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7 Best Airline-Approved Dog Crates (2024) IATA-Compliant

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February 23, 2024

Can you use your wheeled or collapsible super-strong crate to air travel?

But what CAN you use? That’s the question to which I have the answer.

I realized this is a topic pet parents will need the most reassurance on. So, I took my time, found about 15 potential dog crates, and brought the list down to the top 7.

As long as you read to the very end, you’ll know what to do; I won’t have to tell you.

Be sure to read after the list to discover some of the must-know information when you’re flying with your dog.

Let’s start the list!

Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier Product Image

Table of Contents

1. Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

2. petmate sky kennel, 3. gunner g1, 4. amazonbasics pet carrier, 5. away the pet carrier, 6. aspen pet dog kennel, 7. petsfit carrier, measure your dog accurately, assess your dog’s activity and level of tameness, consider the crate’s ventilation, opt for a secure locking mechanism , check for easy assembly and disassembly, consider the weight of the crate , asses the comfort features, consider the ease of cleaning, dog crate requirements of each airline, size requirements , pet documents , the nature of nuts and bolts and the door, ventilation requirement, food and water dishes aspect, feeding instructions, crate lining, features that shouldn’t be in your airline dog crate, preparing your dog for air travel, benefits of buying airline-approved pet crates, in conclusion, what is aita approved crate, are there pet carriers made specifically for air travel, are dog crates allowed on planes, 7 best airline-approved dog crates.

Diggs is a brand recognized for innovation and class.

From now on, their passenger travel carrier, which I’ll call the Diggs carrier , is the BEST airline-approved carrier.

Let’s see why it is the best.

For starters, this is not only an airline-friendly carrier; you can carry your furry friend in this bag in trains, cars, or even on foot. But remember that Diggs recommends this carrier for dogs AND cats up to 18 lbs .

You don’t have to worry about the space as the Diggs carrier comes with external dimensions 20″ L x 10.8″ W x 11.5 “H and internal dimensions 18 “L x 10” W x 10.75 “H.

Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

In other words, it’s spacious enough for your dog and small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, as it should be.

Not only that, but the carrier also boats a front pocket with dimensions 16″ x 6″. It’s clear that Diggs has designed the crate keeping the utmost comfort and sense of safety in mind.

But the biggest problem with most dog carriers is that they’re very heavy — Diggs wins there, too, as the bag is only 4.5 lbs .

Before I go any further, these airline-approved dog carriers are made from premium nylon with four elegant colors , including navy blue, that make you look like a Wall Street executive.

I absolutely admire how this dog carrier has intelligently integrated design details that make air travel hassle-free. 

For example, it has a cross-body strap , a D-ring clip for your keys, and even a collar tether clip to secure the pet when the carrier is open.

On top of that, you get three pockets to keep the essentials within easy reach.

Multiple access points design feature helps dog parents to manage their dogs during flying easier. 

If an accident occurs, there’s a side door by which you can fix the issue quickly and discreetly. On the side, there’s a third opening which tremendously helps you with the bag’s orientation in tight spaces when you’re flying.

The cherry on top is the patent-pending pee pad with impressive absorption capabilities.

Ventilation and privacy are a top priority when flying, and Diggs also impresses you in that aspect. A special mesh is present throughout the carrier for ventilation . Your dog won’t feel anxious thanks to the well-covered design.

Not only that, you also get a 30-day return window , but the catch is the 10% return shipping fee.

But as a matter of fact, Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier is the BEST IATA-compliant dog crate.

Petmate is a brand that has almost always reached the top few of my reviews. The reason is their superior build quality.

The same quality is continued with the Petmate Sky Kennel .

Coming in only light gray , Petmate lets you pick the kennel in six sizes . It’s an impressive size range from 21″ to 48″, ensuring almost all dogs are eligible to fly.

This kennel is made from eco-friendly 90% pre-consumer recycled plastic content , whose product weight range is from 6 lbs to 51 lbs. 

Petmate Sky Dog Kennel

I’d say it’s an outstanding balance between strength and airplane-friendly weight. To make it easier to carry the kennel, there’s a carrying handle on the top too.

These features show how amazingly Petmate understands pet parents who fly with dogs.

Unlike the Diggs carrier, the Petmate pet kennel has only one door , but it’s big enough. There’s an easy open squeeze-latch with a 4-way locking vault mechanism for sizes 21″, 28″, and 32″.

For 36″, 40″, and 48″, there is a dial latch system with a 4-way locking vault kennel door. The mesh design will keep your dog safe WHILE helping it see outside.

In addition to the door, there are t wo metal side vents and rear ventilation to always ensure ideal air circulation.

Remember that this rigid plastic carrier has a secure non-corrosive wing nut & bold design complimented with tie-down strap holes while being tamper-proof.

It’s admirable how Petmate has included airline travel essentials such as 2 Live Animal stickers , a food and water bowl , an absorbent paper pad , and ID stickers . It shows how airline-travel focussed this crate really is.

The overall build quality of the Petmate Sky Kennel is admirable. The sense of safety and the objectively superior design features ensure that your furry friend stays calm and comfortable when you’re flying.

The Petmate Sky Kennel is the BEST ALTERNATIVE if you cannot find the Diggs passenger travel carrier.

Gunner is an all-rounder kennel, and that statement further solidifies as the brand’s G1 kennel is my second-best alternative to the Diggs kennel.

Let’s see what makes it special.

For starters, Gunner positions G1 as the world’s safest travel kennel .

In fact, the kennel’s powerful frame system is reinforced with an Aluminum frame designed explicitly to contain a dog before, during, and after a car wreck.

In other words, dog owners can rest assured knowing their dogs will be safe in car AND air travel.

The crate comes in four sizes ; the smallest is 21.75″ (L – Floor) x 14.5″ (W – Floor) x 15.5″ (H) / 16.5″ (W) at the kennel’s widest interior point, weighing 27 lbs.

Gunner G1 Crate

The largest is 33.25″ (L – Floor) x 21″ (W – Floor) x 29″ (H) / 23″ (W) at the kennel’s widest interior point, with a weight of 72 lbs.

To make the fit better, Gunner lets you choose the fit by 3 methods ; by crate size (mentioned above), by measuring your dog’s physical dimensions, and by the vehicle fit. 

G1 is the only double-walled rotomolded kennel in the marke t, further increasing your dog’s safety while skyrocketing its durability value.

What about comfort?

The Gunner G1 kennel is 12% cooler , and your dog expends 20% less energy compared to leading most leading Aluminum and single-wall rotomolded kennels. 

The reversible door makes it easier to access, and the key-in-the-hole with the paddle latch certifies protection. That peace of mind matters tremendously in domestic flights.

You’d also find the element-repelling windows helpful for your dog. They’re engineered to limit the penetration of seasonal elements like snow or rain. 

Gunner boasts the G1’s interior drainage system with an oversized and removable drain plug . This might not be useful during the flight, but it’s beneficial in the long run.

The Petmate kennel had one carrying handle, but this kennel has two kayak-grade handles . Combine that with the built-in tie-down pins and the non-slip feet ; this crate will stay put wherever you place it.

Isn’t that a mandatory requirement, anyway?

As you may already know, Gunner kennels, including the G1, are completely made in the USA . With a lifetime guarantee , its value is quite high.

With five vibrant earth-tone colors , Gunner gives you dog owners no choice but to love this travel dog crate.

So, in conclusion, the Gunner G1 is one of the best airplane crates.

The next best recommendation is the AmazonsBasics pet carrier. Let’s see how well it performs as an airline-approved crate.

The AmazonBasics crate is unique; it comes in two styles: a metal vent or a two-door top load. 

This crate is available in one color (cream and grey) and one size , which is 23.6 “L x 15.7 “W x 13 “H. The two-door top-load version comes in blue-grey, with one size, which is 22.83 “L x 14.96 “W x 12.99 “H.

So, it’s not for very large dogs like Great Danes who want more moving space. Ideally, this crate suits the best for puppies and small-medium-sized dog breeds.

AmazonBasics Pet Carrier

I love the mixture of metal and plastic for the design, similar to the Gunner kennel. The Amazon Basics kennel is made from single-walled molded plastic , and the other elements are metallic.

If you go with the metal vent design, you get one door with a wire mesh and t hree-way air holes covered with metal wires.

The two-door top load version has a side and a top door . This makes handling your pet in the cage inside the flight easier.

The cherry on top is the securing locking door closure mechanism . They’re not 100% metallic in both cages, but the 2-door model with spring-loaded latch in the two-door version is more secure.

No matter how secure the locks are, pet owners must crate train their dogs ideally to ensure they’re safe and comfortable during airplane traveling.

The center-aligned top carrying handle makes it easier to carry it. 

You might wonder, wouldn’t it be better to have a crate with wheels? But it’s one of the forbidden features; you can read the rest at the end of this list.

You also get free Prime shipping in the link that I have recommended; no worries about safety.

The verdict? It’s a great alternative when you can’t find the most suitable airline-approved dog crates.

AWAY is not a brand dedicated to dog kennels, but you’d be impressed when reading about their pet carrier.

This pet carrier meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements while being certified by The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) — that’s where I’d like to start this review.

Away pet carrier comes in one standard size , 18.7″ x 10.8″ x 10.75″, and the company recommends this fine dog carrier for pets up to 18 lbs . 

With the retractable privacy screen , you’ll never have anxious pets. In addition, Away has ensured ideal air circulation with the mesh panels on three sides. These crate features ensure your pet’s safety.

Away The Pet Carrier

How much does it weigh? 

It weighs 4.3 lbs with a shoulder strap and 3.9 lbs without. So, the dog’s weight will typically be around 25 lbs, which is great.

You’re highly likely to get somewhat reminded of the classy look of the Diggs carrier. After all, it comes in black , made from superior quality Nylon leather material . That’s why it lasts so long by design.

The removable and washable plush sherpa bedding is Away’s secret to providing the best comfort for your dog in air travel. Combine that with the water-resistant lining for easy accident cleanup; this pet carrier is a phenomenal alternative.

You’d like the safety collar clip ideally placed to prevent quick pet escapes when opening. You know you don’t want that risk in air travel. 

But how access-friendly this bag really is? The t wo-way zip top and side openings resemble multiple access points as they enable easy access to your pet. 

It’s admirable how Away has integrated latches that fasten to a car seat belt. When traveling by car, you can make great use of the strap that secures any Away luggage too.

Away boasts its pet carrier’s usability experience with the side pocket, waterproof lining, and raining holes. It’s bespoke for storing a collapsible water bowl.

As an established brand, Away gives you 100 days to return the bag with one year warranty . But remember that branded/customized carriers cannot be returned.

All things considered, you can definitely rely on this airline-approved dog crate as well.

I’m very picky, even when it comes to alternatives. Luckily, Petmate’s Aspen pet kennel was promising enough.

Let’s see what’s so special about it.

I admire how this product’s sizes don’t come in dimensions but are based on the dog’s weight. There are four sizes that change from 25 to 90 lbs. That’s an impressive range, suitable enough to accommodate even bigger dogs.

But Petmate gives you a simple size guide to pick the ideal kennel size. 

ASPEN PET Dog Kennel

This heavy-duty kennel has a plastic shell and metal screws to keep the parts together. That increases the overall strength and durability. Most importantly, it gives you enough peace of mind when flying.

Thanks to the air holes , you don’t have to worry about your pet’s comfort. After all, the Aspen kennel has a mesh door , so the air circulation is superior by design.

Petmate kennels are easy to assemble, and the Aspen kennel doesn’t deviate from that. 

You don’t need a massive toolbox or box-assembling experience; it’s very hassle-free.

Once you assemble it , ideally, you have to clean it before getting your dog inside. Thanks to the plastic surface , this is when you’ll notice how easy it is to clean.

I have to emphasize the shape of the interior of this magnificent crate. It satisfies natural denning instincts , and this helps them not only stay calm but PREFER staying inside the kennel throughout the flight.

On top of its suitability for air travel, I also love how Petmate recommends the kennel for cars too. This eliminates the need for a separate kennel for traveling with your pet by car.

Although the handle and the other components are imported, the Petmate Aspen dog kennel is made in the USA . Having that reassurance helps you more than you assume when it comes to flying.

But it’s necessary to double-check with your airline because you never know how some surprise rules can delay your trip.

As an alternative, this is one of the best airline-approved dog crates by design.

If you have been unable to find the Diggs pet carrier and all the alternatives so far, then I have good news. The last resort is still terrific

This is the Petsfit expandable pet carrier.

This special kennel comes in five sizes . But the largest size is dimensions 19 “Lx12 “Wx12” H, which limits the size compatibility for larger dogs. 

At the start itself, Petsfit reassures potential customers that their carriers are airplane approved.

These are some of the airways that accept it : United Airlines/ Virgin America/ Hawaiian Airlines/ Air Wisconsin/ Air Canada/ Alaska Airlines/ Southwest Airlines/ Canadian North.

Petsfit Carrier

But are all sizes approved by default? No, only the small and medium sizes comply with the airlines mentioned above. 

However, it doesn’t hurt to double-check with your airlines before purchasing a large size, just to be sure.

It’s worth noting that two detachable fiber rods are on both sides of the carrier’s top. When the large size is too high to fit under a seat, you can remove these two fiber optic rods and fit in better.

The side part of the bag can be expanded . With that, your dog gets extra space in a few seconds. The best thing about this side opening is that it has an opening. 

The second point of access is the side opening, the smaller size. The third opening is on the top. With three access points , Petsfit brings a lot of value to its kennel.

The material of this crate is a mixture of Polyester, Nylon, and Polypropylene (PP), with some metallic parts.

The solid wire keeps it from collapsing and is flexible enough to compress to fit under an airplane seat. 

With these crate features comes the top and 2-sided windows . Petfits is proud to have them made of anti-scratch ventilation mesh material , and your dog will feel both safe and comfortable thanks to the ideal air circulation.

This collapsibility is greatly complemented by the soft bottom inside. It keeps your dog perfectly warm enough for as long as they want. Additionally, the self-lock zipper ensures that your pet doesn’t escape too.

What about the carrying ease? 

For that, Petfits gives you two flexible handles to hold with your hands. If that’s not enough, you can always switch to the detachable strap to hang on the shoulders.

It has a side pocket too.

In conclusion, this is one of the dependable pet crates. But remember to double-check everything with the airlines before purchasing.

With that, we come to the end of the list. But up next is some must-know information that most people discover AFTER facing issues with flying with their pet.

Let’s start with the buying guide.

How to Choose the Right Airline-Approved Dog Crate?

2 dogs inside pet carriers

If you’re wondering how I choose and rank these dog crates, here are the full buying guidelines for you.

Use a tape measure to determine your dog’s height and length. 

Read the size guide of each product carefully, as your dog needs enough space to stand, turn around, and lie down throughout the flight. Here’s our well researched crate size guide .

You don’t want to make your dog feel trapped in a long airplane journey when you know they’re not tamed enough. But assuming there’s a considerable level of obedience, prioritize more robust materials.

Look for a crate that provides adequate airflow to keep your dog cool and comfortable, not too much or too less.

Ensure that the chosen crate has a reliable and secure locking mechanism to prevent any accidental openings during travel. 

Select a crate that is easy to assemble and disassemble, as you may need to set it up quickly during check-in and collapse it for storage when not in use.

It’s better to choose crates with user-friendly design features.

So many brands understand the typical requirement for an airline-approved crate. But even with all the conditions satisfied, the weight will always vary. 

Look for comfortable crates, such as a soft and cozy bed or mat, and adequate padding to ensure your dog’s comfort throughout the journey. 

Accidents happen, and it’s best to be prepared for the worst. Crates with multiple access points can do wonders in this situation. On top of that, consider the ease of cleaning surfaces when choosing the material.

If you’re unsure, you can always call the airline or find the hyperlink from their official website where you can find the information. It’s always better to double-check and confirm so that last-minute unpleasant surprises don’t happen.

Features of an IATA-Compliant Dog Crate

2 chihuahua dogs inside a pet carrier

IATA is the international air travel association headquartered in Canada, and here are some of the main features of IATA-approved dog crates.

Remember that the chosen airline-approved pet carrier MUST be tall enough so that your dog’s ears’ topmost point does NOT touch the top of the kennel.

It’s as simple as that.

No airline wants to undertake extra work, and knowing your dog has enough space reassures them of it.

Documentation for international flights is a critical matter, and that seriousness applies to your canine companion too.

So, remember to include your pet’s information, preferably on the top of the crate, to meet IATA airline requirements.

You need to include these details:

  • Your dog’s name
  • Your contact number 
  • Final destination 
  • The flight number 
  • Your address 
  • Contact info of someone at the final destination 

Having these details well communicated will save you a lot of trouble if the situation arises.

IATA really wants the best or nothing, and we all know that metallic bolts and nuts are the strongest. That ultimately gives the most support for typical turbulence.

So, ensure the chosen airline-approved crates have metallic nuts and bolts, and you should be fine.

Although not known enough, IATA mandates that the crate must have ventilation or air holes on at least three sides to ensure a sufficient supply of fresh air for your dog. 

Any best IATA-approved crate would have four.

Your dog would want water or food during the flight, and IATA understands that.

But having all the food and water dishes attached to the crate door itself is an IATA requirement. This measure eliminates the risk of someone’s hyperactive dog running out when the door is opened.

You should tag along the feeding instructions on the crate and a bag of food. Give the highest priority to dry food.

In addition, you also must note down any allergies and food habits the crew must know.

A dog travel carrier must have a lining with cushions and absorbent papers; these are IATA guidelines for international travel. 

