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What are the Airline Requirements for Pet Carriers?

What are the Airline Requirements for Pet Carriers?

What are the Airline Requirements for Pet Carriers?

How to Make Sure You Have an Airline Approved Pet Carrier 

Yet another major airline is tightening their restrictions on traveling with emotional support animals. There has been a rash of news articles in recent months detailing stories of airline passengers experiencing grief or being denied boarding for bringing their beloved pet on their trip with them. 

Perhaps most shocking was an account that went viral of a student who flushed her emotional support hamster down the toilet after the hamster, Pebbles, was not allowed on the plane.

Are you planning a trip that requires flying via commercial airline and need to bring your animal along for the ride? Our animals are our family, and their safety is as important as ours. 

One of the most important things you can do to make sure Mittens has a safe ride is to make sure you are using an airline approved pet carrier. With tightening restrictions on bringing animals in general and lessening space on commercial airliners, attempting to bring a pet in a carrier that does not meet the specifications of your airline is a recipe for disaster. 

Read on for 10 tips to make sure you have an airline approved pet carrier.

1. Carrier Material

No part of the animal is allowed to protrude from the carrier. Therefore, no wire carriers are permitted. Soft-sided carriers are permitted in the cabin only.

2. Carrier Size

Carriers must be big enough for the animal to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. This is the standard for crate safety across the board.

3. Floor Type

Carriers must have a floor that is solid and leak-proof. The floor must be covered with a towel or absorbent liner to prevent leakage for any accidents that might happen during your trip. Even if your pet is perfectly potty trained, they are bound to encounter sights and smells that are unfamiliar to them and downright scary.

4. Ventilation Requirements

Carriers must have ventilated openings that make up at least 14% percent of the total wall space and at least 33% percent of the openings must be located in the top half of the carrier. Additionally, the carrier must have rims so that other cargo does not block the openings.

5. Handle Requirements

Carriers must have grips or handles. Airline employees will not put their hands inside a carrier to move it and risk being bitten.

6. Food and Water

The carrier must contain an empty dish for food and an empty dish for water along with feeding instructions. You will also have to sign that your pet was offered food and water by you within four hours of your flight's departure.

7. Proper Identification

The carrier must be marked with the pet's name and ID tags with your home address and phone number as well as the address and phone number of an emergency contact at your destination.

8. Additional Markings

The carrier needs to be marked "Live Animal" on both the top and side and marked with directional arrows marking the proper position of the carrier so your pet doesn't get turned upside down.

9. No Leashes

The carrier cannot contain a leash or muzzle nor have one attached to the outside.

10. Pet Limit

Kennels can only contain one adult dog. They may contain two puppies if the puppies are between eight weeks to six months old, weigh more than 20 pounds per puppy, and are weaned.

Purchasing an Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Now that you know the requirements for your airline approved pet carrier, you might be wondering where to purchase one. This article offers tips on how to choose a dog crate. Check out the size chart on our blog for help choosing an airline approved pet carrier that your pet will fit comfortably in. 

Before booking your flight, check the website of your particular airline to make sure there are no additional requirements. The requirements are subject to change at any time. 

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