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Kennel Requirements
 
To transport your pet as checked baggage or cargo, you must use a shipping kennel approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The kennel must be large enough for your pet to stand upright and turn around. These kennels are available at many pet supply stores. All kennels must be capable of loading upright in the aircraft bin as required by the Animal Welfare Act and the International Air Transport Association Live Animal Regulations. Also, USDA rules state that the kennel must:
  • be constructed out of rigid plastic and airline approved. No cardboard, collapsible, foldable or soft-sided kennels. No all-wire cages.No kennels with top-side door.
  • have functional handles on the kennel's exterior to prevent tilting and any direct contact with the animals.
  • close securely, but not lock, allowing personnel to open it in case of emergency
  • have labels with the words "Live Animal" in letters at least 1-inch tall on the crate's top and on at least one side.
  • have upright arrow labels indicating kennel's correct position.
  • contain some type of bedding, either shredded paper or towels, to absorb any "accidents."
Here's a list of standard kennel sizes, the empty weight, and the maximum allowable animal weight for the kennel.

Kennel Type Outside Size
(Inches)
Actual 
Weight
Volume
Weight
Maximum
Animal
Weight
Small
100 series
21 x 15 x 16 6 lbs. 26 lbs. 18 lbs.
Medium
200 series
27 x 20 x 19 12 lbs. 53 lbs. 25 lbs.
Medium
300 series
32 x 22 x 23 18 lbs. 84 lbs. 40 lbs.
Large
400 series
36 x 24 x 26 24 lbs. 116 lbs. 70 lbs.
X-Large
500 series
40 x 27 x 30 31 lbs. 167 lbs. 120 lbs.
XX-Large
700 series
48 x 32 x 35 51 lbs. 277 lbs. 190 lbs.
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