Purchasing an Airline-Approved Pet Carrier? Ask These 5 Questions

When purchasing an airline-approved pet carrier, it is essential to arrive armed with the information you need to make a confident purchase. Dogs on Planes already provides most of the basic information you need to know, but if it’s convenient to do so, we also recommend you take advantage of the in-store experience including a brief trial run with your pet. When you’ve narrowed down the options, you can ask a sales associate the following questions to guarantee a great purchase.


Do you have a scale?

Some pet carriers advertise incorrect weights and heights. If you are purchasing a container for simple vet visits, these measurements don’t matter very much. However, one inch of height or a couple pounds of weight could ruin your dog’s ability to board a plane. Though a specific carrier may claim to be “airline-approved,” the maximum measurements are not standard across airlines. Check your provider’s requirements before purchasing. In assessing the measurements yourself, you ensure airline height and weight compatibility. Most larger or specialty stores offer a variety of pet services, such as grooming and boarding. In most cases, there will be a scale and tape measurer available.


Is there any proof of airline approval?

As with measurements, some carriers falsely advertise airline approval through tricky and confusing wording: “travel approved,” “travel tested,” and “flight safe” are popular choices to make customers believe the product has been airline-approved. Look for signage, stickers, or informational tags before making your pet carrier decision. If you don’t see anything, ask the sales associate if the store has additional information or literature on a specific product. In most cases, the salesperson will be able to look up any certification or approval a carrier may have.


Does it expand or collapse?

Though measurements are the most important factor in choosing a pet carrier, comfort should follow as a close second. Soft-sided carriers provide added comfort; their ability to collapse under a seat and expand to increase available pet space could mean the difference between your animal having a peaceful trip and a stressful one. Look for carriers that expand in one or two directions; this small addition can double the space your pet has to move around during the flight. However, always check to see that this addition does not hinder any other safety feature, such as ventilation and security.


Is anything else included in the purchase? 

This is an especially important for pet parents flying their animals in the cargo hold. These kennels are made of hard-sided material, such as plastic, metal, or wood, and they have solid roofs. Most do not come with any sort of bed or lining for added comfort, so it is essential to ask your sales associate. Additionally, animals traveling in cargo must have access to food and water dishes, which affix to the inside of the door. The airline staff should be able to access the dishes without opening the door. Some cargo kennels include these attachments, but many do not. If your kennel is not sold with the necessary materials, you can easily buy food and water dishes for a few extra dollars. In asking during the purchase, you eliminate a potentially devastating surprise on the day of your flight.


Can my dog test it out?

This is perhaps the largest benefit of shopping for a pet carrier in a store. You’ll arrive armed with your airline’s maximum measurements, but these mean nothing if your pet cannot fit comfortably in the carrier. Bring your dog along and allow him to check out the container. If he can’t stand or sit comfortably in the space, move onto the next option. Additionally, bringing your dog will allow you to check if the carrier fits within an airline’s weight requirement.

In asking these questions, pet parents ensure they get the best, most comprehensive information about specific pet carrier products. However, it is important to arrive at your pet store already understanding the features necessary in airline-approved carriers. Research your airline’s specific policies, write down the measurements you need, grab your dog, and head to your local pet retailer to find the airline-approved carrier you need.


Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Have a Pet Carrier? Is It Approved Size?
Calming Meds for Flights. We have CBD Meds, Too
Have a Digital Pet ID?
Non-Squeak Chew Toys: Don’t Be That Guy
Have Pet Insurance?
Pet Treats for the Flight?
Follow Us on Twitter
Breed-by-Breed Directory
Featured Breed: Affenpinscher
Featured Breed: Biewer Terrier
Featured Breed: Bichon Frise
Featured Breed: Brussels Griffon
Featured Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Featured Breed: Chihuahua
Featured Breed: Dachshund
Featured Breed: English Toy Spaniel
Featured Breed: Havanese
Featured Breed: Japanese Chin
Featured Breed: Maltese
Featured Breed: Manchester Terrier
Featured Breed: Miniature Pinscher
Featured Breed: Norfolk Terrier
Featured Breed: Norwich Terrier
Featured Breed: Papillon
Featured Breed: Pekingese
Featured Breed: Pomeranian
Featured Breed: Poodles
Featured Breed: Russian Bolonka
Featured Breed: Russian Toy
Featured Breed: Shih Tzu
Featured Breed: Silky Terrier
Featured Breed: Toy Fox Terrier
Featured Breed: Yorkshire Terrier