How To Choose The Right Kennel For Pet Shipping

Some of our most common questions from clients are about choosing the proper crate for  pet shipping. At home, you might prefer the all metal cage over the fiberglass crates for visibility or airflow, but many home kennels will not be approved for pet transport. When shipping your dog, cat or other animal on an airplane, the airlines have strict requirements for travel kennels.

The pet crate must have solid water-proof floor and a solid roof. All metal crates and crates with a door on top will not be allowed.

The gate on the front of the crate must be metal and not plastic. The airlines want to be sure that your pet is secure in the crate at all times. Plastic doors can bend or warp and fail.

Some crates can be modified to meet airline pet transport rules. For example, if you have a plastic crate that uses small plastic pegs that are used to hold the crate together, they can be replaced with metal bolts & wing nuts. The nylon wing nuts that come with the crate are allowed on almost all airlines.

Collapsible or Foldable Pet Carriers are obviously not approved for pet shipping. They may be acceptable if your small pet is traveling with you in the cabin of the airplane.

If your crate does not meet airline requirements than you should invest in a new pet kennel. We like Petmate pet crates. They have been making reliable crates for pet shipping for a long time and are approved by all airlines.  We also recommend using a travel pad to keep your dog or cat dry if they do urinate or spill water in the cage.  DryFur makes a good travel pad.

Here are instructions for measuring your dog. With the correct measurements, you can choose the proper pet crate size for your dog.  Follow this link for pictures of pets in crates CRATE

Accurately Measure Your Pet

A= length of animal from nose to root of tail

B = height from ground to elbow joint

C = width across shoulders

D = height of animal in standing position (top of head for pets with non-erect ears – from tip of ears for
pets with erect ears)

The length of the kennel must be equal to A + 1/2 B (domestic flights) A+B (International flights)
The width of the kennel must be equal to Cx2 (domestic flights) (C+1 in) x 2 (international flights)
The height of the kennel (top flat or arched) must be equal to D (domestic flights) D+3 in (international flights).

Choose the proper size crate for pet shipping

Small 0 7.5 lbs 21″L by 16″W by 15″H 17″ long by 12″ wide by 13″ tall
Medium 200 11.2 lbs 28″L by 20.5″W by 21.5″H 23″ long by 16″ wide by 19.5″ tall
Intermediate 300 15 lbs 32″L by 21″W by 22″H 28″ long by 16″ wide by 20.5″ tall
Large 400 17 lbs 36″L by 25″W by 27″H 32″ long by 22″ wide by 26″ tall
Extra Large 500 27lbs 40″L by 28″W by 30″H 36″ long by 24″ wide by 26″ tall
Giant 700 43 lbs 48″L by 32″W by 35″H 43″ long by 31″ wide by 34″