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Small Dog Traveling Crate: What to Look for? What to avoid?

Whether you want to travel with your dog or keep them out of trouble while you’re out, there are thousands of crating options to choose from. What should you look for? What do you avoid? There are many factors that you should consider when shopping for a  small dog traveling crate including where you are going and how you are getting there. Keep reading to find out more!

Small Dog Traveling Crate

What to Look for When Buying a Small Dog Traveling Crate

Type of Travel

One of the biggest factors in shopping for the perfect crate is your method of travel. A short distance in a car may require a different type of crate than an airplane. There are new crash-tested crates for cars, while others prefer a soft-sided crate for short car rides.




If you’re going long distances with your dog, comfort is an important factor to consider. If your dog is comfortable, they will be less likely to act up. It will also prevent health problems, especially if you are planning on a lot of trips, or a trip with an extended duration.



It is important to consider materials. Wire crates tend to be the most popular because they are simple and easy to clean. They have a large range of visibility so that if you are using your crate indoors, your dog can still feel like they are included (this may also be a con for these crates, but they are easily covered). Additionally, materials such as plastic or metal are generally easy to clean. They also tend to be more durable.

Plastic crates are typically viewed as travel crates, and are the most likely kind of crate to be “airline approved.” Metal (heavy duty) crates are used as travel crates as well, but usually for use in homes with destructive dogs due to their weight. Soft crates, while some people find them gentler and less imposing that other crates, tend to be harder to clean because of its shape and the fabric and netting used.


small dog travelling crate


Size is an important factor no matter what your travel plans are. You will want a crate that is big enough to hold your dog comfortably, but not so big that they could get hurt. When measuring your dog for crate size, add three inches to its height and length. This will give you the minimum size of your crate. The crate should provide them enough room to sit, lay, turn around, and stand comfortably. Typically, a crate between 18 inches and 24 inches is recommended for small dogs. Be cautious when looking at crate guidelines on packaging. Each dog is different, and may differ from the recommended guidelines. It is important to go by your dog’s measurements rather than the manufacturer’s guidelines.



If versatility is a factor for you, there are also many options. Oftentimes crates are collapsible for easy transporting on the go. There are soft crates that have expanding sides and compartments for extended periods in the crate. Wire crates can be a good option because they can be used in crate training indoors as well.

small dog


If you are traveling by air, it is best to start your search with the airline requirements for pet crates, and narrow down your options from there. There are generic guidelines set forth by the International Air Transport Association, however; many airlines have their own guidelines which are stricter. It is important that you adhere to the strictest set of instructions when buying your crate. These requirements are intended to keep your pets and the airline staff safe.

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