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Travel Crate Sizing

It's all about "meeting airline regulations" and making sure your pet is "comfortable and safe". 

TL;DR: The crate sizing mantra: Your pet needs to be able to sit, stand and turn around within the crate without touching the sides and top. 

There are a number of methods to determine if a crate fits or what size of crate you should be getting for your pet's travel, depending on what you have in hand. At the very least, let's assume you have access to your pet. 

Read on!


Measuring your pet for a travel crate

1. Eyeballing it.

You'll need: Pet Travel Crates and a cooperative pet

The most vague but somehow acceptable method (if done right)

Acceptable Sizing

Corgi in front of Petmate #400

Corgi Dog in front of Petmate #400

Unacceptable Sizing

Corgi in front of Petmate #300

Corgi Dog in front of Petmate #300

Most Definitely Unacceptable Sizing

Corgi in front of Petmate #200

Corgi Dog in front of Petmate #200


It's important to note that this type of picture taking isn't easy. Besides a squirmy pet, there's lots of ways the picture can turn out looking very different due to angles, parallax and angles. 

We also want to warn you that while the acceptable sizing is "acceptable", you should also consider that the

  • internal space is actually smaller than the outside.

  • you may have bowls that will take up more internal length. 

  • your pet's bedding might sacrifice the internal height

Also, this method isn't helpful if you don't already have your pets the travel crate.  

TC Pet Measurement guide.png

Our Recommended Method: data-driven for costs-savings on freight

2. Measuring


You'll need: a tape measure

You'll need to obtain the measurements of A (length), B (Width) and C (Height) according to the diagram on the left. 

Then, using those figures, ensure that they there more than half an inch smaller than the internal dimension of the travel crate you are considering. Do note that the crate measurements you see listed on the shops are often the external dimensions which are 0.5 to 1.5" bigger than the internal dimensions.

The Correct IATA LAR Method

3. Measuring and calculating

You'll need: a tape measure

Besides A (length), B (Width) and C (Height), you'll need two more measurements:

1. D (Length of forearm from armpit to toe)

2. Height of Pet's Bedding

With these 5 figures, the appropriate crate dimension according to the International Air Travel Association Live Animal Regulation (IATA LAR) guidelines:

Length of crate: A + 1/2D
Width of crate: C x 2
Height of crate: D + Height of Pet's Bedding

Using this method of determining the crate dimensions often give you the most unbelievable minimum crate sizing since you have to buy your travel crate based on the largest dimension. As a professional, we have to mention this method of measurement, but we won't be enforcing it.





Why telling your agent your pet's weights and breeds isn't helpful in determining crate dimensions?​

Without knowing the breed, weight alone could mean a very tall and lanky greyhound type dog as well as a stocky bully dog.


While we can come to a better estimate based on the breed, even breeds who don't have the miniature, standard and giant specifications like the Schnauzer family, could also have different sizes due to their age or general upbringing/pedigree. 

Small vs Large Shiba Inu

Same-age Shiba Inus

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