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Which crate to choose for your dog?

The transport crate allows you to travel with a small or medium dog and the transport crate with a large dog. It is an equipment that comes in different models and must be chosen carefully when you want to travel by car with your dog to ensure safety and comfort. Note that to travel by plane with your dog, only the transport cage that meets the IATA standard is accepted because the animal must be placed in the hold if it cannot travel in the cabin. Let's review.

Criteria for choosing a dog carrier

There is a wide range of crates and transport cages available, so much so that the consumer sometimes has trouble finding the right one. Generally, the crate is suitable for dogs weighing less than 11 kg, while the crate is designed for larger dogs.

For short or long car journeys with your dog, it is much better to have a crate or transport box in the trunk than to use a harness on the back seat or to leave your dog in the trunk separated from the rest of the car by a protective net. All these solutions are allowed. But it is in a perfectly chosen crate/cage that the dog will travel in the car as comfortably and safely as possible. This also guarantees the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the following criteria
  • The weight and size of the dog: it must be comfortable lying down, sitting, standing and turning around without difficulty,
  • The weight of the animal,
  • The material of manufacture, knowing that :
    • The transport crate for small or medium dogs is made of plastic,
    • The transport cage for large dogs is made of metal but can have a rigid plastic tray.
  • The closing system which can be with latches, clips, rivets, centralized,
  • Its ease of maintenance,
  • Its smaller size when not in use: in this case, you can opt for a foldable model that is very easy to store,
  • The means of transport that you wish to use because, depending on the case, only a cage that meets the current standard can be accepted. This point is detailed in the second part of this article dealing with air travel with a dog.
We recommend that you get your pet used to staying in its crate or cage, starting with short trips some time before departure. This will avoid disappointments when leaving on vacation.

Travelling dog crate: IATA standard required for air travel!

Only small dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin, but the conditions should be checked before check-in as they may vary depending on the airline. On the other hand, it is necessary to obtain a transport cage if you plan to fly with your dog whose size does not allow it to be carried in the cabin. It is mandatory to choose a model that complies with the IATA (International Air Transport Association) standard. This one imposes the following characteristics:
  • Hull material: fiberglass or rigid plastic.
  • Body door: two-point locking system (top and bottom) with centralized anti-fugue latch.
  • Hinges: 1.6 cm minimum over the horizontal edges of the door.
  • The top and bottom of the transport box are bolted together.
  • Wheels: not mandatory. However, if the transport box is equipped with them, they must be removed during the trip. Retractable wheels must be secured with strong adhesive tape.
  • Bowl: must be attached to the screen door. It must be accessible without having to open the cage.
As an indication, the price of an IATA-approved cage/carrying case costs from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on its size. If you are traveling with your dog on an exceptional basis, it may be more interesting to rent a crate rather than buy one.
The IATA mention on the label does not exempt you from verifying the presence of all these mandatory criteria because only this dog transport material can be placed in the hold.

It should be noted that the owner must also ensure the comfort of his pet during the entire trip by respecting the following points:
  • Choose a crate with IATA standards adapted to the size of the dog which must be able to :
    • Lie down completely,
    • Turn over,
    • Stand upright. Note that the height of the crate must be at least 5 cm higher than the height of the dog (from the ground to the tip of the ears).
  • Place an absorbent material on the bottom of the crate (blanket, newspaper, mattress, sheet...) knowing that straw is not allowed,
  • Do not use a leash or muzzle, and do not leave these accessories in the crate either.
  • Do not lock the crate with a padlock.
It is totally forbidden to give tranquilizers to your dog during air transport, to make an injured or physically weak animal travel. Moreover, before taking the plane tickets, you must make sure that the company accepts dogs on board, which is not always the case.