Travel Crates & How to Measure Your Pet

Whether it’s a short trip to France or a long haul flight to Australia, your pets will always need to travel in an IATA approved travel crate and one of the most important points to remember when preparing your pets for their flight, is pre-flight conditioning to the new crate.

In doing this, not only will your pets grow accustomed to being inside the crate, they will feel safe, secure and relaxed during their journey.

Here at PBS Pet Travel, we supply a range of IATA approved pet travel crates and can deliver them to your home in plenty of time before the relocation begins. In this way your dog or cat will have time to get used to their pet travel crate, leading to a more enjoyable travel experience for both you and your pet.

Getting your pets familiar with their pet travel crate

When introducing your pets to their pet travel crate for the first time, it should be done gradually and in a positive manner. You should not force your pet inside or shut them in when they are anxious or stressed, as this will cause them to associate the kennel with an unpleasant experience – which can make acclimatization very tricky. It is vital that you praise and reward your pet throughout the process.

Try and encourage your pets to enter the kennel voluntarily as much as possible. You can do this by placing treats, toys or a favourite bed inside the crate. Once your pets have entered the kennel of their own accord, let them come and go as they please until they are fully confident in entering and leaving.

Try to get your pet to use the pet carrier as a place where they can go to rest and relax. Placing the pet travel crate in a spot where your pet would usually sleep can be a good way to do this.

Pet carrier tips for stubborn pets

Getting pets used to their kennels can sometimes be hard work, below are some tips which may help:

  • Putting only the bottom half of the pet travel kennel up at first and encouraging your pet to enter – half a kennel can seem a lot less daunting! As your pet becomes used to only half the crate, you can then add the top half and eventually, the door too.
  • Encouraging your pets to eat their dinner near to the kennel at first, and placing the bowl closer each time, until your pet is happy to eat inside the crate.
  • Make sure the door is held open, or put your kennel together without the door so that your pets know they can get out of the kennel if they decide to go in.

Pet Carrier Tips for Nervous Pets

If you have a particularly nervous pet, or a pet who suffers from anxiety or travel sickness, you can ask your vet to supply Feliway (for cats) and Adaptil (for dogs) – which are sprays that release pheromones, to help calm and reassure your pet during stressful situations. The spray can be applied to the inside of the travel kennel, car, or bedding.

Adaptil and Feliway are a natural and convenient way to help comfort your pets during travel – they do not alter blood pressure and are completely safe to use before flights.

Pet Travel Crate Sizes

It is extremely important that you have the correct size travel kennel for your pet and that it meets the current IATA regulations. If you already have your own travel kennel, PBS will be able to advise whether or not it is suitable for travel. If you do not have your own kennel, PBS can supply standard sized plastic Vari-Kennels and bespoke wooden crates.

So that we can ensure the correct sized animal carrier is provided for your pet, we will need to know your pet’s exact measurements. Please see this guideline for measuring your pet.

Here we answer some of the main questions asked when it comes to your dog travel cage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What pet carriers are airline approved?
For travelling with pets, always check with the airline for their latest pet guidelines before departure. The rules airlines have vary, but the common ones are:
  1. Enough room to turn around completely and lie down
  2. The bottom of the carrier be leak-proof
  3. The animal shouldn’t be able to bite through the carrier or escape
  4. The carrier needs to be breathable
To learn about the specifics or have your pet transport arranged by pet travel experts, contact us at PBS Pet Travel.
How to secure pet carrier in car?

Avoid using seatbelts, unless the pet carrier instruction manual informs you how. Used wrongly, seatbelts can crush the pet during an accident. Place on the floor, behind the driver or passenger seat or in the boot of the car. Ensure that the carrier doesn’t slide around and isn’t going to be crushed by heavy luggage.

How to get cat into pet carrier?
  1. Place the carrier in an area of comfort for the cat a few days before you intent to travel.
  2. Place a blanket they’re familiar with inside, maybe some treats too.
  3. Scoop the cat with your hands supporting their chest and bum.
  4. Confidently move the cat head first into the carrier.
  5. If the cat ‘puts the breaks on’, then slightly elevate the front of the carrier and move the cat in bum first.
  6. Having another person to help close the door or flap can ease the process.
Can i use a pet carrier as a crate?

Tough and sturdy carriers can be used as crates for pet travel. You’ll want to ensure the pet has enough space to turn around and be comfortable whilst travelling. Whilst some of the softer pet carriers being foldable can be convenient when not being used, they can also be broken out of easier and prone are to objects being pressing against them when travelling.

How big should a dog travel crate be?

Internally, the box should be at least the height of the dog standing up, two times the width of the dog, and the length of the dog from nose to tip of the tail, plus half the leg height. We have an illustrated guide for you to follow which lists this in detail for you.