Find the Best Carriers for Your Dog

I'm a writer and lifelong animal lover who has owned cats, dogs, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, guinea pigs, gerbils, and rabbits.

Are you looking for the best dog carriers? Almost every dog owner will need to purchase a dog carrier at some point, whether for trips to the vet or groomer, car or airline travel, or while housebreaking a new puppy.

With so many types and styles to choose from, it’s not always easy to know which is the best for your dog.To make your search easier, I’ve compiled an up-to-date list of the best dog carriers for just about every size dog and budget.

As a long-time dog owner of both small and large breed dogs, I've learned what features make a dog carrier comfortable, durable, and practical for different uses. Along with detailed information, you'll also find the dimensions, weight limits, and key features to help you decide whether a particular carrier will work for your dog.

Dog Carrier Poll

1. SturdiBag Large Pet Carrier

SturdiBag Pet Carriers are available in small, large, XL, and XXL, but large is the biggest size that will fit under most airline seats because of its flexible height design.

Ultra-lightweight yet super strong, the SturdiBag is very easy to carry with either a leather grip handle or a padded shoulder strap. The structured base is lined with a removable, machine-washable comfort pad.

This carrier provides plenty of ventilation from mesh windows with privacy flaps that can be open or closed.

The small and large size models are approved as in-cabin carriers for most airlines.

According to SturdiBag, here are some examples of dog breeds that should fit into the SturdiBag large: larger toy breeds, King Charles, Yorkies, pugs, Jack Russells, Westies, etc.

Hard-Sided Dog Carriers

Hard-sided dog carriers are available in sizes that will fit the smallest of dogs to the largest. They’re strong, easy to clean and are the best choice for medium, large and giant size dogs.

They’re also ideal for boisterous dogs that try to break out of their carrier or puppies or dogs that have frequent accidents.

If you purchase a hard-sided dog carrier that’s roomy enough, it can also be used in your home as a place for your dog to nap or to help with the process of housebreaking a pup.

To make a hard-sided carrier more comfortable, line the bottom with a clean towel or blanket. Alternatively, you can also purchase a dog carrier liner or pads.

A very small hard-sided carrier may fit beneath an airline seat, but generally people who buy hard-sided carriers for air travel, ship the dog in the cargo section of the plane.

In either case, it's important that the dog carrier is airline approved, which means it meets certain requirements designed with the dog's safety and comfort in mind.

If you plan to ship your dog, here is a PDF of Container Requirements from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to give you an idea about what makes a dog carrier airline-approved.

I mention which dog carriers are airline-approved in this article, but as with any carrier, it's best to check with your airline directly before you travel.

Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Carrier

  • Look for safety features like strong doors, high-quality zippers and seat belt straps to secure the dog carrier in your car.
  • Choose a carrier with plenty of ventilation so your dog doesn’t get overheated.
  • Consider the weight of the carrier alone, especially for a soft-sided carrier that you plan to carry around with a shoulder strap.
  • If your dog is difficult to get in and out of a carrier, opt for one with a top-loading door in addition to the door in front.
  • Look for additional features you want, like food or water holders or removable liners. If your favorite carrier doesn’t include these, don’t forget to buy them separately.
  • If you plan to travel by air, purchase a carrier or kennel that’s airline approved.
  • If reviews are available online for the carrier you’re considering, browse through them for tips and information from other customers who own the carrier. It’s almost impossible to find a product that has 100% positive reviews, so try to look for carriers where the vast majority of customers are happy with their purchase.
  • Know the manufacturer’s warranty in case you have any issues.


12” High x 12” Wide x 18” Long (Flexible Height Carrier)

Weight of Carrier: 3.1 pounds

Holds: Dogs up to 50 pounds


  • Made with super lightweight but durable 600 denier polyester
  • Adjustable height, so it’s easy to fit beneath airline seats
  • Adjustable 4-point padded shoulder strap
  • Retractable privacy flaps on all mesh windows provide excellent ventilation
  • Seat belt safety straps
  • Removable interior fleece padding for comfort
  • An exterior storage pocket in the rear of the carrier
  • Top and front entry doors for easy access
  • Structured base board keeps bottom from sagging

SturdiBag Pet Carriers also come in these sizes: Small, large, XL, and XXL.

Examples of Dogs for the SturdiBag Small: Smaller puppies, toy breeds, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians

Examples of Dogs for the SturdiBag XL: Mini schnauzers, beagles, etc.

Colors: Available in an assortment of colors.

