February 17, 2006, Newsletter Issue #4: Choosing a Crate for Your Pet

Tip of the Week

If you are going to ship dogs or other animals, it's important to find the right crate for shipping your animal. For travel within the United States, crates must meet standards set by the Department of Agriculture for size, strength, sanitation, ventilation, grips, and markings.

The crate must be large enough for the animal to stand, sit, breathe and rest comfortably. It must be easy to open, free of objects that could injure the animal, and strong enough to withstand the stress of shipping.

The floor must be solid and leakproof, with an absorbent liner or a layer of litter. Wire or other ventilated subfloors (not pegboard) are allowed.

Ventilation openings must make up at least 14 percent of the surface space of the carrier, with at least a third of the openings in the top half of the kennel. Kennels must also have rims to keep other cargo from blocking ventilation openings.

Grips must be positioned so that the carrier can be lifted without putting cargo crews in danger of being bitten by your pet. Kennels must be labeled with the words "live animals" and arrows indicating which side should be on top.

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