Pet owners sometimes feel overwhelmed and confused when they start to buy an airline-approved pet carrier for their pets. This is often because they are told different things by different airlines. Many people are under the impression that the FTA sets the rules regarding pet carriers and dogs on planes but the truth is that each airline sets its own regulations about what size carriers they will accept on a flight. This means that different airlines may tell you different things. The only way to know for sure what size pet carrier an airline will accept in-cabin is by speaking to a representative of the airline.
Most airlines will give you the smallest possible dimensions when you ask them what size carriers they will accept. In actuality, pet carriers are usually soft-sided and they can easily be molded to fit under an airline seat. But pet owners, afraid the airline will refuse to seat them and their pet, end up buying a pet carrier that is too small for their pet and the pet ends up suffering when he doesn’t have to do so.
What You Should Know About Pet Carrier
Most airline-approved pet carriers are about 8-10 inches tall, 17-19 inches long, and about 15 inches wide. A carrier, with pet, should weigh 20 pounds or less. As long as your pet can fit comfortably in one of these carriers, you will rarely ever have a problem. Airline representatives don’t usually go around measuring pet carriers as long as they can be safely stowed under the seat in front of you on the plane.
The pet carrier you choose should have mesh openings on two or three sides so your pet has a free flow of air. This will help prevent your pet from panting while traveling and from becoming overheated. You should choose a soft-sided carrier so it will fit easily under the seat in front of you. You should be able to zip the carrier closed completely so your pet can’t escape from it.
Make sure you buy the right sized carrier for your pet, even if it’s a medium or large pet carrier. Most airline approved pet carriers designed for in-cabin use are all small enough to fit under an airline seat. Just make sure they are soft-sided. Soft-sided pet carriers are flexible and you can mold the carrier to fit under the seat where you need to keep your pet during travel. Your pet does need to have enough room inside the carrier. Under regulations your pet is supposed to be able to stand up and turn around inside the pet carrier, though it’s not certain that all pets can do that when they fly in a pet carrier in-cabin.
To give you some idea of what kind of dog needs a small pet carrier, a toy breed such as Yorkshire Terrier could fly in a small airline-approved pet carrier. These carriers fit pets that weigh up to 10 pounds, and are 16 inches long, and 8 inches tall.
Dogs that would need a regular or medium-sized airline-approved pet carrier include a Chihuahua, a Dachshund, and a Lhasa Apso. Most cats would also require a medium-sized pet carrier. These pet carriers can carry pets that weigh up to 17 pounds, and are 17 inches long, and 10 inches tall.
Make sure you choose the right size airline-approved pet carrier for your pet. If your pet will fit in one of these pet carriers, it will fit under the seat of the plane.
Although you can receive confusing information about what size pet carrier you need for your pet to fly in-cabin on a plane, as long as your pet will comfortably fit in an airline-approved pet carrier, the carrier will be able to fit under the seat of the plane. Don’t be afraid to buy your pet a medium or large sized-carrier if that’s what he needs. Get the right size for your pet.