Best Airline Approved Dog Crate

If you rely on your dog for emotional support, then you need the best airline approved dog crate to keep your pup next to you whenever you fly. This is usually the case if you cannot bear the thought of leaving your furry friend at home while traveling. According to the US Department of Transportation, an average of 2 million pets are flown by air within and out of the United States every year. In other words, millions of people love to travel with their pets year in and year out.

If you are reading this because you wish to fly with your pup, you are perusing the right guide because we have simplified everything you need to know about the requirements. This guide is so rich that we discussed the benefits of getting those dog crates, the factors you should look out for in your ideal air-bound dog crate, review of premium products, the flying requirements, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and a lot more. In the end, we assure you that you do not have a need to read any other articles on this topic to learn more. Without much ado, we will get down to today’s business.

How Did We Pick the Best Airline Approved Dog Crate?

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Best Overall

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Key Features

Why It is Better?

Why Do You Need an Airline Approved Dog Crate?

We have to point out that every company has stringent requirements for airline approved dog kennels. However, before we delve into that detail, it is crucial that you understand why you need the crates in the first place. You will understand why such crates are a must-have for every pup groomer who travels all the time.

Company: If you are close to your pup, it gets to a point where you bond with him. At this point, you cannot get enough of having each other around regardless of where you find yourselves. Therefore, the kennel will ensure that you always have your puppy handy no matter where you go. It does not matter if you travel from one state or country to another, you always have your pup to keep you company.

Comfort: Another benefit of this dog kennel is that your pup will be comfortable as you both fly together. Just like you want to enjoy your flight, you sure want your furry friend to do the same, don’t you? By traveling with your pup in an airline dog crate, your furry pal will certainly be comfortable throughout the journey. Because he is comfortable, you will be relaxed and enjoy your journey too.

Safety: When you have a kennel that meets airplane travel requirements, you will not have to worry that your puppy will be unsafe flying with you. Given that your furry baby will not be exposed to extreme weather temperature, you will be absolutely delighted that your puppy is safe underneath your seat. There’s no doubt that this reassuring feeling will certainly help you to enjoy your air travel. More importantly, you will be glad that he will not jump out of the crate and start disturbing other passengers.

Enough playroom: You must nap when the pilot flies your airplane, especially if you are embarking on an international trip. When you do, you may feel that your furry pal will be bored. The truth is that boredom has no place in some airline-approved crates because there is enough room to play around. Put simply, your pup will be excited to have enough room to play around whenever you travel with him in such kennels.

Behavior control: As a pup groomer, you most likely want your furry pal to be around you all the time. However, you cannot say for sure that the same goes for other passengers who may have strong dislike for them. As a result, you could be embarrassed or insulted if your pup jumps out and start running from one seat to another. However, with an airline-approved pup crate, such incidents are curtailed.

How to Pick the Right Airline Approved Dog Crate

You already know the benefits of getting yourself the crate. Just before you push the BUY NOW button, you have to pay attention to certain factors. The good news is that we have compiled a list for you. However, these factors shaped our choice while compiling the list.

