If you’re going on holiday and are planning to take your dog with you, or use kennelling accommodation, then you need to consider dog kennel size regulations.
The IATA have a number of regulations in place to ensure that when dogs are travelling on airlines, they’re in a kennel that is right for their size and will be safe throughout the journey. Dog travel kennels are usually plastic and must be sturdy and have proper ventilation.
It’s hard to know exactly what size kennel to buy for your dog and difficult to generalise, as all dogs of the same breed will vary. However, the most important thing is that the kennel is big enough for your dog to have enough space to stand up, turn around and lie down when it wants to. If it can’t do these essential activities, then the kennel is too small.
Airlines can differ slightly in how they interpret the regulations, so it’s always important to get full details from your airline when you book a flight. In general though, a kennel door must be properly secured, so it won’t come loose mid flight, but have a mechanism that is easy to operate and doesn’t require any tools.
It’s also important that only one dog is put in a kennel at a time if they’re adults. In the case of puppies, you shouldn’t put more than two puppies of six months or less (or weighing 20 pounds each) in one travelling kennel.
On the top of the kennel and on at least one side you must attach a clear note stating that ‘LIVE ANIMAL’ in large letters, so airport carriers know they are dealing with animals. A water and food dish must be provided within the kennel, but easily accessible from the door, so that staff can provide food and water for your dog if needs be. This is especially important, for example, if your flight gets delayed or there’s any query over the health of your dog and checks have to be made.
Also add labels to the kennel to indicate which way up it should be carried (your dog doesn’t want to unexpectedly find himself upside down). Inside there should be plenty of absorbent material of bedding for your dog to lie on. Most airlines also require that you provide details of the last time your dog had food and water before flying. This is usually within the last four hours of arriving at the airport.
Last, but not least, you need to provide details of your name, address and contact information, plus the name of your dog.
Choosing Kennelling Accommodation
If you’re going on holiday and aren’t able to take your dog, then booking them into kennelling accommodation is usually the best option. To find a good kennel, that meets high standards, try asking for recommendations from a local vet or other dog owners.
In general, kennels need to meet strict regulations for operating and should provide plenty of space for your dog, both within the kennel and in the areas where they’re able to get exercise. If you’re unsure of what’s provided, then go along and have a preview visit, so you can get an idea of the size of kennelling space and the facilities on offer. If you’re not happy with what you see, then you’ll still have time to find an alternative option.