Sky Kennel – Flying with your Dog

There are a few airlines who allow smaller dogs to travel in the cabin, generally though dogs will need to travel in the cargo hold.  Always check the exact requirements with your chosen airline before you go out and purchase expensive equipment.  

When your dog travels by air there are specific requirements that the airlines insist upon and the IATA cover the requirements, subject to those laid down by your individual airline. The health and safety standard rules for pet and animal travel kennels were created by IATA. There are a number of rules and regulations regarding the international travel of dogs and this is something that is set to change again from 1st January 2021 when the UK leaves the EU.  Here though we are looking at suitable crates to transport your dog when travelling or relocating overseas by air.

It is imperative to purchase the correct size of travel container for your dog. Airlines are governed by a strict set of welfare regulations to ensure animals travelling have adequate space to turn around, stand, sit erect and lie down.  This graph indicates the sizing recommendations they use:

Not applicable to Bodegueros, but snub nosed breeds such as French Bulldogs require 10% additional space.

The IATA does not certify, approve, endorse, or sell any particular pet container manufacturer, brand, make, or model. (accessed 21st October 2010).

The carriers for different airlines will have their own preferences and rules regarding the crates that they will accept.

The case used to be that dog’s travelling by air would have a bespoke wooden crate made for each dog.  Whilst this is still a possible solution many owners prefer the ease of buying a generic crate from somewhere like Amazon.

In some cases there is no reason why you cannot build your own bespoke crate should you wish to do so.

What to consider when Buying a Sky Kennel or Dog Crate

Whichever type of crate you choose, consider the sizing graph above as the first rule to follow.  Thereafter, there other things to consider in all cases, and here is a check list:

  • Size of crate suitable for size of dog.
  • Quality of locking mechanisms. They must be secure, spring loaded, with the pins extending at least 1.6 cm (5/8 in) beyond the horizontal extrusions below and above the door.
  • Dog must not be able to gnaw, distort or push in or out any wire mesh or part of the crate, including the door. Door mesh must be firmly attached to the door and not stapled.
  • Dogs must not be able to get their nose through the mesh.
  • Food and water bowls must be attached to the internal side of the front door. They also have to be refillable from outside the crate or kennel.
  • Some airline and for longer journeys there must be provision via a pouch on the outside of the container for additional food and feeding instructions.   
  • Handles or space bars must be present on the long side of the crate or kennel for handling.
  • The whole crate must be secure.

Buying your Sky Kennel Online

Sky Kennel is a description to look for when buying a readymade air travel crate.  Confirm with the airline that they will accept your chosen brand before purchasing.   There are a few variations of Sky Kennel available to easily buy from outlets such as Amazon.  Such as these here:

If your chosen airline insists on a wooden crate, then they should be able to give you contact details of a suitable place to purchase one, but please note they are usually made to order, so ensure you arrange your Patterdale’s travel crate well before your travel date.

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