The purpose is to protect your dog from injuries during air travel. Since they will serve as pee pads, you don’t have to worry about minor accidents, as that can be mitigated.

These are the most basic ones, and it’s essential to fulfill all these requirements with many airlines. As always, do a quick background with your airline, and it should be fine.

Now that you know what to choose, you should ALSO know what to avoid for international travel. 

Here are some features that should NOT be in your airline dog crate. You’d notice that these are mostly seen in regular dog crates .

  • Remember to avoid crates with built-in fixed or detachable wheels.
  • Soft-sided crates prone to collapsing can compromise your dog’s safety.
  • Crates with excessive openings or mesh panels on all sides should be avoided. 
  • Crates with detachable parts, such as removable doors or panels, should be avoided. 
  • You must not buy dog crates with weak or loose latches for air travel, leading to accidental openings.
  • There must be ventilation openings from at least three sides, and lacking that will immediately disqualify the crate 99% of the time.

a dog inside a dog crate

There can be more features, but as long as you avoid these and follow the instructions of the previous subtopic, you should be able to find the best crate.

Let me keep things brief and to the point so any dog parent would know what to do.

  • Schedule a veterinary check-up to ensure your dog is healthy and fit to travel.
  • Choose an airline-approved travel crate with comfort and meets all requirements.
  • Familiarize your dog with the crate by making it a positive and comfortable space.
  • Crate train your dog, increase the time in the crate, and reward calm behavior.
  • Acclimate your dog to the noises and motions associated with air travel.
  • Ensure your dog gets exercise and bathroom breaks before the journey.
  • Place familiar scents and comfort items in the crate to reduce anxiety.
  • Adjust the feeding and watering schedule before the flight.
  • Secure identification tags and consider microchipping for added safety.
  • Stay calm, offer reassurance, and comfort your dog on the day of the travel.

2 Dogs sitting near the dog crates

I’m sure there are more, but here are 10 of the most prominent benefits of airline-approved pet carriers.

  • Ensures compliance with airline regulations for a smoother travel experience.
  • Enhance safety measures to provide optimal protection during air travel.
  • Designed to fit within airline size restrictions for comfort and peace.
  • The proper ventilation system (air holes) keeps your pet comfy.
  • Durable and strong construction withstands transportation rigors.
  • Easy-to-clean features simplify maintenance and hygiene.
  • Facilitates TSA security screening with convenient design elements.
  • Provides stress-free familiarity for anxious dogs.
  • Offers peace of mind for your dog’s safety.
  • Reusable for multiple trips and daily use, maximizing investment.

No matter how used you are, air travel is stressful and gets more stressful when you fly with your dog.

So, ideally, you should try to fly with as much peace of mind as possible. In doing so, Diggs passenger travel carrier is the absolute best thanks to its features, which meet several airline requirements.

So, remember to make an investment that lasts and gives you peace of mind throughout the flight.

I hope this review was helpful to you. See you in another!

AITA Approved Crate is a carrier that meets International Air Transport Association requirements, such as having at least three ventilation entries, providing adequate lighting and temperature regulation, and ensuring the safety of the contents.

Yes, there are pet carriers made specifically for air travel. Many brands and products are available to meet this need.

Yes, dog crates are allowed on planes as long as they meet certain requirements.


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iata travel crates for dogs

  • Crate and Carriers

Best 7 Airline(IATA) Approved Dog Crates for Cargo Hold

Many pet parents travel and relocate around the world due to professional and personal reasons.  Relocating itself is stressful and pet relocation through an airport is more complicated. Pet carriers are handy portable boxes, crates, or cages that are used to transport pets of any size from one location to another. This article will provide insights into the best airline approved dog crates that will ease one’s relocation process. After all, one’s pet deserves a great piece of luggage for themselves, too. 

iata travel crates for dogs

Why Do Furry Friends Require a Crate for Air Travel?

Furry pals are den animals and hence one needs to look for gadgets like dens for comfort in times of stress like air traveling. A crate or carrier solves this tension of providing it a den-like structure giving the pooch a safe place to sleep, retreat and maybe even eat during travel.

What Are The Minimum Cargo Crate Requirements

1.standard cargo crater requirements.

This section provides the general crate requirements that are specified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) and are accepted by many airlines.

2. Size and design 

  • The pet crate should be spacious enough for the pet to turn around, rest, and stretch comfortably. 
  • Snub-nosed breeds require one size larger crate than most airline-approved specifications when the pet is checked in the cargo section. The sizing instructions are explained in detail in later sections. 
  • The crate design needs to be sturdy and not collapsible. 
  • The carrier roof should be solid and can have ventilation if its strength is not compromised. 
  • The accepted crate material is fiberglass, metal, rigid plastics, weld metal mesh, solid or plywood.
  • The floor of the crate must be solid and leak-proof.

#3. Handles and door

  • Handling space handles need to be present on the longer side of the carrier.
  • The carrier door should have a secure, spring-loaded complete locking system with the pins that extend at least 1.6 cm beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the carriage door. 
  • Many airlines also specify that the door needs to be further secured with cable ties at each corner of the crate.
  •  Doors must be a build-up of welded or cast metal or heavy plastic strong enough such that a pet cannot bend it. 
  • The doors also need to be nose and paw proof for pet injury prevention.

#4. Ventilation

  • The dog carrier needs to have a minimum of two to four side ventilation for domestic as well as international flights. 
  • The openings should be a minimum of 2.5 cm over the upper two-thirds of the opposite end and the remaining two sides, 10 cm from the center to center of each opening.
  •  The total ventilated area should be 16% of the total surface of the four sides. 
  • Additional holes on the roof or sides are permitted if it doesn’t affect the strength of the crate. 
  • The ventilation holes should not be taped or blocked in any way.

#5. Water and food 

  • Water and food bowls need to be attached to the interior of the front door and should be refillable from the exterior of the crate without opening the door. 
  • Small funnels that are attached to the door by cable ties enhance it easier handling at the airport as any crew member can refill water bowls.
  •  Food needs to be attached to the carrier top in a zip-lock plastic bag.

#6. Paperwork and documents

  • The container should have a “LIVE ANIMAL” sticker on the top and sides in letters at least one inch tall.  A Shipper’s Declaration sticker with the pet’s last food and water feed needs to be recorded.
  • Containers without wheels are recommended, in cases where they cannot be removed one needs to securely tape it so that the kennels do not roll down.
  • The container must have the pet’s name and owner’s contact information attached to the outside of the crate with a duct or other sturdy tape.

#7. Extra recommendations

  • Many airlines recommend steel crate hardware instead of plastic fasteners. 
  •  Most airlines recommend the use of cable ties in the corners of the crate over plastic clips.
  • If the pet exceeds 132lbs or 60 kg one needs to provide a forklift spacer.

#8. Add on recommendations for furry pal comfort

  • Place a leash and collar in a plastic bag and tape it to the exterior of the crate.
  •  Provide a biography of the pet’s name and its owner’s name in a printed sheet and tape it on the top of the crate.
  • Inclusion of a pet pad or shredded newspaper is a requirement of many airlines.
  • Place an unwashed t-shirt with the scent of the pet’s favorite person to eliminate the stress of traveling alone and provide comfort to the pet.
  • Tape the original documents in a sealed ziplocked bag that are required at the arrival country to the top of the crate with the following caution “DO NOT REMOVE! ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS”.
  • Refrain from including any hard toys or objects that could bounce around the crate and injure the pet pal.

For more insights on crate types, choosing of crate types and tips please refer to https://allabout-pets.com/all-about-dog-carriers-how-to-choose/  

Best 7 Air Line Approved Dog Crate and Kennel for Cargo Hold 

The pet crate should be spacious enough for the pet to turn around, rest, and stretch comfortably. With so many airlines approved pet crates available in the market as well as on the web, it always to tedious to choose one from the many as each one accompanies its unique features, benefits, and some cons. Following is a list of the top seven compliant pet crates for air travel that are worth to explore prior to zeroing on the right carrier.

# 1. Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier

Aspen Pet Porter Heavy Duty Crate

This dog kennel suits the airline specifications of many airlines and is well suited for medium to large dogs. It has an easy-open latch that can be opened with one hand. The crate is composed of the heavy-duty plastic shell and metal screws that not only offer durability and stability for smooth long or short travels but are also easier to clean and maintain. 

Possess ventilation on all sides, therefore this portable kennel is seen to have clear pet’s visibility and fresh air for stress-free travel. The crate can be hassle freely assembled as well as disassembled with metal nuts and bolts. The product has no sharp edges providing extra comforts for the pet.

A decent product at a decent price. Every dog is different hence one needs to not only check for individual dog tastes but also check with individual airlines for their respective carrier regulations.

Buy Now From Amazon

#2. Petmate Compass Kennel

Petmate Compas Fasshion

This dog crate is well suited for pets that weigh below 20lbs that is available in four fashionable colors that include denim/black, hot pink/black, island blue/black, and red plum/black. The kennel features a two-way door that is seen to open on either side for easy pet access. Possess ventilated sides for maximum visibility and airflow. 

The portable kennel has a durable plastic construction with steel door latches for security. This pet carrier is seen to comply with most airline cargo specifications for easy sky travel and has a carrying handle for smoother transport. The main features include a slide assembly with four bolts for extra security.

Overall, this IATA compliant dog travel crate is loved by most dogs for its space and openness. Good value for money. but one needs to buy the 10 to 20lbs crate for daily usage. Suits well for small to medium dogs. Compliant with the specifications of many airlines.  

#3. IRIS Deluxe Pet Travel Carrier

iata travel crates for dogs

The IRIS Deluxe Pet Travel Carrier can carry dogs that weigh up to 75lbs and are available in two colors: navy and red. The kennel is entirely designed to comply with the specifications of many airlines for long travel periods especially.

The cage is amply ventilated with an additional padlock for extra safety. Possess a removable small food and water dish attached to the door.  One can detach the top and use the leak-proof base as a pet bed or remove the door completely in larger models to create a restful pet retreat when not traveling.

The IRIS Deluxe Pet Travel Carrier is a great investment for smaller and calmer dogs. Not recommended for frequent travelers as the product is not very durable.

#4. SportPet Designs Plastic Kennels

iata travel crates for dogs

This dog crate is spacious, sturdy, durable, easy to assemble and airline friendly. It is available in six different sizes right from small to XXX- large that can hold dogs up to 140 lbs. The crate comes with removable wheels for all sizes except for the small, hence it can be easily transported without any hassles. This airline approved crate has also the tiedown holes for bungee that many airlines specify. These plastic dog carriers are suitable for both uses that are as a home crate and travel kennel. 

The manufacturers have used metal slats to mitigate the dog chewing problem in the ventilation holes. The crate has a feature where during accident moat pulls the spills are seen to take place away from the fur pal’s body, out to the edges of the kennel. It possesses a strong metal kennel door with a smooth, easy-to-grasp poly shell latch.

A sturdy easy to assemble pet carrier that can be used both as a home crate and a travel carrier. The main attraction of this airline approved crate is that it has removable wheels and air holes for bungees that add on to secure the main doors of the crates for escape artists. Value for money.

#5. Marchioro Clipper Ithaka pet carrier

iata travel crates for dogs

The IATA approved airline dog carrier is constructed with durable plastic for a lifetime of use and metal windows for better ventilation. It is easy to assemble or disassemble for compact storage when the carrier is not in use. 

It is suitable for medium dog’s breeds that weigh between 18-55 pounds. The spring-latch door is seen to stay securely closed but can be easily opened by us with opposable thumbs. It comes in five different sizes and the two different colors.

Marchioro Clipper Ithaka pet carrier is a customizable, airline-approved option for the furry pal’s travel. Although one needs to shed extra money for its purchase, it is worth the investment for the versatility and security that the crate offers.

# 6. Petmate Sky Kennel

iata travel crates for dogs

This hard-sided crate is a great option to relocate a dog in. It comes in six different sizes, suitable for dogs up to 125lbs. The crate has a secure, but easy to open latch which is seen to allow easy access at food and watering time for one’s pet on a prolonged flight. 

The dog kennel comes with a pair of clip-on doggie bowls so one needs not to have to pack extras to keep the dog watered or with enough food during the travel. Possess high gauge wires on the doors and sides that are seen to not only safeguard the dog but also allow for adequate ventilation in the cargo area.

This cheapest of the hard crate options not only makes for savings on one’s wallet but is also the closest for most of the airline specifications. 

# 7.  Ruff Maxx Portable Kennel

iata travel crates for dogs

Ruff Maxx Portable Kennel is composed of sturdy durable plastic with 360-degree ventilation that provides ample airflow and visibility for pets that travel in it. The metal door with a squeeze latch and a strong plastic shell enhances the durability of the product. 

This kennel is available in three sizes, ranging from 30 to 90 pounds. This portable dog kennel meets most of the airline’s cargo specifications and is also seen to include nuts and bolts for stress-free assembly. The camo design of this kennel is the best-suited option for hunting dogs.

A budget-friendly IATA compliant kennel that is well suited for most of the hunting dogs. The unique design makes this kennel the most attractive dog crate for air travel.

How to Prepare Your Dog For Cargo Air Travel?

Not all pets are used to staying in a closed den crate for a long time. Hence one needs to crate train the pet pal for cargo air travel 45 to 50 days prior to the actual departure date. For a detailed explanation of crate training please refer to https://allabout-pets.com/how-to-crate-train-your-dog/ .

Pet travel by air is not an easy process one needs to do prerequisite arrangements for its safe departure and arrangements. For more insights on preparing a pet to travel in the cargo section of the airplane please refer https://allabout-pets.com/prepare-your-dog-for-a-flight/ .

How to Choose An Airline Approved Dog Kennels for Cargo?

This section will provide a short insight into buying a dog crate for air travel. The following steps need to be considered while zeroing on the right kennel for air travel.

1. Accurate pet measurement 

Length: Measure the length of the dog from its nose to tail. While measuring the tail one should never forget to add 2-4 inches approximately to the overall length, depending on the dog breed.

Height: To determine the height of the crate that one will need, one needs to measure the dog from the top of the head to the ground. If one’s dog has naturally erect ears then the measurement needs to be taken from the tip of the ears.

Width: To obtain the width of your crate one needs to add two inches for smaller breeds and four inches for larger breeds on approximation.

Crate buying guide based on measurements

Checked in dog kennels need to be purchased based on this generalized guide provided in the table below.

2. Durability

A heavy-duty pet carrier that can withstand damage caused by anxious pets in the course of relocation needs to be chosen as this provides 100% protection against themselves or against outside forces.

3. Ventilation

A carrier with 360 degrees ventilation needs to be chosen as pets breathing at heights is a major issue in flight travels. 

4. Security

Speed bumps are the main concern when traveling through the air. Check if the carrier that one invests in has not only a secured latch mechanism but also has the shell fastened with metal nuts and bolts for added security measures.

5. Portability

The convenience to carry a kennel will give not only give one but also the airport crew more freedom for faster movements and transfer. Choose the crate with a sturdy grip handle for extra pet security.

6. Inclusion of the travel essentials

Check if the crate has food and water trays, “LIVE ANIMAL” stickers, pet documents holder, and other essentials specified by the IATA or USDA.

The budget plays a pivotal role in crate purchase. A lot of carriers meet standard airline pet transport rules, however, each brand crates are priced differently. To prevent excessive spending, one needs to research and compare prices among brands to choose a crate based on the pet’s requirements and one’s affordability.

8. IATA Compliance

Most of the airlines accept the dog crates that are approved by the IATA. Hence check this pivotal point or check if the crate complies with the IATA specifications.

9. Travel Itinerary

Not all airlines follow the same rules and regulations for pet cargo travel. Hence one needs to check the individual airline websites for specifications for each breed type and country of entry. The section beneath provides the web address of some of the prominent pet cargo relocating airlines.

  • United ( https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/animals/crates.html )
  • American Airlines ( https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/special-assistance/pets.jsp )
  • Delta ( https://www.delta.com/us/en/pet-travel/overview )
  • Alaska Airlines ( https://www.alaskaair.com/content/travel-info/policies/pets-traveling-with-pets )
  • Virgin Atlantic ( https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/prepare-to-fly/mobility-medical-assistance.html )

Final thoughts

The article provides great insights on choosing the right crate that complies with most of the airline’s specifications. But it’s always a great option to check with individual airlines for their specific rules and specifications to avoid last minute chaos during the pet travel. Happy flying!!!!!!  

FAQs for airline approved crates

Q. What makes a dog crate airline approved?

A. Most IATA complied dog crates are approved by most airlines. But to be on a safer side one needs to contact the airlines that are going to relocate the pet to check for their crate rules and regulations as each airline, as well as the arrival country, have different regulations.

Q. Can two dogs travel in one crate?

A. No two dogs cannot travel in the same crate.

Q. Which are the most pet-friendly airlines around the world?

A. The top twenty pet-friendly airlines around the world include American Airline, JetBlue, Air Canada, Delta, Air India, Air France, Swiss International Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, Aeroflot, TAP Air Portugal, SAS, Open Skies, KLM, Aer Lingus, Japan Airlines, Alitalia, Copa Airlines, and Iberia.

Q. What if I cannot relocate my pet personally?

A. In cases where you cannot relocate the pet by yourselves, one can take the help of domestic and international pet relocators that are famous in your destination. They are planners who will take all necessary actions right from the documents, health certificate training, travel and departure of the pet within cargo with an assistant or without one.

Q.  Can one rent an airline approved crate?

A. Unfortunately, no airline dog crates are available for rent. A dog needs to have its own crate because it needs to get acclimatized 40 to 50 days before its original travel for a safe and comfortable relocation.

