How to choose your pets flight cage

When relocating your family pet by flight, care must be taken to ensure their comfort and security at all times.   Your pet must have enough space to turn about normally in its flight cage whilst standing, to stand and to sit erect and to lie in a natural position.  To ensure you choose the correct cage, take a look at the step by step guide below.

Step 1. Measure your pet

Measuring a pet for a flight cage can sometimes necessitate the need for two people.  There are 4 measures to be taken into consideration, see below

A.  From the tip of the nose to the root of the tail,
B.  From the floor to the elbow
C.  The width of your pet at the widest point
D.  From the floor to the tip of the ears or the top of the head, whichever is higher (ears must not touch the top of the Kennel in animals natural standing position)

Step 2.  Estimate the minimum size of cage required

To calculate, the length add A plus ½ of B, for the width multiply C by 2, for the height use D.

Step 3.  Take into account these points

  1. An adequate strong water container must be fixed to the door of the flight cage with outside access for filling.  This water container space must be taken into consideration in the length (A) measurement of the cage.
  2. Brachycephalic pets, (snub nose dogs or cats, e.g. Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs, Persian etc.) are affected more than other breeds by rarefied atmosphere.  Some airlines embargo these breeds of pets.  Airlines that do accept snub nosed pets on their flights insist that these pets travel in cages at least one size above the norm.

Step 4.  Buying the right brand of cage

There are lots of suppliers that claim to sell IATA approved flight cages.  Buyer beware, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) does not approve any flight cages, but merely sets out standards required for air transport.

When buying your cage, look for the following criteria, rigid plastic, solid and leak proof floor and roof which assembles together by screws, a rigid metal door with hinge and locking pins that engage into the cage frame and ventilation on all sides.

If you cannot find a cage to fit your pet then a made to measure wooden cage will be required.

Before purchasing your cage, if you have any doubts it’s best to contact your pet shipper to clarify any concerns.  Remember, pets arriving at the airport in inadequate cages will be refused at flight registration.

Colette Robe-Hughes
Goldenway International Pets and Live Animals

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