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Selecting the Correct Pet Travel Crate

"One of the most important steps you can take to ease the stress of travel for your pet is to make sure it becomes familiar with its kennel. Purchase the kennel as far in advance as possible. Veterinarians recommend leaving the kennel door open in the house with an old sock, snacks or familiar object inside so that your pet may spend time near the kennel and perhaps venture inside on its own. Since it is important that your pet be as relaxed as possible during the flight, familiarization with the kennel is essential." (Courtesy of United Airlines)

You want to purchase a professional-grade travel kennel designed for the safe and comfortable domestic and international transportation of your pet. You also want to purchase two travel dishes. Ventilation on all four sides is required for international pet travel. However, we recommend four sided ventilation for domestic travel as well. When in doubt use the larger size crate. Only one animal per kennel.

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Standard Pet Travel Crate Sizes:

Series #100- 21 l x 16 w x 15 h- weight of crate -7 lbs

Series #200- 27 l x 20 w x 19 h- weight of crate -13 lbs

Series #300- 32 l x 22 w x 23 h- weight of crate -18 lbs

Series #400- 36 l x 24 w x 26 h- weight of crate -24 lbs

Series #500- 40 l x 27 w x 30 h- weight of crate -32 lbs

Series #700- 48 l x 32 w x 35 h- weight of crate -51 lbs


Overview Tips on How to Measure and What to Look When Sizing a Crate:

The size of the kennel must be such that it will allow the pet to stand in a natural position, lie down, and easily turn around.

HEIGHT: Crate is tall enough for pet to stand up comfortably and not hunch.

WIDTH: Width across shoulders x 2. Wide enough for pet to turn around comfortably.

LENGTH: Length of animal from nose to base of tail. Long enough for pet to comfortably extend paws when lying down.

Measure the length of your pet when standing from the base of his tail to the tip of his nose. Add 4" to measurement as this is how long your pet's travel crate needs to be.

Measure the length of your pet when standing from the floor to the top of his head. Add 4" to measurement as this is how tall your pet's travel crate needs to be.


*Type and size of kennel - The kennel must be sturdy, properly ventilated and, most importantly, must be large enough for the animal to freely sit and stand with its head erect, turn around and lie down in a normal posture. To prevent accidental injury, no part of the animal's body can protrude through any openings in the kennel. For this reason, kennels made exclusively from wire are not accepted.

* Closing mechanism - Check the closing mechanism to make sure it works properly. Do not put a lock on the kennel door. In accordance with federal regulations, your pet must be accessible in the event of an emergency. The crate must be secured by nuts and bolts - NOT plastic tabs.

* Wheels - Wheels are discouraged by airlines. If your kennel has wheels, they must be either removed or taped in order to prevent them from rolling in transit.

* Required labeling - Federal regulations require that each kennel is labeled to safeguard your pet. When you drop off your pet, United will provide the required labels to adhere to the kennel.

The labels include:

The words "LIVE ANIMAL" that will be adhered to the top and at least one side of the kennel in 1-in. (2.5-cm) letters. Orientation labels that indicate the top of the kennel with arrows, or "This End Up" markings, and to be adhered to at least two sides of the kennel. Additional information and requirements, which you may view in the Required labeling Instructions section.

* Animals per kennel - Each kennel should contain no more than one adult dog or cat, or no more than two puppies or kittens younger than six months, of comparable size, and under 20 pounds (9.1 kg) each. Dogs and cats cannot travel together in the same container.

* Include two empty dishes - Include two empty dishes (one for food and one for water), accessible from the outside of the kennel. It is a good idea to freeze the water the night before so it lasts longer in transit.

* Absorbent material - The kennel must contain absorbent material or litter. (Black and white printed newspaper is a good choice. However, newspaper with colored ink or advertisements can be toxic to animals.) Please note that the use of straw, hay or wood shavings is prohibited for international shipments. Use of very thick blankets, comforters or similar items is also not permitted.


Note: The above information is courtesy of United Airlines' PetSafe Program.

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