5 Tips for Choosing the Right Size Crate

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by

If you’ve ever traveled with pets (or if you read this blog regularly), you’ll know that the key to safe and comfortable pet travel is in the crate. We’ve told you how to crate-train your furry friend, but before you get to that point, you might find yourself wondering what size crate your pet will need. We’ve listed 5 tips for choosing the right size crate, along with some info about why crate size matters so much.

1. Have Your Pet Try Out Crates

If your pet is comfortable enough with crates to go in and out of them freely, then try visiting a pet store with a selection of crates and let your pet model them for you. Your pet should be able to see out of the crate without ducking her head and should be able to stand comfortably. In addition, there should be enough room for your pet to turn around and lie down comfortably with her paws extended. Check out PetRelocation’s visual guide below.

Visual guide via PetRelocation

2. Measure Your Pet

If your pet is still too skittish around crates to jump in and try them out for size, break out the measuring tape. Measure the length of your pet from the base of her tail to the tip of her nose, and then add 4 inches. This is how long your crate will need to be. Next, measure your pet (while she is standing) from the floor to the top of her head, and add 4 inches. This is how tall your crate will need to be. Check out the diagram below.

crate selection measurement graphic

Where to measure your pet to determine proper crate size via PetRelocation

3. Know Standard Pet Travel Crate Sizes

Especially important if you are going to be flying with your pet at any time, professional-grade pet travel crates come in 6 standard sizes (Series #100, #200, #300, #400, #500, and #700). Reputable crate brands, such as the Petmate Sky Kennel, follow these sizes, and knowing which series number your crate is can help make planning pet air travel a bit easier. If your pet is especially large, she might need a custom-made crate or crate extensions. Once you know how tall and how long your pet's crate will need to be, simply check this chart to determine what size crate you will need to purchase.

standard crate sizes

Standard crate sizes via PetRelocation

4. Ensure Proper Ventilation

This is why crate size is so important, and why airline-approved crates have ventilation holes on all 4 sides. The more room a pet has in her crate, the better the air circulation. Ventilation is important, as pets may breathe more heavily than normal if they are anxious about traveling. Additionally, pets regulate their body temperatures by panting, so extra room to breathe can help prevent overheating. For these reasons, if your pet fits somewhere in-between two crate sizes, it is always best to get the larger size.

5. Consider Your Pet’s Breed

Because ventilation is so important when choosing the right crate size, certain breeds need more help than others. If your pet is a brachycephalic, or flat-faced, breed (such as a pug, bulldog, or Persian cat), she will be prone to breathing difficulties and will need extra room in her crate to ensure safe travel. For these breeds, follow the tips above to find out what size she should need, then buy the next largest size. For example, if Pugsy is tall and long enough to need a series #300 crate, you will need to buy her a series #400 to make sure that she has enough ventilation to safely travel in her crate.

bulldog in crate

This bulldog shows off his extra-roomy crate.

These tips should help you determine what size crate your pet will need. You can also check out PetRelocation’s guide to Picking the Right Crate Size.

Do you have any tips for choosing the right size travel crate? Have any questions about crates? Let us know in the comments below.


Tips for Crate Training Dogs

Thursday, June 13, 2013 by

There’s a lot to consider when planning a move with your dog, and one of the first things you’ll want to address is whether or not your furry pal is comfortable in a travel crate. Not every pup has the chance to be crate-trained early in life, but when it comes to travel this is a must.

If your dog is unfamiliar with traveling in a crate, here are a few factors that will help make the training process as smooth and easy as possible.


Introduce your dog to the travel crate as early as you can by placing it out in the open in a room she frequents. Making it a familiar part of the landscape will remove the feeling that anything particularly eventful is happening.

Make it a Happy Place

Putting a soft, comfy blanket into the crate, stocking it with your dog’s favorite toys, and even tossing a few treats in there from time to time will help her come to see the crate as a safe and positive place to be.

Small Steps

For dogs who are especially fearful of the travel crate and what it implies, start by leaving just the bottom of the crate out in the living room. As your pup grows to accept its existence and isn’t bothered by it anymore, attach the top and the door when you feel the time is right. Gradual training makes sense for many dog-owners and this method is just as effective in the end.

golden in botton of crate

Crate training is a step-by-step process.

Be Patient

Change isn’t going to happen immediately, especially when starting from zero with a dog who isn’t crate-trained, so take a deep breath and do your best. Remember that dogs pick up on your own state of mind, so the more you treat crate-training like a fun game with no immediate deadline in place, the sooner you’ll have a travel-ready dog.