How to find the right kennel size for your pet?

find kennel size for pet travel

No matter what is your mode of travel a kennel will ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable. When travelling by road in your personal vehicle a kennel/crate may not be required but when you are travelling in a train or flight a kennel is a must. Especially in a flight, the kennel norms are most stringent.

The first thing which comes to your mind when looking for a kennel is the size. There are various standard sizes available in the market which be categorized based on length and weight. For example


28inch Kennel with dimensions

(28inch length x 20inch width x 19inch height) and weight range 20-30lbs (9kg-13.5kg)


Similarly, there are other size options like 19″,24″, 28″, 32″, 36″, 40″, 48″. 48″ is the largest i have come across till now. Anything above this you will have to custom build your own kennel as per IATA guidelines.

My experience “i bought a 40″ kennel for my 3 yr old golden retriever. The kennel was just appropriate with just 1/2inch above the head and 1 or 2 inches behind. But i decided to upgrade to a 48″ one later so that he has more space and he was delighted.

This is how a kennel usually looks and these are the common dimensions of the 48” kennel. “Sky Kennel” is a product from PetMate company and i used it for my dog’s travel from Delhi, India to Toronto, Canada. But i am not promoting any brand here, there are a bunch of other companies which are IATA compliant and i am sure they will do an equally good job.

What’s more important than the brand is that you assemble the kennel well and it’s not damaged. Besides this your pet should be accustomed to sitting and sleeping in kennel/crate well before the journey date.


Selecting Kennel Size

The simplest way to make the selection is by length. But please note the length of the kennel should be the sum of the length of pet (nose to bum) and half of the height from ground to elbow.

pet measure length

Now simply select the kennel length which is equal or more than your pet’s calculated (L).

For example, my Golden’s measurement was

A = 40inch

B = 13inch

So, Length (L) = 39″ + 13″/2 = 45.5″, hence 48″ was the right size for my dog.

But when it comes to air travel airlines are very stringent with their pet travel policies and you should alway check with the airline or read their pet travel policy online. Most of the airlines adhere to IATA standards, so the IATA general container requirements regulation are a good read for all pet lovers. Here are the links;

IATA website page link with all the information

IATA container requirement PDF English

IATA container requirement PDF French

IATA container requirement PDF Spanish

If the above links are not working for some reason, here is the PDF I downloaded.

IATA container requirement PDF English as on 26 June 2019. In case you are reading this century after I posted please do a search on google for the latest guidelines.

Also, you can use the calculator I made on this website to find the size. Pet Kennel Size Calculator


Some Do’s & Don’t illustrations if nothing works for you this simple illustration will.

dog kennel size logic

Important Information

From my experience, I can say that if your pet is not kennel trained you will need at least 1 to 1.5 month to train your pet to sit and sleep in the kennel. I have shared my experience in another blog, you can read the blog to get some insight into “How to kennel train your dog“.


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