Travel time is around the corner! Having a dog though makes traveling more of a challenge. While others spontaneously can decide to go for a trip people with dogs need to make careful and time-consuming preparations – and it doesn’t matter if you want to leave your dog behind in a boarding kennel, with neighbors or family or if you want to take your dog with you.
This post is about airline traveling with your dog. In this case you will need to get an airline-approved dog kennel.
An airline approved dog kennel has to fulfill several points in order to be accepted by the airlines. And even then you need to check with your chosen airline to find out if they have additional requirements. Some airlines for example allow small dog kennels to be carried in the cabin others not.
These are the requirements for dog kennels that are accepted by airlines.
The kennel needs to have metal nuts and bolts. Plastic bolts are not longer allowed. It is also a requirement to zip tie the kennel doors shut. It‘s always the best you do it yourself to be sure that it‘s done right.
Also the door needs to be made as a single piece metal door. No plastic allowed.
Another point is about the sides and air holes. The kennels need to have air holes on all 4 sides at least halfway on each side. If the holes are made of metal it‘s even better.
If you think of attaching a food dish inside the kennel, this unfortunately is not allowed. The airlines rules say that airline personal must be able to access dishes attached to door without opening the kennel door. If you want to make sure that your dog can at least drink water during the flight, get a pet water bottle.
Some kennels come with their own stickers even though airlines will use their owns.
Finally a word about how to find out which kennel size is needed for your dog. Measure your dog from the top of his head to the floor and from the tip of his nose to the base of the tail. Now the kennel‘s height should be about 4“ taller and longer than your measurements. Like this your dog has enough space to move around, to fully stand up and lie all the way down.
The following dog kennel is airline approved. Nevertheless make sure to check with the airline you choose to travel with and find out if they have additional requirements. I hope that with these information traveling with your dog on an airplane will become the least stressful possible.
The here presented model is just one of total 6 different sizes from very small to very large, so you can find the perfect size for your dog.
Petmate Sky Kennel
- Heavy duty high plastic construction
- Comes in 6 sizes
- Non-corrosive plastic wing nuts
- Extra strong steel wire
- Secure door latches
- Four way ventilation
This was the only kennel I found that came closest to airline requirements. It is approved by the USDA and IATA.
This is the best kennel you can buy for your 30 to 50-lb dog’s flight. As an airport biologist and dog owner, I highly recommend this kennel. I use it regularly. It is strong and secure.
The crate is well-built, and I particularly liked the vault style door in the front. The vault style has four pins, and they insert into all four sides of the crate. This four-pin lock can only be closed if all four pins are inserted properly, so you don’t have to worry about partially securing the door. It’s either locked or not, and it’s pretty obvious when you do it.