Are you planning to have a trip with your pet partner across countries, but can’t decide which airline to choose? Air Canada can be a prime solution to your problem. You can keep your pet with you in the cabin or you can take your pet as checked baggage. Air Canada pet policy has every single information that people need before they fly with pets.

Traveling with more than two pets? You can use their professional cargo service with all necessary rules and regulations to ensure the safety of your pets. Now, let’s look at all the travel options Air Canada offers us including all their regulations one by one. 

Air Canada pet travel Policy Details

 Three ways you can travel with your pets or shipping

  1. Pets in Cabin
  2. As checked baggage
  3. Cargo

Pets inside the cabin

Only cats and dogs can stay inside the cabin.

  • Pet must be at least 84 days old.
  • Your pet should be small enough to stand or sit down in its carrier below your front seat.
  • The container will be counted as your baggage allowance.
  • Check in at least 30 minutes before your flight.

Flights in which pets are allowed inside the cabin:

Air Canada rouge flightsAir Canada Express flights

You cannot have a pet inside the cabin if you are:

UnderagedSeated in bulkhead row
Already have something that needs to be kept under the seatTraveling in Premium Economy
Traveling in Business class

Charges in the cabin

One way travel :

Within Canada and US (Except Hawaii)International
$50.00 – $59.00 CAD/USD$100.00 – $118.00 CAD/USD

Destination Restrictions

  • Pets can not be transported in the cabin on flights from or to Hawaii.

Container requirements

  • It can be soft-sided or hard-sided.
  • The floor should be waterproof.
  • Space for ventilation.
  • Your pet should comfortably fit inside of the container.
  • One passenger can have only one container.

Maximum dimensions for containers in the cabin :

Best Hard-sided Kennel23 cm (9 in)40 cm (15.5 in)55 cm (21.5 in)
Best Soft-sided Carrier27 cm (10.5 in)40 cm (15.5 in)55 cm (21.5 in)

Aircraft restrictions based on containers

The maximum dimension should not exceed these parameters:

Boeing 78920 cm ( cm (16 in)43 cm (17 in)
Boeing 78820 cm (8 in)40 cm (16 in)35 cm (14.50 in)
Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR21 cm (8.25 in)38 cm (15 in)43 cm (17 in)

Pets as Checked Baggage

Dogs and cats can fly in the same flight with you as checked baggage.

  • Pet should be at least 12 weeks old.
  • Maximum of two pets can be transported as checked baggage. 

Flights in which pets are allowed to fly as checked baggage:

Air Canada rouge flightsAir Canada Express flights

Container requirements

Maximum dimensions:

Length + Width + HeightWeight
115 inchesUp to 45 kg
  • The container must be hard-sided.
  • Waterproof.
  • Your pet should comfortably fit inside of the container.

Some dog breeds are considered strong breeds and the transportation of these breeds requires special containers.

Strong dog breeds

Caucasian OvcharkaKarabashPit-bull – all breeds
Mastiff – all breedsRottweilerWolf Dog Hybrids

Container for strong dog breeds:

  • If your pet is a strong dog breed aging 3 to 6 months, normal containers will do.
  • Should be made of metal including the door.
  • Secured with a lock which is not easily openable.

Container restrictions

  • Two puppies or two kittens aged 3 to 6 months can stay together in one container.
  • Dogs and cats can not stay inside the same container.
  • The total weight of the container and the pet should not exceed 45 kg.

Charges for pets as checked baggage

One way travel:

Within Canada and US (Except Hawaii)International
$105.00 – $120.75 CAD/USD$270.00 – $318.60 CAD/USD

Destination Restrictions

  • Pets can not be transported as checked baggage on flights from or to Hawaii.