  • Zipper or Velcro enclosures: One of the features to look out for in your ideal airline approved dog crates is a zipper or Velcro enclosure. In fact, there may be many different ways of opening and closing your pup crate. Nevertheless, the best among them should come with a zipper or Velcro. While a Velcro enclosure offers you fast access to your furry friend, a zipper gives more security. On the flip side, it is noteworthy that a zipper can cut your puppy’s fur.
  • Wheels: Another feature you should consider before placing that order is the wheels. More often than not, you travel with lots of luggage. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that you get a wheeled, airline-approved kennel, meaning that you can move it easily. However, keep in mind that wheels are not allowed in hard crates that fly in cargo.
  • Leash: Do you know that you can have a big crate that satisfies airline requirements? Yes, that is true! However, you should opt for to a short leash that you will hook to your dog’s collar when they are inside of the crate. One of the benefits of a leash is that it prevents your furry baby from jumping out of the kennel when you are too engaged with maneuvering a busy airport.
  • Brand: Just as you will prioritize brands when you want to buy other dog items, the same applies to airline-approved kennels. Brand is critical because some leading companies are popular for making premium-quality products that meet airline travel requirements. When you have them, you have absolutely nothing to worry about any longer. Examples include Sherpa, Paws & Pals, Petmate, AmazonBasics, MidWest Homes for Pets, etc.
  • Soft bedding: While you may not need dog kennel covers on most the airline-approved kennels out there, soft bedding (fabric lining) is a must-have. The reason you should look out for that is that such fabric linings help your furry baby to sleep comfortably whenever they want to. You should also settle for those that have a thinner layer rather than a thick layer. That matters because it helps your pet to relax when the weather gets extremely hot in the summer.
  • Pockets: Well, pockets are crucial as far as airline approved pet carriers for cargo are concerned because you can put essential dog items in them. You are already burdened with your personal effects weighing you down as you make your way through the airport. Therefore, you should get a kennel with pockets to put your dog food, shampoo, brush, etc. That way, those items are handy and your burden is considerably reduced.
  • Ventilation: If you pay attention to other factors but ignore ventilation, then you are making a serious mistake. The reason is that your preferred kennel must be well-ventilated so that your furry friend does not suffocate under the seat. To avoid that, you should always go for the type that has a breathable feature like mesh windows and sides. You are risking your pup’s life if you relegate ventilation to the background.
  • Durability: It is a no-brainer if you consider all other factors but forget product durability. Be it indoor dog kennels or an air-bound kennel, durability must matter to you because you do not want to buy the type with material that your pet can easily eat up. Just weigh the construction quality and materials so that the crate does not fall apart after a couple of uses. You should also check the straps, zippers, hinges, and other key parts to forestall wear and tear.

Top 5 Best Airline Approved Dog Crates

1. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier Review

Our Rating
4.6/5

For traveling

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We Like

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If you need the right dog crate for air travels, here is the product that meets that need. You see, this Sherpa crate is specially designed to satisfy its users, allowing you to travel in comfort and guaranteed safety. It has top and side entries with locking zippers, and those features contribute to your pup’s safety. With a mesh window, you don’t have to worry that your furry baby could suffocate in transit.

When it comes to maintenance, you have nothing to worry about because it is machine-washable thanks to its faux lambskin liner. Its goodies are far from over because it also has rear pockets where you can keep dog items handy. Feel free to keep your shampoo, leash, brush, etc. in them. Made of a premium-quality fabric, you have in this product a long-lasting kennel. Why would you go on adventure without your furry one? You should not do that because you can have them next to you with this top-tier product from Sherpa.

Public Review Summary

This crate has collapsible soft sides and a small flat pocket on the side. The front and top zipper entrances are very well-designed and sturdy. It has a hard removable "floor" and comes with a plushy mat for the pet which attaches by Velcro and stays put. Some people admit that quality of materials is quite poor.

Our Rating
4.6/5

2. Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier Review

Our Rating
4.2/5

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Do you need a crate that meets airline travel requirements? If yes, we recommend that you try this pet carrier because it satisfies all of the requirements. In short, it conforms to TSA rules and regulations, especially in regards to its dimensions. In addition, a mere gaze at the crate shows that it is very portable. Therefore, you have a pet carrier that is lightweight, making it easy to carry your pet about.

With the removable cushion padded with shoulder strap, you will always plan your travels with your furry friend in mind. That is because the shoulder strap makes it easy to transport. With a removable fleece bed with raised bumper, your pup will have a swell time resting and sleeping. Its waterproof material ensures that your pet does not have to struggle at the peak of winter. Similarly, you don’t have to grapple with washing the pet carrier because it is machine-washable. Lastly, you can use it in the office, camp, park, etc.

Public Review Summary

It is sturdy crate with soft sides and a firm bottom for supporting your pet. The bottom is removable and makes cleaning the crate easier. It also has two adjustable straps for seatbelt attachment and there are durable fine mesh windows on all sides and at the top. Unfortunately, this crate sometimes has problems with the zipper.

