by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | August 01, 2004
It’s summer, and Fido and Fluffy are packed and ready to ship out. While most airlines are willing to transport this rising class of four-legged flyers, pet owners would do well to familiarize themselves with the strict polices and procedures that govern pets as cargo on major carriers.
    No babies. Airlines generally mandate that puppies and kittens must be at least eight weeks old to fly.
    Hot dogs. Short-nosed breeds, such as boxers, French bulldogs and Pekinese, are susceptible to respiratory problems in extreme heat. Continental Airlines recommends using a kennel vented on all four sides and providing water, but no food. American Airlines will not allow these breeds to be shipped if the outside temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. Delta Air Lines won’t ship any pets between May 15 and Sept. 15 due to the summer heat.
    A breed apart. Continental will not carry an American pit bull terrier more than six months old or weighing more than 20 pounds.
    Euro trip. As of July 3, 2004, cats and dogs entering the European Union are required to have a tattoo or implanted microchip that matches the identification number on their vaccination cards. Pets cannot be shipped into or out of Spain. 
    Key credentials. The United States Department of Agriculture ( requires a health certificate for animals shipped as cargo. It must be signed by a licensed veterinarian and issued no more than 10 days prior to the departure date.