself. Kennels with wire, “trap-door” roofs are not permitted.
  • For dogs and cats, a familiar article in the container helps to keep the pet at ease in transit. One toy, or similar article is permitted in the container with the animal.

Shipping to and from the United States and international destinations

Currently available - WestJet Cargo can accept, handle and deliver pets in kennels on domestic flights with origin and destinations in Canada, only.

Currently unavailable - Services for the acceptance, handling and delivery of pets in kennels to and from destinations in the United States and Internationally.

Breed restrictions

  • Pit-bull (all breeds) are restricted in Ontario.
  • WestJet Cargo will ship brachycephalic breeds subject to veterinary health checks. Seasonal heat restrictions will be put in place fromJuly 1, 2022 to September 15, 2022 for brachycephalic breeds. WestJet Cargo does not accept brachycephalic breeds for transport anywhere when the outside ground temperature is 29.5 degrees C or higher at the departure city, the destination city, or any connection point in between.

Import restrictions

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing a new measure to protect Canadians and their pets, and to reduce the risk of introducing dog rabies (rabies caused by canine-variant viruses) into Canada.

As of September 28, 2022, World Rabies Day, commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies will no longer be permitted entry into Canada. Commercial dogs can include, but are not limited to dogs for resale, adoption, fostering, breeding, show or exhibition, research, and other purposes.

Please refer to the CFIA Website for a full list of countries that are considered high-risk for dog rabies.

Holiday restrictions

The following restrictions are applicable for pets travelling in checked baggage due to limited room during the heavy holiday travel periods. 

Flights within Canada

Dates WestJet Encore Q400 WestJet 737 aircraft WestJet 787 aircraft
December 15-17 inclusive 1 2 0
December 18-January 4 inclusive 0 0 0
January 5-7 inclusive 1 2 0

What you need to book your pet with WestJet Cargo:

  1. Know where we ship pets
    Check your destination or our flight schedule
  2. Have your pet’s information ready
    • Type of animal
    • Breed
    • Age
    • Weight
    • Name
  3. Bring the right kennel
    Check our guidelines
  4. Gather required documents
    • Certificate of health from a veterinarian (required for puppies and kittens under 12 weeks, pets following recent surgeries, brachycephalic breeds of all ages and sedated animals)
    • Shipper’s certificate for kennels form (we will send this to you once your booking is complete)
  5. Review our rates
    Kennel rates
  6. Be informed
    Review our pet policies and FAQ pages
  7. A valid credit card is required to confirm your booking. A pre-authorized transaction of applicable freight charges plus a $200 hold for incidentals will be taken at the time of booking to confirm your space.

Book your pet in cargo for a flight departing in 4 days with the help of our customer service agents, or 10 days with our self-serve online Request a quote form. 

Don’t have an account? Start your pet booking with WestJet Cargo by requesting a quote:

Have an account? Use our online form to complete your booking:

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

Size Dimensions (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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