Recommended Articles:

  • 7 Best Motorcycle Dog Carriers – [Reviews and Buying Guide]
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  • 7 Best Dog Car Booster Seats [Reviews and Buying Guide]
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iata travel crates for dogs

Pet Express - The Pet Travel People

The Best Airline (IATA) Approved Pet Crates for Travel

The logistics of traveling post pandemic can be stressful as is, but throw a medium to large dog into the mix and it can become even more complicated. From making sure your furry friend is fully immunized to filling out all the essential paperwork, it can be difficult to make sure you have everything you need. Have no fear, Pet Express is here to take the hassle out of pet travel.  

One thing you certainly don’t want to overlook is a comfortable and reliable pet carrier. However, it is essential for your air travel crate to comply with the airline regulations . One of these regulations is that if your pet will be stowed in cargo, it must have a hard shell carrier. Not only do the pet travel crates need to be secure and durable, but the crate needs to be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and comfortably lie down, which can be difficult to find for a bigger breed of dog.

If you’re traveling for an extended period of time interstate, changing residence, or even setting out on a short weekend escape with your furry best friend, choosing a travel crate that has been designed with your larger-sized pet’s comfort and safety in mind is important when on the road. We have compiled a list of the best travel crates for medium sized to large breed dogs from Pet Express that will make your pet happy while also complying with all airline requirements.

Finding out my airline pet policy

Most airlines that service the United States require both small and larger breeds of pets to travel in a hard shell crate. Although every airline has their own policy on traveling with pets, whether it’s KLM Royal Dutch Airlines , American Airlines , British Airways , QANTAS , Lufthansa Airlines or another airline, Pet Express makes your move easier by arranging a customized pet travel program for you and your furry friend. In addition to being completely informed about your pets every move, we stay connected with you throughout the entire journey so every question you may have is answered promptly. To learn more about your international pet shipping needs and your airline pet policy, speak to one of our friendly Pet Travel Consultant’s today. 

iata travel crates for dogs

Features of the Pet Express travel crates :

  • Strongest pet crate on the market – with a heavy duty frame you can be certain that your pet will be safe and sound throughout the flight;
  • Dual spring locking system – properly secures the door to prevent any accidental openings;
  • Security bar and zip tie hole – adds extra reliability for safety and security of your pet;
  • Carry handle – ensures easy transportation of the travel crate;
  • Tight grid mesh – the half an inch to an inch grid mesh stops your pets paws from poking out of the crate;
  • Side handle – ensures easy transportation of the travel crate;
  • Easy lockdown screws – the metal bolts and nuts secures the carrier by just hand tightening. No need to keep tools handy; and  
  • Complete ventilation system – the meshed wire door and the distributed openings on the side allows for abundant airflow for your pet.

iata travel crates for dogs

Accessories that come with every Pet Express travel crate:

The price of the crate includes a raised floor, funnel and water bowl.

  • Raised floor – pets are kept separated from any bodily waste that may have passed throughout the flight;
  • Funnel – airline employees can easily replenish the water bowl without ever opening the crate door;
  • Water bowl – designed with a spill resistant lip, securely hooks on to the metal wire carrier doors; and
  • A mat can also be purchased for an additional fee.

How do I know what size crate to buy for my pet?

Before you buy your pet’s crate, you will need to determine the proper size that they will fit snugly in. Start out by measuring your pet’s height when standing, from the top of the head to the floor. If your pet has ears that stay raised, you will need to measure from the top of their ears. Next, measure the length of your pet – starting from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Once you have those measurements, add 4 inches (so your pet can move about the crate with ease) for your pet’s right crate size. You can even use this crate calculator to help you navigate the measurements and to quickly establish the correct crate size for your pet.

Best pet carrier for medium to large dogs

If you’re wanting the perfect pet carrier for your medium to large dog to be placed in cargo, the Pet Express BB75 pet crate is the one to choose. The dimensions for this Pet Express pet crate is 32 inches high, spans 46 inches in length, and has a width of 26 inches. The BB75 travel crate leaves a generous amount of space for your furry friend to settle in and wriggle around for the duration of any domestic or international flight. 

Built to last, the BB75 dog crate is structured with hardened plastic, but is still lightweight with the crate weighing just 25 pounds. The plastic structure of the pet travel crate also makes it effortless to clean and disinfect.

iata travel crates for dogs

Medium to large dog breeds that will fit in the BB75 pet crate:

  • Newfoundland;
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback; and

Best dog crates for large dogs

The Pet Express PP90 pet crate is a great heavy duty travel crate option for larger breeds. The PP90 has a height of 33 inches, spans 52 inches in length, and has a width of 31 inches. These dimensions give ample space for your large dog to feel comfortable and cozy during their flight. 

These dog crates were especially designed for aircrafts that have a narrow body and a lower cargo door height. As a result, it has given way to more opportunities for a variety of dog breeds to travel on aircrafts.

Dog breeds that will fit in the PP90 pet crate:

  • Golden Retrievers;
  • German Shepherds;
  • Rottweiler; and

The PP90 pet crate is also a great choice as a dog crate for your large-sized dog for flights on airlines servicing the United States. The larger crates give your canine companion extra space to change positions easily and comfortably relax while traveling.

Best jumbo dog crates for extra large breeds

The Pet Express PP100 travel crate is famous for its durability and is suitable for both domestic and international travel. The PP100 has a height of 39 inches, spans 52 inches in length, and has a width of 31 inches. The jumbo sized crate is ideal for extra-large sized breeds of dogs that weigh up to about 165 pounds. 

The PP100 dog crate is built to last with a hardened plastic structure that is also easy to carry with a handle on the top of the crate. As it is built for larger breeds it weighs approximately 55 pounds but is easy to clean and disinfect.  Note: As this travel crate is made for larger dogs, you will need to make sure with your airline if this crate will fit through the cargo door. To do this, ask for the dimensions of their cargo door and check those measurements against this crate. This particular airline pet crate does not come with a raised floor to accommodate for the larger breeds.

Dog breeds that are most suited for the PP100 pet crate:

  • Bullmastiff;
  • Bernese Mountain Dog;
  • Great Dane;
  • Great Pyrenees;
  • Saint Bernard;
  • Irish Wolfhound; and

iata travel crates for dogs

The next step in your pet crate journey

If your large dog is unfamiliar with a travel crate and has never been crate trained before, it is vital it feels safe in its new environment. Once your crate has been delivered, you will then need to prepare your pet to feel comfortable spending time in the space for long periods of time. Head on over to this blog article on how to train your pet to love their new crate, even if they suffer from separation anxiety.

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Air Travel Crates

Air Travel Crates

Airline, iata cr-82 compliant dog travel crates and pet carriers.

The rules for air travel with your dog can get confusing and frustrating, but fear not! We carry US airline compliant and international IATA CR82 compliant dog crates, pet carriers with wheels for ease of movement at the airport, and many other accessories to make travel with your pet a (compliant) breeze.

Also, to better understand the International Air Travel Association's CR82 rule, and for tips on flying with your fur child, check out our articles: How to conquer air travel with your dog How to choose which airline to fly with your dog

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KBC Kennels FLIGHT CRATE COMBO - Heavy Duty Dog Crate + Flight Kit

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Let customers speak for us

I love this system! Works great and simple to use and set up!

Cushion is not memory foam as described. Dog (40 lbs). Sinks to ground when laying on bed. Will probably end up purchasing my own memory foam instead.

Why make it so the middle row houses the smallest pets, These should go at the top to minimize risk of injury, for both staff and pets,

The sink is awesome. I'm using it as a utility sink in my homebrewing beer hobby. Two things would get it to 5 stars. The unit came disassembled without assembly instructions. I was able to figure it out though. Second, it didn't come with a methodology or hardware to attach it to a wall or the floor. It's heavy, but it could still get knocked out of place, especially bathing a larger animal. Ruptured plumbing could result so securing it in some way is important.

The Goody Pet

Best IATA-Approved Dog Crates

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  • March 15, 2022

iata travel crates for dogs

Are you a dog owner who likes to take your furry friend on vacation with you? If so, you know that it can be a little tricky trying to find a way to transport your pup safely and comfortably. But with the right IATA-approved dog crates , it doesn’t have to be.

An IATA-approved crate should have dimensions measuring at least 100% wider, 50% longer, and 30% taller for the comfort of the dog during the journey. It should also have a container fitted inside to hold food or water, filled from the outside, without opening the entrance to prevent the dog from escaping. Apart from these two factors, we’ll recommend some of the best crates for air travel and tell you why they’re such a great option.

So whether you’re headed across the country or just across town, read on for additional tips and advice on IATA-approved dog crates!

#1 Petmate Sky Kennel

For those who want to offer their pets the gold standard, Petmate’s Sky Kennel offers a sturdy design and build that’s sure to keep your pets safe and stress-free.

Costing less than $120 for the 36-inch variety, it’s not the cheapest you’ll find on the market, but that extra money’s spent in the right places. Even then it remains more affordable than other top competitors, which can go for double the price.

As long as you have metal nuts, bolts, and screws for every hole, you’re good to take to the skies, and your best friend will get to enjoy 360° visibility, open ventilation on all four sides, and a durable shelter while you’re both up there.

For furry friends of every variety, Petmate offers their airline-approved crates in sizes ranging from 21 to 48 inches. They also stand by their work, offering a one-year warranty to cover you just in case of assembly or material defects.

Compared to others we found, the Sky Kennel ended up at the top here for a few reasons, as you can see. Few crates that offer durability and security are available at its price point, and the extra money you’d save on a cheaper competitor goes toward a better product. It also comes with “LIVE ANIMAL” stickers to be pasted on its sides so as to fulfill the airline requirements of an IATA-approved dog crate.

  • The Petmate Sky Kennel is designed with openings on all sides, thereby making it possible for pets to observe their surroundings and giving them easy and continuous access to fresh air.
  • This kennel is constructed to follow key airline requirements, such as having air holes on each side, protruding side handles, and a metal single-piece door.
  • The deep food and water bowls that come with the kennel make it possible to feed pets during trips while avoiding spillage.
  • The kennel’s durable and heavy-duty plastic construction doesn’t fall apart easily, thereby helping to keep pets out of harm’s way.
  • The kennel is easy to assemble, and it comes with clear and concise instructions for assembly.
  • Customers usually need to purchase and install extra bolts, nuts, and zip ties on the Petmate Kennel to meet construction requirements with certain airlines.
  • Several customers are disappointed with the reliability of the 4-way locking mechanism on the kennel’s door, as it can fail occasionally and allow the pet to escape.
We vote this product as our top pick because of its compliance with many, if not most, airline cargo specifications.

#2 Aspen Pet Porter

While we don’t recommend you take the cheap route when picking a crate, everyone has a budget. For those not working with extravagant amounts, you’ll have to be particular with your choice, and it can be tough to check all the boxes.

Aspen has a solution for you. Their airline-approved Pet Porter kennel is reasonably priced and is engineered for your pet’s comfort and security. It provides the full package for far less than you’d expect, and they don’t cut corners anywhere. This dog travel crate even provides metal bolts, so you won’t have to worry about getting your own before going on your trip.

They even have a coded system where you can pick your idea crate depending on the breed. One customer warns, however, that this might not be the best choice for dogs that have a history of breaking out of their cages in the past.

There are other carriers that you’ll be able to find at this price, and there are some that are even cheaper. However, there are few offering what the Pet Porter does. You might need to keep to a budget, but you can rest easy knowing that you’ll have a decent selection. It is easy to clean and easy to stuff with treats. We think that the Starmark Chew Ball is a great buy for any dog parent.

  • The Aspen Pet Porter comes equipped with essential pet accessories, such as pet toys and beds, litter box accessories for cats, and leash cable tie-outs to ensure a comfortable traveling experience for pets.
  • Its nut-and-bolt design facilitates easy assembly and disassembly, which makes cleaning easier.
  • The kennel’s large size provides plenty of room for pets to comfortably stand, turn around and lay flat.
  • The crate has ample ventilation openings to provide constant fresh air for pets.
  • The absence of a handle or wheels lowers the portability ease of this large kennel, especially during traveling.
  • Instead of metal grills, the presence of air-cut holes for ventilation may cause the kennel to be damaged and structurally weakened by pooches that tend to chew out of boredom or fear.

#3 IRIS USA Easy Access Pet Travel Carrier

If you’re like most of us when you’re traveling, you’ll need to have your hands free as often as possible. IRIS understands that and kept it in mind when designing their airline-approved air travel crate, which features a folding handle (two on the larger one) on top.

Depending on whether you get the 19 to 23, 26, or 34-inch varieties, it’ll look a bit different, but the benefits are consistent. With an open design and strong and lightweight build, dogs up to 75 lbs will be able to relax and breathe easily.

Convenience doesn’t stop there: if you go for the larger version, you can collapse it for easy storage once the trip is over.

If you want a convenient, affordable option, and your furry friend isn’t too big, you’ll enjoy this crate. They’ll be well-rested, and you’ll be the same knowing you won’t have a hassle when moving them around.

  • This pet travel carrier comes with either one or two easy-grip handles that fold to provide better storage.
  • The IRIS carrier comes with top and side doors that provide fast access to pets and also make it easier to load pets into the carrier.
  • The carrier is simple to assemble, and it also comes with assembly instructions that are easy to follow.
  • The carrier comes with easy-to-operate locks that aren’t too hard to squeeze open.
  • The inclusion of a food-and-water bowl with this carrier makes it more convenient to feed pets.
  • Several customers have complained about the plastic construction of this kennel falling apart easily.
  • The IRIS’ thin plastic construction flexes and bends a lot when loaded, and in some cases, this causes the carrier’s front door to pop open.

#4 SportPet Designs Rolling Plastic Air Travel Crate

As if four-wheel luggage wasn’t enough of a life-saver for travelers, SportPet Designs offers a rolling crate, airline-approved of course, to help pet owners glide through the airport.

When you’re preparing for takeoff and need to get the wheels off for their security and IATA compliance, you won’t face too many problems. Thankfully, they snap right off with minimal effort, and assembly won’t be very difficult either.

With six available tiers (the smallest doesn’t have wheels), pets of all shapes and sizes are able to enjoy this kennel. Almost every option is under $110, too, so convenience doesn’t come at too lofty of a cost.

This crate holds its own amongst many in its class, and the wheels make a difference. It’s a wise purchasing decision for the owners of any size of a canine companion.

  • The kennel has four detachable wheels that can be locked in position when snapped, thereby improving the convenience during transportation or traveling with pets.
  • The SportPet crate includes water and food dishes, live animal stickers, nuts, and bolts to comply with IATA airline requirements.
  • The two folding plastic handles located on the crate’s top make it easier to carry and store this product.
  • The crate’s entrance comes with two pre-drilled holes on the top to securely fasten the metal door with zip ties or padlocks, ensuring that the door stays closed during traveling.
  • The travel crate has ten clamps that can be easily attached and detached, thereby making assembly and disassembly easy.
  • The sizing chart for the SportPet is usually inaccurate, and this typically makes this travel crate either too big or too small for pets after purchase.
  • Several customers have reported the structurally weak wire window of the travel crate as it falls off eventually when used to house pooches with destructive chewing tendencies.

#5 Petmate Ruff Maxx Kennel

This Petmate offering, coming from the Remington brand, is specially geared towards those with durability and security in mind. These airline-approved crates have a tough outer shell, wire doors, and a locking mechanism sure to keep them inside.

One owner mentions in his review that his dog gets anxious and has broken out of other cages. However, the dog wasn’t able to crack this one, and it grew to love it!

Their biggest size, which can fit dogs up to 90 lbs, is perfect for outdoor activities once you land. Most dogs can get in on the fun, though; their varieties range from 19 to 40 inches long.

If you need something with a little extra muscle to hold up to your buddy, then this would be one of your better choices, especially considering the reasonable price point.

  • This kennel from Remington, which comes in two pieces, is easy to set up, and the product package typically includes nuts and bolts for quick assembly.
  • The kennel features an innovative camouflage design that is ideal for outdoor experiences for dogs.
  • It comes with zip tie holes and a squeeze latch for the door so it doesn’t bust open while in transit.
  • Openings located around the kennel provide pets with better visibility and good ventilation.
  • Large-sized versions of this kennel have multiple large indents that may be uncomfortable for a medium-sized dog to lay on.
  • The kennel’s plastic construction is of questionable quality, and there have been reports of the kennel getting damaged while in use.

#6 Petmate Ultra Vari Dog Kennel

While Petmate has a few competitors in the ring, the Ultra Vari kennel is a solid choice for medium-sized to larger companions. It’s especially good for dogs that deal with anxiety when away from their owners.

One owner, who purchased a larger version for their Pitbull mix, saw just as much. Their dog was breaking through plastic crates, wired ones, and was even doing damage to a “safe room” they designated.

Once they picked up this airline-approved crate and did the proper training, they were pleased to see that there was nowhere for the dog to bite through when they wanted to.

Our pets are going to be difficult sometimes. It’s up to us to make sure they don’t make a mess. With the Ultra Vari, your job becomes way easier, and your pet’s happy too.

  • The kennel, which comes in three pieces, is simple to install; The bolts and nuts can be fixed by hand and without needing tools.
  • The kennel’s durable and heavy-duty plastic construction is sturdy enough to support and house pets of various sizes.
  • The kennel’s raised interior, which is devoid of sharp edges, is comfortable for pets to lie down on.
  • Wire ventilation openings at the sides of the kennel provide ample ventilation for the pet, and they are durable enough to withstand excessive chewing.
  • The small and medium-sized versions of the dog kennel don’t come with dishes for feeding pets, as well as live animal stickers to meet airline requirements, but these items can be purchased separately.
  • The kennel’s lock mechanism tends to come apart easily, thereby making it possible for the pet to escape.

