Traveling with your fur family can get a bit…hairy. If you’ve ever had to book a flight with a pet in mind, then you know it can be a nightmare navigating the endless regulations. And the added dollars to your vacation budget can impede your travel plans. New guidelines issued by one of the nation’s largest airlines are about to make flying with your pet more complicated. United Airlines has expanded their breed restrictions for dogs and cats in response to a tragic incident involving a pet traveling in a cargo area.

As of June 18, 2018, approximately 40 dog and cat breeds will be prohibited to travel with the airline. The list includes pets crossed with any breed on the list. There is an increased focus on “snub-nosed” breeds due to their predisposition to cardiovascular and respiratory issues.  Some of these breeds are among the most popular with pet families and airlines such as American Airlines, Southwest and Delta have similar restrictions.

Common Breeds Restricted From Air Travel:

Dog Breeds

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog (all breeds)
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Pekingese
  • American “Pit Bull” Terrier
  • Presa Canario
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu

Cat Breeds

  • Burmese
  • Persian
  • Himalayan
  • Exotic Shorthair


A Note on Emotional Support Animals (ESA):

Due to lax certification requirements, airlines have seen an increase in exotic or non-household pets accompanying their passengers as Emotional Support Animals (ESA).  Everything from pigs to ferrets to lizards, and let’s not forget the peacock affair. 

Several airlines announced rules that restrict ESAs to “household pets”, with the exception of miniature horses who are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) as service animals.  If you are planning to fly with your ESA, you should review your airline’s policy to ensure you have required documentation and book your pet’s transport appropriately.

What To Do When They Can’t Fly

These new guidelines are set to take effect this summer which can put a real kink in the travel plans of pet owners. If your pet doesn’t meet airline requirements, then you may want to consider boarding them while you’re away.

At Olde Towne Pet Resort, we can help make the decision to board your pet a bit easier. We offer a variety of dog boarding and cat boarding options that are spacious and designed with your pet in mind. Our dog boarding suites come with inclusive services such as walks and one-on-one playtimes with our pet care staff.  We even offer suites with live webcams, so you can have peace of mind no matter where you are. Our cat boarding suites come with window options and plenty of room for stimulating play. The cattery is also equipped with live webcams and operates with its own hospital-grade filtration system.

Our locations in North Bethesda, MD, Springfield, and Sterling, VA, are conveniently located within a 30 minutes’ drive to both Dulles International and Reagan National airports. All are welcome to stay in any one of our premier suites.  We have no breed or temperament restrictions and are fully equipped to handle any special needs for your pet.

In a hurry to catch that flight? We offer Van Service to and from all locations.

It’s important to consider all your options before securing your vacation plans.  If you’re not sure that boarding is the right choice for your pet, we invite you to come to any of our locations and take a tour.  No need to call ahead just stop by at your convenience. We are available seven days a week during our hours of operation.

Ready to book your pet’s stay?