Our Rating
4.2/5

3. Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier Review

Our Rating
4.3/5

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If you really love your pet, then breathability must mean something to you. Well, here comes the best dog crate as far as breathability is concerned. It has many openings that make it breathable and won’t obstruct your pet’s visibility. Wafting toward security, this pet carrier is in a league of its own because it has strong steel wires, interlocking door, and durable plastic construction. With all of these key components, you are sure that your pup is secure.

It does not end there because it ships with some extra features. These extra features include pet ID stickers and clip-on bowls. You can put your pet’s name on the ID sticker. If you need your pup to stay comfortable while you people travel together, that is guaranteed in this pet carrier thanks to the padded floor. When it comes to maintenance, it is easy to wash. You can also carry it with the top handle. It is a large dog traveling crate that you cannot afford to ignore.

Public Review Summary

The crate is well-built. It is pretty secure and comes with a safety latch on the lock which prevents it from moving accidentally. It also comes with metal bolts and plastic nuts, so there’s no need to order extra for airplane travel. On the other side, the sizing chart isn’t accurate and you should check it closely before buying the crate.

Our Rating
4.3/5

4. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier Review

Our Rating
4.6/5

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Large dog crates that meet airline travel requirements are more readily available than you ever thought. Without a doubt, this premium-quality crate from AmazonBasics is your best bet in that regard. It is ideal for keeping all sizes of dogs such as small, medium, large, and extra-large. What’s more is that it keeps your pet safe, secure, and comfortable. However, one of its outstanding features is ease of use. Now, let’s break it down.

It has a spring-loaded latch that enables you to open and close it effortlessly. With the 2-door design, you can remove or load your pet easily. The door system makes it much more easy to use. Another feature that makes it convenient to use is that you can open the door in two ways. To do that, you just have to pull one of the black handles forward to release it. With its top-load system, this kennel is secure and highly visible. This is one of the best airline approved dog crates out there.

Public Review Summary

Great quality and easy to assemble. Also it comes with screws and bolts for extra security. On the crate, there are small ventilation holes for better airflow. The top door is very handy for placing a pet into the carrier. The main con of the item is that the top loader is not secure for holding and transit as it should be.

Our Rating
4.6/5

5. MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Travel Pet Carrier Review

Our Rating
4.4/5

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Are you in need of airline approved dog crate that guarantees comfort and security? If yes, this product delivers those perks and more. A product of MidWest Homes for Pets, it is a pet carrier that comes in red, blue, and green. Aside from many color variants, you have a product that is ideal for dogs of different sizes such as extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large. It is easy to set up and use. In regards to cleaning it, you can do that in a split second.

All you need is to spray out water or wipe it with a wet cloth – not forgetting to add a pet-safe cleaner. With its one-year warranty, you will get the real value for your money. In fact, its biggest selling point is its durability. This is possible because of its sturdy and durable plastic construction. No doubt, this list of the best airline approved dog crates would have been incomplete if this pet carrier was conspicuously missing from it.

Public Review Summary

It is very easy to put together and has enough place for pet to stay while traveling. The crate feels very safe and comfortable. It is designed with two zip tie holes along the back and the zip ties prevent the clam shells from sliding back! On the other hand, the quality of materials used could be better.

Our Rating
4.4/5

Dog Travel Crate Requirements

Having come this far, let us quickly round up some of the International Air Travel Association (IATA) requirements for flying with kennels onboard airplanes. IATA is an international trade association of airline operators.