#7 Chesapeake Bay Heavy-Duty Rolling Airline Pet Crate

The Chesapeake airline pet crate is a sturdy metal construction designed to facilitate pets’ more comfortable housing during air and road trips.

With a weight of 10.25 lbs, its physical dimensions are 27 inches long by 20 inches wide by 19 inches tall. The abundance of ventilation openings on all sides of this pet crate ensures adequate airflow for pets, and flexible wheels make it possible to conveniently move this heavy-duty crate around.

This pet crate contains two dishes for holding pet food and keeping your pets fed during the whole trip. And metal bolts and nuts included in the package make the assembly and disassembly of the crate considerably effortless.

This is certainly a premium option. However, it’s also one that’ll be sure to keep your pup secure and comfortable. Boasting security, space, and some optional add-ons, you’d be well-served going with this.

  • The Chesapeake crate comes fitted with two bowls attached to the door, which makes it easier to feed pets and give them water without having to worry about spills.
  • It comes with four wheels which can be locked in position when snapped, and a handle located on the top, making transporting this crate effortless.
  • The crate comes in two readymade halves, is easy to prepare for use and the assembly instructions are clear and helpful.
  • The crate’s durable construction, which comprises thick walls and metal bolts, can be used for a significant period without breaking down.
  • This product has tie-down holes, which makes it easy to secure the crate in place and prevent unnecessary movements.
  • Some customers have complained about their pets being unable to lay straight in the crate due to a much narrower inner part of the crate.
  • The 25-mm wire mesh on the carrier’s door is reported to be too wide such that the pet’s paws can get stuck.

Airline-Approved Dog Crate Buyer’s Guide

As you think about which crate you want to purchase, it’s important to know that some are more compliant with airline policies than others. Since they aren’t created equal, arming yourself with the right information will be your best bet.

IATA Airline Standards

Before you reach anywhere near your credit card, you’ll first have to make sure that the crate you’ve chosen is compliant with the standards of the IATA, also known as the  International Air Transport Association . Simply put, these are the law for pet travel in the skies.

To make sure that your pet is safe and comfortable, they have  requirements and restrictions  for every crate that comes on board. They are as follows:

  • No matter which airline-approved crate you choose, you’ll need to adhere certain stickers to the surface. They first require three, one on the top and each of the sides, that say “LIVE ANIMAL.”
  • They also need you to have directional stickers, along with a Shipper’s Declaration stating when they last had food and water, affixed to the crate.
  • Along with these stickers, you also need to adorn your crate with your contact information and the name of your pup. You can do this with any sort of strong tape, especially duct tape.
  • The floor of your crate has to be solid and not allow any leaks.
  • For safety reasons, the crate has to be quite robust, and they only allow crates made from rigid plastic, fiberglass, metal, weld metal mesh, solid wood, or plywood (the allowance of the last two depends on the airline).
  • Your pet has to have ample room in their crate, to the point where they can lie down, turn and stand with ease.
  • The IATA itself might not require it, but quite a few airlines will turn you away unless you use metal nuts, bolts, and screws to secure your kennel.
  • To further enhance security, you’ll have to have holes on the corners of your crate of choice to allow for the fixation of cable ties.
  • When you’re traveling domestically, you’ll need to be sure that there’s ventilation on at least two sides of the kennel. International air travel, due to the longer journeys, requires vents on every side.
  • As we mentioned before, you can’t have wheels attached to the crate when getting it prepared to go on the plane. They’re great for moving through the airport, but once you check them in you’ll have to take them off.

This is a non-exhaustive list of requirements for an airline-approved dog crate for pet travel. Read the full list  here .

iata travel crates for dogs

Crate Training For Your Pooch When Flying

Air travel can be an intense experience for any dog, no matter how big and tough they are. Making sure that they’re ready for the journey is vital for their peace of mind. It’ll be good for yours, too.

PetRelocation , a company dedicated to safely moving pets across the world, has a few good tips for people crate training their dogs to get ready for a flight.

Start Training Without The Crate’s Top

They suggest you start the process as soon as you know you’ll be traveling with them in tow. They suggest this mostly because you’ll have to start the process from the ground up.

No, really, they recommend you get them used to the bottom of the crate before you attach the top. Getting them familiar with the bottom surface will make the introduction of an enclosing roof much quicker.

Introduce Your Pup’s Belongings

Throughout that process, it helps to get them to spend more and more of their time in there. Whether you decide to feed them in there, put their bed in there, or involve it in playtime, anything positive that gets them in there is the way to go.

Positive Reinforcements Are Crucial

Speaking of positive, that sort of reinforcement is pivotal in getting them to accept going inside and staying there for increasing amounts of time. When they make the move to explore, make sure to use a happy voice and let them know you’re proud.

This works well into playtime. Point inside of the crate, say the word “crate,” and throw their toy into the furthest corner to make sure they have to go all the way in to grab it.

Once they do so and come out, offer them their due belly rubs,  yummy dog treats , and positive insistence that they’re a very good boy or girl. Make sure you let them out, though, since locking them in at the end can ruin the game quick.

Be Patient And Repeat The Steps

You’ll want to avoid any setbacks as much as you can since  patience is the name of the game . The ideal time frame is a few weeks, but things can take a bit longer or shorter depending on their comfort level when they’re away from you.

Try keeping them in there for increasing intervals of time. It can be while you’re taking out the trash or picking up the mail, then going out for a quick bite to eat, then working out for an hour or two.

You shouldn’t be keeping them in there for much longer outside of an international trip, though.

Don’t Crate Them For Too Long

Dogs want to run free, and if you keep them in the crate too long it can start to seem like a punishment. Getting them in after that is a nightmare.

iata travel crates for dogs

Once you get them out of the kennel after a long flight, you might have a surprise, or several surprises, waiting for you inside. We can’t stop nature, so that means we have to clean up after it.

When you’ve got a conventional plastic travel crate, there are a few simple things you can do to get things looking new.

First, get your spray bottle ready, and mix up with some water and a bit of mild dish detergent, filling about 10% of the container with that. Spray down the crate and get the most intensely affected areas nice and soaked.

If you’ve really got a mess to work through, then you’ll be advised to arm yourself with a sponge to work in the mixture.

Wipe off the area with a paper towel, and do it again if you’ve got more mess to get through. Once you’ve repeated that process to your liking, rinse off the remaining soap with water and dry off the crate.

Make sure to also take apart the crate when you do this cleaning. Things can get tricky in the seams and corners, and you won’t do yourself any favors if you keep those areas concealed and hard to reach.

If your crate is past a certain point, you’ll have to enlist a hose to break down the big messes before you get in to take care of the nitty gritty.

After you use the hose, you can go and grab the aforementioned detergent and water mix. If you’re looking for an effective alternative, though, you can break out some Clorox wipes (a generic version would work), or even a bleach and water solution.

The exterior faces its own challenges. It might not have to deal with #1 or #2, but it can get plenty dirty without any help from them.

You can try one of the  cleaning solutions  or wipes, although a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, or a generic variety, will be better suited for taking care of the deeply-ingrained dirt stains.

By the way, make sure to steer clear of any cleaning products with ammonia in them. Since it’s an odorous chemical that’s also present in their urine, they’ll smell that and think it’s okay to use the crate as a bathroom.

Whichever cleaner you use, though, you’ll have to protect yourself from it. Wear gloves throughout the whole process to make sure you don’t run into trouble with any corrosive chemicals.

Final Thoughts

You’re going to have quite a few options for airline-approved crates and kennels, and you’ll have a lot of things to consider when you’re shopping. Does it have enough room? Is it stable and sturdy enough for the plane? Will the dog have a hard time getting out?

Out of everything available, our top pick aligns with all IATA requirements as long as you get some metal nuts, screws, and bolts. You’ll also have plenty of size options to be sure your best friend is as comfortable, if not more comfortable, than you are in your seat.

Lastly, it proves that the best product available isn’t always the most expensive. It’ll be an investment, but it won’t feel like one for your wallet.

Avatar photo

Pete Decker

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Our Favorite Airline-Approved Dog Crates for Flying Cargo!

Dog Crates & Carriers


April 19, 2024


K9 of Mine is reader-supported, which means we may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page. Here’s how it works .

airline approved dog crates

Planning to fly with your four-footer riding in the cargo hold? Well, you’ll need a proper airline approved dog crate to keep your canine safely confined and comfy.

We’ll try to help by identifying three of the best airline-approved dog crates and sharing some of the things you’ll want to look for when making your choice. Let’s jump right in!

Petmate Sky Kennel

Continue reading for more in-depth reviews

Looking for an airline-approved pet carrier that can be placed beneath the seat in front of you? Check out our post detailing the best airline approved pet carriers (for in-cabin flying).

Airline Approved Dog Crates: Find an Awesome Travel Crate for Your Next Flight

airline approved dog crate

Heading to one of the best pet-friendly vacation spots ? We’ve rounded up some of the best airline-approved dog crates on the market.

Just note that while we’ve done everything possible to select crates that’ll work for your next flight, it is always wise to call the airline ahead of time and verify that your chosen crate will be accepted .

1. Petmate Sky Kennel

Petmate Sky Kennel

An extremely well-built, easy-to-use crate that's available in several sizes up to 48 inches.

About: This heavy-duty Petmate Sky Kennel is a great choice for dog air travel, meeting all IATA airline requirements for cargo hold (with one minor exception).

  • Recycled Materials. Made of 25% recycles materials.
  • Pre-Drilled Zip Tie Holes. This is another huge benefit (which most crates do not have), as airlines require you to zip tie the kennel doors shut. We recommend these cable ties , as they are also quick release.
  • Has Single Metal Door. The kennel door is made of one whole, single piece of metal, preventing a dog from potentially pulling the door inwards and collapsing it.
  • Live Animal Stickers. Comes with live animal stickers to put on kennel.
  • Approved by the USDA and IATA.
  • Protruding Rim Handles. Extended handles/rims on the sides of the kennel meet airline requirements for rim spacing.
  • Air Holes On All Four Sides. This crate has metal grates and air holes on all four sides of the kennel.
  • Two Attachable Food and Water Dishes.  This kennel contains two separate food and water dishes which can be clipped to the kennel door.
  • Extra-Safe Lock. Most kennels use two pins that lock into the top and bottom of of the crate. This crate’s vault style locking mechanism uses four pins that insert into all four sides of the crate, making it super secure.
  • Several Sizes. Comes in several different sizes (with measurement details) to ensure you’re buying the perfectly sized airline approved dog kennel for your pet.
  • Meets nearly all IATA dog travel kennel requirements
  • Both pieces fit inside one another for easy storage
  • Included food bowls work well and provide added convenience
  • You have to buy separate metal bolts in order to use this crate on a flight
  • Some owners found the carrying handle flimsy

Many airlines require that all holes in pet carriers have a bolt, which may require you to purchase additional metal nuts and bolts to fill in the tie down holes. However, some airlines will let your leave tie down holes empty — just call the airline ahead of time to find out.

2. Petmate Vari Kennel

Petmate Vari Kennel

A high-quality travel carrier that's roomy enough for just about any doggo -- big or small.

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  • Wire Windows. Wire windows on two side of the kennel allow for ventilation.
  • Recycled Material. Made of 25% recycled material.
  • Multiple Sizes. Available in different sizes for small and large dogs.
  • Heavy-Duty Bolts. This kennel comes with metal bolts with plastic caps (which are airline compliant).
  • Ventilation on all sides. Unlike the previous version, the new version has added rear ventilation.
  • Roomy size. This carrier fits Great Danes and other large breeds . 
  • Includes holes for tie-down straps. To meet common flight requirements. 
  • Door with locking latch mechanism. Secure design for prolonged use. 
  • Made in the USA.
  • Updated version provides ventilation on all four sides, per airline requirements 
  • One of the largest pet airline carriers available
  • Made from heavy-duty recycled plastic
  • Most owners raved about its quality
  • No carrying handles included 
  • Some pet parents complained about the latching mechanism

3. Amazon Basics Two-Door Travel Carrier 

Amazon Basics Two-Door Travel Carrier

A capable and compact dog travel carrier that's available in your choice of 3 styles.

About: Amazon Basics’ Kennel is a great choice for small breeds and ventilation on all sides for travel purposes. With an included handle and travel wheels, this kennel is super convenient for moving from one place to the next.

  • 360 Ventilation. Excellent ventilation is provided on all carrier sides and the roof. 
  • Multiple models available. You can choose between top- and front-loading options, as well as plastic or metal vents (we’d recommend metal vents for maximum ventilation during air travel).
  • Secure latch. Spring-loaded latch for extra security. 
  • Compact design. Perfectly-sized for pint-sized pups. 
  • Built-in handle. Makes it easier to carry through the airport. 
  • Distinct white and blue design. This makes the carrier easy to spot at a glance. 
  • Hardware included. All necessary screws included for extra security. 
  • One of the most affordable travel carriers available
  • Provides plenty of ventilation
  • Available in 3 different styles to meet your travel needs
  • Wheeled models may not be suitable for all flights. 
  • Not as durable as some of the more expensive crates

Dog Travel Crate Requirements: Things You Need & Things to Avoid

dog travel crate

We’ll get started by explaining the features dog crates must possess to be suitable for flying in the cargo section of the airplane.

Just note that these rules apply for international flights as dictated by the International Air Travel Association (IATA). The requirements for domestic travel are typically slightly more relaxed, but to be safe, it’s best to follow the official international guidelines.

Features to Look for in an Airline-Approved Dog Crate

Here are some of the key elements to look for when picking your dog’s travel crate:

Sizing. Ample space is required for all air-travel crates, but the specifics vary based on your destination. For international travel (and most domestic flights), pet travel crates are required to be equal to your pet’s length, plus half of his leg, to provide plenty of room in front and back of your pet. An IATA-compliant dog crate must be tall enough so that the dog’s ears cannot touch the top of the kennel while they are standing. Pets must also be able to turn around and lie down comfortably while inside the crate.

Metal Nuts and Bolts. Some dog travel carriers will include plastic nuts and bolts for assembly, but metal nuts and bolts are required for all air travel. (Note: some pet crates come with metal bolts that have plastic caps – these are allowed).

airline approved dog kennels

Single Metal Door. Many airlines (although not all) require that your pet crate features a travel kennel door designed as a single metal piece (rather than some models that have a plastic door that folds in the middle. Dogs can potentially pull these types of doors in, which can cause them to collapse, which illustrates the reason many flights require one whole metal door.

Additionally, while top-loading doors are often very convenient, most airlines prohibit crates with these kinds of entrances.

Food and Water Dishes. Airplane crates are required to have two separate food and water dishes attached to the crate door, rather than the sides . This is because the airlines must be able to have access to the dishes without opening the kennel door. This allows them to feed and water pets during the flight without opening the kennel door.

Document Info and Feeding Instructions. On your dog’s travel crate, include your pet’s important information – his name, any medications he takes, your phone number and address, plus your final destination, flight number, and the contact info of someone at your destination. Also attach your dog’s feeding and care instructions, plus a bag of food, to the top of the crate.

Kennel Doors Must Be Zip Tied Shut.   Travel crate doors must be zip-tied shut to prevent doors from accidentally coming loose and opening during the flight.

Safety and Carrying Side Rim. Airlines require a spacing rim of at least 3/4-inches on all sides with ventilation openings. This is to prevent dogs from biting cargo handlers and allowing two cargo handlers to carry the kennel on each side.

Crate Lining. Dog travel crates must be lined with cushioning and an absorbent material for potential accidents during travel.

Live Animal Stickers.   Airline kennels are required to have “live animal” stickers and “this way up” stickers on all sides. Many airlines will provide you with stickers – call ahead of time and make sure or bring your own.

Sufficient Ventilation. For international travel, air holes are required on all four sides, totaling at least half of each side wall of the dog travel crate. Domestic flights only require two ventilated sides or metal mesh panels (in addition to the door), but for optimal airflow and pet safety, we recommend kennels with air holes on all four sides.

For more info, read the complete IATA container requirement guidelines here.

Features to Avoid in an Airline-Approved Dog Crate

Crates designed for car travel or household use may have bonus features that, while helpful for most owners, will not be allowed for air travel. Make sure to avoid features listed below:

No Top Opening Doors. Kennels with top opening doors are not permitted.

No Plastic Front Doors or Latches.  Travel dog crates cannot have plastic doors or plastic side latches securing the top and bottom of the kennel together without additional hardware (such as metal nuts and bolts).

Any Wheels Must Be Detachable. The crate must have wheels that are detachable or simply be made without wheels at all.

Cannot Be Made Of Unstable Materials. Your dog’s travel crate can not be made entirely of things like wicker or wire mesh, and it cannot be a soft-sided dog crate . Hard-sided crates are required, as soft-sided crates simply won’t provide adequate protection for riding in the cargo hold. So, look for crates made from metal or rigid plastic.

Travel Dog Crate Requirements for Specific Airlines: Airline Regulations for Flying Four-Footers

As mentioned, the specific travel dog crate requirements airlines impose often vary from one carrier to the next. To help you get ready for Fido’s flight, we’ve linked directly to the requirements of a few of the largest carriers below.

  • American Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • US Airways  ( No pets allowed in the cargo hold! They only allow in-cabin travel for pets. )
  • Jet Blue ( No pets allowed in the cargo hold ! They only allow in-cabin travel for pets. )
  • Southwest ( No pets allowed in the cargo hold ! They only allow in-cabin travel for pets. )

More Pet Airline Travel Tips

Picking an airline-approved carrier for your pet is obviously important, but it isn’t the only thing to think about when preparing to fly with your floof. Try to keep the following tips and tricks in mind to enjoy a smooth flight with Fido!

