East Coast Crates

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Shipping Dogs
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Shipping Dogs

All East Coast Crates exceed airline requirements for airline approved kennels. The design and construction make East Coast Crates the sturdiest and safest airline kennels to ship your dog, insuring your dog's safety and comfort.   Making your trip(s) a positive travel experience for both you and your dog is a priority for East Coast Crates.  You will not regret utilizing the safest airline approved dog crate manufactured by East Coast Crates. 

One of the problems we have to contend with are the varying rules of different airline carriers when shipping animals. All airlines must meet the basic requirements determined by APHIS and USDA although each airline has specific rules in addition to these basic requirements. 

In addition to the rules about health certificates, temperature embargoes, etc. the airlines have specific and varying rules about the kennels the dogs travel in. Information may change “without prior notification” so it is always best to verify with the carrier prior to travel. 

We strongly suggest that when you book your flight you tell your agent that you want to take your dog along as excess baggage. Know the outside dimensions of your crate. Know the total weight of the crate, the dog and their combined weight. The agent should be able to confirm at this point if your crate will fit through the cargo door. The airline agent may refer to crates by series size (small, medium or large), or may use series dimensions (100, 200 etc.). I suggest using inches - it will save time. 

I also suggest carrying a hard copy of the specific carriers shipping policy each time you fly to minimize any delays during check in.   You need to have a proof of rabies vaccination given within the year prior to travel and health certificate from your vet no more than 2 weeks prior to the flight.  If you are flying internationally your dog needs an internationally recognized microchip and you will need a specific international health certificate along, endorsement from the USDA, and whatever health testing needs to be done to enter that particular country.  You need to allow plenty of time to make international travel arrangements because some countries require rabies titers which can take several months to obtain. 

You and the airlines must follow APHIS regulations on the size of kennel for your pet. The kennel must be sturdy, properly ventilated and large enough for your pet to freely be able to stand, turn around and lie down. The kennel must close securely with a mechanism that requires no special tools to operate. APHIS regulations require that the kennel have projecting rims or spacers to ensure that the kennel’s ventilation slats cannot be blocked by adjoining kennels or cargo.  Remember to check with your airline because airline policies can vary.

Is your pet comfortable in the travel kennel?
As far in advance of the trip as possible, let your pet get to know the travel kennel. Veterinarians recommend leaving it open in the house with an old sock or other familiar object inside, so that your pet will spend time in the kennel. It is important for your dog or cat to be as relaxed as possible during the flight. At the time of travel, be aware that most airlines do not permit pet toys in the kennel during transport in the cargo hold.

When your pet travels, the kennel should

  • Clearly display your name and address
  • Use arrows or other marking to indicate the top of the kennel
  • Include food and water dishes (both empty), which are secured inside the kennel and accessible from outside
  • Show a food and water schedule and, if any food is necessary, include an ample supply in a bag attached to the outside of the kennel
  • Contain no more than one adult dog (or puppy between eight weeks and six months old that weighs more than 20 lbs.) or one cat per kennel. (Two puppies or kittens that are between the ages of eight weeks and six months old and under 20 lbs. each may share the same kennel if they are personal pets of comparable size and are socially compatible with one another)
  • A general rule of thumb is that your pet must be able to stand comfortably in the kennel and be able to turn around while standing in the kennel
  • Contain absorbent material or bedding, such as newspaper
  • Display labels on top and on at least one side with the words LIVE ANIMALS printed in 1-inch-high letters

Important -- Travel Container: 

Many injuries, deaths, and escapes can be attributed to either the pet trying to escape the kennel and as a result hurting its paws and/or gums, or due to actual escape. Escapes can be due to a variety of causes. For example  a dog can chew its way out of the kennel if it can get its upper and lower teeth between slits or holes in the plastic sufficient enough to apply force; dogs and cats may be able to push the door open or partially open and escape; the kennel lock is broken or not properly latched; or the kennel itself  is not properly and securely assembled.  For further  information on the  types of injuries of  transported pets, please go to the Department of Transportation consumer report page at:  http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/index.htm  Go down the long report to the very last page for animals incidents. The reports are by month and year.

    Tips on Selecting a Travel Container for your pet:

  • Look for one that is put together securely, e.g., locking metal bolts
  • Look for metal doors instead of plastic (pets may be able to chew through or bend/buckle plastic doors 
  • Ensure door lock mechanism is strong and effective
  • No wheels (wheels that are lockable may be permitted by some airlines)
  • Airlines or Air transport organizations do not certify containers.  Each airline has their own set of kennel requirements in addition to the minimal USDA APHIS rules.


IATA Regulation 82 -  Dog breeds requiring reinforced crates:
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Ca de Bou
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Presa Canario
  • Tosa (or Tosa Ken)

Determination of breed, age or weight of the animal is to be confirmed by the animal's Health Certificate (dated within 10 days of transport). Additionally, airlines reserve the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender.

**IATA Container Requirement #82 states that the container or crate must be constructed of wood, metal, synthetic materials, weld mesh or wire mesh. Additional design principles regarding frame, sides, floor, roof and doors also apply. No portion of the crate may be plastic. The crate door must be made of heavy wire mesh, metal or reinforced wood and should have a secure means of fastening that cannot be opened accidentally.

Dogs with aggressive tendencies or a greater propensity to bite, were listed by airlines as ‘violent or dangerous dogs’ and therefore needed under all circumstances to be contained for transportation in specific dangerous dog kennels only. Now what’s a dangerous dog kennel? What’s the difference to any ordinary plastic crate and how will I find an appropriate dangerous dog kennel when shipping my dog by air? These questions, amongst others, have frequently been asked...

At East Coast Crates we would be happy to advise you in any of these matters and of course we could gladly manufacture a kennel according to your dog’s size. Our high quality kennels are absolutely safe, and even exceed the strict IATA Live Animals Regulations (LAR). Due to their high quality workmanship our kennels are robust and re-usable. Our experience has shown that buying dog containers that are cheap and/or too small, is not advisable.


Be sure to "acclimate" your pet to the kennel it will be traveling in. Let it spend varying lengths of time in the kennel several days before travel so that it is familiar with it.  Some pets are stressed severely by being placed in a strange cage. Also, you may wish to put some article of clothing that you have worn into the kennel during transportation.  This may help calm the pet.  An old T-shirt that you have slept in for one or more nights will work well.


Sedation of your pet is not generally recommended for air travel. The pets safety is at risk. Please refer to a statement from the American Veterinary Medial Association (AVMA)

Travel Abroad:

Always check with the destination a month or more in advance of your trip. Each country has their own set of rules, some simple, some complex, and some require quarantine. Please Go to this page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/. Also check with one of our State offices for more information and/or to have health certificates "officially" endorsed (some countries require government endorsement). You can find your state office here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/area_offices/

Don't Forget:

Many Animal Welfare Organizations have information on pet travel on their websites. It is easy to find these organizations through a web search on such words as "pet travel" etc.




Airline Information and website links

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Please call ECC at 1-800-253-3202 or 706-232-1618 or at cell 706-409-4487 for information or to place an order. Or email us at PeteECCrates@aol.com or RachelECCrates@aol.com. We look forward to helping you!!

Our crates are available in many colors and feature  Options such as drawers, grooming surface, wheels, and more!

Please watch our youtube crate and tackbox video 1 or  video 2 to see more fantastic detail of East Coast Crates at Eric Salas