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.

Regulations, guidelines and restrictions effective November 1, 2020

    • 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; because of their small size, especially as some breeds renders them more susceptible to the effect of dehydration.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Homemade strong breed kennels (CR 82) are restricted.
    • 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.
    • Snub nosed (Brachycephalic) breeds of cats and dogs listed below can travel as cargo with WestJet. However, these bookings must be made through a registered IPATA agent.
      • French Bulldog
      • Boxer
      • Pug
      • Boston Terrier
      • English Bulldog
      • Pekingese
      • Lhasa Apso
      • Shih Tzu
      • Persian cats
      • Himalayan cats
      • Burmese cats

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. Homemade CR82 kennels are not permitted.
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.

  • 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.
  • Floor must be solid, leak-proof and covered with a layer of absorbent non-consumable bedding material.
  • 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.

Holiday restrictions

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

DatesWestJet 737 aircraftWestJet Encore Q400
December 20, 21 2 1
December 22 1 1
December 23 - January 3 inclusive 0 0

Breed Restrictions

  • Pit-bull (all breeds) are restricted in Ontario.
  • WestJet Cargo will ship brachycephalic breeds, bookings must be made through a registered IPATA Agent

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

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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