Fly Direct. If at all possible book direct flights and avoid stopovers when traveling with your pooch. You don’t want to be keeping your dog in the cargo hold any longer than absolutely necessary.

Consider the Season and Time Of Day You’ll Be Flying. Keep the seasons in mind when traveling with your pet. In the summer months, fly in the early morning or evening, when temperatures will be more comfortable than mid-day. Conversely, in the winter, you want to try to fly mid-day to take advantage of the slightly warmer weather.

Research Your Airline. Be sure to call and talk with airline representatives to ensure you’re meeting the individual airline’s rules. Different airlines have different policies when it comes to traveling with your dog, and you don’t want to arrive at the airport, only to find that your crate doesn’t check out. Also call again 24 to 48 hours before your flight to reconfirm that you’ll be traveling with your pet.

If you can, we’d also recommend flying with one of the most pet-friendly airlines for flying with dogs , just to make sure you and your pooch are in the very best hands!

Be Extra Cautious When Flying With Short-Faced Dogs. Snub-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs have many respiratory issues, making air travel extremely dangerous for them (especially during lengthy trips). Most airlines won’t even allow snub-nosed dogs to fly at all, so you may need to consider getting your dog relocated with a private pet transport service .

Do Not Give Your Dog Drugs. Do not give your dog medications before the flight, if at all possible. Drugs can interfere with your pet’s cardiovascular system, altering how your pet’s body adjusts to high altitudes. They can also make your dog lose his balance and cause injury. Only administer medications to your pet if your vet recommends doing so before the flight.

Do Not Leash or Muzzle Your Dog. You don’t want to muzzle your dog for the flight, as it creates unnecessary stress and may even prevent him from breathing and regulating his body temperature correctly. Also don’t pack a leash inside the crate — it may entangle your pupper and cause an injury.

Do Some Pre-Flight Preparation.  To ensure your dog has a good travel experience, you’ll want to help him get used to the travel crate prior to takeoff. Use the crate several times before the big day and make it a fun, positive experience. To simulate the airplane experience, have your dog get into the crate and then put him in a car and drive around. This will help your pet adapt to the sensations and movement he will experience during flight.

Watch Flight Attendants Zip Tie the Crate Shut. Some pet travelers like to watch the flight attendants as they zip tie the kennel door closed correctly. It’s just a good way to avoid potential problems.

Include One of Your Pet’s Favorite Toys. It’s usually a good idea to put one of your pet’s favorite toys in the dog travel crate to comfort him during the trip.

Before your flight, try to feed your dog 4 to 5 hours before the flight. Do not feed him right before the trip, as the stress and movement may upset his stomach .

Don’t hold back on water though – give your dog plenty of water so that he doesn’t get dehydrated. Also make sure to take your dog for a walk before putting him in his pet kennel and handing him over to the staff. This will help him relax and give him the chance to relieve himself before takeoff.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Cargo Crates for Flying

dog airline crate

Still have questions about the best airline approved dog crates? We will try to help by answering some of the most common questions below!

Is it safe for dogs to fly in cargo?

Flying dogs in cargo is generally pretty safe. Airlines take many precautions to ensure your pet is kept safe and healthy during the flight, even when they’re in the cargo section of the airplane. The cargo area where live animals are kept is temperature controlled and appropriately maintained.

However, there are always some risks involved in flying a dog in cargo – especially if you have an older dog or a dog who has health issues. Due to the extra danger presented to brachycephalic breeds (such as pugs and bulldogs), these breeds are barred from flying altogether.

Which airlines fly dogs in cargo?

Very few airlines currently fly dogs in cargo. Many airlines stopped flying dogs in the cargo hold in recent years, and the ones that do have many breed restrictions. Of the major U.S. airlines, only Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines fly dogs in the cargo hold.

United Airlines, Jet Blue, and Delta no longer allow dogs to fly in the cargo hold of the aircraft.

Many airlines stopped flying pets in the cargo due to COVID, and then simply never restarted the service again.

How much does it cost to fly a dog?

Flying a dog in the cabin of the aircraft usually costs between $100 to $300 per pet. Flying a pet in the cargo section of the plane can vary considerably depending on the size of the dog, ranging from $100 to $500.

How do service dogs fly on airlines?

Service dogs fly in the cabin section of the aircraft and sit at the feet of the owner, underneath the seat in front of them. They do not need to be in a crate or carrier, as they need to be able to perform emergency service tasks for their owner, if needed.

Do you have your own experience traveling with your pet on an airplane? Are you familiar with an airline-approved crate we didn’t discuss above? Have any helpful insight for meeting airline standards for travel crates? Share your tips and experiences in the comments section!

Want more ways to travel with your pooch? Check out our posts on the top dog bike baskets , dog backpack carriers , and dog car seats !

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Danielle Sponchia-Ricaille Avatar

Hello .. I will be flying to Belgium in the near future via Air Transat .. I want to bring my Bernese mountain dog (90lbs) with me on the flight .. what crate should I buy ? .. thank you

JJ Avatar

I can’t imagine why anyone would use a cheap plastic crate to transport their dog(s). Invest in a Zinger, they make dog crates that are airline approved. With 12 sizes to choose from, finding a crate that fits your dog(s) won’t be a problem.

Melanie Avatar

Anyone knows any airlines from US to Europe with no breed restriction? Thanks for your help.

Asa Avatar

Hi, Thank you for all good information. Question: Are you allowed to have two dogs i the same crate? If so, Can you buy crates with a wall between them? Regards, Asa

Richard Morrow Avatar

Which airlines will transport full size Labrador Retriever from DFW to Chiang Mai, Thailand (CNX)?

steven getz Avatar

Who makes a crate large enough for a large Great Dane

Meg Marrs Avatar

The Petmate Sky Kennel comes in an XL version, try that!

Ossie Martinez Avatar

Trying to move to rescued dogs from Puerto Rico to Massachusetts, June 2018 travel. what airlines would you recommend? The more affordable the better.

Allie Avatar

I was just wondering if any one has any experience flying with their pet who were unable to fly direct. I will be flying from Canada to Croatia next year with my two dogs and there are no direct flights available. Stop-overs are in Munich or Frankfort. Just wondering what that process is like with dogs. Thanks!

Belinda Avatar

I have a big dog and he has traveled twice to the Uk from the USA in cargo with no issues. Booked by my self with no “dog travel companies “He is now 2 and too big to fly direct into Manchester so option was LHR with one of these such companies at a cost between $2-3000 or go in to Frankfurt Booked by myself with Lufthansa at a cost of $400. Mmmm also Frankfurt have a quicker turnaround for release of the dog 1 hour as opposed to up to 8hours.. I have no experience going via Munic but Frankfurt have proven to be great. Hope this helps

Amazing to know. I’ll try Frankfurt first then. Thank you so much!

Ana Avatar

Great article! Very informative. Were moving from Hawaii to Oregon via Hawaiian Airlines, hopefully everything goes well!

Audrey Avatar

Awesome, thank you for the detailed info about the kennels. I’m preparing to move my 2 dogs from Abu Dhabi back to the US, and I want it to be as smooth as possible. Your page here has been the best crate comparison info I have been able to find so far. One of the bigger retailers here sells the PetMate one that you highly recommend, just hoping they have 2 in the right sizes.

Thank you so much for the kind words Audrey – I’m so glad we could help! Good luck with the move from Abu Dhabi.

Juan caballero Avatar

I’am in pierto rico an relocateing to rodchester and its been so hard to gine the right kennel. 37long and 36 hight. Plese help me! My dog is a begium molonoie and its hard tl fine a kennel for him so he could leave from puert rico with the family

Terri Avatar

I am looking for an IATA approved crate for international travel. I have a tall dog measuring 36″ and length of 36″. Therefore I need a crate ~50 inches long and ~ 39 inches tall. Wondering if Belinda whom posted a comment found what she was looking for.

Hi there, yes I did. They are called East Coast crates. Call and speak to Pete tell him I recommend you and ask him to explain the new regulation on the folding crates. He is making one for me. He has a ton of information and knows all the regulations for international travel. Also really check around for flight prices they massively vary. I’m flying from Newark to Germany $400 each way for the dog. Some airlines charge over $2500 as you have to go with a pet travel agent….

Sure did, contact Pete at East Coast Crates.. he makes them custom any size you want and are compatible with international travel requirements. However, if you are flying with Lufthansa you can book your dog in as excess baggage in cargo. (Note, excess baggage in cargo is different from cargo)IF the crate is within the dimensions shown on their website. It is a very generous size and may suit your needs. Also it’s a set fee, largest crate is $400. If it’s bigger than that it has to go in cargo and you have to use a pet travel company which is far more expensive…hope that helps

B.van Zyl Avatar

Show detail to fit steelbolt lock to travel crates

Sharon Rojohn Avatar

Does any airline permit French bulldogs to be in a crate on the seat. I am willing to pay the extra fare.

Any idea where I can get an airline approved create called a PP100 for my Newfoundland. I have a create that is 48″ long and it’s too small.

Mike Parsons Avatar

The PP kennels are from Austraila mainly. Contact a California shipper that dose imports from AU..they may have used ones to sell.

Dawn Avatar

Thanks! Awesome information here.

You’re welcome Dawn!

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iata travel crates for dogs

Wooden Airline-Approved CR-1 Crate

Wooden airline-approved cr-82 crate, aluminum airline-approved crate, iata-compliant cr-82, iata-compliant cr-1.

We are the West Coast’s preferred pet crate supplier. We provide IATA-compliant custom wooden or high grade aluminum pet crates. Our crates are airline-approved for travel within the USA or internationally. Our custom-built wooden crates are built to IATA specifications from the highest quality wood and metal, equipped with durable rubber handles for easy lifting and customizable with your pet’s name or company logo. Our aluminum crates are also suitable for anxiety training, and are fully collapsible, making them compact and suitable for everyday use.

iata travel crates for dogs

IATA Specifications

Choosing the right sized crate for your pet is crucial to making air travel a positive experience. You can find plastic crates virtually anywhere but if you have a pet that IATA considers a strong and potentially aggressive breed or if your pet is simply too big to fit in the largest standard plastic crate then you will need an IATA-approved custom-built wooden crate for pet travel. IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, and we proudly build all our crates adhering to their regulations.

We also partner with pet travel agencies to ensure that your pet will travel comfortably and in style.

If you are a pet travel agent, contact us to get a Special Offer!

The West Coast Way

Built to last, four-way ventilation, non-corrosive welded wire mesh, high grade water resistant wood, high quality acx wood, laser engraved personalization, pet personalization.

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Shipped Fully Assembled

Heavy-duty rubber handles, durable lightweight aluminum, free forklift spacers, collapsible and compact, water resistant plush pads, military grade handles, reinforced door frames, our products.

iata travel crates for dogs

Foldable Aluminum Pet Crate

iata travel crates for dogs

IATA-Compliant CR-82 Wooden Pet Crate

iata travel crates for dogs

IATA-Compliant Wooden Custom Crate

Minimum Deposit $200

iata travel crates for dogs

IATA-Compliant CR-1 Wooden Pet Crate

$850.00 – $1,300.00

$825.00 – $1,275.00

$1,100.00 – $1,500.00

We highly recommend working with an IPATA certified pet travel agency to ensure you choose the right sized crate for your pet. Click here to find an IPATA Pet Shipper. IATA regulations regarding pet crates can be found on their official website . If you are still unsure of what size crate you need, simply email us for our size recommendation.

This is a personal choice but it mainly depends on your intended use and your location. If you need a pet crate for repeat use (for example, repeat travel or anxiety training), an aluminum crate may be best. If you need a pet crate for a single use event (for example, moving), you may find a custom wooden pet crate more affordable and suitable for your needs.

We encourage you to work with an IPATA certified pet travel agent to ensure that you choose the right custom wooden crate for your pet’s travel as different airline carriers have varying requirements. IATA CR-1 crate requirements can be downloaded here . A CR-1 crate is considered a standard crate for pet air travel. It can be constructed from rigid plastic, wood or metals. IATA regulations specify that rigid plastic crates are not suitable for large dogs or dogs that are of a breed classified as aggressive. If your pet is a large dog that will not fit in a plastic crate, you will need a wooden or aluminum crate. A CR-82 crate is required if your dog is of a breed classified by IATA as aggressive. A IPATA certified pet travel agent will inform you if current regulations require your pet to travel in a CR-82 crate. If you need help finding a reputable IPATA pet shipper, simply email us and we’ll steer you in the right direction.

Your custom wooden crate will be ready for pick up or delivery in Southern California approximately 1 week after your order is confirmed by us. If you need your custom wooden crate sooner than 1 week, please email us at [email protected] for a rush order. Your aluminum crate will ship approximately 10-20 days after your order is confirmed by us. Due to our quality control standards, we cannot process rush orders for aluminum crates.

Due to their specialty nature our custom wooden pet crates are not able to be returned, exchanged or refunded. Aluminum crate orders may be changed or canceled within 30 minutes of placing your order. We understand that sometimes unexpected things happen, and encourage you to work with a IATA certified pet travel agent to ensure you order the right size crate. If you’re still unsure about what size crate will work for your pet, just email us, we’re here for you!

Yes, our aluminum crates carry a 2 year limited warranty which extends to the original purchaser and covers the parts and overall build of the crate. If you have an issue with your aluminum crate, simply email us and we will work with you to make it right by replacing parts or materials. We also guarantee that our custom wooden crates are built to the highest standards for pet air travel. If you need the full details, limitations and exclusions of our limited warranty, simply email us.

Yes, orders due in less than one week will incur a rush order charge of $50 and can be picked-up at our base in Hermosa Beach, California or delivered within our delivery zone: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County. 

$100 for orders delivered within LA County and $150 for all other counties within our delivery zone.

iata travel crates for dogs

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IATA-Approved Crates

Traveling with your pet can be a pretty exhausting affair with even the smallest of details needing a great deal of attention. If you are planning a long-distance journey by air along with your pet or simply relocating the pet within the country or internationally, it is most likely that your pet will be shipped either as cargo or as excess cabin baggage in case they are accompanying you. Depending upon the size of your pet and airline regulations, you can decide whether to carry your pet along with you as excess cabin baggage or check it in as cargo.Among the very many things that are required to be taken care of for a pet’s safe journey is a secure IATA (International Air Transport Association) specified crate to make their flight comfortable and smooth. Airlines for both domestic and international travel, require IATA-approved crates for pets that are specifically designed keeping in mind their safety and comfort.These crates made in fiberglass, come in semi and small sizes starting from 21 inches in length and range up to giant-sized crates of 48 inches length, to accommodate both small and large breeds of pets.

Why Do I Require An IATA-Approved Crate For My Pet’s Air Travel?

Why iata approved crate required-

IATA has specified certain guidelines for crates permitted in airlines for pet travel. Specially fabricated out of fibreglass, these crates remain stable, strong, and sturdy on the ground as well as during flight landing and taking off. There are wired steel windows for proper ventilation and two food bowls can be installed in the cage for feeding pets. Also, equipped with detachable wheels, these crates make transportation of the pet easier.

Carry My Pet, a pet relocation company based in Delhi, India, provides IATA approved pet crates/pet kennels/pet cages/pet carriers ranging from the small size of 21 inches up to the giant size of 48 inches, to accommodate all breeds of pets, big or small, at affordable prices. Sales experts at Carry My Pet, provide quick and reliable solutions regarding the entire process of your pet’s travel, both domestic transportation and international export transportation/ international import transportation. We assist you with your pet’s measurements and based on the calculations suggest the most suitable crate for your furry baby. Operations Associates at Carry My Pet ensure that the pet is delivered safely in the kennel to the pet parents. In situations of doubt about whether to take your pet as cabin baggage or cargo or the eligibility of sharing the same cage by two pets as approved by IATA and considering the airline specifications, professionals at Carry My Pet handhold the pet parent throughout this overwhelming process and making it easier for the upcoming pet travels.

Depending upon the size and weight of the pet, appropriate crates/kennels (also termed as cages) are recommended. A comfortable crate gives enough space for the pet to turn around, sit, stand and lie in a natural position. Cats are pretty much the same size and biologically of smaller built, hence a similar-sized crate can be used for them. However, there is a lot of variation when it comes to sizing and measuring pet dogs. Hence, it is mandatory to get proper-sized pet dog crates/dog cages/dog carriers as airlines make it mandatory to have additional room for the pet within the crate. 

The key is to measure your pet accurately and select the crate size based on that.

Pet measurement includes the following specifications:

length of the pet – from the tip of the nose to base/root of the tail, 

height of the pet – from the elbow joint to the ground, 

width of the pet – across shoulders/widest point and 

height of the pet – natural standing position from the top of the head to the floor. 

Based on these dimensions and certain calculations, an appropriate crate is finalized for the pet’s flight. Make sure to add those extra 4 inches to the calculated height of the pet so that there is enough headspace and the pet is not cramped in the cage. Keeping in mind the technicalities while selecting the crate, it is always advisable for the pet parents to get in touch with a  Pet Delivery company . Sales and Operations experts at Carry My Pet understand your requirements and will provide the appropriate cage for your furry baby.

