Moving with Pets? Here’s How to Choose the Right Pet Travel Crate

June 3, 2024

You’ll need a pet travel crate to transport your dog or cat to your new home, whether you drive or fly. Crates safeguard your pet in the event of an accident or shifting things, create a sense of security during a stressful scenario, and keep them from disrupting you while driving. Not to add that airlines require kennels for your pet to be transported in the cabin or cargo.

How to Introduce your Pets to your New Home after Moving
How to Help your Pets make the Transition Easier 
Traveling with Animals Dos and Donts

It’s critical to pick the correct crate for transporting your pet from one place to another, especially if you plan to fly. If your pet’s box does not satisfy specific requirements, airlines will refuse to carry him. So, how can you choose a crate that will provide your pet with the comfort and safety he requires when you’re transferring him? Before your next move, use these suggestions to help you choose the proper pet crate.

Need Moving Services?
Allowing someone else to move sounds like a lot greater chore than you think you can do. has a large network of trustworthy movers ready to assist you in packing and moving your entire home. Our network’s relocation companies are all certified and insured, so you can rest easy knowing your belongings are in good hands.

The size of your pet determines the size of your crate

When your pet is standing outside his box, no part of him should be taller or longer than the crate. He should be able to stand up, turn around, and stretch comfortably in the container. Because your dog or cat is usually higher when sitting than when standing, you may want to allow for a little extra height so they can sit as well. If you’re flying, the airline may require adequate space for you to sit, but if you’re driving, it’s not necessary as long as your pet can stand in his box.

Pet crates range in size from 100 (small, 21” x 16” x 15”) to 700 (large, 48” x 32” x 35”) square feet. You can have a 700 crate custom constructed if your pet doesn’t fit in one. The larger the pet crate, the more expensive it will be, and a custom-built crate will obviously be even more expensive.

Measure from the top of your dog’s head to the floor and from the tip of his nose to the base of his tail to get the proper crate size for him. Then, for each measurement, add 4 inches. If you have a snub-nosed dog, such as a bulldog, go up a size to ensure he gets enough ventilation during the trip.

It’s all about the construction

Crates are built of a range of materials and come in a variety of styles. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but the following are the most popular.

While wire crates offer better airflow and visibility, some pets may become anxious as a result of the openness, especially if they see you but can’t reach you. A plastic crate that allows them to retreat and feel safe would definitely be best for those dogs. Furthermore, some airline cargo holds may not accept these crates.

Tough and durable, plastic pet carriers are required for airline cargo areas and make excellent all-around travel crates. The thick walls, on the other hand, can hinder animals from seeing what’s going on around them and restrict airflow. Ensure that plastic crates have a wire door and enough ventilation on the other four sides.

Crates made of soft-sided canvas and other lightweight materials are ideal for little animals. Because they can easily be put beneath the seat in front of you, these cages are a good solution for anyone flying with their pet in the cabin.

Typically, pet owners buy wooden crates to use as decorative accents in their homes rather than to transport their pets. They’re just as much furnishings as they are crates for pets. If you have no other choice, you can utilize a wood crate to move your pet in the vehicle.

Your options are determined by your mode of transportation

What type of pet crate you need depends on how you plan to get to your new house. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), for example, has very tight rules against pet crates in airline cargo holds, and airlines have various limits on pet crates in the cabin. Before you go out and buy a pet travel crate, think about how you’ll get to your new house.

If you want to travel by automobile, almost any robust crate will suffice as long as there is sufficient ventilation and the crate is fastened in the rear seat or the back of an SUV or minivan. According to AAA, do not let your pet walk free in the car or sit in the front seat because the front airbags can be fatal in an accident. To avoid nausea, avoid feeding your pet four to six hours before you leave, and stop every two hours to give your pet a glass of water and a rest.

If you plan to carry your pet into the cabin with you on a flight to your new home, soft-sided crates are the ideal alternative. The Federal Aviation Administration states that an in-cabin box “must be small enough to fit underneath the seat without blocking any person’s route to the main aisle of the airplane.” It’s up to the individual airline after that. For example, American Airlines mandates that your crate be made of water-repellent materials and have mesh ventilation, but United stipulates that the crate be 18” x 11” x 11” in size. Check with the airline you’re flying to see if they have any crates limits.

Pets that do not fit under the seat in the cabin must fly as airline cargo. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has tight regulations for pet crates, and individual airlines may add their own criteria.

Are you considering moving?

Hiring an experienced moving company might make your transition much easier. Check out WowMover’s large network of respectable and reliable movers—all licensed and insured—to locate a capable moving company near you. You may rest certain that your goods will reach safely and in good shape at your new home.