Due to heat issues pets can not travel as checked baggage in between the following dates and to these places :

All yearAruba, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Island, Curacao, Costa Rica, Colombia, Doha, Dubai, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Panama, Jamaica
March 31 to October 31India
April 1 to November 30Turks and Caicos
April 1 to October 31Egypt
May 1 to September 30Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Mexico
May 1 to October 31Bahamas, Cuba
May 1 to November 30Hawaii
July 1 to August 31Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Greece, Japan
July 1 to September 30Morocco
May 15 to October 31In the United States: Austin (AUS), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Houston (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), Miami (MIA), Nashville (BNA), Orlando (MCO), Palm Springs (PSP), Phoenix (PHX), Sarasota (SRQ), Tampa Bay (TPA), West Palm (PBI), Atlanta (ATL)

Cold weather restrictions

  • Cats and dogs weighing less than 4.5kg are not acceptable in the baggage compartment.

Pets can not travel as checked baggage in the following flights with the following conditions :

Date: November 1 to March 31 Temperature: Below 0°CEmbraer 175 (E75) Embraer 190 (E90) Airbus A319-100 Airbus A320-200 Airbus A321-200
November 1 to March 31Boeing 737 MAX 8
September 14 to January 14Air Canada flights AC1980 and AC1982 between Toronto and Mexico City   Air Canada Rouge flight AC1988 between Montreal and Mexico City  
December 18 to January 4Pets are not accepted as checked baggage or in cargo on all flights

Breed restrictions

Brachycephalic breeds can not travel in the baggage compartment as they may face breathing problems there.


British ShorthairBurmeseExotic Shorthair
HimalayanPersianScottish Fold


AffenpinscherJapanese Chin
Boston TerrierLhasa Apso
Brussels GriffonPug – all breeds including the Chinese Pug
Bulldog – all breeds including the American, English, French and Dutch BulldogShar-Pei
Chihuahua (apple-headed)Shih Tzu
Chow ChowTeddy Bear (also known as Zuchon or Shichon)
English Toy SpanielTibetan Spaniel

Transporting Pets in Cargo

You can ship your pets (Cats and Dogs) as well as other live animals including fish, coral, bees etc. through Air Canada cargo service.

Type of animals that are not accepted in cargo:

Non-human primatesThreatened species and related productsIllegal Wildlife Trade

Shipping requirements:

  • Animals should be in good health.


  • Good health certificate from a certified veterinarian.
  • If you are transporting any non-human primate then you have to fill out this form, print and bring it with you.
  • If you are transporting any threatened species then you have to fill out this form, print and bring it with you.
  • Any additional documents required by the destination port.


  • Write the animal’s name and specific feeding instructions in a piece of paper and attach it to the container.
  • “Live Animal” and “This Way Up label” must be attached.
  • Consignee’s name and full address should be attached to all the containers.

Destination restrictions:

  • Due to Covid-19 restrictions, pet transportation is not currently available for flights from and to the US.

Inside Canada, cargo service for pets is only available in the following cities :


Container requirements : 

  • To know about all the requirements you should read this PDF.
  • Strong dog breeds require special containers. See the Strong Dog Breeds section above.


The construction and design of the container must be according to the IATA Standards. The minimum height, width, and length should be according to –

LengthFrom the tip of the nose to the last of its tail + height from the ground to its elbow joint.
WidthTwice as much of the width of its shoulders.
HeightFrom the top of its head or ear tip to the floor.

Container restrictions :

Pets per container :

Dogs and CatsUp to six months oldUp to 2 pets per cage and weight less than 9 kg.
Dogs and CatsOver six months old1 pet per cage
All other animalsVariesVaries depending on the species


Fees within Canada:

Container SizeL x W x H – in centimetersWeight  Rate (CAD)
Extra Small53cm x 40cm x 38cm0-14 kg$215.00
Small68cm x 51cm x 48cm15-29 kg$260.00
Medium81cm x 56cm x 58cm30-44 kg$320.00
Large91cm x 61cm x 66cm45-64 kg$385.00
Extra Large102cm x 69cm x 76cm65-99 kg$440.00
Giant122cm x 81cm x 89cm100+ kg$625.00

Fees for transportation from/to US:

Container SizeL x W x H – in centimetersWeight  Rate (CAD)
Extra Small53cm x 40cm x 38cm0-14 kg$245.00
Small68cm x 51cm x 48cm15-29 kg$290.00
Medium81cm x 56cm x 58cm30-44 kg$417.00
Large91cm x 61cm x 66cm45-64 kg$518.00
Extra Large102cm x 69cm x 76cm65-99 kg$633.00
Giant122cm x 81cm x 89cm100+ kg$650.00

Fees for other destinations:

Rates vary depending on the type of animal being transported, its origin, and overall dimensional weight. To know the total fee for international transportation you have to consult with an AC Animals agent before the flight. 

Other charges

  • Terminal fees of $70 in the US and $80 in Canada will be applied.
  • Security screening fees of $0.15 in the US and $0.17 in Canada will be applied.

Emotional support animals (ESA)

Air Canada does not allow emotional support animals in their cabins. Travelers can keep their pets inside the cabin as normal pets or as service animals.

Service Dogs

Only dogs are allowed as service animals to be in the cabin with passengers. Air Canada allows Service dogs for free of charge to be in the cabin with persons with disabilities.

  • No additional charges will be applied for service dogs.
  • One passenger can be accompanied by two service dogs at free of charge for flights to/from the US.
  • Service dogs must be properly trained and be under your control.
  • If your service dog does not fit in the floorspace due to its size in front of your seat you can request additional floor space. Requests must be made at least 48 hours before the departure. No charges will be applied for additional floorspace for flights within Canada and for international flights, charges will be applied.
  • You must inform the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk about your service dog 48 hours before your flight and fill out the following forms.
For flights to/from the US.DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form   DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form – to also be completed for flights of 8 hours or more
All other flightsAir Canada Service Animal Form

Government regulations:

Government regulations for pet transportation vary from country to country. So it is a recommendation to always consult the embassy or consulate of the country in which you will be traveling before your flight. Because, if you miss out on any regulations or documents chances are that animals will be sent back to their origin.

Other important things :

  • If you want to take your pet with you in the cabin or checked baggage, you must register your pet by contacting Air Canada Reservations within 24 hours of booking your flight.
  • If you change your reservations, then you have to change your pet’s reservation manually by contacting Air Canada Reservations.
  • Do not feed your pet in between 4 to 6 hours of the departure.

How to take my pet on a flight?

  1. Register your pet by contacting Air Canada Reservations within 24 hours of booking your flight.
  2. Decide whether you want to take your pet as checked baggage or by cargo.
  3. Make sure you have the right container size and your pet is comfortable inside of it.
  4. Make sure you have all the right documents as per the rules of the destination country.
  5. Do the labeling correctly.
  6. Make sure to check on the weather on the flight day.
  7. Check in at least two or three hours before your flight departure.
  8. Complete the security screening.
  9. Travel with your pet.


  • Double check if you have all the documents that are required and their validity.
  • If your flight is a long one, then check if your pet is doing well.
  • Buy the container some days before the flight and help your pet get used to it.


How strict is Air Canada with dogs?

Although Air Canada has some rigid rules regarding the transportation of pets, once you meet all the requirements, the journey becomes a safer and more secure one.

Is Air Canada good with dogs?

Yes, once you fulfill all the requirements, Air Canada ensures to give you and your dog a happy journey.

What airlines allow pets in the cabin in Canada?

Air Canada allows you to take your pet inside of the cabin with you. The pet should stay inside its container and the container must be put under the front seat of you.

How much does it cost to fly a dog to Canada?

Air Canada charges $50 – $118 depending on destinations for pets inside of the cabin and $105 – $318 for shipping pets as checked baggage.

Contact details

Information and reservation1-888-247-2262
Lost or damaged baggage1 888 689-BAGS (2247)
Medical Assistance Desk1-800-667-4732

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See More Articles

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  6. Allegiant Air Pet Policy
  7. Frontier Airlines Pet Policy
  8. Alaska Airlines Pet Policy
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