Transport Dog Crates – Travel by Airplane

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Transport Dog CratesWhen you have to move your dog in order to travel or relocate to a new destination, the last thing most of us want is to stuff him into a box and leave him in the cargo area during the entire flight.

Unfortunately, if you have no other choice but to use the airlines for your travel needs, dogs have to be placed in transport dog crates for the flight, and most have to travel in the cargo compartment.

If you have no choice but to travel with your dog by plane, you should make sure your dog or puppy is as comfortable as he possibly can be. Here are some tips to help you prepare your dog for the flight:

1. Dog owners who are traveling with their dogs must invest in USDA approved transport dog crates, or a kennel that is specifically designed for travel. Preferably transport dog crates should be custom fit to the size of your dog. Be sure that the transport crate unit is stable and provides enough room for your dog or puppy to stand up in, as well as offers the ability for him to turn around if he needs to.

2. Accustom your dog to the crate well prior to your expected date of travel. Never wait until the day of your flight to put your dog inside the kennel, as dogs do readily adapt to things that are out of the ordinary. It is therefore a good idea to ensure that your dog is comfortable with the crate so that he will be a little more at ease when you put him on the plane. Your dog should gradually become used to transport dog crates if you have him sleep inside the travel crate each night for a minimum of three nights before your travel date.

3. For flights longer than 10 to 12 hours, be sure to provide your dog with sustenance during the flight – a good way of ensuring this is to tape a small bag of your dog’s food to the outside of the crate, along with written feeding instructions for the person who will be responsible for your dog during the flight.

4. Loss of baggage, and in particular, baggage being directed to incorrect destinations, is becoming fairly commonplace for travelers. To avoid the small chance that your dog could miss his destination, write the destination of your flight on the top portion of the transport dog crate in large, bold, letters. Be sure to also include your full name and address, as well as a phone number where you can be contacted, attached in a prominent place to the crate. Transport Dog Crates

5. It is best not to feed your dog within six hours of the flight. This will help reduce the chances of him having an accident and using the bathroom inside of the kennel, or vomiting his food if he becomes distressed at the commencement of the flight.

6. In case your dog or puppy does happen to have a mess while flying, prepare the crate with a light layer of paper and bedding so that the urine and stools can be absorbed as best possible.

7. To avoid your dog from becoming dehydrated during the flight, place two bowls inside the kennel, one filled with a small amount of water, and the other filled with ice. The ice bowl will melt away bit by bit and provide plenty of fluids hours later.

8. Last but not least, if you have a very small dog like a chihuahua or a toy poodle, see if you can arrange to have a small pet carrier or crate to put your dog in that can fit underneath your seat. Do not wait until the last minute to talk with the airlines about this arrangement. Find out if boarding the flight with your small dog under your seat is possible as early as you can. You’ll still need to arrange transport dog crates for these small dogs who are permitted to travel in the passenger compartment with you, but it will be a much more pleasant experience for your dog to be close to you throughout the flight.

About Brigitte Smith

Brigitte Smith is an entrepreneur with a love of dogs and a healthy lifestyle. Brigitte is passionate about holistic health alternatives for dogs, most of which are today suffering foreshortened lifespans in the wake of a lifetime diet of commercial pet food, and further contributed to by unnecessary over-vaccination and chemicals and poisons applied topically and internally. is one of Brigitte's sites dedicated to dog health, and in particular dog food reviews.

4 thoughts on “Transport Dog Crates – Travel by Airplane

  1. lynn

    thanks so much. i find it a shame that one person traveling alone with two SMALL dogs still has to use the cargo/hold area. i wish there was some petetion to allow these smaller animals to travel together in the cabin. i actually bought TWO seats to travel from los angeles to amsterdam and they still would not allow me to use the extra seat (or under) for the 2nd dog. so off in hold/cargo they go. i hear that it is better now than it used to be though and the air is climatized etc.

  2. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Lynn,

    That must have been very upsetting. I don’t understand why you couldn’t use an extra seat for the dog(s). That doesn’t seem right.

    Yes, I believe the travel is better now than it was at one point in time, but it’s still fairly stressful for any dog.

    Hope it went well.


  3. Sheila McGaughey-Hicks

    About air travel. My og is about 14 pounds. 5 of it as hair. I may have to travel with him. He is my life and I am terrified to have him put into cargo and he woul have anxiety attacks. What should I do. I would drive 1000 miles plus with him if flying will hurt him. I have heard horrible things about them flying in cargo. Please advise and God Bless you

  4. Shirley DeSnyder

    I have traveled with my minature poodle in a soft sided case under the seat. She was tranqulized but still was going crazy in the small area. You say they should be able to stand up My dy dog is l4′ to the top of his head. He wighs l0#. The 8 or 9′ height is not good. I am willing to pay for a passenger seat with me. We are flying from Phoenix to Michigan so the carge areea isn’t even a consideration. We just need someone to say yes or no. I have been on this computert for three days. No one answers my question.

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