Key considerations prior to booking
Click on questions below to expand text.
When do you want your pet to travel?
If you ship your pet as air freight, check with the airline to ensure the air freight facility is open so your pet may be claimed by the consignee. Note that it is preferable to ship your pet on week days as all staff are working and liaison is easier all along the route.
Contact the airline you have selected to confirm that they accept your pet on the day and flight that you prefer. Some airlines restrict the number of animals on a flight so the more advance notice you give them the better it is.
Transport of snub nose dogs, such as boxers, pugs, bulldogs and Pekinese, in hot season is not recommended. These animals have difficulty in maintaining a normal body temperature in hot weather.
Where is your pet traveling to?
Is your pet going to travel within your own country, or will it be traveling internationally? Do you intend to break the journey, or stopover at an intermediate station? What is the pet's final destination?
What is your pet's size and weight?
Only small dogs and cats can go in the cabin. Some airlines may not even allow them in, and will transport them as special baggage in a heated and ventilated hold. Do not worry, cats and dogs actually travel better this way because it is quieter and they will rest in a darkened environment.
Do you have a suitable container for your pet?
It is important you purchase the right sized container for your animal. Airlines use the following indications to ensure the animal has enough space to turn about normally while standing, to stand and sit erect, and to lie in a natural position.
Guidance for Dimensions of Container
The data presented above gives a guideline for ascertaining the correct size for a container. They relate to an animal standing in a natural position.
The calculated dimensions are internal container dimensions.
A = length of animal from tip of nose to base/root of tail.
B = height from ground to elbow joint. A+1⁄2 B = length of container.
C = width across shoulders or widest point (whichever is the greater). Cx2 = width of container.
D = height of animal in natural standing position from top of the head or the ear tip to the floor
(whichever is higher) / height of the container (top flat or arched)
Minimum internal container dimensions:
A + ½ B = Length C x 2 + Width D = Height
Snub nosed breeds require 10% larger container
Measurements A, B, C and D for determining the container dimensions must related to the largest animal.
The width of the container being calculated as:
- Two animals: C x 3
- Three animals: C x 4
The height and length are determined the same as for a single animal.
Note: IATA does not certify, approve, endorse, or sell any particular pet container manufacturer, brand , make, or model. Equally so, IATA does not offer, solicit, endorse, or approve any particular pet or puppy transport or relocation services, regardless of whether these be offered via email or the internet. Readers should pay attention to fraudulent offerings that claim the opposite.
Should you decide to build your own wooden crate, verify with the airline if they accept custom build containers. For certain dogs, airlines may mandate the use of containers of a different more sturdy design than those of Container Requirement 1 (CR1). It is equally important to ensure that all locking mechanisms function properly and that the animal can not distort, gnaw at or push in/out the wire mesh or the pieces holding the mesh of the door. So, the mesh must be firmly attached to the door, not stapled.
Food and water containers (troughs) accessible from outside the container are required. The carrier, or government agency, may require that additional food be provided in a pouch attached to the container with feeding instructions.
How many animals will be traveling?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Act (AWA) states that "no
more than two live puppies or kittens, 8 weeks to 6 months of age, that are of comparable size and weighing 20 lb. (9 kg) or less each, may be transported in the same primary enclosure via air carrier." This is a good practice to follow for all animal shipments, no matter what country they are traveling in.
Remember, animals may become stressed and aggressive when traveling by air and should not be placed in the same container unless they are young puppies or kittens. Animals which share the same household may become stressed and aggressive towards each other when traveling by air.