Like many airlines, Air Canada allows you to bring small dogs and cats with you on your flight. Before booking your flight, you should be aware of the different requirements for your animals and their equipment, as well as the associated fees. Your animal’s size and species will determine where and how it flies. When your pet flies with you in the cabin, it counts as one item toward your carry-on allowance, and only one animal is allowed in the cabin per passenger. Per Air Canada pet policies, all animals must be registered with the airline between 30 and 7 days from departure.


  • Flying with Pets in the Cabin: Small dogs and cats, who are at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned, may travel in the passenger cabin. Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers are permitted, but soft-sided carriers are preferred. Your pet must be small enough to stand up and turn around in their carriers, and ride comfortably beneath the seat in front of you. Certain fees are associated with traveling with animals, and need to be taken into account when flying with pets.
  • Flying with Pets in Checked Baggage: Dogs and cats that are too big to fit in the cabin can ride safely and comfortably in the pressurized cargo hold of your flight. You pet must have a hard-sided, leak proof crate or container, and stronger breeds require reinforced carriers. Certain restrictions apply for snub-nose animals, so be sure to verify your breed qualifies to fly as checked baggage.
  • Flying Pets as Cargo: Should you need to transport an unaccompanied animal, Air Canada offers the option of flying an animal as air freight. This makes it possible to transport a variety of animals safety. Air Canada has designated holding facilities where your pet will stay between connecting flight, as well as comfort stops and overnight stays with Air Canada Cargo partner kennels.
  • Service Animal Policies: Traveling with a certified service animal that assists passengers is free of charge on Air Canada. The dog must be registered, and it is strongly suggested that it remains harnessed and leashed at all times, but service animals are not subject to the same size restrictions as other animals riding in the cabin. If traveling internationally, be sure to check the requirements of that country.

Find additional details on Air Canada pet policies on the airline webpage, or by contacting Air Canada for making your pet travel reservations.


Traveling with Animals to and from the USA

When you arrive at the airport for your flight, it is recommended that you show up at least one hour earlier. Your animal and all of its accessories, including carrier, will have to go through security. The necessary travel documents and the way in which you prepare your pet for international travel can depend on your personal itinerary and which airline carriers you will be using. It is especially important to have the proper documentation for the final leg of your journey.


Animal Import and Export Regulations

When traveling internationally, there are several animal import and export regulations you need to be aware of. Whether it’s a short-term visit with a common household pet or a longer-term relocation with a more exotic breed, we recommend consulting the following EU and US agencies about what the specific requirements for your animal and on your travel dates.

Still not sure which airline carrier is right for your pet travel needs? Check out our full list of domestic and international pet-friendly airlines.