It is very important to choose the right container-size when transporting animals. Animals in too small containers will not be accepted by the airline due to safety regulations and the well-being of your pet.

General requirements for animal containers:

  • The container must be safe for the animal and the personnel handling it.
  • The container must be of strong construction.
  • The container must have the sufficient number of ventilation openings.
  • The container size must be correct for the animal in question.
  • The container´s doors cannot be opened from inside nor outside during the whole transport.
  • Door-lock on kennel must be secure, but no padlocks.
  • Door hinges and locking pins must extend beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the opening by at least 1.6 cm.
  • The container must be solid, clean and leak-proof.
  • The container´s floor must have absorbent material.
  • No wheels are allowed under no circumstances.
  • The container must include two empty plastic dishes or a singe dish with two compartments for food and water, they must be attached to the container door, and accessible without opening the kennel door.

What container model should you choose?

After checking all the requirements, you should decide on a container. (Note that if you have a bigger dog, you may need a wooden container/travel box).  There are many different containers available on the market nowadays. We will recommend checking that the container that you are going to purchase, comply with all the requirements, since a wrong container would translate into delays, bigger costs and unnecessary stress.  Unfortunately, some manufactories are claiming to be “IATAapproved” without actually fulfilling all the norms. At this moment we only recommend Vari Kennel containers, as it is verified that they fully comply with all established rules and requirements.


Vari Kennel containers. Notice how roof and floor are connected by bolts/screws and not (!) clips.

? Travelcargo – PetExpress manufacture IATA approved wooden travel boxes for your pets and we supply the airline approved plastic kennels as well.

What size should you choose?

It is crucial to purchase the right sized container. Your pet must be able to stand and sit with head fully erect (without touching the roof), turn around and lie down comfortably inside the container.  We recommend you to carefully measure your pet before purchasing the container.

Airlines use the following indications to ensure the animal has enough space in the container. The measurements below are based on the animal standing in a natural position:

A = length of animal from nose to root of tail.

B = height from ground to elbow joint.

C = width across musters.

D = height of animal in standing position.



  • The length of the kennel must be equal to A + 1/2 B.
  • The width of the kennel must be equal to C x 2.
  • The height of the kennel (top flat or arched) must be equal to D. 

Requirements for cat and dog containers:

  • The container must allow the animal to stand and sit with head and ears erect, without touching the top of the container- see examples below
  • The cat/dog must be able to turn around normally while standing, and to lie in a comfortable, natural position, with paws extended.
  • The container can be made of rigid plastics, plywood or wood (Note: Many countries do not accept containers that are made of untreated wood).
  • Some airlines do not accept animals in plastic containers if the animal weighs more than 40 kg.
  • Two adult animals that are familiar with each other may be transported in one container, provided that the weight of each animal is less than 14 kg (to be confirmed by the airline each time).

Examples of appropriated containers sizes:


If you have any question, please contact us, our team will be happy to assist you!


At Travelcargo International Removals, the safety of our customers and employees is our first priority and we’re doing everything we can to ensure it during these difficult times. We are following striclty the recommendations of the Finnish institute for health and welfare, and taking active steps to protect our staff and customers from the spread of the virus.

In Finland, we are currently fully operational, but many countries have enforced lockdowns that impacts the handling of removals and transports. If you are planning on moving abroad, fill out our quotation request and we will study your case and provide you with the best possible solution. If you have already a booking with us in the near future and have some concerns/doubts, please contact your Move manager.

We are confident that we will get through this together as a community. It is important that we all play our role in trying to prevent the spread of the virus and act in accordance with government recommendations. Stay safe!