  • Size: According to the IATA, the kennel size must be as tall as your pet as well as half of his length. The Association also added that the crate must have enough room in front and back of your pet. IATA clarifies the size guideline by noting that the crate height must be high enough in a way that the ears do not make contact with the caret top while they are standing. It stated that the pet must be able to turn around and lie comfortably.
  • Food and water dishes: It is not uncommon to see pup groomers want to feed them when they travel with their furry friend. However, you have to comply with certain provisions of the IATA kennel-carrying guidelines in that regard. The kennel must have two separate food and water dishes attached to the crate door instead of being attached to the sides of the kennel. The reason is that the crewmembers should feed the pets and take the plates without opening the kennel door.
  • Metal nuts and bolts: When it comes to a heavy duty dog crate, the Association pays attention to its metal nuts and bolts. Many plastic crates have nuts and bolts, which are very easy to assemble. On the other hand, some crates have plastic caps with metal bolts. The Association wants pet carriers that will be allowed onboard to have these crucial components.
  • Single metal door: You see, another requirement that many airlines look at is that your pet carriers should have a single metal door as opposed to having a plastic fold in the middle. For those that have a plastic door, there is a possibility that the puppy will pull down the door and escape through it. While there are many kennels with top-loaded doors, many airlines do not allow them in their cabins.
  • Document information and feeding guides: You should attach important information on your crate. The relevant information includes your name, pet medications, health certificate, phone number, address, destination, and flight number. Other relevant information may include contact number of the person at your destination and feeding instructions. Lastly, you should have a bag of food attached to the kennel top.
  • Carrying side rim: For most airlines to allow your wooden dog crates or other types onboard their airplanes, the spacing rim of ¾” on all the sides is necessary. The essence of having that spacing rim is to ensure that your pup does not bite cargo handlers. Moreover, two cargo handlers can carry your crate on each side when this requirement is satisfied.
  • Live animal stickers: You must have something to indicate that you some live pets in your pet carrier. Hence, you should have a live animal sticker around all sides of the crate. The good thing is that many airliners are ready to provide such stickers. However, there is a caveat in that you have to call ahead of time to inform them that you will need one. Alternatively, you will have to provide one yourself.
  • Air holes: If you are taking an international flight, then IATA requires that you have air holes on all the sides of your crate or halfway on each side of the crate. In a similar vein, domestic flights only require 2 vent sides plus the door. Nevertheless, we recommend that you go for the type that has airflow all over its sides regardless of the requirements. The essence is for improved airflow and pet safety.

In summary, we have encapsulated the guidelines of most airline operators under IATA. In spite of that, we must point out that they vary from one company to another. In addition to that, the requirements for local flights are quite different from those of international flights. Therefore, the best bet is to find out the requirements and get them ready before making your way to the airport.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Essentially, it is ideal to check with your airline. With that said, the most common requirements are 11×17. On the other hand, the width should be 20L if it is a hard-sided crate. But then, airlines are a bit more flexible if you have a soft sided dog crate.

An alternative way of finding out the actual crate size needed for your air travel is by taking the dog’s measurements from its head to the floor. Afterward, add 2 inches to the height. Measure the length between his nose and tip of his tail and add 2 inches to it, too. With these figures, you can determine the perfect kennel for your pup.

The most appropriate way to get your pup ready for air travel is to crate-train him for it. For starters, ensure that you do it gradually because learning may take some time. It typically takes a couple of days. The good thing is that your pet feels safer and happier once he is used to the kennel.

No. If you have snub-nose breeds of dogs (and cats), you should not bring them anywhere close to an airport. Some examples are boxers, bulldogs, and even Persian cats. The airline may reject these breeds of dogs and cats because they grapple with breathing. To be on the safe side, contact your airline for more inquiries.

In truth, not every dog owner needs airline approved dog kennels. However, they are useful for many different reasons. With respect to who needs most, you will need it if you travel locally or internationally by air. If you fall into the latter category, the crate keeps your puppy handy whenever, wherever.

Conclusion

From United to American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic to US Airways, Delta to Emirates, not one of these airline companies reject people who wish to travel with their pets. However, they have stringent guidelines for traveling with such domestic animals, including dogs.

On the other hand, IATA has developed a broad guideline for embarking on such travels with your furry friend. In this guide, we have discussed some of the requirements for traveling with your furry baby with emphasis on the best airline approved dog crate. Though these guidelines may vary from one airline to another, the good thing is that the crates we reviewed in this guide meet the all-inclusive requirements.

In other words, you just have to select from the list we compiled for you. Over the course of making the list, we laid emphasis on the features, pros, cons, and the product description. Lest we forget, these top-tier crates are unique for certain factors. We did not fail to point those out as well.

Why keep your furry friend at home when you can bring them along whenever you embark on vacations and business trips? The wait is over! Just select from the list of best airline-approved kennels above and then go on that important vacation with your furry baby. Afterward, make sure you share the exciting experience with us!