If you’re reading this, chances are that you are considering traveling with your pet bird by car or by plane. Choosing a carrier cage may seem daunting at first, but follow our handy guide to narrow your choices and zoom in on the bird carrier that suits your travel needs.
First, choose your mode of transportation
Car, plane and bird backpacks are made in different styles. For instance pet carriers for plane use have very specific requirements and are different than those used in over the road transportation.
Car Travel With Birds
Make sure that the carrier fits comfortably in the back seat of your vehicle and that it can be secured with a seat belt or bungee cord. You want the cage to be big enough to allow your bird to move about but not so large that your bird can thrash about if it becomes frightened.
For large birds, such as Macaw’s, make sure the actual carrier fits in the back seat and that it can be restrained with either a belt buckle or a strap of some sort Once you know what size of carrier you need, consider how hot the back seat may get. Do you need to cover your windows to screen out direct sunlight? You can use sun shades that may be purchased int the baby department of your local Target or Walmart.
Like any animal, you don’t want to leave your bird unattended in the car, especially in the summer. Your bird can become over-heated or it can even be stolen. Look for a well-ventilated carrier that is easy put in and take out of the car.
There are two options when shopping for a carrier for airline travel. Cargo or incabin.
In cabin carriers must be a specific size to fit under the seat in front of you. There are currently three models available, a hard-sided carriers such as the Cabin Kennel and Crystal Shuttle. There is a high quality soft-sided In Cabin Kennel that can expand for comfort yet collapse as needed to fit under the seat during flight, as well.
Airline Approved Cargo Carriers are a different story. The carrier must meet IATA guidelines that are in place to minimize risk of death due to poor ventilation or luggage slamming up against it. The carrier must be able to hold a perch, food and water cups. Individual airlines each have their own safety requirements. The only bird specific cargo approved carrier at the time of this writing is the Wingabago when used with the optional stainless steel door. A lot of people purchase a thick sided cargo carrier such as the Sky Kennel and insert an after market perch.
These soft-sided carriers are designed to be carried on your back or front, slung over your shoulder. Remarkably well made, Pak O Bird Backpacks are incredibly functional offering the ability for a view and privacy. A bird that has been conditioned to ride in the Pak O Bird can enjoy any number of outings and social activities. These carriers fit nicely in the car, too.