Pet Travel Crates: Expert Guide to Choosing and Preparing the Perfect Crate for Your Pet’s Journey

Choosing the Right Travel Crate for Your Pet

Pet Travel Crates: The Key to Safe and Comfortable Pet Transport

Choosing the right travel crate is one of the most crucial steps in ensuring safe and comfortable pet transport. Airline-approved pet travel crates must be the correct size, and it's essential to start crate training your dog or cat ahead of your move day. This guide will provide valuable insights on selecting and preparing the ideal pet travel crate.

Whether you're moving a dog, cat, bird, reptile, or other exotic pet, your PetRelocation Specialist is here to assist you in finding the right travel crate for your pet's unique needs.

How to Measure Your Pet for the Travel Crate

To determine the correct crate size for your pet, use the following guidelines:

Measurement A: Measure your standing pet from the base of their tail to the tip of their nose. Add four inches to Measurement A. This is the required length of your pet's travel crate.

Measurement B: Measure your standing pet from the floor to the top of their head to find their height. Add four inches to Measurement B. This is the required height of your pet's travel crate.

Accepted vs. Not Accepted: Ensuring Your Pet's Comfort


  • The crate allows your pet to stand up comfortably.
  • Your pet can see out of the crate without ducking.
  • The crate provides enough space for your pet to turn around.
  • Your pet can lie down comfortably with paws extended.

Not Accepted:

  • The crate is too short for your pet to stand up straight.
  • Your pet has to duck to see out of the crate.
  • The crate doesn't allow your pet to turn around.
  • The crate is too small for your pet to lie comfortably with paws extended.





Custom Pet Travel Crates: Solutions for Large Dogs and Exotic Pets

For large dogs exceeding #700 crate size or exotic pets with specific needs, we offer custom-made travel crates adhering to IATA standards. From crate extensions for extra height to custom bird crates with perches, we ensure safe and comfortable transport for all pets, regardless of size or species.

How to Choose the Right Pet Travel Crate

Once you've determined your pet's measurements, it's time to buy a crate that meets the standards of the airline you'll be traveling with. In the United States your pet's crate will need to comply with USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations.

Double check with your airline to be sure, but in general your pet's crate must meet the following standards:

  • Crates should be made of hard plastic, metal or wood, and the top should be solid (no ventilation or doors).
  • The crate door must be made of metal and must be able to close securely. Hard plastic and other materials are not acceptable.
  • Kennels must be assembled completely and kennel hardware should be in good condition and functioning properly. For example, nuts and bolts connecting the crate's top and bottom should be properly connected and show no signs of damage.
  • Kennels with plastic side latches won't be accepted unless additional holes have been drilled to accommodate metal nuts and bolts.
  • Two water dishes must be affixed to the inside of the kennel door and accessible from the outside of the crate.
  • The floor of the kennel should be solid and leak-proof, and it is acceptable to place an absorbent material (an old towel, shredded newspaper, etc.) at the bottom of the crate.

Here's an overview of standard kennel sizes, along with their measurements in inches:

#100 Series: 21 L x 16 W x 15 H

#200 Series: 27 L x 20 W x 19 H

#300 Series: 32 L x 22 W x 23 H

#400 Series: 36 L x 24 W x 26 H

#500 Series: 40 L x 27 W x 30 H

#700 Series: 48 L x 32 W x 35 H

Note: Larger crates may be too big to fit on some aircraft. Double-check before you book your flight.

Custom Pet Travel Crates for Large Dogs

Large dogs whose size exceeds the #700 crate can still fly safely, but they must obtain a custom-made travel crate that adheres to IATA standards for international travel. Custom crates may be too large to fit on some aircraft, so double-check with your airline before you fly.

An extension kit will be necessary for larger dogs who need just a little extra height. Crate extension kits add height to Extra Large (#500 series) and Giant (#700 series) crates.

Bird Travel Crates

For relocation of feathered friends, we can help obtain custom bird crates complete with perches for both large and small birds.

Custom Exotic Animal Crates

Travel Crates for Reptiles and Rodents

Reptile and rodent shipping crates can be highly customized, allowing for the placement of inserts within the travel crate when transporting more than one pet.

Travel Crates for Other Exotic Pets

Moving another kind of pet? Custom exotic animal crates should be built for strength and safety as well as for the pet's comfort. Rules for transporting animals in custom crates vary from airline to airline, so contact the proper authorities before ordering your pet's custom crate.

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