If you want to fly with your pet then you will be needing to purchase a crate that meets International Airline Travel Organization (IATA) requirements. For most pet owners a strong plastic crate will do. In this article we'll discuss the popular Petmate Sky Kennel. Note: If you have a dog breed commonly associated as fighting/dangerous e.g. certain breeds of mastiffs, terriers and pit bulls, you will require a crate that meets tougher requirements – please read our IATA 82 Dog Crates article instead.
When flying with your dog you will need to buy a robust portable crate. But you can't just buy any crate. The crate must meet certain standards. Each airline has it's own requirements. But fortunately the main requirements dealing with kennels for air transportation are covered by a single organization known as the International Airline Travel Organization (IATA). You can read our Airline Approved Dog Crates article for more information on that. The Petmate Sky Kennel is a crate designed as the name suggests for flying with pets. However it will also require the purchase of a travel kit to make it compliant with IATA requirements. More on that below.
So what do you get with this crate?
Sturdy tough, high plastic construction made in the USA
Non-corrosive plastic wing nuts (see below notes on airline kit)
Enhances security while maintaining visibility with extra strong steel wire on sides and door.
Secure door latches and easy to operate.
Four way ventilation.
“Live Animal” sticker.
There are six sizes of this crate available for dogs weight recommendations as follows:
- 21″ – up to 15 lbs
- 28″ – 25-30 lbs
- 32″ – 30-50 lbs
- 36″ – 50-70 lbs
- 40″ – 70-90 lbs
- 48″ – 90-125 lbs
There are some design variations across the sizes, namely a carry handle is only present on the smaller 21″ and 28″ models. All except the 21″ model have tie down holes, and the 36″-48″ models all feature a four way latching vault door.
The crate size you need will depend on the size of your dog, To accurately measure your dog to determine the ideal cage size, you need to measure her from the top of her head to the floor and from the tip of her nose to the base of her tail. The height of the kennel should be 1-2″ higher than your pet when she is standing or sitting and should have just enough room for her to stand, turn around, sit and lie.
Lastly you will need an airline travel kit to ensure this crate fully meets the IATA airline requirements. However, do also check out the website of the airline you are thinking of flying with, or inquire directly with them. They may have additional requirements that you'll need to adhere to.
The airline travel kit includes a spill-resistant food & water cup so your pet does not get thirsty or dehydrated during travel. There is an absorbent kennel pad in case there are any spillages or accidents. You get two Live Animals stickers so it is clear on sight that the crate contains a live animal, and should be handled accordingly. There is a temporary Pet ID tag so your pet can be quickly identified and traced to you as may become necessary, plus a shipping identification sticker for the same purpose. You also get a set of metal bolts, nuts and washers. These allow you to replace the plastic wing nuts that come with the Sky Kennel as standard. Many airlines insist that the crate is securely held together only with metal nuts and bolts.