Is it Too Hot to Fly my Dog in Cargo Or Checked Baggage?

When is it too hot to fly with Pets in Cargo or Checked Baggage?

Airlines often prohibit or cancel existing bookings for pets flying in cargo or checked baggage hold when temperatures at the airport are, or expected to be, above 29C/85F or below 7C/45F. 

This includes extreme temperatures anywhere on your pet’s route including departure, transfer or destination flights.

Even though airport and airlines work hard to ensure a climate-controlled environment for your pets, sometimes your pet may be exposed to extreme temperatures when flying in Cargo or Checked Baggage.

Pets are most at risk when loading, holding and taxiing—not in the air.

Temperature Restrictions are triggered when your pet is in the animal holding area or on the tarmac. When your pet is in the Cargo or Checked Baggage hold they are in a temperature-controlled and pressurized environment.

If the temperature outside near the animal hold or tarmac is too hot your flight will be cancelled or changed.

What Temperature Is Too Cold Or Too Hot For Pets To Fly?

According to APHIS, if when moving animals to or from the airplane or animal holding areas the animal must not be exposed to temperatures above 29C/85F or below 7C/45F for more than 4 consecutive hours.

Dogs must not be exposed to air temperatures above 85 °F (29.5 °C) or below 45 °F (7.2 °C) for a period of more than 4 hours.

Dogs must not be accepted for transport unless the animal holding areas meet these temperature requirements. Shelter from Extreme Weather

Usda/aphis Care and Handling of Pets During Travel

If your pet is acclimated to lower temperatures (not higher) than is customarily allowed by airlines it may be helpful to use an Acclimation Certificate.

What Is An Acclimation Certificate?

An Acclimation Certificate is used to allow airlines to ship dogs and cats when the airline cannot guarantee compliance with animal welfare regulations, specifically the minimum temperature of 7C/45F allowed by the regulations.  AVAA

Often used for pets flying in Cargo and checked baggage, a veterinarian may assert in an Acclimation Certificate an acceptable range of temperatures your pet tolerates, readiness for travel, general health, and any restrictions or intolerances. (APHIS)

Too Hot to Fly my Dog in Cargo? What Can I Do?


Rotweiller Trying to Keep Cool in Warm Weather.

Choose the Best Season or Month to Travel: when you choose your travel dates, select a  that is not too hot nor too cold. Try flying in the Spring or Autumn. 

Maybe a nearby is less prone to extreme temperatures, and you can use ground transport to another city that has temperatures that do not run to the extreme.

Schedule The Best Flights Time of Day: If you cannot change your destination or the travel date, your next best solution would be to travel during the mildest times of the day.

Book an early morning or late evening flight in the summer.  Book midday flights in winter to avoid harsh weather. Before booking your pet’s flight, compare weather forecasts for days before the trip to get an understanding of the best time to schedule the flight.

Schedule the shortest flight possible, with the least number of stops and layovers. If you are flying to a destination with no direct flights, make sure the airport that your pet is transiting through has temperature-controlled pet transit areas.

Choose that Airline or Airport that Care Best for your Pet:  Not all airport animal handling areas are the same—just like not all amenities in airport are the same for human travelers. 

They vary greatly.   Some airlines have their own special-made animal handling areas at their Hub. For example: Lufthansa in Frankfurt, Qatar Airlines in Doha India and Kennel Club in Los Angeles offer amazing accommodations for pets before and after their flight. 

Get The Right Crate And Crate-Train Your Pet: Flying your pet in the correct size pet cargo crate is key, but takes on special significance during extreme weather conditions, especially during warm weather.

Your pet must be able to stand, turn around and lay down comfortably in the pet travel crate. Begin crate training your pet as early as possible.

Look for Cargo crates that are IATA compliant. Outfitting your Cargo Crate is also important: ventilation, blankets, food and water.

See also, Best Cargo Crate for Flying with Large Dogs in 2021

See our guide to Prepare the Cargo Crate Inside and Out.

What Dogs And Cats Are Most Susceptible To Extreme Temperatures?

Pure Breeds and Snub-nose Dogs and Cats (Brachycephalic) are most at risk of extreme temperatures of above 29C/85F or below 7C/45F


  • Affenpinscher
  • American Bulldog
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffin,
  • Bulldog (all breeds)
  • Cane Corso
  • Chow Chow
  • Douge de Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel (King Charles)
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (all breeds except Great Danes)
  • Pekinese
  • Pit Bull
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel.
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel.
  • Bermese Cats
  • Exotic Cats
  • Himalayan Cats
  • Persian Cats

So, if your pets are particularly acclimated to lower temperatures and your Veterinarian agrees, they may be granted access to more flights.

Published by Stephanie Fling

Everything Pet Travel Related by Air, Sea and Land.

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