How to choose your dog’s transport cage?

When you fly and decide to take your dog with you, he needs a transport cage. Whether he comes with you in the cabin, must travel in the hold or cargo, there are standards to respect for boarding.

These standards and regulations for the transport of animals – among others – are designed to ensure their safety during the flight and are implemented by IATA, the international air transport association. Created in 1945 in Havana, IATA groups 280 companies, representing 83% of the total air traffic! Its goal is to unify the rules and standards for air transport.

Flight in the cabin

The maximum weight that a dog (including the bag) must weigh to travel in the cabin depends on the airline’s rules you choose to travel. However, some obligations are the same everywhere. Your dog’s bag must be closed during the whole flight, placed under the seat in front of you, provided with aeration to let it breathe – obviously – and big enough so he can move inside. Only one animal can travel per bag and each passenger can only travel with one animal in the cabin.

Flight on the hold

On the IATA website you’ll find all the details concerning the transport cages and the standards to be respected. The document presented is in English, and here are some points to remember:

  • The cage must be made of rigid plastic. Some companies may also accept hardwood, metal, plywood or similar materials with two closures on each side.
  • The animal must have the space to stand up in his cage, sit down and lie on his side. The floor must be solid and waterproof.
  • The roof must also be solid, but may contain ventilation holes over its entire surface, as long as it does not affect its resistance. The ventilated area must represent at least 16% of the entire cage and must be ventilated on at least three sides.
  • The door of the cage must form the set of one end, an entire pan. It can be slid or articulated but must, in any case, be thick enough to prevent the animal from twisting it. Its mesh should not allow the canine to get a paw or muzzle. Plastic doors are permitted, but only if the hinges and locking pins are metal.
  • A water container must be present and secured, provided with an external access for filling.
  • If your cage has wheels, they must be removed or rendered unusable during the trip.
  • A green tag “live animals” must be affixed to the cage.

Make sure you follow the country rules in which you are going and the requirements of the company you are borrowing. For example, at Air France, only locks with bolts are allowed in the hold. Cages whose parts are closed with clips will be refused on boarding.

Where can you buy cages?

On the internet, in stores that sell products for animals … Even Air France allows you to get a travel bag or a cage on its site. If it’s easy to get a container to take your dog, make sure it meets the criteria set by IATA.

Warning: IATA doesn’t certify, approve, endorse or sell any brand of transport cage; it simply delimits a frame. So pay attention to the “IATA approved” endorsements, which are fraudulent. The best is to ask advice from the professionals where you buy your dog’s cage and refer to the standards set up by the International Air Transport Association.