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Essential Tips for Labeling Your Dog’s Crate for Boarding or Air Travel

When it comes to traveling with pets, ensuring their safety and comfort is paramount. One of the most critical aspects of preparing for pet travel, particularly with dogs, is labeling their crate appropriately. Whether you’re boarding your furry friend or taking them along on a flight, proper labeling on their crate can make a world of difference. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of labeling your dog’s crate for boarding or air travel, covering the essentials to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your pet.

Understanding the Importance of Crate Labeling

Before diving into the ‘how-to’, it’s crucial to understand why labeling your dog’s crate correctly is so important. Proper labeling:

  1. Ensures Safety: It helps airline staff and boarding facility workers quickly identify your dog, their needs, and any special instructions.
  2. Provides Peace of Mind: Knowing your dog’s crate is well-labeled can give you peace of mind during your separation.
  3. Facilitates Communication: It serves as a vital communication tool, conveying important information about your dog’s health, behavior, and requirements.

What to Include in Your Dog’s Crate Label

For Air Travel

When flying, airlines have specific requirements for pet crate labeling. Here’s what you need to include:

  1. Your Contact Information: This should include your full name, phone number, and address. If possible, also include your destination contact details.
  2. Pet’s Information: Clearly state your dog’s name, breed, age, and any relevant health information.
  3. Flight Details: Include your flight number, departure, and arrival information.
  4. ‘Live Animal’ Indicator: This is a must. Large, bold letters stating “Live Animal” should be visible on the top and at least one side of the crate.
  5. Arrow Indicators: Arrows indicating the upright position of the crate are essential for handling.
  6. Food and Water Instructions: Attach a small pouch with food and a written feeding schedule, if applicable.

For Boarding

Boarding facilities might have their own labeling requirements, but generally, you should include:

  1. Your Contact Information: Provide your name, phone number, and emergency contact.
  2. Pet’s Information: Include your dog’s name, breed, any special behavioral traits, and medical information.
  3. Feeding and Medication Instructions: Detailed feeding and medication schedules are crucial for the staff to adhere to your dog’s routine.
  4. Veterinarian Contact: Provide your vet’s contact information for emergencies.

Best Practices for Labeling the Crate

  1. Durability: Use weatherproof materials for labels. Laminating paper labels can protect them from wear and tear.
  2. Visibility: Place labels on the top and sides of the crate for easy visibility.
  3. Secure Attachment: Ensure labels are securely attached to the crate but can be removed or updated by you if needed.
  4. Updates: Always update the labels with any new information for each travel or boarding.

Additional Tips

  • Attach a Recent Photo: A recent photo of your dog on the crate can help in identification if needed.
  • Comfort Items: Consider placing a familiar toy or blanket inside the crate for your dog’s comfort.
  • Check Airline/Boarding Facility Requirements: Always check with the airline or boarding facility for any specific labeling requirements or restrictions.


Properly labeling your dog’s crate for boarding or air travel is a simple yet vital step in preparing for your journey. It not only ensures the safety and well-being of your beloved pet but also provides peace of mind for you, the owner. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your furry friend’s travel experience is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Remember, the key to successful pet travel is preparation and attention to detail. So, take the time to label your dog’s crate correctly, and embark on your journey with confidence!