NATIONWIDE – A new federal rule could keep certain service animals out of the skies.

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new rules on Wednesday to narrow the definition of “service animal” to just dogs. Under the Department’s Air Carrier Access Act, travelers who need service animals are allowed to be accompanied by their furry companions.


Airlines would no longer be required to allow travelers to fly with their pigs, cats, or rabbits. The new rules would also reclassify emotional support animals as pets instead of service animals.  

Service dogs are trained to help with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.

Passengers traveling with service dogs would have extra steps to take before they can board a flight. The rules propose the traveler to submit an online form through the airline certifying that animal is trained, in good health and will be on good behavior.

Anyone with thoughts about the proposed change has 60 days to comment online here.