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Airline Approved Pet Carriers

Airline Approved Pet Carriers - finding the right size crate for your dog or cat

Choosing the correct pet carrier when making arrangements for airline travel is essential for the safety and comfort of you dog or cat. Airline approved pet carriers have to comply with IATA Live Animal Regulations which specify the minimum dimensions, ventilation, feeding access and security requirements for all air transportation.

Some airlines impose additional requirements or have maximum pet carrier sizes that they can handle, so we always recommend it best to check the specifics well in advance with your chosen airline.

However simply finding the minimum size for an airline approved pet carrier is not the complete story because, to ensure your pet's comfort and safety, a pet carrier has to be neither too small or too big. Too small and the animal will be cramped and travel will be refused. Too big and your pet could easily get injured.

Measure your pet carefully as the wrong size pet carrier can lead to refusal to airport

Measure your pet carefully as the wrong size pet carrier can lead to refusal to airport

We get lots of enquiries from customers regarding which is the correct size pet carrier for their animal so we have provided this easy guide calculator to help you chose the optimum IATA airline approved pet carrier.

This calculator is based on specific requirements of British Airways, who we have found to be the most stringent in terms of criteria. [For basic IATA regulations enter 0 for measurement B.] Other airlines may use slightly different criteria.
In all cases we strongly recommend you check with your chosen air carrier.

Please click here for a printable guide and the IATA Live Animal Regulations


To calculate the correct size of an approved pet carrier for airline travel, insert the appropriate measurements of your pet in the boxes provided (remember to indicate whether the measurements are in centimetres or inches) and click on the 'CALCULATE' button.

A. Distance from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail:
B. Distance from the ground to the elbow joint*:
*(Not required for cats - enter 0)
C. The width at the widest point of the animal:
D. From the ground to the tip of the ears, or wherever else is the highest point of the animal. (The rule is that it must not touch the top when standing in the container.)
These dimensions are in:       cm

The container's length must be at least:
The container's width must be at least:
The container's height must be at least:
Based on these sizes, the recommended carrier for your pet is:

Enter all values for Airline Approved Pet Carriers

(click to view our recommendation)

Please note the following important details:
  • The pet carrier must be strong enough to protect your pet during transport, be secure enough to contain it and have sufficient ventilation on all four sides, to ensure the air quality in the container will not deteriorate.

  • The door of the pet carrier must be secured in such a manner that it will not open accidentally or your pet cannot open it during handling and transport.

  • Your pet's nose and paws should not be able to fit through any ventilation opening or door mesh.

  • The pet carrier must have a water pot and a food container accessible from the outside.

  • Fibreboard or wiremesh containers are not suitable as pet carriers for air transportation.

March 2012

Airline Approved Pet Carriers

Airline Approved Pet Carriers

Petmate vari kennel is the leading pet carrier for your pet's air travel and is available in a wide range of sizes.

Vari Kennel Small

Vari Kennel Medium

Vari Kennel Intermediate

Vari Kennel Large

Vari Kennel Extra Large

Vari Kennel Giant

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