Complete Guide to Airline Compliant Dog Travel IATA CR82
How to Travel with Your Dog Under the IATA CR-82 Rules
Air travel with your dog can be difficult with some of the recent regulations to airline travel and pets. If you are like most, you would prefer to fly with your dog in the cabin of the plane however, this is not always possible. Many airlines are now not allowing pets over a certain size, deemed strong or aggressive in cabin of the plane. The only option left is for your pet to travel in the cargo hold. Despite the fears around pet cargo travel on an airline, millions of animals fly safely in the cargo every year and can actually travel better this way because it is quieter and they can rest in a darkened environment. The requirements, however, can be challenging to understand, so we have put this quick guide together to help you travel easily with you dog.
What is IATA CR-82
IATA stands for the “International Air Transportation Association” and is responsible for formulating air travel policies and standards. CR-82 stands for “Crate Requirement #82”. According to IATA CR-82 Crate Requirements (link), the crate must be constructed of metal, synthetic, wire mesh, weld mesh or wood. Absolutely no portion of it should be plastic. The door of the crate should be wide of heavy metal, wire mesh or reinforced wood. It should also be equipped with a secure means of fastening that is impossible to open accidentally. Handles are required, as well as food and water dishes and correct labels affixed to the kennel
The reason for this is airlines have experienced some incidents where large, strong or upset dogs escaped from their plastic kennel simply by chewing the sides of their crate. This has resulted in damage to the inside of the plane and danger for human passengers and flight employees. IATA CR82 was put in place to protect the airline, their employees and passengers as well as the dog from incidents like these.
First, let’s looks at the breeds that are likely affected,
Possible Affected Breeds
Each airline is different and selects its own unique list of breeds they consider to be “strong” or “aggressive”. Below is a general list of dogs that are viewed at strong, aggressive or otherwise required to be transported in the cargo hold under IATA CR-82. This list is compiled from several of the larger carriers, but it’s recommended that you contact your carrier regarding your dog before you fly.
- American Bully
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff)
- Anatolian Shepherd (Karabash)
- Argentine Mastiff (Dogo Argentino)
- Brazilian Mastiff (Fila Brasileiro)
- British Staffordshire Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Bull Mastiff (Silverback Mastiff/Mallorquin Mastiff/Ca de Bou)
- Canary Mastiff (Perro de Presa Canario)
- Caucasian Mastiff (Caucasian Ovcharka)
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- Italian Mastiff (Cane Corso)
- Japanese Mastiff (Tosa Ken)
- Karabash (Kangal Dog, Anatolin Shepard)
- Mastiff – All Breeds
- Pit Bull – All breeds
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Wolf Dog Hybrids
Special Note Regarding Brachycephalic or "Short-Nosed" Dogs:The U.S. Department of Transportation in conjunction with veterinary experts have recently released statistics showing that short-nosed breeds of dogs—such as pugs, Boston Terriers, boxers, some mastiffs, Lhasa Apsos, Pekingese, Bulldogs, and Shih tzus and bulldogs—are more likely to die on airplanes than dogs with normal-length muzzles. These breeds have been found to have abnormalities that can compromise their breathing. Because of this many airline carriers are now not allowing brachycephalic or "short-nosed" dogs to travel in the cargo area or as checked luggage. Please check with your airline to find out if your dog can travel and what their specific policies are.
CR-82 Complaint Kennels
Cats and dogs must be carried in an appropriately sized kennel designed so that they cannot fit their paws through any of the openings on the kennel. The kennel must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down in a natural position. Each airline can impose more stringent requirements so it’s important to check with your specific carrier.
STEP 1: Measure your dog based on the diagram below
A = length of the animal from tip of the nose to the base of the tail.
B = height of the animal when standing, from top of head (or ears, whichever is higher) to the floor - ears must not touch the top of the kennel when standing.
C = width at the widest point.
STEP 2: Calculate the size of the crate needed for your dog
The length of the kennel must be equal to A + 4".
The height of the kennel must be equal to or greater than B + 3".
The width of the kennel must be equal to C x 2.
While each airline may have their own size requirements most follow the IATA 82 standard. This standard rule of thumb is that when the dog is standing in a normal relaxed position the crate should measure 3 inches above the top of his head and 4 inches longer than the measurement from nose to base of the tail. The width of the crate should measure 2 times the width of the dog at its widest point but this measurement typically does not come into play as most crates are much wider than this. A visual indicator for the airline attendants who are in charge of getting your dog onto the plane is that they are able to see your dog comfortably stand up and turn around in the crate.
Interior Kennel Requirements
- Food and water dishes must be attached inside the kennel with outside access for filling.
- Absorbent bedding or flooring is required, like a light blanket, cushion or pad (don’t use woodchips or shavings)
Exterior Kennel Requirements
- Green Live Animal tags and This Way Up label/tag is mandatory. Place the This Way Up label/tag on all four sides of the kennel.
- Clearly indicate your pet's name on the outside of the kennel.
- Attach a label with feeding and watering instructions, and indicate the date and time the animal was last fed and given water.
As the kennel becomes the animal's home away from home, it's a good idea to purchase the kennel well in advance of travel so the animal can become accustomed to it before traveling. Keep in mind that many of these crates are expensive and made to order, so you’ll want to purchase a crate well in advance of your trip.
Crate Options & Where to Buy
The good news is there is an IATA CR-82 compliant crate ready-for-flight with everything you will need. These crates are specifically designed to meet the high standards of IATA while also keeping your dog safe and comfortable
Before you Fly
It is not advised for your pet to have full stomach just before flying. Instead, the IATA recommends feeding your pet a light meal and a small drink approximately two hours before flight and exercise your pet immediately before it goes into its container. While it's best to refrain from feeding your dog right before the flight, you can (and should) continue to give him water right up to the time of travel.
- Reduce the quantity of food the day before but give it enough water
- Take your dog for a walk before leaving for the airport and again before check-in
- A light meal 2 hours before tendering the animal to the carrier will help to calm it and is a legal requirement in the United States.
- Sedation is NOT recommended and can put your pet at risk, consult with you veterinarian regarding sedation as well as the airline.
- Put bedding or absorbent material on the floor of the crate
Check with your Airline
Below are links to some of the major airline carrier’s pet policies. This is a great place to start when planning your air travel with your dog.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
Airline Travel policies change frequently and each is unique to it’s own. We do not work for or represent the IATA or any airline carrier. This guide does not guarantee that you will be able to fly with you dog based on the above requirements. It’s strongly recommended that you contact you airline carrier regarding your travel plans and your specific breed before you purchase any travel crate or airline tickets.
- May 01, 2019
- in Guides