Specifications For Pet Crate During Air Travel

specification for pet crate

Crate must have additional room for the pet to sit, stand, lie or turn around comfortably

Crate must be strong and sturdy and secured with a proper locking system

Crate must have the water and food bowl attached towards the inside of the front door and refillable from outside without having to open the door

Crate must have continuous ventilation minimum on two sides (for domestic travel) and all four sides (in case of international travel)

Crate must have LIVE ANIMAL stickers pasted on top and sides in letters that are at least 1 inch tall

Crate’s wheels must be removed and taped, to prevent it from skidding or rolling over

Crate must have its pet’s details and owner’s contact information.

How Does Carry My Pet Take Care Of Crate Requirements?

iata travel crates for dogs

Carry My Pet, a pet relocation company based in Delhi, India, provides  IATA approved pet crates/pet cages/pet carriers  ranging from the small size of 21 inches up to the giant size of 48 inches, to accommodate all breeds of pets, big or small, at affordable prices. Sales experts at Carry My Pet, provide quick and reliable solutions regarding the entire process of your pet’s travel, both  domestic transportation  and  international export transportation /  international import transportation . We assist you with your pet’s measurements and based on the calculations suggest the most suitable crate for your furry baby. Operations Associates at Carry My Pet ensure that the pet is delivered safely in the kennel to the pet parents. In situations of doubt about whether to take your pet as cabin baggage or cargo or the eligibility of sharing the same cage by two pets as approved by IATA and considering the airline specifications, professionals at Carry My Pet handhold the pet parent throughout this overwhelming process and making it easier for the upcoming pet travels.



Carry My Pet

Passionate pet enthusiasts and globetrotters, dedicated to easing furry friends' journeys worldwide. Penning tales of compassion at CarryMyPet, where every relocation is a tail-wagging adventure.



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Custom Crates

Our custom wooden travel containers are heavy duty and built to support dogs that cannot fly in anything smaller. We can also provide custom wooden travel containers for dogs that are considered “dangerous dogs” per IATA guidelines (CR82). Dog breeds that have used our custom containers include Great Pyrenees, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Rottweilers, the Dogue de Bordeaux, and Cane Corsos. All of our custom wooden travel containers are made by special order only, and may take up to four weeks to complete.

To request a quote on a custom or CR82 crate please click on the link below to access our online request form.

Request a Quote


  • IATA compliant travel kennels


Specialists in pet travel into and out of the UK. Get an Export Quote   Get an Import Quote

iata travel crates for dogs

IATA Compliant Travel

As pet travel specialists, we supply IATA compliant pet crates for air travel. The kennels are available in a range of different sizes to suit your cat or dog. We can also provide custom made wooden crates again to IATA approved standards, that provide both safety and comfort whilst in the air.

Over 30 years of airfreight experience has allowed the Tailwings team to fully understand the need when transporting pets in the air. We offer the most appropriate cases and equipment to ensure a smooth and comforting experience for your cat or dog, at all times.

Please feel free to measure your dog as per our measuring chart here and call or email us to discuss crates further. We are always happy to help.

Our Services

Pet relocation.

  • Flying out of the UK
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iata travel crates for dogs

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iata travel crates for dogs

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iata travel crates for dogs

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iata travel crates for dogs

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iata travel crates for dogs

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Pet-Express Pet Crate - Durable, Heavy Duty Dog Cat Kennel, IATA Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Pet Palace Dog Kennel, Travel Dog and Cat Crate for Large Dogs Indoor or Outdoor, 7 Sizes

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iata travel crates for dogs

Pet-Express Pet Crate - Durable, Heavy Duty Dog Cat Kennel, IATA Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Pet Palace Dog Kennel, Travel Dog and Cat Crate for Large Dogs Indoor or Outdoor, 7 Sizes

Delivery & support.

Carrier + Food/water Bowl + Mat

Carrier + Food/water bowl

BB45 - 21"

BB55 - 24"

PP60 - 28"

BB75 - 31"

PP90 - 33"

PP100 - 39"

About this item

  • Durable and Secure Design: Heavy-duty plastic and robust metal doors with grids ensure safety and durability during travel. Non-corrodible fastener nuts and bolts and interlocking wire steel doors provide an added layer of protection. The escape-proof design ensures your pet's safety throughout the journey.
  • Comfortable and Convenient Features: Ventilation holes provide optimal airflow to keep your pet comfortable during travel. Bonus essentials such as a clip-on bowl and absorbent furry mat ensure your pet's comfort. The mat prevents sliding and shifting, ensuring your pet's security throughout the journey.
  • Catering to All Sizes: Our kennels come in seven different sizes, ranging from 18" to 39", catering to all sizes of dogs and cats. We offer the option to include water/food funnels and a mat, making our kennels the ultimate solution for pet travel.
  • IATA Approved for Air Transport: Our crates are IATA approved for air transport, ensuring your pet's safe and hassle-free travel experience. Our great packaging and shipping ensure that they won't break in transit, giving you peace of mind.
  • The Go-to Choice for All Your Pet Travel Needs: We take pride in being the only ones to offer both larger and smaller sizes, making us the go-to choice for all your pet travel needs. Our Pet Crates are designed with safety, durability, and comfort in mind, ensuring a hassle-free travel experience for pets.

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iata travel crates for dogs

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Product Description

IATA Airline Approved Pet Carrier

We offer the largest range of pet kennels that are built to IATA specifications. Our pet kennels are widely used and accepted by major Airlines like British Airways, Qantas, KLM, Lufthansa and others.

Crate sizing

Unique Features

Choosing the right size

If you are considering using the crate for travel, please be aware that government, industry and airline regulations are constantly changing, please verify before purchase if you're unsure on the crate size needed.


We are the Pet Transport people

Since 1978, Pet-Express has been trusted by families to safely relocate their pets all over the world. We are a family-owned and operated business that believes that the pets who move with us are very special, and so are our values: we love pets, we are the experts in pet transport, we are genuine when it comes to our knowledge and care, and we strive to exceed expectations.

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Airline Approved Dog/Cat Kennel

Pet Express Animal Transport

Product details

  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 52 x 31 x 39 inches; 63.4 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ PP100
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ March 12, 2023
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Pet-Express
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BY63NF9Y
  • #191 in Basic Dog Crates

Product information

Compare with similar items, customer reviews.

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

Customers say

Customers like the space, quality and ease of assembly of the animal carrier. For example, they mention it has lots of space, is well made and easy to assemble. That said, opinions are mixed on the value.

AI-generated from the text of customer reviews

Customers like the quality of the animal carrier. They mention it's well-made, sturdy, and durable. The shell of the kennel is thick and sturdy plastic, and each half is a solid piece.

"...The PP-90 was easy to assemble and is very sturdy . Our dog is tall and long, but he looks so comfortable in the PP-90...." Read more

"...Loads of space, wonderful water bowls that attach to the inside cage door and can be filled from the outside with an attached funnel...." Read more

"... This crate is perfect , I was able to look at the many size options and pick the one that fits best and our dog was able to travel so much more..." Read more

"... Kennel itself is sturdy and it’s the only kennel the airline would accept so that’s why it got the starts it did." Read more

Customers find the animal carrier easy to assemble.

"...The PP-90 was easy to assemble and is very sturdy. Our dog is tall and long, but he looks so comfortable in the PP-90...." Read more

"... Very easy to assemble , just big so it’s easier with 2 people...." Read more

"...The kennel is sturdy, easy to put together , and gives him plenty of room.Highly recommended." Read more

"...The kennel is super easy to put together and came with a large bowl for food/water and an absorbent mat...." Read more

Customers are satisfied with the space provided by the animal carrier. They mention that it has a large bowl for food/water and an absorbent mat.

"... Loads of space , wonderful water bowls that attach to the inside cage door and can be filled from the outside with an attached funnel...." Read more

"...The kennel is sturdy, easy to put together, and gives him plenty of room .Highly recommended." Read more

"...The kennel is super easy to put together and came with a large bowl for food /water and an absorbent mat...." Read more

" It’s huge !!..." Read more

Customers have mixed opinions about the value of the animal carrier. Some mention that it's worth every penny, while others say that it is expensive.

"...For the weight and price, this crate is worth it ...." Read more

"... It was expensive , but it is high quality and you get what you pay for when it comes to kennels...." Read more

"...beat the quality of these carriers and I believe they are completely worth the cost ...." Read more

"Very sturdy, great value and fantastic customer service..." Read more

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iata travel crates for dogs

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14 best travel carriers for dogs, according to editor reviews

The size, material and safety certifications can all determine which travel carrier is right for your dog.

We’re celebrating National Pet Week at NBC Select by sharing our favorite pet products. Shop puppy supplies , kitten essentials and more on our pets homepage .

We all want our dogs by our side as much as possible, and that might include them tagging along on vacations and holiday trips. But traveling with a pet usually involves a range of safety considerations, including gathering the right health paperwork , keeping treats and water on hand and making sure they’re comfortable. Since most airlines and other transportation methods will require taking your dog in some kind of enclosure, the pet carrier you choose is crucial in keeping your dog safe and comfortable. 

We spoke to veterinarians, vet technicians and travel safety experts about what to look for in a travel carrier for your dog and how to shop for one that’ll keep them safe. We also compiled a list of carriers either tested by NBC Select staff or recommended by our experts to consider.

SKIP AHEAD Best dog travel carriers | How to shop for a dog travel carrier | How to help your dog feel calm in a travel carrier

Selected. Our top picks

iata travel crates for dogs

How we picked the best dog travel carriers

When shopping for the best travel carrier for your dog, our experts recommend considering the following factors:

  • Size: Pick a carrier that’s big enough for your pet to comfortably stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. The carrier should be as long as the tip of the dog’s nose to the base of the tail, says veterinarian Dr. Kristen L. Nelson . Carriers will usually come in a variety of sizes to fit different breed types (though keep in mind that airline-approved carriers have very specific dimension requirements that will usually only fit small dogs under 20 pounds, according to our experts). 
  • Materials and build: Carriers are usually soft-sided and made of polyester or nylon, which are easy to clean and water- and tear-resistant, according to our experts. Choose one with mesh sides to provide a good amount of ventilation. Most importantly, you should opt for a carrier that can stand up on its own and not collapse around your pet or deform easily, says Dr. Christina Carlo , a veterinarian and medical director at VCA Avondale Veterinary Hospital. Hard plastic carriers are usually designed for airplane cargo holds, but they’re a safe and durable option for car rides, too, says Carlo.
  • Airline requirements: Commercial airlines will usually have certain dimension requirements for carriers that go in the plane’s cabin (with the passenger) and crates that travel in the cargo area of the plane. Most airlines like United Airlines , Jetblue and American Airlines have varying dimension requirements, so be sure to visit their site before traveling. 
  • Crash testing: Look for carriers and crates that have undergone independent crash testing by the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), which gives your pet the best possible chance of survival if a crash occurs, says Dr. Wendy Hauser , a veterinarian and special advisor to ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.

Best dog travel carriers of 2024

Below are the best dog travel carriers based on experts’ guidance and NBC Select staff experience. We also include top-rated options and key factors to consider, including the carrier’s material, weight capacity and dimensions. 

Best overall travel carrier: Away The Pet Carrier

Away Pet Carrier

Away Pet Carrier

  • CPS certified
  • Mesh sides and top
  • Removable and washable bedding
  • Recommended for smaller dogs

This Away travel carrier, an NBC Select Pet Award for best overall travel carrier, is designed for both car and airline travel. It has zip openings on the top and front with see-through mesh to help your pet see out of the carrier (if you prefer to avoid this, there’s a piece of fabric that rolls down to cover their view).

Dog sitting in blue travel carrier

I use this carrier to fly with my 16-pound havanese and bichon frise mix, Bella, because it’s sturdy and makes her feel safe and supported thanks to its durable nylon and leather construction. The mesh gives her enough visibility to know what’s going on outside and helps me keep tabs on her, too. It also comes with machine-washable bedding on the inside that’s soft to the touch, and multiple pockets that keep my belongings and pet essentials accessible during the whole flight. If you’re traveling by car, the carrier has latches on one side that securely fasten to a car’s seat belt system. The Away carrier comes in black and blue colors and you can also personalize it with your initials for an additional $35.

Pet weight: Up to 18 lbs | Dimensions (LxWxH): 18.7 x 10.8 x 10.75 in. | Material: Water-resistant nylon

Best airline-approved carrier: Sherpa Pet Carrier

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

  • More affordable option
  • Very well ventilated
  • Removable and washable liner
  • Recommended for smaller pets

Another NBC Select Pet Awards winner, this Sherpa carrier is a favorite of CPS founder Lindsey Wolko, who has used it for years to travel with her own pets. She specifically recommends it for air travel because it fits under the passenger seat (it meets the dimensions for most airlines, but always check your specific airline’s requirements before traveling) and has a large zip pocket to store pet supplies like water bowls, leashes and treats. However, it’s not the best pick for car travel because you can’t strap it in using your vehicle’s seat belt system — you’re better off placing it on the floor behind the driver’s seat for safety and to avoid the stitching or zippers to fail, says Wolko. 

Cavalier King Charles spaniel dog sitting in black travel carrier

NBC Select manager of editorial operations Shari Uyehara uses this carrier to fly with her 20-pound cavalier King Charles spaniel, Loki, and says it’s a great affordable option. Loki can comfortably shift positions during the flight, and the carrier itself is structured enough to maintain its shape while under the seat, says Uyehara. The sides are made of see-through mesh that allows your pet to easily see out of it. Available in medium and large sizes, the carrier also has shorter top handles and a longer shoulder strap to fit your carrying preferences. 

Pet weight: Up to 16 lbs | Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 10.5 in. (medium size) | Material: Polyester and mesh

Best hard-sided carrier: Gunner Kennel G1

Gunner Kennel G1

Gunner Kennel G1

  • Can't be used as carry-on

This crate earned a 5-star safety rating from the CPS in both the crate and carrier class (the only product to earn a dual certification), and it’s a favorite among our experts. The crate has a thick exterior layer for impact protection, which keeps your pet safe if there’s a crash or a fall, according to the brand. Its reversible door design with an aluminum frame lets you open the crate from either side, and won’t pop open in the middle of a flight, according to the brand. It comes in four sizes — small, medium, intermediate and large — and Gunner offers a size guide that gives recommendations based on your dog’s weight and length.

Pet weight: Up to 30 lbs for small, up to 45 lbs for medium, up to 75 lbs for intermediate and up to 110 lbs for large size | Dimensions: 24.5 x 18.625 x 19 in. (small), 29.5 x 20.5 x 23.5 in. (medium), 34 x 23 x 28.5 in. (intermediate), 40.25 x 28 x 33.25 in. (large) | Material: Reinforced aluminum frame

Best soft-sided carrier: EliteField Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

EliteField Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

EliteField Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Carrier Bag

At just over two pounds, this is the most lightweight soft-sided pet carrier on our list. It comes recommended by Dr. Amber Karwacki , a veterinarian and partner doctor at Heart + Paw in Callowhill, Pennsylvania, because it has mesh panels on both sides and the front to let air in and prevent your pet from overheating, according to the brand. It also comes with removable and machine-washable bedding and has a back sleeve that attaches to your suitcase, as well as loops that latch onto your car’s seat belt system. The polyester and synthetic build is water-resistant and available in six colors to fit your personal style. 

Pet weight: Up to 18 lbs | Dimensions: 19 x 10 x 13 in. | Material: Polyester

Best tote carrier: Wild One Everyday Carrier

Wild One Everyday Carrier

Wild One Everyday Carrier

  • Remains open

If you’re looking for a tote to carry your dog around town or on the train, consider this Wild One carrier. This NBC Select staff-favorite option has a small dip in its design, which allows your dog to peek their head out while you carry them around. “I love that Loki’s weight remains balanced in the carrier, but he still has room to move around,” says Uyehara, who appreciates its stability. It also includes a safety clip that attaches to your dog’s harness, ensuring they won’t jump out at a bad time, according to Karwacki (but be sure to never connect this clip to their collar since it poses a choking hazard). It also comes with carrying straps of two different lengths — one for carrying it like a shoulder bag, and shorter straps to carry it by hand. There is a machine-washable mat on the inside and three exterior pockets to hold all your pet’s essentials like bags, treats and toys.

Pet weight: Up to 20 lbs | Dimensions: 21.5 x 7.5 x 14.25 in. | Material: Recycled polyester outer, cotton interior

Cavalier King Charles spaniel dog sitting in a tote carrier on an orange chair

Best collapsible carrier: Roverlund Out-Of-Office Pet Carrier

Roverlund Pet Carrier

Roverlund Pet Carrier

An NBC Select Pet Awards winner, the small version of this Roverlund carrier is an airline-approved option for both dogs and cats because it’s less than 18 inches long. The straps are all ropes, which our staff found to be more comfortable and supportive than other carrier straps made from typical polyester or fabric. The interior lining is machine-washable and you can also shop the larger version of this carrier for dogs up to 25 pounds.

Pet weight: Up to 20 lbs | Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 10.5 in. (small size) | Material: Water-resistant polyester, mountain climbing rope

Best backpack carrier: Apollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack

Apollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack

Apollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack

  • Adjustable straps
  • Pet can see outside

This highly rated backpack carrier, which has a 4.6-star average rating from over 4,900 reviews on Amazon, has shoulder straps and two separate straps that buckle around your sternum and waist to help evenly distribute the weight of your pet, according to the brand. It has mesh panels on all sides to let your pet see out and comes with removable fleece bedding to keep them comfortable while creating a sturdy base that can hold their weight, according to Apollo. It also comes with a clip that attaches to your pet’s harness to prevent them from escaping or falling out.

