Airline Approved Dog Crate – How to select one that best suits your needs?

Traveling to your dream destination with your beloved pet is now very much possible. However, there are some rules, regulations and restrictions that you need to be aware of beforehand.

Not all pets will be allowed to travel via air, but whichever pets are allowed to do so need to be transported using an airline approved dog crate.

Here are some of the most important things that you need to know when it comes to traveling with your dog via your preferred airline.

IATA’s Criteria for Dog Crate & Dog Carrier

Airlines are not particular with the brand of dog crates or dog carriers pet owners buy, but they have very strict rules and regulations when it comes to the type of crate / carrier dogs can use when traveling. This is why before purchasing any dog crate or carrier for air travelling purpose, extensive research is required.

High-quality materials

Basically, airline approved dog crates are those that are made using sturdy materials that can withstand any type of transport condition. The crate should also be free from toxic materials and other poisonous chemicals that might be harmful to pets.

More specifically, most airlines recommend that dog crates be made from fiber glass, metal, weld metal mesh, solid wood, plywood or rigid plastic materials. Soft cases may also be allowed, but may only be used for smaller dogs.

Leak-proof feature

A crate should be leak-proof and safe for the dog to travel in for very long hours. The floor in particular has to be solid and sturdy.

Sturdy handle

It should also have a handle that is in high-quality and that makes it possible for the airline staff to carry the crate from one stop to the next with ease.

Wheels are not allowed

Preferably, airlines are discouraging the use of dog crates that have wheels. If the dog owner purchased a carrier that has wheels, he will be asked to remove them before handing over the dog to the airline staff.

Proper ventilation

Meanwhile, the dog travel crate airline approved version should also have enough ventilation to ensure that the dog wouldn’t be suffocated. The biggest ventilation area should be found on top of the crate, but all other sides should also have enough air source.

Feeding and watering

All dog crates should have an attached feeding bottle or container that can easily be accessed by the pet. All pet owners are required to write down the feeding instructions for their pets and this should be given to the shipper once the dog is handed over to them.

Normally, dogs do not require additional feeding if they will travel for 12 hours or below. However, water should always be available for the pet.

What is the airline approved dog crate size?

Typically, one of the biggest concerns of the air transportation company has to do with whether or not the pet owner will be able to follow their airline approved dog crate size.

It is required that all dogs should have enough space to sit, stand, lie down and turn around while inside the crate.

Airline approved dog crate sizes vary depending on the type of material that’s used for the one that you purchased. Wooden dog crates should have an outer frame that measures 2.5 cm x 7.5 cm. Every part of the crate should be properly screwed together to avoid accidents.

Most dog crate brands offer different sizes and choosing one should depend on the size and breed of your dog.

Can dogs travel via cabin?

Some pet owners prefer to travel with their dogs via the checked baggage cabin option. In cases like these, the pet owner needs to check whether or not the preferred airline offers this kind of travel option for dogs.

If the airline allows dogs to travel via cabin, pet owners should coordinate with the airline what airline approved dog crate in cabin they allow on board the plane.

Dogs are not allowed to occupy the seat beside the owner at all times, but they can be carefully placed under their owner’s seat.

Pros and Cons of different types of airline approved dog crates

There are a handful of options when it comes to airline approved dog crates and each one has its own share of upside and downside.

Soft vs. hard crate

For instance, some dog crates are designed using hard materials, while others are made using soft ones. The former option is most ideal for dogs that are huge and heavy, while the latter is perfect for small-sized pets.

However, soft-cased carriers are not ideal for puppies that still chew because they might destroy their home while traveling via air.

Plastic crates

Dog crates that are made from plastic materials are very easy to clean. They also don’t require extensive care and maintenance. However, such crates can easily be destroyed by pets that are determined to chew on its corners. Not to mention, this type of crate also absorbs odors very quickly.

Metal crates

Metal crates are considered as one of the best houses when transporting pets. One of its benefits is that it can be folded flat like a plastic crate. Additionally, metal crates are not easy to break.

On the other hand, the see-through sides of the crate may not be ideal for reactive dogs. In order to make sure that the dog is at peace when traveling, the sides of the metal crate need to be covered. Doing so can minimize the dog’s ventilation and may result in suffocation.

Over time, this type of dog crate can also accumulate rust, and it’s also very heavy to carry around.

Top 5 airline approved dog crates we recommend

· Petmate 21100 Ultra Vari Pets Kennel

This type of dog crate is not only conducive for pet travel; it is also IATA approved. Since this crate is made to be very spacious, dogs can easily move around while inside their temporary home. This product also comes in various sizes and its maximum variant can accommodate large dogs that weigh up to 125 pounds.

Not to mention, this type of dog crate airline approved features double wire windows, covered door posts, rear vents, heavy duty kennel fasteners and a secure locking door.

· Petmate Sky Kennel

Petmate Sky Kennel is a heavy-duty dog crate that is made from high plastic construction materials. It is non-corrosive so it is safe for all types of dogs. The doors of this crate are secured and very easy to use. The dog won’t also have hard time breathing because it features a four-way ventilation system.

Other than this, this dog crate is also eco-friendly since some of the materials used in creating it are recycled.

Unfortunately, one downside to this product is that it can only be used by pets weighing 70 to 90 pounds.

· Aspenpet Pet Porter Kennel

Just like the two brands above, the Aspenpet Pet Porter Kennel is one of the IATA-approved dog crates that you can purchase if you want to travel with your dog.

Other than the fact that it meets the airline’s requirements, this type of crate also features heavy-duty plastic shell, wire door and plastic wing nuts. It can be used by pets up to 34 inches in height.

This product also comes with a one-year warranty.

· Favorite Portable Airline Approved Dog Crate & Pet Carrier

Unlike the three brands and variants above, this type of dog crate carrier is ideally used by smaller dog breeds that won’t exceed 10 pounds.

The crate is made from durable plastic materials and steel-wire front door. It is also very easy to assemble and carry around. Each of the four sides of this crate has a hole that ensures proper ventilation for your pet. It also comes with an easy-to-hold handle and a strap for shoulder carrying.

· Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers

The Sherpa deluxe pet carrier is one type of dog crate carrier that is designed to be lightweight. This product is best to be used by dogs while lying down. All sides of the carrier come with zippers and proper ventilation. It is also airline approved, but is typically used for cabin transportation.

One downside to this dog carrier is it cannot be used for check in. Also, it can only accommodate dogs that weigh 16 pounds and below.

Final Reminder

Traveling with pets via your preferred airline may seem like a daunting task especially with all of the requirements mentioned above. However, if you are a dedicated dog owner who really needs to travel with your furry friend via air, you need to follow all of the rules and regulations carefully.

Other than the information mentioned above, it would be best to contact your airline of choice before booking a flight ticket for your pet, buying a dog crate or spending money on any other travel-related need.

Remember, even though IATA has their specific travel guidelines for dogs, some airlines have their own rules when it comes to pet travel.

Click here to check out our recommended dog crate for car.

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