One of the most important parts of arranging safe pet transport is choosing the right travel crate. Pet travel crates must be the right size and also airline approved, and it’s important to start crate training your dog or cat well before your move day.
Read on to learn more about pet travel crates.
Still have questions? Your PetRelocation Specialist will help you find the right travel crate for your pet's needs, no matter their shape or size.
How to Measure Your Pet for the Travel Crate
If you can't make it to a pet store to try your pet's travel crate on for size, you can still find your pet's correct crate size by using the following crate measuring guidelines.
Measurement A: When your pet is standing, measure them from the base of their tail to the tip of their nose. Add four inches to Measurement A. This is how long your pet’s travel crate needs to be.
Measurement B: When your pet is standing up, measure from the floor to the top of their head to find their height. Add four inches to Measurement B. This is how tall your pet’s travel crate needs to be.
- The crate is tall enough for your pet to stand up comfortably.
- Your pet does not have to duck to see out of the crate.
- The crate is wide enough for your pet to turn around comfortably.
- The crate is long enough for your pet to lay down comfortably with paws extended.
- 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 is not wide enough to allow your pet to turn around.
- The crate is not long enough for your pet to lay down comfortable with paws extended.
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 they should be accessible from 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 will need to obtain a custom made travel crate that adheres to IATA standards for international travel. Large custom crates may be too large to fit on some aircraft, so double check with your airline before you fly.
For larger dogs who need just a little bit extra height, an extension kit will be necessary. 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.