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How to Prepare Your Crate for Long Distance Travel

Posted by Lewis Ridley on

Preparing your crate for travel

Getting Started

Having a pet crate is incredibly useful and they can provide you with a number of benefits. Many people will use them for toilet training and general housing, but one other useful feature is travel. Pet crates are very good when it comes to traveling, whether it be by car or by plane. They are designed to be taken on car journeys and, with the right accessories and features, can be used for air travel.

Crates are designed to be strong and durable, thus making them excellent if you plan on going to the park and need to go down a bumpy road. Plastic crates work best, as they can be cleaned and scrubbed down without a lot of effort. Some crates also can be opened from the side, like Precision’s two-door and three-door designs. This allows the crate to be placed horizontally in the boot, whilst allowing the dog to jump out from a larger window.

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Although having a crate for traveling is a useful idea, some people may not be aware or know how to prepare for crate travel, especially when it is long distance. For air travel, in particular, you will need a number of accessories and features to be allowed on a plane.

This article will go into what you need to do if you’re traveling long distance with your crate, showing you to prepare and how to train your pet. If you’re interested in finding out more, continue to read this article.

Going By Air

If you’re going to be traveling with your pet crate via airplane, you’re going to need to plan ahead. Airlines are fairly strict when it comes to transporting pets and they require a number of accessories in order to give clearance. In most cases, you will need a specifically designed crate with stickers, water bowls, and food trays. These can be purchased along with the crate or are sometimes included.

Different airlines have different rules and regulations so it important to see what your airline can do in terms of crate transport. Although each is different, there are some general principles that need to be followed, which can be found in the paragraph below.

How Does a Crate Become Airline Approved?

If you want to have your pet crate come along with you in the cargo, you are going to need it to be IATA approved. This is standardized across all airlines but, as we have mentioned above, airlines will also have their own rules.

For your pet crate to be approved, you will have to meet the minimal requirements. These are as follows:

  • You will need the crate to be made from metal, plastic, fiberglass or solid wood. You cannot have a collapsible crate and soft-sided crates like our Precision soft-sided crate, unfortunately, cannot be used.
  • The crate has to be strong and sturdy, as the crate may experience some slight knocks in the cargo. The crate should also be well ventilated but to the point where the crate becomes flimsy. Ventilation should be provided and should complement the strength of the crate.
  • The floor must be solid and leak-proof, which is provided with many airline approved crates. We do suggest that you buy a crate absorbing mat, so your pet is not sitting in their mess during travel.
  • The door must be strong and secure, with spring-loaded locks. Many airlines will also require cable ties on the corners. We suggest you go for metal door bars and if you’re looking for extra security, the Zinger Escape Artist crate is perfect for this use.
  • The crate must have food and water bowls that can be topped up from the outside. Live animal stickers also need to be on the crate. As well as stickers, your address and name (and pet’s name) should be attached to the crate.

We know that all sounds like a lot, but these are the minimum requirements. Airlines also have their own rules, so read their terms as well.

What Kits Do We Offer?

When you are selecting a crate to travel with, the description will tell you whether it can be used for air travel. If you’re looking for one of the best crates for this purpose, we suggest you go with the PetMate Sky Kennel. It is accepted by all major airlines and is perfect for the specific use.

As well as crates, we also have a number of airline kits. These include all the accessories you need before you go traveling on the plane. They will include water and food bowls, live animal stickers and various other things you need for airline travel. Zinger’s and PetMate’s are some of the best and complement their crates nicely.  

Going By Car

If you’re going to be traveling by car, your job is a whole lot easier. You won’t need any of the special requirements needed for air travel. You can simply put your pet in the car and you’re ready to go. However, there are some things you need to know before you put your pet in the boot.

Make Sure They’re Trained

This is an obvious one, but you need to make sure that the pet is trained to be in a crate. Some owners will buy a pet crate for the sole purpose of car travel, but when they go to put their pet inside, they get a lot of rejection. If your pet is not trained to be in their crate, they’re going to feel anxious and scared during the journey and you may have some mess to clean up when you arrive.

Make Sure to Bring Water and Toys

This one can also be applied to air travel, but when you’re traveling with your pet crate via car, you should bring plenty of water and toys for comfort. They are going to be anxious and will like to have a toy nearby to calm them down. If the trip is a little longer, or you’re going to the park, remember to bring water and maybe even some treats.

Taking Off

Using your pet crate for traveling purposes is a great idea and is something that many owners will do. However, if you plan on traveling with your pet, you need to know how to prepare for it. Unfortunately, you can’t rock up to the airport and expect them to allow your pet on the plane. There are a number of rules and regulations you need to work with in order to get clearance. Once you know what you need to do, you and your pet can have an enjoyable ride.


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