A Guide to Buying Airline Approved Pet Carriers
In order for your dog or cat to travel on an airplane with you, they’ll need to be in an airline approved pet carrier.
Traveling can be an extremely stressful time for your pet, so you should try and do everything you can to make their journey as comfortable as possible.
Therefore, an airline approved pet carrier must not only comply with the airline’s rules and regulations (about what size it can be, etc.) but it must also be a place of safety and security for your pet.
Measuring Your Pet
Before you start looking for pet carriers, the first thing you need to do is measure your pet so you know what size crate/carrier to buy.
To measure the length of your pet, measure from the base of the tail to the nape of the neck. To measure the height, measure from the floor to their shoulder.
Pet Carrier Requirements
A standard set of rules and regulations regarding airline approved pet containers (for dogs, cast, ferrets and birds) were created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and have been accepted and put into practice by almost all of the world’s airlines.
According to the regulations set out by IATA, when it comes to buying a pet carrier, make sure it complies with these requirements:
- The holes in the carrier should be small enough so that no part of the pet’s body can leave the confines of the cage.
- There should be enough room inside the carrier so that your pet can lie down, stand up, turn around, stretch out on their side and sleep comfortably.
- All four sides of the container should have adequate ventilation when traveling on international flights (or three sides when flying domestically).
- You should be able to place bowls of water and food inside the cage and have means of refilling them from the outside.
- The container must not have wheels on it. If the container does have wheels, they must be taped up so that it cannot role around.
- The carrier must be made from sturdy, solid plastic.
- The container must have stickers on the top and the sides reading ‘Live Animal’.
Unfortunately, not all pet carriers will be approved for flying (because they don’t meet the requirements listed above of airline-specific requirements).
When shopping for airline approved pet carriers, I recommend looking for ones made by ‘PetMate’, as almost all of their pet carriers are designed to be used for air travel (meaning they’re designed with the airlines’ rules and regulations in mind).
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