Warranty: SturdiBag offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

Approximate Price of the Large: $69 to $95 US

Company Website:

2. Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

The Sherpa Original Deluxe is a well-made carrier with premium features. It keeps your dog comfortable, while making it easy for you to carry. It’s available in small, medium, and large.

The small and medium are included in Sherpa’s Guaranteed On-Board Program. The details of this program can be found at

The small is currently guaranteed as an in-cabin carrier on American Airlines, AirTran, Aloha Airlines, Southwest, US Airways, United, Air Canada, and WestJet.

The medium is currently guaranteed for in-cabin air travel on American Airlines, United and Air Canada.

The Sherpa Original Deluxe is usually accepted on other airlines beside the ones listed, but please check with your airline directly to be sure.

Please Note: For this carrier, take your dog’s height measurement from the nape of his neck down to his toe.

Dimensions and Weight

(Small) For Dogs up to 8 pounds

  • 15” Long x 10” Wide x 8.5” High (Carrier weighs 3.4 pounds)

(Medium) For dogs up to 16 pounds

  • 17” Long x 11” Wide x 10.5” High (Carrier weighs 4.2 pounds)

(Large) For dogs up to 22 pounds

  • 19” Long x 11.75” Wide x 11.5” High (Carrier weighs 4.7 pounds)

Measuring for the Small, Medium & Large Sherpa Original Deluxe Carriers

Measuring for the Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier in Small

Below are a few examples of breeds that will fit in each model according to the manufacturer. Please keep in mind that dogs even of the same breed can vary in size, so refer to the dimensions before deciding on a carrier size.

Small: Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Chihuahua, papillon

Medium: Shih tzu, lhasa apso, miniature pinscher, bichon frise

Large: Boston terrier, pug, dachshund, Jack Russell terrier


  • Padded hand carrying straps
  • No-slip adjustable shoulder strap
  • Top and side entry
  • Mesh panels for ventilation
  • Patented seat belt/luggage strap
  • Machine-washable faux lambskin liner
  • Replacement liners are sold separately

Colors: Available in assorted colors

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects.

Approximate Prices: small is $40 to $50 US, medium is $40 to $60 US, and Large is $50 to $60 US

Company Website:

3. Argo by Teafco Petagon Airline Approved Pet Carrier

This fun, well-made carrier lets you carry your dog with style. It’s best for very small dogs up to 15 pounds and is approved as an in-cabin carrier on most airlines.

According to the manufacturer, some of the breeds that will fit into this carrier are: affenpinscher, bichon frise, Bolognese, Brussels griffon, cairn terrier, Chihuahua, Chinese crested, mini dachshund, English toy spaniel, Havanese, Japanese chin, lhasa apso, Maltese, mini pinscher, Norfolk terrier, Norwich terrier, papillon, pekingese, Pomerania, silky terrier, and Yorkies.

These breeds may fit, but only if they're under 15 pounds: Boston terrier, standard dachshund, toy poodle, pug, and schipperke.

Please also check your dog's size/weight since dogs of the same breed can vary in size.


17.75” Long x 9.5” Wide x 11” High

Weight of Carrier: 2.2 pounds

Holds: Dogs up to 15 pounds


  • Very lightweight design
  • Plush diamond quilting material exterior
  • 5 external zippered pockets for storage
  • Smart strap for securing to a car seatbelt
  • Top loading mesh door with triple closure
  • Removable water-resistant cool padding

Colors: Tokyo pink, Maldives blue and black

Warranty: One year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Save receipt as proof of purchase.

Approximate Price: $70 to $80 US

Company Website:

This carrier is a stylish, lightweight option for small dogs.

4. Sleepypod Air Pet Carrier

The Sleepypod Air Pet Carrier lets you spoil your small dog, no matter where you take him. This carrier’s patent-pending folding system allows it to easily fit beneath airline seats while keeping your dog comfortable with Ultra Plush padding.

It’s approved as an in-cabin carrier for most airlines.

It also features a pass through pocket that lets you attach the carrier to the telescoping handle of your carry-on luggage.


Compresses from 22” Long x 10.5” Wide x 10.5” High down to 16” Long x 10.5” Wide x 8” High

Weight of Carrier: 4.5 pounds

Holds: Dogs up to 15 pounds


  • Mobile pet bed, in-cabin airline carrier suited for small dogs up to 15 pounds
  • Open air mesh windows on top ends for ventilation
  • Whole top unzips for easy access
  • Ballistic nylon exterior with washable plush padding inside
  • Padded shoulder strap
  • Passed 30mph baby seat crash testing

Colors: Available in assorted colors

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Approximate Price: $140 to $160 US

Company Website:

5. Petmate 2 Door Top Load Kennel 19”

The durable and affordable hard-sided 19” Petmate 2 Door Top Load Kennel holds dogs up to 10 pounds. Since this carrier has both front and top entry doors, it's easy to get your dog in and out.

