Search Menu
Puppy's First Flight Black Lab United PetSafe

Families looking to welcome a new puppy into their lives have more options than ever for connecting with the perfect pet. Whether you’re a breeder sending a puppy to its new home, or you’ve found that special new furry family member a few states away, we can help you make the dog’s flight a breeze. At United Airlines®, we work hard to make sure pets have a safe and comfortable experience when traveling with our PetSafe® service. Below, find some suggestions to help make a pup’s first flight easy.

Find Out What You Need For the Flight

United PetSafe offers airport-to-airport travel for dogs, cats, birds and other animals, but if you’re booking on a different airline, check with your airline to determine if they will fly the animal. Some airlines have restrictions on age, size and breed type, as well as what type of travel crate is required — and puppies should always be able to stand up and turn around in their travel carrier. Take weather and time of year into account as you plan for the puppy’s travel, which may be affected by extremely warm or cold temperatures.

Ensure the Puppy Is Old Enough and Prepared for Travel

Puppies must be at least eight weeks old to travel. If it’s a small breed dog, it should weigh at least one pound (0.5 kg) or be 10 weeks old. Dogs entering the U.S. on international flights must be at least 16 weeks old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require all dogs entering the United States to be immunized against rabies. Puppies should get general vaccinations at least one month prior to traveling, and rabies vaccines are not given before a puppy is three months old.

In Partnership with logo
Find Your Perfect Home white dog paw print
*Dog friendly rental filter applied to results

Visit Your Vet

You’ll want the dog to be comfortable and healthy when he or she travels. Have deworming completed at least three days before the puppy is scheduled to fly. Puppies can’t be accepted for travel if they have any signs of recent surgeries, so make sure they’re completely healed from ear cropping, tail docking, and other procedures. In addition, PetSafe requires a veterinary health certificate that is issued within 10 days prior to travel.

[dog travel]

Plan for the Unique Needs of the Puppy’s Breed

Since dogs come in all shapes and sizes, travel might be easier for some breeds than others. Large breed puppies, for example, will need a bigger, sturdier crate than their smaller companions. For dogs of all breeds, make sure the crate is well ventilated and the puppy has been acclimated to spending time in it. More information on breed-specific restrictions can be found here.

Rest Easy With Your Dog in Our Care

PetSafe makes sure to take extra care of its youngest canine travelers. Our dedicated teams of animal lovers ensure puppies have plenty of opportunities to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and get some reassuring, quality human interaction. For more information about us and our services, please visit the United PetSafe page at
Get Your Free AKC eBook

Moving with your pet

Download this e-book for tips to help you prepare for a move with your pets.
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download