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Animal Shipping

With more than 50 years of experience shipping animals, we're committed to the welfare of all animals entrusted to us.

Shipping Options

We offer Priority Parcel ServiceSM and ExpediteFSSM to ensure the highest levels of safety and comfort for animal transport. Learn more about booking your live animals in advance to secure space and expedite the transport process.


Document Requirements

For the safety of your animals and other cargo onboard, we require that you present certain documents before shipping.

Dogs and Cats

Health certificates. Please bring two copies (the original and one extra) issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel for both the outbound and return trips.

Rabies vaccination certification. Please bring one copy issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with local timeline regulations. If your dog or cat is less than 12 weeks old, they are not required to be vaccinated.

Warm-Blooded Animals in Temperatures Below 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Please bring a Certificate of Acclimation, if it applies. See Temperature Policy for details.

International Travel

For animals being shipped to an international destination, do your homework and consult the website of the country they are visiting for specific requirements. If you don't, you risk the animal being refused transport or returned to the United States at your expense. Contact the country's consulate for import requirements.


For sedated animals, please present the following information at check in:

  • Name of the medication
  • Amount administered
  • Time and date it was administered
Exotic / Wild Birds

If you are transporting wild or exotic birds, you will need to, both in writing and on letterhead, whether the birds were:

  • Born in captivity on special farms, or
  • Being shipped to or from a zoological garden, sanctuary, preserve, rehabilitation center, medical agency or government wildlife agency. Transportation is restricted to American Airlines' on-line service only.

Health certificates. Please bring two copies (the original and one extra) issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel for both the outbound and return trips.

Primates must be at least six months old, weaned and tendered at a cargo terminal.

Primates may only be accepted for transportation when:

  • The shipper, or his agent, certifies in writing on the shipper's letterhead, which must accompany the air waybill, that the primates being shipped were born or bred in captivity on special farms; or
  • The primates are being shipped from or to a zoo sanctuary, preserve or rehabilitation center; and
  • The transportation is restricted to American Airline's on-line service only.

American Airlines will not accept primates used for laboratory research, experimentation or exploitation purposes.

Other Animals

For all other types of animals, consult the website of the destination country for specific requirements. The IATA shipper's certification is required for U.S. outbound international or interline transfer shipments. Also, please read the IATA shipper's instructions and responsibilities.