Pet Airline Safety Checklist & Travel Tips

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Pet Airline Carrier Instructions

Visit our Pet Airline Travel Store to order all these Airline required pet carrier & kennel accessories

* Always check with YOUR AIRLINE for a list of their specific requirements, regulations, restrictions, rules and/or policies for traveling pets.

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Pet Airline Instruction Video
Airline Check list Video

Deluxe Airline Kit Instructions on video above or text below:

DryFur Pet Carrier Insert: Place liner in bottom of kennel to absorb all wetness and keep pet comfortable. For best results it is recommended that no additional bedding be placed in the kennel.

Food & Water Cups: Attach to inside of kennel door so that they are accessible from outside of the kennel with out opening door.

Solid Metal Nuts & Bolts: Replace any missing hardware to insure that the kennel will be secure and will meet airline requirements. Also use to replace all plastic peg type attachments as they are no longer accepted by airlines.

Colored – Cable Ties: Use to secure dial latch, snap latch and other bolt-free pet carrier kennels.

White – Hand-Releasable Cable Ties: Close kennel, then thread through holes and loop around metal bars, on all four corners of the kennel door to insure the door stays closed and secure during flight. Bring these with you if you are unsure how to install.

Live Animal Stickers: These green stickers are a USDA -IATA requirement. The “Live Animal” sticker without arrows should be attached to the top of kennel and the stickers with arrows should be attached to both the right – left & back side of kennel with the arrows pointing up. The Owner’s information and feeding instructions sticker (shippers declaration) should be filled out and attached to the rear top of the kennel.

Kennel Tag: Use Sharpie pen or pencil to fill in with Pet’s name and temperament information then attach tag to the kennel’s door or handle.

Reinforced Dry Food Storage Bag: It is not always a requirement but it is recommended to include a one-meal food supply for your traveling pet. Fill bag with your pet’s regular food and attach by removing 1 wing nut thread hole over bolt and replace nut.

Temporary Pet ID Tag: Use Sharpie pen or pencil to mark tag with (2) additional or temporary contact no. i.e. Your cell, pager, work, family member, email. This will insure the pet’s owner is reachable while traveling or between destinations. Attach to the pet’s collar in addition to the pet’s regular permanent ID tags. (TIP: Have a MICRO CHIPPED Pet? DOUBLE CHECK that your INFO IS CORRECTLY ENTERED into the database before traveling | by following these link!)

Document Storage Pouch: Use to store the flight documents, veterinary certificates and the Airline Checklist, then attach to kennel with red twist tie provided.

FACT: Newly Released Reports indicate PET AIRLINE TRAVEL is SAFE.

Reports further indicate although extremely rare the number one cause of incidents (death, injury or loss) was “Kennel Problems” (escape or injury during escape attempts).

The second leading cause of incident was extreme temperatures. (heat/cold)


  • Is it constructed of thick heavy duty plastic with a metal door and metal bolt attachments?
  • Is it missing any hardware? Reports indicate that just one missing nut & bolt attachment can cause serious problems for traveling pets.
  • Does your pet carrier kennel have dial latch attachments? Reports indicate that these types of attachments are not nearly as reliable or safe as metal bolt attachments. They further recommend that these types of attachments should be reinforced with plastic cable ties to ensure they will stay in the closed/locked position.
  • Does your pet carrier kennel have plastic peg-type attachments? Reports indicate that these types of attachments are also not as safe or reliable as metal bolt attachments. They further recommend that these types of attachments should be removed and replaced with metal nuts & bolts or plastic cable ties.
  • Does your pet carrier have snap together attachments? Reports indicate these type of kennels are very unreliable.
  • What about the kennel door, will it stay closed and secure even if your pet begins to panic? Some airlines are now requiring releasable plastic cable ties on all kennel doors to insure they stay closed/locked during flights.
  • Is your kennel lined sufficiently to absorb all wetting accidents? Wet slippery kennel floors are very uncomfortable and extremely unsafe for traveling pets. Further wet skin and fur will exasperate cold temperatures creating a dangerously unsafe environment for your traveling pet.
  • Is your kennel properly labeled with “LIVE ANIMALS” and “ARROWS indicating this side UP” on both the left and right side to insure proper handling?
  • In the unlikely event your pet does escape always make sure your pet has current updated contact information attached to his/her collar. (when traveling or relocating a cell phone, pager or family member’s numbers is preferred for the quickest response)

Don’t let your pet become one of these Rare Airline Incidents. Insure your Pet Carrier Kennel is SAFE & SECURE prior to air travel with our COMPLETE DELUXE PET AIRLINE TRAVEL KIT.

NEW -USDA & IATA Airline Kennel Guidelines for pet’s Traveling in Cargo-NEW

Airline Carrier / Kennel must:

  • Be constructed of wood, metal, plastic or a similar material.
  • Be leak-proof, escape-proof and the door must fasten securely.
  • Kennel door must be constructed of welded or cast metal. Plastic doors or top-opening doors are not allowed.
  • Be large enough for the animal to stand, sit and lie comfortably, and in a natural manner.
  • Be outfitted with separate food and watering dishes (divided cups are acceptable) securely attached inside the kennel so that if necessary, the animal can be fed and watered without opening the kennel.
  • Be clean, with no offensive odors and contain absorbent material.
  • The use of straw, hay or wood shavings is prohibited.
  • Be free of wheels. If the kennel has wheels they should be removed or taped to prevent the kennel from rolling.
  • Be adequately ventilated. The total ventilated areas must be a minimum of 16 percent of the total surface area, including the door and three remaining sides.
  • Not be collapsible or foldable.
  • The shipper is required to secure rigid plastic kennels with releasable cable ties attached to all four corners of the door when possible. Cable ties must be hand removable without the use of tools.
  • Be marked with the words “live animal” in green on the top and one or more sides, in letters at least 1 inch high.
  • Have attached labels with the shipper and consignee’s name, street address and phone number.
  • Have attached labels with food and watering instructions, the last time the animal was offered food and water, along with a supply of packaged food (in clear bag only) attached to the outside of the container or attach written instructions from an accredited veterinarian to not feed or water the animal. The animal must have been offered food or water within four hours before drop off at Cargo.
  • Be marked with “this end up” or directional arrows on at least 2 sides.

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5 Responsesso far.

  1. Love the additional tips like carrying a current picture of my pet and double checking the Microchip database. Both tips help put my mind at ease. I think we are all ready to go now, Thanks, Nervous Mom.

  2. Hi,
    We have an international military flight coming up. Food storage bags… can they be something as simple as ziploc storage bags? Maybe doubled to give it some added strength?

    Your site has been amazing and so informational. I always come back to it for all my questions. Thank you so much for keeping things up to date!


    • Absolutely just make sure and double or triple bag and probably best to tape to the roof instead of hanging from bolt since the plastic is very thin in sandwich type bags and if it catches will probably rip off pretty easy. The rules are it must be in clear bag so they can easily examine without opening and only enough food for one meal.