Pet weight: N/A | Dimensions: 12.6 x 11.4 x 16.8 in. | Material: Polyester

Best expandable carrier: Midwest Duffy Dog & Cat Carrier

MidWest Duffy Dog & Cat Carrier

MidWest Duffy Dog & Cat Carrier

  • No removable bedding
  • Not as ventilated as others

This Midwest Duffy carrier comes recommended by Karwacki because it’s expandable — the mesh sides open up to give your pet more room to move around and stretch their legs. It has two zippered side openings, as well as one on top to make taking your dog in and out easier, according to the brand. It also folds completely flat, so you can store it away when it’s not in use. It comes in three colors and sizes small, medium and large. 

Pet weight: Up to 15 lbs | Dimensions: 16.3 x 10.1 x 9.3 in. (small), 18.3 x 11.3 x 11.1 in. (medium) and 19.3 x 12.2 x 12.2 in. (large) | Material: Polyester

Best for medium-sized dogs: Arlo Skye The Pet Carrier

Arlo Skye The Pet Carrier

Arlo Skye The Pet Carrier

  • No mesh top

This Arlo Skye pet carrier has mesh panels on all sides, making it a well-ventilated option for your pup. It comes with memory foam bedding on the inside that’s both removable and machine-washable, as well as a foldable design you can pack easily in your suitcase or travel bag, according to the brand. It has dual openings on both ends and a back trolley sleeve to place it over your carry-on . The carrier is also highly rated with a 4.9-star average rating from over 60 reviews at Arlo Skye. 

Pet weight: Up to 25 lbs | Dimensions: 17.5 x 11 x 10 in. | Material: Poly-mesh and nylon

Best for small dogs: Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed

Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed

Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed

The Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed is an expert-recommended and CPS-certified option that has breathable mesh and a machine-washable interior — it’s built for plane travel for dogs under 15 pounds. Nelson recommends the Sleepypod because it’s easy to carry and gives the pet privacy while traveling since it’s fully enclosed with a mesh panel at the top.

Like several other carriers on this list, the Sleepypod isn’t limited to airline travel: It straps into a vehicle’s seat belt system, so you can comfortably take road trips with your pet. You can also separate the bottom of the carrier to transform it into a bed for your pet, which makes training easier since they can form a positive association with it, says Wolko. The brand’s Sleepypod Atom is another CPS-certified carrier that’s crash-tested for even smaller dogs up to 12 pounds, the lowest weight requirement on this list. 

Pet weight: Up to 15 lbs | Dimensions: 17 in. (D) x 6.5 in. | Material: Polyester

Best lightweight carrier: Molly and Stitch Alpine Dog Carrier

Molly and Stitch Alpine Dog Carrier

Molly and Stitch Alpine Dog Carrier

  • Stylish design
  • Padded and comfortable
  • Machine-washable
  • Not for plane travel

This tote carrier is great for smaller dogs, and its lightweight design is convenient to take anywhere. It's a favorite of NBC Select social commerce editor Sadhana Daruvuri, who says her 2-year-old maltipoo Bandit fits comfortably inside. “This carrier is very high quality, and it was so stylish that I would happily use it as an everyday bag,” says Daruvuri. “Cleaning it is also easy — you can just throw it in the wash, and even after repeated uses, the bag looks brand new.” 

Pet weight: Up to 15 lbs | Dimensions: n/a | Material: n/a

Malitpoo in tote travel carrier

Best carrier with pee pad: Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

  • Includes a bed and pee pad
  • Has multiple pocket
  • Not as much mesh as others

Diggs is an NBC Select Pet Award -winning brand that makes some of our favorite dog crates. The brand’s Passenger Travel Carrier is great for both plane and car travel: It fits many airlines’ size requirements, and it has custom seat belt clips and a buckle strap to place it safely in your car. It also comes with a Diggs Pee Pad that attaches to the included bed — if your dog chooses to use it, you can open the side panel to swap it out without disrupting your pup, according to the brand.

Pet weight: Up to 18 lbs | Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 10.8 | Material: n/a

Best personalizable carrier: Paravel Cabana Pet Carrier

Paravel Cabana Carrier

Paravel Cabana Carrier

  • Personalizable with name
  • Folds flat for easy storage

If you’re looking for a personalized option, this Paravel pet carrier — which is the dog-friendly version of the brand’s original Cabana Tote — lets you monogram your pup’s name or initials in the color of your choosing. It also has a washable fleece interior lining, comes with several pockets for storing treats and other small essentials, and it folds completely flat for easy storage. 

Pet weight: Up to 20 lbs | Dimensions: 11 x 20.5 x 11 in. | Material: Paravel EcoCraft Canvas, vegan leather

Best sling carrier: Tomkas Dog Sling Carrier

Tomkas Dog Sling Carrier

Tomkas Dog Sling Carrier

  • Easy to take on the go
  • Zip pockets for small items
  • Requires physical strength

Designed for small dogs up to 10 pounds, this sling carrier crosses over your body so you can take your dog around town hands-free. The base has a built-in drawstring that adjusts the size of the opening to fit different sized dogs, and the crossbody strap length is also adjustable to fit your comfort level. The carrier includes a safety buckle inside that connects to your dog’s harness to prevent them from falling out, according to the brand. I purchased this carrier for my dog Bella when she was a puppy, and I was able to comfortably carry her around when she got tired of walking. It held her weight well without tearing or damaging the fabric, and the crossbody strap caused less strain on my back.

Pet weight: Up to 10 lbs | Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 3 in. | Material: Polyester

How to shop for a dog travel carrier

Carriers and crates are the most secure type of enclosure when traveling with your dog because they prevent them from escaping and minimize distraction while you’re traveling (especially while driving), says Wolko. But the right carrier for your dog will depend on what type of trip you’re taking, your method of transportation and their temperament. 

When shopping for the right carrier for your dog, our experts recommend considering the size and fit of the enclosure, whether it’s crash-tested, if it meets airline requirements and more.

Your dog or cat should be able to easily stand up, turn around and lay comfortably in their carrier. That means the length of your carrier from front to back should measure about the same, or one or two inches more than the tip of your dog’s nose to the base of their tail, says Nelson. You should add a few more inches for brachycephalic breeds like pugs, pekingese and French bulldogs, though experts don’t recommend taking these breeds on flights because their shorter noses increase the risk of overheating and oxygen deprivation, says Nelson (some airlines even ban this breed from flying in the cargo hold , according to the American Veterinary Medical Association). To determine the right height of your carrier, make sure it measures the same or larger than the height of your pet from the floor to the top of their shoulders, says Carlo.

Place a mat or bed in the carrier to make the space more comfortable for your pet, says Carlo (though you should avoid this if your dog usually destroys their bedding because they might eat the pieces and cause intestinal obstruction). Putting soft blankets or their favorite toy in the carrier can also help them feel familiar and safe, according to our experts.

Whether your dog can see out of their carrier is a matter of personal preference, though our experts recommend mesh so the outside is visible, which prevents your dog from feeling threatened or confused while they’re traveling, says Wolko. 

Materials and structure

Most carriers are soft-sided and made from materials like polyester, mesh and nylon fabric. Consider whether the carrier has structure, meaning it can stand up on its own and won’t automatically collapse around your pet, according to Carlo. You should also look for carriers that have pockets, so you have room for your pet supplies.

You can take a hard-sided, non-collapsible crate or kennel on an airplane, but they must be able to fit under the passenger’s seat, according to Hauser (this might be harder to do compared to soft-sided carriers since they don’t mold to a different size). Plastic hard-sided crates are usually good for transporting your pet in an airplane cargo hold and the cargo area of a car — they’re considered to be the safest option since they won’t lose their shape and provide impact protection in case of a crash, turbulence or hard fall, according to our experts. However, you should avoid metal wire crates because pets might be able to stick their feet or limbs out, which can be a safety hazard while traveling, says Karwacki.

Safety considerations

For car travel, look for carriers and crates that have undergone crash testing by the Center for Pet Safety, a registered nonprofit and advocacy organization that crash tests car restraints and containment devices. This provides an extra layer of safety when traveling with your pet, our experts say.

“Most carriers on the market only prevent distractions [for the driver], which is important, but in a crash, they may not perform as you would expect them to,” says Wolko. The CPS certification tests carriers as an unaffiliated third party. This is important when considering that many brands subjectively “pass” their carriers if they test them in their own labs, which can ultimately give pet owners a false sense of security, according to Wolko.

Though the CPS does not specifically test carriers and crates for airline travel, you can use most carriers that meet the airline’s size requirements and have ample ventilation, according to Wolko.

A CPS-certified crate usually has backup door latches and locking mechanisms to prevent your pet from escaping, which is especially useful if they travel in the aircraft’s cargo hold. “So, if something tumbles, the kennel is so robust that the pet is not getting out,” says Wolko. Most airlines have certain regulations for what carriers to use when transporting an animal in the cargo area of a plane. The International Air Transport Association, a globally recognized trade association for the world’s airlines, details specific requirements for crates to transport animals in the cargo hold, including construction and adequate ventilation (more on that below).

Frequently Asked Questions

For air travel, always check with your airline to see what type and size of carrier it allows. The approved dimensions of your carrier vary from airline to airline but, in most cases, carriers can’t exceed 11 inches in height, which allows it to fit under the seat in front of the passenger, according to Hauser. Also, the carrier will likely count as your carry-on luggage on most airlines, and in-cabin travel will usually require you to make a reservation or reserve a seat specifically for your dog.

Certain airlines might also have specific pet size and weight requirements for in-cabin travel. Typically, pets must weigh 20 pounds or less, though this varies by airline, and most larger dogs can’t ride in-cabin unless they’re a trained service animal, says Wolko. If your pet exceeds that limit, they’ll need to travel in the cargo area of the plane.

Most airlines will allow trained service dogs on board at no cost. However, some airlines like Delta Air Lines, Southwest, American Airlines and Alaska Air are no longer accepting emotional support animals on board.

Carriers and crates for dogs are usually used interchangeably, but there are a few key differences. The CPS defines crates as enclosures that are secured in the cargo area of a plane or tethered securely to the floor of a vehicle like a van or SUV. They’re usually constructed of thick molded plastic or metal and designed for larger dogs, according to our experts.

Carriers, on the other hand, are usually designed for smaller dogs and made of a soft-sided fabric (though some are constructed of a harder plastic or nylon to prevent them from collapsing on your pet). When traveling in a car, the carrier usually goes in the backseat and is strapped in using the seatbelt system of your vehicle.

Yes, it is generally safe and common to travel with your dog in the cargo hold (also known as the lower deck) of an airplane, which also holds baggage. However, experts recommend only flying your pet in the cargo hold when it’s absolutely necessary because it can be a very stressful experience for them.

“There’s a lot of weird noises, not much light down there — it’d be scary for anyone to go in the [cargo hold], ” says Karwacki. And, most handling risks come before they even board the plane: Dogs usually endure the most force when being transported across the rough, uneven tarmac to get to the plane, says Wolko.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) lists specific requirements for crates, including construction and ventilation, to keep your pet safe when flying in the cargo hold. For example, the trade association specifies that crates must be sturdy and inescapable and adequately ventilated on three sides, with the majority of the ventilation being provided on the upper part of the container.

Most aircraft cargo holds are temperature-controlled and pressurized, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture . Animals can’t be exposed to temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 4 hours, per the USDA’s website. Most airlines won’t transport dogs altogether if ground temperatures reach those extremes.

How to help your dog feel calm in a travel carrier

Your pet’s comfort level in their carrier can determine how smooth your travels are. Below, we list a few expert tips about how to get your dog adjusted to their carrier and how to keep them comfortable during long trips.

  • Know your dog’s safety and security preferences. Some dogs prefer more open-sided kennels with better airflow and visibility, while others feel safer with the cave-like security of a molded plastic carrier with smaller windows, says Hauser.
  • Make the carrier or crate their “happy spot.” Allowing your pet to build a positive association with their carrier helps them feel calm and safe while traveling, according to our experts. In your home and before traveling, leave the door open so that your pup can explore the enclosure on their own terms, which demystifies it, says Hauser. After some time, it isn’t uncommon to find pets that preferentially sleep in their enclosures,” she says. Once they get acclimated to the crate or carrier at home, you can then graduate to car trips and, later on, plane rides. Start off with brief trips that increase in duration over time.
  • Make the carrier feel familiar. As we mentioned, putting their favorite bed, blankets or toys in the carrier can help make them feel more comfortable.
  • Avoid any safety risks while on the plane. For example, if you’re traveling with your pet in-cabin, never put the carrier in the overhead compartment of the plane with your pet inside because it poses a suffocation risk, says Wolko. Also, feed your pet before you get on the plane — if they choke or get something lodged in their throat while you’re in the air, they likely won’t get help in time, according to Wolko.

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Dr. Kristen L. Nelson is a veterinarian and author of “Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life.”
  • Dr. Christina Carlo is a veterinarian and medical director at VCA Avondale Veterinary Hospital.
  • Dr. Wendy Hauser is a veterinarian and special advisor to ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.
  • Lindsey Wolko is the founder of the Center for Pet Safety , a registered nonprofit and advocacy organization that crash-tests car restraints and containment devices for pets.
  • Dr. Amber Karwacki is a veterinarian and partner doctor at Heart + Paw in Callowhill, Pennsylvania.

Why trust NBC Select?

Mili Godio is an updates editor at NBC Select who covers a variety of pet topics, including dog food , beds , treats and toys . For this article, Godio spoke to five veterinarians and pet safety experts about the best carriers for your dog and how to safely travel with them. She also compiled experts' recommendations for the best travel carriers to consider, as well as travel carriers tested and reviewed by NBC Select staff.

Catch up on NBC Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance , tech and tools , wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

iata travel crates for dogs

Mili Godio is an updates editor for Select on NBC News.

Choosing The Right Size Travel Crate For Your Dog

  • Last updated May 11, 2024
  • Difficulty Beginner

Kryms Kaya

  • Category Travel

what size travel crate for my dog

Whether you're planning a road trip or flying to another country, finding the perfect size travel crate for your furry friend is essential. Too small and your dog will feel cramped and uncomfortable, too big and they may slide around during transit. Choosing the right size travel crate is crucial for their safety and well-being. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting a travel crate size and how to ensure a comfortable journey for your beloved pet.

What You'll Learn

Importance of choosing the right size travel crate for your dog, factors to consider when determining the appropriate travel crate size.

  • How to measure your dog for a travel crate?

Best practices for selecting the correct size travel crate for your dog


Choosing the right size travel crate for your dog is of utmost importance when it comes to ensuring their safety and comfort during travel. Whether you are traveling by car, airplane, or any other mode of transportation, the crate you select should provide enough space for your furry friend to move around, stand, and lie down comfortably.

Here are several reasons why selecting the correct size crate for your dog is crucial:

  • Safety: A crate that is too small can make your dog feel confined and uncomfortable, potentially causing them to become anxious or stressed. On the other hand, a crate that is too large may not provide enough stability, posing a risk of injury if your dog gets jostled during travel.
  • Comfort: Dogs need enough space to stretch out and adjust their position while in their crate. By choosing the right size crate, you ensure that your pet can relax comfortably during the journey, making it a more pleasant experience for both of you.
  • Trainability: A well-fitted crate can contribute to successful crate training. If your dog has ample space in their crate, they are more likely to see it as their den and develop positive associations with it. This can make it easier to train them to stay calm and relaxed when inside the crate.

When selecting a travel crate, consider the following guidelines to ensure the perfect fit:

  • Measure your dog: Accurately measure your dog's length, height, and width. Measure from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail for length, from the floor to the top of their head for height, and across the widest point of their body for width.
  • Consider weight and breed: Take into account your dog's weight and breed characteristics. Some breeds may require larger crates due to their size or longer body shape. Refer to breed-specific recommendations or consult a veterinarian for guidance.
  • Allow extra space: It's always better to choose a crate that is slightly larger than what your dog requires. This allows for growth, additional comfort, and ensures that your dog doesn't feel cramped during travel. However, avoid going too large as this can compromise stability.
  • Consider the type of transportation: Different modes of transportation may have specific crate size requirements. It is important to check with the airline, train, or other transportation providers to ensure compliance with their regulations.

Remember that choosing the right size travel crate for your dog is a crucial aspect of their well-being during travel. Taking the time to measure your dog accurately and selecting an appropriately sized crate will contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable journey for both you and your furry companion.

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When it comes to traveling with your dog, choosing the right-sized travel crate is an essential factor to consider. A travel crate that is too small can cause discomfort and anxiety for your furry friend, while a crate that is too large can be unsafe during transportation. To ensure your dog's safety and comfort, here are some important factors to consider when determining the appropriate travel crate size.

Size and Breed of Dog:

Every dog is different, and their size and breed play a crucial role in determining the appropriate travel crate size. Measure your dog's height, length, and weight before selecting a crate. Consider the breed-specific characteristics, such as the length of their nose or the size of their ears, which may require additional space. Use these measurements as a guide to choose a crate that allows your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Growth and Future Needs:

If you have a puppy or a young dog that is still growing, it's crucial to consider their future needs when selecting a travel crate. A crate that fits them perfectly now may quickly become small as they grow. Consider investing in an adjustable or larger crate that can accommodate their future size. Many crates come with dividers that allow you to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows.

Type of Travel:

The type of travel you'll be undertaking is another factor to consider. If you are traveling by air, be sure to check the specific requirements of the airline regarding crate size and any breed-specific regulations. For car travel, make sure that the crate fits securely in your vehicle and doesn't pose any risks for your dog or other passengers.

Durability and Safety:

Ensure that the travel crate you choose is durable and well-constructed to withstand the rigors of travel. Look for crates made from sturdy materials, such as metal or hard plastic, which provide better protection for your dog. Make sure the crate has secure latches and good ventilation to keep your dog safe and comfortable during the journey.

