Travel equipment

Travel equipment for pets

Travel crates

During travel, it is important to have the right type and size of travel crate. Not only to meet the requirements set by most airlines but also to let your pet have a comfortable journey. The International Air Transport Association has set up a couple of indications you need to follow to purchase the right travel crate. These indications are not only used by most airlines ,but also train companies and other public transport organizations might use these indications to ensure a safe journey for your pet and other passengers.



The most suitable material for a travel crate is a rigid plastic. Most rigid plastic crates consist of two parts that are fastened with appropriate hardware like bolts and nuts. One whole side of the crate must be covered by a door, which can be constructed of plastic, wood, plywood, welded or cast metal. To ensure your pet can not get out of the crate during travel, a locking mechanism (1) of the door needs to be present that can only be opened from the outside. Door hinges and locking pins (2) must extend beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door opening by a least 1.6 cm (⅝ in) The crate must be adequately ventilated by ventilation openings (3) of a minimum of 2.5 cm (1 in) over the upper two thirds of the opposite end of the door and the remaining two sides, at a distance of 10 cm (4 in) from centre to centre of each opening. All ventilation openings must be nose and paw proof.

Attached to the inside of the door, a food or water container (4) must be present that is accessible from the outside.


TIP: To ensure your pet has water during travel, you can freeze a small water bottle, make a little hole in the bottom and the top, wrap it in aluminum foil and attach it above the water container on the inside of the door. In this way, the water will slowly melt and drip into the container. your pet can drink it a few drops at a time without spilling everywhere.



A green ‘Live animal’ label/tag (5) needs to be present on the travel crate your pet is using. ‘This Way up’ labels/tags are also mandatory and must be placed on all four sides of the crate.

Labeling of travel crate to travel with pet

Figure 1. Example of a rigid plastic travel crate



The rule of thumb is that your pet needs to be able to turn around, sit and stand erect without touching the roof of the crate and be able to lie down comfortably in a natural position.


Figure 2 shows how to determine the dimensions of the right travel crate.

A = length of animal from tip of nose to base/root of tail.

B = height from ground to elbow joint. A+1⁄2 B = length of container.

C = width across shoulders or widest point (whichever is the greater). Cx2 = width of container.

D = height of animal in natural standing position from top of the head or the ear tip to the floor

(whichever is higher) / height of the container (top flat or arched)

Minimum internal container dimensions:

A + ½ B = Length  C x 2 + Width  D = Height

Snub-nosed breeds require 10% larger container

Dimensions for crate to travel with pet

Figure 2. Determine the right dimensions of the travel crate




For more information, you can have a look at the website of the IATA