How to Choose the Right Travel Crate for Your Dog

If you’re preparing to travel with your dog, choosing the right travel crate is important. With so many travel crate options available, knowing which one is right for your dog can be difficult.

We sat down with dog experts from Cozy Crates to share a few factors to consider when choosing a travel crate, requirements if traveling by airline, and some common travel crate options.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Travel Crate

Before purchasing a crate for your dog, you will need to gather a few essential measurements. Here are 3 measurements you need before shopping for a travel crate.

Length: When your dog is standing on all fours, take its measurement from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Add two to four inches to that number to best approximate the necessary crate length.
Height: Have your dog go into a sitting position. Then measure from the floor to the top of their head. Add two to four inches to that number to estimate the minimum height needed for the crate.
Weight: Check the weight of your dog and ensure that it is aligned with the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit.

It’s important to note that measuring width is not necessary as this will be based on the length and height measurements of the travel crate.

Airline Requirements for Dog Travel Crates

There are certain requirements that your dog crate must meet if you’re traveling by airline. Knowing these requirements will help you determine which crate you need for your dog.

With that said, always check with your airline beforehand to ensure you are meeting all of the airline’s rules and regulations.

  • Crate must be made of a material such as a fiberglass, metal, and weld metal mesh. Crates must also be collapsible
  • Floor must be solid and leak-proof
  • Crate door must be secure and spring-loaded. Additionally, it must have a sufficient locking system.
  • Ventilation is required for at least one end door and two sides for domestic flights. International flights require one end door and 3 sides.
  • Most airlines require metal hardware and cable ties on every corner of the crate.
  • Your dog needs to be able to stand up and move around comfortably in the crate.

4 Types of Travel Crates for Your Dog

Now let’s take a look at a few common types of dog travel crates that owners can consider.

Plastic Crates

Plastic travel crates offer your pet a little more privacy compared to other options. This type of crate is also perfect for larger dogs.

A plastic crate is easily portable and lightweight. These crates are easy to clean and have low visibility for dogs that are more reserved and do better in private settings.

Having more privacy is also great for dogs that are more reactive as they have fewer distractions. Not only that, but plastic crates are harder to escape, which is something to consider if you have an aggressive dog.

However, plastic crates don’t fold, which means they aren’t the best for storage. In addition to this, these crates have low airflow. This can be uncomfortable in hot weather. Lastly, low visibility can create a stressful environment for certain dogs.

Metal Crates

Metal crates are a popular choice for owners because of their easy customization. Metal crates can include dividers, crate covers, and DIY furniture to create the best space for your dog.

These crates are nice for travel because they have great airflow, open visibility, and the ability to customize the crate for your dog’s needs.

If you’re preparing for a trip, keep in mind that it can be easier to escape a metal crate. Metal crates are also highly visible. This isn’t ideal for dogs who don’t have a crate cover but need privacy. Metal crates can also damage your dog’s teeth if it chews on the crate.

Fabric Crates

Fabric crates, commonly known as soft-sided crates, are extremely portable and have a convenient setup. That makes these crates one of the best options when it comes to travel.

Fabric crates are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to carry. However, these crates are not very durable and easy to escape from as dogs can chew their way out. A fabric crate is more ideal if you’re not traveling by airline.

Heavy-Duty Crates

If you have an aggressive dog that loves to escape or one that enjoys chewing its way out of situations, a heavy-duty crate is a great choice. In fact, heavy-duty crates are specifically made for dogs who exhibit these kinds of behaviors.

Heavy-duty crates are chew-proof, difficult to escape and offer the best crash protection if you’re traveling by car. However, these crates are heavy to carry and expensive.

Are you preparing for a trip? Whether you’re traveling by airline or taking a road trip with your companion, having the right travel crate is important. The good news is that there are various travel crate options for you to choose from.

Be sure to get your dog’s measurements to decide what size crate you need. If you’re travelling by airline, be sure to review the standard requirements set by the airline in terms of what kind of crate is necessary for air travel.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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