Shipping Crates

Do you know how to deal with pet transportation rules and regulations?

The Appropriate Shipping Kennel or Crate

An appropriate crate should look similar to this:

Shipping crate sizes will vary slightly between manufacturers and brands.
  • Made of plastic
  • Held together all the way around with nuts and bolts
  • Metal front door
  • No wheels, is not collapsible, and has a spacer lip around the middle
  • Ventilation on all sides (international travel) or at least 3 sides for domestic travel
  • Wire training crate, crates that fold and collapse, soft-sided crates and crates with plastic pegs, snap closures or other means of holding the top and bottom together are NOT ACCEPTABLE
  • Must be at least 3 inches taller than the pet INSIDE, so that there is 3" of clearance over the top of the head or ears, whichever is highest. Click here for instructions on how to measure your pet.

Common crate sizes** are:

  • 100/small 21 x 15 x 16"
  • 200/medium 28 x 20.5 x 21.5"
  • 300/intermediate 32 x 22.5 x 24"
  • 400/large 36 x 25 x 27"
  • 500/x-large 40 x 27 x 30"
  • 600/PP90 xx-large 52 x 31 x 33.5"
  • 700/giant 48 x 32 x 35"

** Crates sizes will vary slightly between manufacturers and brands.

If in doubt, always go larger than you think necessary (but not too large). Airlines will refuse shipments if the crate is deemed too small. Providing a larger crate at the last minute may delay a shipment and will increase the cost of not only the crate, but also the airline shipping costs.

CR 82 or special crates for “Dangerous dogs”CR 82 | special crates for Dangerous dogs

Many airlines will require a specially built wooden crate or a metal crate for what are considered dangerous breeds. These are usually considered to be all the Pit Bulls and Staffordshires, American Bully, Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, and with some airlines, even Mastiffs and Rottweilers. Also note, ANY MIX of these breeds also qualifies as a dangerous dog.

We often have these metal Impact crates on hand for use with shipments, but you may also contact the company and order your own at

Please note that they can take several weeks to get, and large sizes must be shipped via truck as they are too big for UPS or Fed Ex delivery. Please contact us if you need one on short notice.

SNUB NOSED PETS (Pugs, all bulldogs, Himalayan cats for example) also have restrictions. Most airlines will require a crate one size larger than normal to ensure enough airflow in the crate around the pet and allow plenty of unrestricted air for these breeds that may have breathing difficulties.

NOTE: The 700 giant crates do not fit on many aircraft, and routing for a large dog must be done with proper planning.

In some cases an extension kit can be used to make a 500 or 700 crate taller, provided that the length of the original crate fits the pets. Usually used for very tall, but not large, dogs.

Dogs too large for the 700 giant crate will require a custom made wooden crate. It is made to the requirements of your pet, and must be ordered at least 2 weeks prior to shipment.

It may look similar to this:Dogs too large for the 700 giant crate will require a custom made wooden crate.

Many airlines will require either a metal crate, or an IATA CR82 for “dangerous” breeds like Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Mastiffs, Rottweillers, etc. It will depend on the each airline’s individual regulations.

Customs crate, metal crates, and CR82’s all cost a good deal more than the standard Skykennel or Varikennel.

Shipping crate for your pet bird’s travel

Live bird shipping containerAirborne Animals LLC can supply an appropriate shipping crate for your pet bird’s travel. Although a crate can be custom made from wood, it must then meet international requirements for wooden containers. More frequently, we modify a cat or dog crate to meet the IATA requirements for a bird container. These work perfectly for budgies, cockatiels, parrots and most other pet bird species.

Live bird shipping boxesModifications include wire mesh over all vents and the door, a perch inside at appropriate height, along with dishes attached to the door for food and water. We can also provide cloth or mesh to drop down covering over the door to prevent any drafts. The Fish and Wildlife officers at Newark and JFK, who must approve a bird container for international travel, prefer the modified cat/dog crate rather than a custom made wooden crate. As for dogs and cats, security rules prefer no toys or other items inside. The bottom must have some absorbent material.