Comfort is of utmost importance when choosing a travel crate. Consider adding a soft blanket or bedding to make the crate cozy and inviting for your dog. However, ensure that the bedding is not too thick to avoid obstructing the ventilation or making the crate too small for your dog.

Test and Observe:

Before using the travel crate for your trip, allow your dog to get acquainted with it gradually. Place it in an area where your dog spends most of their time, and give them positive reinforcement, treats, and praise whenever they voluntarily enter the crate. Observe their behavior and body language to ensure they are comfortable and have enough space to move around.

In conclusion, choosing the right-sized travel crate for your dog is vital to ensure their safety and comfort during travel. Take into account your dog's size, breed, growth, and future needs when selecting a crate. Consider the type of travel, durability, and safety of the crate, as well as the comfort it provides for your furry friend. By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure a stress-free journey for both you and your dog.

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How to measure your dog for a travel crate.

If you are planning to travel with your dog, it is important to have the right size travel crate to ensure their comfort and safety. Choosing the correct size crate is crucial to ensure that your dog can stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably while inside the crate. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to measure your dog for a travel crate.

  • Measure the length: Start by measuring your dog from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail. This will give you the length measurement for the crate. Make sure to add a few extra inches to this measurement to allow your dog to stretch out comfortably.
  • Measure the height: With your dog standing on all fours, measure from the top of their head to the ground. This will give you the height measurement for the crate. Again, add a few extra inches to this measurement to provide enough headroom for your dog.
  • Measure the width: To measure the width of your dog, have them stand sideways and measure the widest part of their body, usually the chest or shoulders. Again, add a few extra inches to this measurement to ensure your dog has enough space to move around comfortably.
  • Consider your dog's weight: While measuring the length, height, and width is essential, it's also crucial to consider your dog's weight when choosing a travel crate. Different crates are designed to accommodate specific weight ranges, so be sure to select a crate that is suitable for your dog's weight.
  • Research crate size guidelines: Different airlines and travel regulations have specific guidelines for crate sizes based on the breed and size of your dog. Be sure to research the requirements and guidelines set by the airline or travel authorities to ensure your crate meets the necessary standards.
  • Check the crate dimensions: Once you have the measurements for your dog, compare them with the dimensions of the travel crates available in the market. Look for crates that provide enough space for your dog to move comfortably and meet the size guidelines provided by the airline or travel authorities.
  • Consider the crate's features: Apart from the size, take into consideration the features of the travel crate. Look for crates that have sturdy construction, good ventilation, and secure locking mechanisms. Additionally, consider whether you want a hard-sided or soft-sided crate, depending on your travel needs and your dog's comfort.

By following these steps and carefully measuring your dog, you will be able to choose the right size travel crate that will provide your furry friend with a comfortable and secure space during your travels. It is important to remember that a properly sized crate is not only essential for your dog's comfort but also for their safety during transportation.

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Choosing the right travel crate for your dog is an important decision that can greatly affect their comfort and safety during travel. Whether you are going on a short car ride or a long flight, it is crucial to select the correct size crate for your furry friend. Here are some best practices for selecting the appropriate size travel crate for your dog.

  • Measure your dog: Start by measuring your dog's height, length, and weight. These measurements will help you determine the dimensions of the crate that will provide enough space for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Make sure to take accurate measurements, as an improperly sized crate can cause discomfort.
  • Consider the breed and size: Different breeds have different size requirements. For example, a small breed like a Chihuahua will need a much smaller crate compared to a larger breed like a Golden Retriever. Consider your dog's breed and size when selecting the appropriate crate size. There are breed-specific guidelines available that can help you make an informed decision.
  • Follow airline regulations: If you plan to travel by air, it is essential to check the airline's specific regulations regarding crate sizes. Most airlines have strict guidelines on crate dimensions based on the size of the dog. Ensuring that your crate meets these requirements will help avoid any issues during check-in and boarding.
  • Choose a crate with proper ventilation: Ventilation is crucial to ensure your dog's comfort during travel. Look for a crate that has adequate ventilation on all sides. This will allow fresh air to circulate and prevent your dog from overheating or feeling suffocated. Avoid crates with solid sides or minimal ventilation openings.
  • Allow space for bedding and accessories: It is important to consider the additional space required for bedding and any other travel accessories your dog may need. Your dog should have enough room to stretch out comfortably, even with a bed or blanket inside the crate.
  • Test the crate before travel: Once you have selected a crate, it is a good idea to give it a trial run before the actual travel day. Encourage your dog to enter the crate voluntarily and spend some time inside. This will help your dog get accustomed to the crate and also give you an opportunity to ensure they have enough space and ventilation.
  • Seek professional advice if in doubt: If you are unsure about the appropriate crate size for your dog, do not hesitate to seek professional advice. Veterinarians or pet travel specialists can provide guidance based on your dog's specific needs and travel requirements.

Remember, selecting the correct size travel crate for your dog is essential to ensure their well-being and comfort during travel. By following these best practices and taking your dog's individual needs into consideration, you can make the right choice and have a stress-free travel experience with your furry friend.

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Frequently asked questions.

For small breed dogs, such as Chihuahuas or Yorkies, a travel crate that is 21x16x15 inches should be suitable.

For medium-sized dogs, such as Beagles or Bulldogs, a travel crate that is 28x20.5x21.5 inches should be suitable.

For large breed dogs, such as Labradors or German Shepherds, a travel crate that is 36x24x26 inches should be suitable.

For extra large breed dogs, such as Great Danes or Saint Bernards, a travel crate that is 48x32x35 inches should be suitable.

It is not recommended to use a larger travel crate for a small dog. A crate that is too big can make them feel insecure and may not provide the proper boundaries needed for safe travel. It's best to choose a crate that is just the right size for your dog.

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iata travel crates for dogs

Pets on the move: How does one take pets on a vacation or a trip?

I t’s a major concern for both owners and animals, whether one is relocating or going on a leisure trip, or leaving behind a pet, relocating an animal from one farm to another, or another country. Before planning the trip, it is ideal to consult the vet to ensure your furry friend has a smooth journey, choosing the right pet commuting services with professional expertise are a few necessary precautions of pet transportation.

Last week, Gol Linhas Aéreas (GOL), a Brazilian low-cost airline based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, suspended its dog transport service for 30 days, after the death of golden retriever Joca, who, due to an operational error by the company, ended up going to the wrong destination. The decision to suspend services allows the company to conduct investigative procedures.

Moving pets from one country to another is not easy either. Relocation and shipping is a lengthy and complex task. The reason why most pet parents hesitate to travel on vacation is because of the approvals and clearance required from both originating country and destination. The requirements vary based on the animal, airline and destination, and pet owners often hire shipping agents to help them navigate the process. What’s important for animal/pet owners is to find out if animals are eligible to fly in the cabin. After an owner compilation of information for customs, health certifications for the countries of departure and destination, most airlines ensure regulations for pets which are stowed in a specially designated space in the cargo.

There are a few pet-friendly airlines allowing animals to board only if the crate is IATA-compliant (The International Air Transport Association) — large enough for the pet to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably, well-ventilated, etc.

Some of the pet-friendly airlines for international pet transport are: Emirates Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Qantas, Qatar Airways. Emirates Airlines flies pet dogs, cats, pet birds and falcons under the Emirates SkyCargo programme. Air Canada Cargo has transport vehicles. Virgin Australia flies pets in the cargo hold of the aircraft. British Airways flies pets only in the cargo hold, and every pet must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a vet. Qantas transports pets to several countries.

In fact, Qatar Airways Cargo has recently opened a state-of-the-art animal centre and the relaunch of its Next Generation Live product for transportation of live animals. The airways has flown over 550,000 animals including 10,000 horses in 2023, and a kennel capacity of 140 dogs and 40 cats, 24 stables distributed in four zones with separate airflows for proper segregation, besides a kennel calculator tool, an online resource for determining the ideal kennel size, ensuring comfort and compliance with IATA LAR (live animals regulations) standards, pet card service to share updates and photos of pets during transit for customer experience and peace of mind.

On the other hand, Lufthansa has the largest animal lounge at Frankfurt Airport, Germany. More than a billion animals of all kinds have passed through the lounge which include ornamental fish, some 80 million per year. Exotic species like giraffes and hippos, Mesopotamian deer, two pandas, Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, sent by Chinese President Xi Jingping to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as special animals in 2017, have been a few guests at the airlines. While India based Indigo has a pet cargo service, pets on Akasa Air can be carried in the cabin or cargo compartment. This service is in line with Akasa’s vision to create an inclusive and humane travel experience.  

Akasa Air allows customers to travel with pets weighing up to 10 kgs (including the weight of the container) in the cabin. Currently, pets on Akasa are available on domestic flights within India, for cats and dogs that are aged three months or older.

The costs are also another concern. News reports suggest IAG Cargo, the cargo handling division of International Airlines Group, which transports pets for many airlines, has hiked prices. 

For instance, the costs for transferring pets between Britain and the US might increase 400%. The cost of flying a labrador might cost around $15,000. In India, domestic pet transportation costs somewhere between Rs 30,000 – Rs 60,000.

Pets on the move: How does one take pets on a vacation or a trip?


  1. 7 Best Airline-Approved Dog Crates (2024) IATA-Compliant

    With five vibrant earth-tone colors, Gunner gives you dog owners no choice but to love this travel dog crate. So, in conclusion, the Gunner G1 is one of the best airplane crates. Pros. Gunner G1 is positioned as the world's safest travel kennel, designed to safely contain dogs during car accidents.

  2. IATA

    Every year millions of animals travel safely and securely by air. Animal owners and shippers rely heavily on airlines to carry their precious cargo. Our focus is on ensuring the safety and welfare of animals' jet-petting around the world. The IATA Live Animal Regulations is the standard for transporting live animals by commercial airlines.

  3. 5 Best IATA-Compliant Dog Crates for Air Travel

    Petmate Sky Kennel, 28 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 15-30lbs, Made in USA. $99.95 $69.99. Buy on Amazon. The Petmate Sky Kennel is one of the most preferred dog air travel crates that abides by all of the IATA airline requirements. It is also rated positively by thousands of people across various websites.

  4. Petmate Sky Kennel, 28 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 15-30lbs

    Meets Airline Standards: This travel dog crate conforms to IATA requirements for live animal transport, including door, side and back ventilation requirements. Meets most airline cargo specifications for safe travel; always check with airlines in advance ... Petmate Sky Kennel, 21 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets up-to-15 pounds, Made in ...

  5. Best 7 Airline(IATA) Approved Dog Crates for Cargo Hold

    Following is a list of the top seven compliant pet crates for air travel that are worth to explore prior to zeroing on the right carrier. # 1. Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier. This dog kennel suits the airline specifications of many airlines and is well suited for medium to large dogs.

  6. The Best Airline (IATA) Approved Pet Crates for Travel

    The Pet Express PP100 travel crate is famous for its durability and is suitable for both domestic and international travel. The PP100 has a height of 39 inches, spans 52 inches in length, and has a width of 31 inches. The jumbo sized crate is ideal for extra-large sized breeds of dogs that weigh up to about 165 pounds.

  7. Air Travel Crates for Pets

    Airline, IATA CR-82 compliant Dog Travel Crates and Pet Carriers. The rules for air travel with your dog can get confusing and frustrating, but fear not! We carry US airline compliant and international IATA CR82 compliant dog crates, pet carriers with wheels for ease of movement at the airport, and many other accessories to make travel with ...

  8. IATA

    Animals behave perfectly fine when accustomed to the kennel or crate they are transported in. As a responsible pet owner, this responsibility is often overlooked. Healthy recommendations. Reduce the quantity of food the day before but give it enough water; Take your dog for a walk before leaving for the airport and again before check-in

  9. Petmate Sky Kennel, 36 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 50-70lbs

    Amazon.com : Petmate Sky Kennel, 36 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 50-70lbs, Made in USA : Petmate Carrier Large : Pet Supplies Skip to main content.us. Delivering to Lebanon 66952 Update location ... Elevon Plastic Kennels Pet Carrier Rolling Plastic Airline Approved Wire Door Travel Dog Crate, X-Large (35.8" L x 23.8" W x 28.5" H) ...

  10. Petmate Sky Kennel, 40 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 70-90lbs

    Petmate Sky Kennel, 40 Inch, IATA Compliant Dog Crate for Pets 70-90lbs, Made in USA . Visit the Petmate Store. 4.4 4.4 out of 5 stars 6,915 ratings. 400+ bought in past month. ... This travel dog crate conforms to IATA requirements for live animal transport, including door, side and back ventilation requirements. ...

  11. Best IATA-Approved Dog Crates

    An IATA-approved crate should have dimensions measuring at least 100% wider, 50% longer, and 30% taller for the comfort of the dog during the journey. It should also have a container fitted inside to hold food or water, filled from the outside, without opening the entrance to prevent the dog from escaping. Apart from these two factors, we'll recommend some of the best crates for air travel and ...

  12. 3 Best Airline Approved Dog Crates (For When Fido Flies)

    About: This heavy-duty Petmate Sky Kennel is a great choice for dog air travel, meeting all IATA airline requirements for cargo hold (with one minor exception). Features: Recycled Materials. Made of 25% recycles materials. Pre-Drilled Zip Tie Holes. This is another huge benefit (which most crates do not have), as airlines require you to zip tie the kennel doors shut.

  13. (IATA) Compliant Dog Crates for Air Travel

    If you need to fly with your dog, the travel crate or kennel needs to meet the safety standards defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Zooplus offers a selection of IATA-compliant crates, which will allow your pet to travel safely and comfortably in the cargo.

  14. Pet Crates

    Folding Metal Dog Crate Giant. $1,299.00. Choose Options. Our pet crates are the best for auto or airline travel. IATA compliant. Petmate is the best manufactured crate for dog or cat safety. Good for other animals.

  15. West Coast Pet Crates

    Our crates are airline-approved for travel within the USA or internationally. Our custom-built wooden crates are built to IATA specifications from the highest quality wood and metal, equipped with durable rubber handles for easy lifting and customizable with your pet's name or company logo. Our aluminum crates are also suitable for anxiety ...

  16. IATA-Approved Pet Crates & Kennels

    Carry My Pet, a pet relocation company based in Delhi, India, provides IATA approved pet crates/pet cages/pet carriers ranging from the small size of 21 inches up to the giant size of 48 inches, to accommodate all breeds of pets, big or small, at affordable prices. Sales experts at Carry My Pet, provide quick and reliable solutions regarding ...

  17. IATA Approved Custom Dog Crates for Travel

    Custom Crates. Our custom wooden travel containers are heavy duty and built to support dogs that cannot fly in anything smaller. We can also provide custom wooden travel containers for dogs that are considered "dangerous dogs" per IATA guidelines (CR82). Dog breeds that have used our custom containers include Great Pyrenees, Mastiffs, Great ...

  18. IATA Compliant Travel Crates

    As pet travel specialists, we supply IATA compliant pet crates for air travel. The kennels are available in a range of different sizes to suit your cat or dog. We can also provide custom made wooden crates again to IATA approved standards, that provide both safety and comfort whilst in the air. Over 30 years of airfreight experience has allowed ...

  19. IATA

    The IATA LAR provides further information on how to transport pets on commercial airlines. As each airline also has its own regulations for transporting pets, it is advisable to check with the airline before traveling. Pre-travel: Firstly, John will need to decide on an airline that will allow pets to be carried in the cabin.

  20. Pet Travel Crates

    IATA Compliant and Airline Approved Travel Crates Manufacturers and Suppliers. All Fetchapet air travel crates are manufactured from high quality plywood on a strong wooden frame. Each travel crate has a full welded wire mesh back and a weld wire mesh window in the door. The doors have 3 fastenings to avoid opening during transit.

  21. Pet Crate

    This item: Pet-Express Pet Crate - Durable, Heavy Duty Dog Cat Kennel, IATA Airline Approved Pet Carrier, Pet Palace Dog Kennel, Travel Dog and Cat Crate for Large Dogs Indoor or Outdoor, 7 Sizes $870.00 $ 870 . 00 ($870.00/Count)

  22. Petmate Airline Cargo Crate Giant

    Crate Size: Giant (Series 700) Crate Weight: 51.5 lbs (23 kg) Exterior Dimensions: 48 x 32 x 35 in (122 x 81 x 89 cm) Interior Dimension 1: 42.5 x 30 x 32.5 in (108 x 76.2 x 82.6 cm) Interior Dimension 2: 38.25 x 24 x 32.5 in (97 x 61 x 82.6 cm) Interior Dimension 1 is the measurement at the middle of the crate.

  23. (IATA) Compliant Dog Crates for Air Travel

    The IATA (International Air Transport Association) has a set of safety criteria to ensure safe travel for all pets in a dog travel cage. This means that you'll need a certain type of approved dog travel crate to allow your pet to travel comfortably with you. Browse the full range of (IATA) Compliant Dog Crates available here at zooplus:

  24. 14 Best Dog Carriers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed by Editors

    Shop the best dog travel carriers and crates for planes, cars and trains. Browse airline-approved and everyday carriers from Away, Sherpa, Wild One and more.

  25. Choosing The Right Size Travel Crate For Your Dog

    Choosing the correct size crate is crucial to ensure that your dog can stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably while inside the crate. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to measure your dog for a travel crate. Measure the length: Start by measuring your dog from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail.

  26. Pets on the move: How does one take pets on a vacation or a trip?

    There are a few pet-friendly airlines allowing animals to board only if the crate is IATA-compliant (The International Air Transport Association) — large enough for the pet to stand up, lie down ...