It’s a nice option for car trips to the vet or groomer, or anytime you need to keep your pooch in his carrier.

As far as air travel, you’ll need to check with the individual airline about whether it’s accepted. Some airlines don't accept carriers with a door on top.

It’s best for small dogs less than 7” tall and less than 15” in length.

This carrier is also sold in a 24” size which is listed next.


Exterior Dimensions: 19.4” Long x 12.8” Wide x 10” High

Interior Dimensions: 16.5” Long x 10.5” Wide x 9” High

Carrier Weight: 3.8 pounds

Holds: Dogs up to 10 pounds


  • Made with steel and plastic for safety, strength and durability
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Ergonomic design, comfort carry handle
  • Secure door latches
  • Eco-friendly
  • Made in the USA

Colors: Available in several color combinations

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Approximate Price: $26 to $45 US

Company Website:

6. Petmate 2 Door Top Load Kennel 24”

The Petmate 2 Door Top Load Kennel in the 24” size has the same features as the 19” model listed above, but will fit dogs up to 15 pounds.

As mentioned with the 19” version, this carrier may or may not be airline approved due to the top door, so please check with your specific airline if you plan to travel with your dog.


Exterior Dimensions: 24.05" Long X 16.75" Wide X 14.5" High

Interior Dimensions: 21" Long x 14.75" Wide x 13.25" High

Weight of Carrier: 6.43 Pounds

Holds: Dogs up 15 pounds

Colors: Available in several color combinations

Detachable food/water cups sold separately

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Approximate Price: $35 to $60 US

7. Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel

The Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel comes in four different sizes to fit medium and larger dogs. Whether you need a dog carrier for car travel, crate training or airline travel, this versatile hard-sided carrier is a great choice.

It meets USDA and IATA requirements for shipping live animals.

Dimensions and Carrier Weight

For Dogs 25 - 30 pounds

  • 28” Long x 20.5” Wide x 21.5” High (Carrier weighs 12.33 pounds)

For Dogs 30 to 50 pounds

  • 32” Long x 22.5” Wide x 24” High (Carrier weighs 16.2 pounds)

For Dogs 50 to 70 pounds

  • 36” Long x 25” Wide x 27” High (Carrier weighs 19 pounds)

For Dogs 70 to 90 pounds

  • 40” Long x 27” Wide x 30” High (Carrier weighs 31 pounds)


  • Great for travel as well as crate training
  • Durable construction
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Easy-open squeeze latch on door
  • Interior moat to keep the dog dry during travel
  • Easy assembly
  • Made in the USA

Colors: Available in taupe & black combo

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Approximate Prices:

28”: $60 to $80 US, 32”: $80 US, 36”: $150 US, 40”: $130 US

8. Petmate Sky Kennel

The Petmate Sky Kennel Extra Large and Giant are solid choices if you have a large or giant breed dog. Built with strong materials and safety features like an extra tough steel wire door and secure door latches, they can handle even strong dogs.

They’re approved for air travel with most airlines, though always check with your airline prior to travel.

Dimensions and Carrier Weight

(Extra Large Size) For Dogs 70 to 90 Pounds

  • 39” Long x 26” Wide x 30” High (Carrier weighs 30.48 pounds)

(Giant Size) For Dogs 90 - 125 Pounds

  • 48” Long x 32” Wide x 35” High (Carrier weighs 51.5 pounds)


  • Sturdy plastic construction
  • Extra tough steel wire door
  • Secure door latches
  • Four way ventilation
  • Includes ‘Live Animal’ Stickers and food and water cups.
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Made in the USA

Colors: Dark Gray

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Approximate Prices: Extra Large $150 to $180 US, Giant $330 to $345 US

I hope this article has helped you find the best dog carrier so you can enjoy traveling with your best friend.

What is a console seat and how does it work?

You’re probably familiar with some methods of restraining your dog during drives, including everything from back-seat barriers to complicated and questionable harnesses and seat belt configurations that take forever to figure out how to install.

When I first got my puppy in 2014, I had a problem on my hands that I wasn’t expecting (since I hadn’t had a dog while I’d had my driver’s license): My dog absolutely loathed car rides.frustrating.

I tried everything I could think of to calm him down, including gradually introducing him to longer car rides, introducing rewards, trying to distract him and even, in times of desperation, just holding him on my lap as I drove.

