Pets always need to travel in airline approved travel crates.
Pet Carriers / Kennels Modification Tips Tricks to Create an Airline Approved Crate
A pet crate is not something to skimp on. The crate should be the correct size, sturdy, and comfortable. A crate that is too small will be very uncomfortable; a crate that is too large could cause the pet to be tossed around during handling. Airline-approved crates are probably your best bet. Most crates come with food and water bowls, as well as stickers indicating that an animal is inside. If your pet is house-trained, consider putting a blanket, liner, or cushion in the crate. If they are not house-trained, a clean carrier floor is probably best.
If you are traveling with the animal in the cabin it should be OK but for checked baggage I know it must be a hard-sided crate. Look online for "airline approved crates" and do not buy one unless it is approved or you will NOT be able to check your pet. The airlines secure the crates in the hold using special hardware that attaches the the crate. They don't want your little buddy sliding all over the cargo hold and neither do you.
Pet Crate Large Dogs Airline Approved Cargo Crate - Pet Travel Store
All - airline-approved - Pet Crates Direct
Hard options will provide more protection, and there’s just generally more of them available in the marketplace that are approved for air travel. These would especially be recommended if your canine will need to travel as cargo, you’ll be thankful for the peace of mind you’ll receive from knowing your pet is in a crate with superior protection. Many airlines won’t even transport animals in cargo if they’re in a soft crate, so for larger dogs, these are definitely the best option.The American Veterinary Medical Association outlines the standard specifications that apply to airline-compliant crates for pets. Crates must be large enough for animals to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. Approved crates will also be made of sturdy plastic with leak-proof bottoms. No wheels are permitted on crates. The crate needs to have ventilation holes on all four sides, and the door must feature a secure locking system that can only by opened from the outside. Additionally, the crate has to have food and water bowls attached to the inside of the door with a space that allows airline personnel to refill the dishes without opening the kennel. Finally, the crate needs to be labeled with the owner's name, itinerary and contact information as well as a "Live Animals" sticker and a set of arrows showing which way is upright for the kennel.Pet owners must use shipping crates approved by the USDA to transport their animals as cargo or checked baggage. Non-compliant kennels will not be accepted when you arrive at the airline's check-in station. Animals crates have to meet a variety of standards relating to size, materials, strength, security, sanitation design and ventilation. These regulations exist to keep both pets and baggage handlers safe before and after takeoff.You can often purchase USDA-approved crates directly from an airline. However, Delta Airlines notes that airlines usually sell kennels only to booked passengers and not to the general public. Most pet stores also sell crates designed specifically for air travel. Check with your local retailers or browse the websites of online distributors to find the equipment you need.