We have already discussed policies, and guidelines while traveling on American Airlines flights with pets in our previous article. AA passengers can travel with pets by carrying them in a pet carrier as a carry-on.

Besides, active duty U.S. Military, and U.S. State Department Foreign Service Personnel traveling on official orders can carry up to 2 checked pets. However, the pets must meet the minimum age, health requirements, weight, and other policies.

How do I fly my dog as Cargo on American Airlines?

If your pet exceeds the maximum weight, and size requirements, or if it can’t be flown in the aircraft’s cabin, it must be transported via American Airlines Cargo Service. The airline offers PetEmbark service for transporting animals on cargo flights.

In this article, we will discuss the steps, policies, guidelines, and important tips related to flying your pet as cargo on American Airlines.

How do I fly my dog as Cargo on American Airlines? (Transport your pet with American PetEmbark)

If you are worried about the safety of your pet while transporting it via cargo flights, American PetEmbark is there to provide the best pet car service in the air.

When your pet travels with PetEmbark, they are in the caring hands of our compassionate team members, who treat your pet like their own.


Here are the major guidelines you need to follow to transport your pets with American PetEmbark.

Kennel Size, and Dimension Requirements

AA customers must choose the right kennel for their pets for safe, and comfortable travel throughout the full journey. Right Kennel means your pet must have enough space to stand, sit erect, turn about normally, and lie in a natural position.

Pet Kennel Requirements (How do I fly my dog as Cargo on American Airlines?)

The most important thing to consider is that your pet should not be taller or longer than the size of the pet carrier, or kennel.

Kennel Size Requirements

Small (100)21in x 16in x 15in (53cm x 41cm x 38cm)7 lbs (3 kgs)
Medium (200)27in x 20in x 19in (69cm x 51cm x 48cm)13 lbs (6 kgs)
Intermediate (300)33in x 22in x 23in (84cm x 56cm x 58cm)18 lbs (8 kgs)
Large (400)36in x 24in x 26in (91cm x 61cm x 66cm)24 lbs (11 kgs)
Extra Large (500)40in x 27in x 30in (102cm x 69cm x 76cm)32 lbs (15 kgs)
Giant (700)48in x 32in x 35in (122cm x 81cm x 89cm)51 lbs (23 kgs)

The minimum interior container dimension is quite confusing as you can see from the formula for Length, Width, and Height.

Interior Dimension Requirements (How do I fly my dog as Cargo on American Airlines?)

Length = A + ½ B (A – From the tip of the nose to the root of the tail. B – From the elbow to the Ground)

Width = C X 2 (C – The width of the dog at the widest point.)

Height = D (D – from the floor to the tip of the ears or the top of the head, whichever is higher)

Aircraft Compatibility

American Airlines, and American Eagle (Regional Carrier) operate varieties of aircraft manufactured by Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, and Embraer.

So, the kennel size, and height requirements are different for different aircraft models as shown in the table below.

Airbus A321TAll Kennels up to the max height46in (117cms)
Boeing 787-900
Boeing 787-800
Boeing 777-300

Boeing 777-200
All Kennels up to the max height63in (160cms)
Boeing 737-MAX
Boeing 737-800
400 Kennel Series or Smaller28in (71cms)
400 Kennel Series or Smaller28in (71cms)

Kennel Construction Requirements

pet kennel construction requirements aviatechchannel
Kennel Construction Requirements (How do I fly my dog as Cargo on American Airlines?)

Multiple Pets Policy

Up to 2 pets can be carried on the same kennel if each pet is less than 20 lbs. But, pets in the kennel must be the same pets: either 2 dogs, or 2 cats.

If you are carrying two pets per kennel, the minimum age requirement for dogs, and cats is 8 weeks to 6 months.

Documentation Requirements

American Airlines requires some documents before getting your pet ready for PetEmbark. The documents must be obtained from the veterinarian within 10 days of the pet’s trip.

Documentation Requirements (How do I fly my dog as Cargo on American Airlines?)

The document must contain a health certificate, rabies vaccination details, and breed verification.

All dogs and cats must be certified as fit to travel by a licensed vet within 10 days of travel for both outgoing, and incoming flights. Likewise, the rabies vaccination must be signed by a licensed veterinarian. 

AA doesn’t allow some pet breeds including a brachycephalic, or snub-nosed breed, or a mixed breed. So, get your dogs, or cats certified by a licensed veterinarian, and verify the breed.

Exotic Shorthair
American Staffordshire Terrier
Boston Terrier
Boxer (all breeds)
Brussels Griffon
Bulldog (all breeds)
Cane Corso
Chow Chow
Dogue De Bordeaux
English Toy Spaniel
Japanese Chin
Lhasa Apso
Mastiff (all breeds)
Pit Bull
Presa Canario
Pug (all breeds)
Shar Pei
Shih Tzu
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Tibetan Spaniel

Temperature Requirements

The right temperature is mandatory when it comes to transporting animals via cargo flights. 

American Airlines transports warm-blooded animals only if the ground temperatures are between 45F to 85F (7.2C to 29C) at the origin, connection, and destination cities.

If the changes in temperatures exceed the safe range, the airline will contact you for rescheduling, or pick up your pet.

Conclusion on ‘How do I fly my dog as Cargo on American Airlines?’


If you are transporting your cats or dogs via American PetEmbark cargo service, you need to strictly follow all the policies, and guidelines discussed above.

To make it easier, American Airlines has partnered with the animal transportation experts at My Pet Cab to deliver your pets at your home with optimum safety.

My Pet Cab works directly with the AA’s experts to offer safe, and seamless home delivery service for your pet. Currently, My Pet Cab Service is available for pets traveling to 14 major destinations across the U.S. which are listed below.

  • Boston Logan International Airport
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
  • Washington Dulles International Airport
  • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Miami International Airport
  • Newark Liberty International Airport
  • New York John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • New York LaGuardia Airport
  • Philadelphia International Airport
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Before concluding our discussion, here are the last-minute checks you can adhere to for the safe transportation of your pets.

  • Attach food on top of the kennel and approved water containers inside the kennel 
  • Ensure that only acceptable items are placed inside the kennel 
  • Bring a leash to the airport so that you can walk your pet before and after your flight 
  • Ensure you bring all required documents
  • Ensure you bring two forms of identification
  • Don’t sedate your pet with sedatives, or tranquilizers
Previous articleWhat terminal is United at LGA? (2023 Travel Guide)
Next articleHow strict is American Airlines Pet Policy? (Latest 2023 Pet Travel Policy)
Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here