That’s where the console seat came in. A console dog car seat is basically a dog seat that connects to both the center console of your car and (optionally) your dog’s harness. Some console seats have a raised back for added security for your pup and they usually come with grip on the bottom to keep the seat from sliding off the console during the drive. This type of console seat is called a high back console seat.

Generally, you’ll attach the seat with adjustable straps that fit between the lower portion of your console and the lid. Your dog can sit or rest in the seat safely thanks to a security strap you can attach to your dog’s leash. The security strap/seat belt is optional, of course, but it will help keep your dog in place whether they’re naturally antsy, something scares them or you have to slam on your brakes.

1.Mr. Peanut’s Airline Pet Carrier

When talking about the capacity of pet carriers, Mr. Peanut’s products will always come to mind. The product has always had it right when talking about the perfect dimensions that most airlines want. Even with a small space, this pet carrier will always satisfy your need.

It is one of the most reliable and dependable adjustable pet carriers that you can find in the market. The Mr. Peanut’s pet carrier has the capability to comfort your cat or dog even in the most difficult cabins. The right dimension that most airlines accept is the 13’’ x 11.4’’ x 18.5’’ inches option.

The product has a ventilation feature that will help to cool the interior section of your pet. It will not compromise on the quality, safety and comfort of your pet.


With the information in this content, it will be easy for buyers to know the actual airline approved pet carriers in-cabin. It is always a good idea to contact your airline to know the specification of the right pet carrier to use when traveling. It will help you to save money, time and cut through the stress of traveling with your pet.

Using the details above will help you to buy the right pet carrier and as well boost your travel experience, time and again. Another important to know is that most airlines have certain regulations to follow. Following these rules will also help your pet carrier to be approved easily.

8 Best Airline-Approved Dog Carriers

We’re using extensive research and consumer data to bring you a review of the best airline approved dog carriers.

All of these carriers come highly rated, so you can’t really go wrong. With wheels, foldable extensions, mesh sides, and all manner of handles, you have plenty of great options to choose from!

Please note that there is no one official airline approved dog carrier, as carrier requirements vary between airlines. However, all of these carriers have been used for air travel and should suit your needs.

Still, we suggest you always double check your specific airline carry-on dimensions with any carrier you consider ordering.

Looking for a carrier you can check in cargo during your flight? See our guide to airline approved dog crates for cargo hold.

1. X-Zone Airline-Approved Pet Carrier

About: The X-Zone Expandable Pet Carrier is stylish, reasonable-priced carry on dog carrier that can be expanded or retracted through the use of fold-out panels. It can even be collapsed completely for easy storage and transport.

X-Zone Airline-Approved Pet Carrier

Affordable airline-friendly carrier with dual expansion

Features ons of mesh ventilation and two expandable panels to give your pooch more room when needed.

  • Foldable. When unzipped lies completely flat to save space, approximately the size of a laptop case.
  • Expandable. Sides zips down to provide extra space while sturdy wire frame maintains shape.
  • Zipper Opening. Pet entrance has 2 zippers for easy access and secure closure – perfect as an under seat dog carrier.
  • Adjustable Shoulder Strap. Allows for comfortable carrying for you and your pet.
  • Maximum Weight. The small carrier is suitable for companion pets up to 15 lbs, the large carrier 18 lbs.


  • Small: 17″L x 11″W x 11″H (before expansion)
  • Large: 19.7″L x 12″W x 12″H (before expansion)

This airline friendly pet carrier boasts an expandable “porch,” which gives pets extra room to move, lounge, or view the world. High quality, sturdy and well-built with soft, comfortable base pad.

A little hard to open the expandable section with pet inside.

2. Prodifen Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Prodifen Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Bag-style carrier that’s budget-friendly

Offers a 3 door design and four-sides of mesh paneling for plenty of airflow. Includes a luggage strap, which makes it easier to attached onto your suitcase.

About: The Prodigen Airline Approved Pet Carrier is a feature-packed carrier at an affordable price. We’re especially big fans of the four-sided mesh panels (ventilation is very important for airplane dog carrier), along with several zipper-opening panels.

  • Airplane-Friendly Dimensions. Customers have confirmed that this carrier is accepted on most major airlines, including American Airline, United, JetBlue, Delta, & others!
  • 3 Door Design. This carrier has three doors – a top zipper panel door, along with two side zipper panels, which makes it easy to slip a hand inside and comfort your dog when necessary.
  • 4 Mesh Panels. Four sides of quality, claw-proof mesh panels for superior breathability and ventilation for your dog.
  • Fleece Pad. Removable fleece mat on the inside bottom to keep your pup cozy. Can be easily removed and washes for cleaning.
  • Pockets. Includes pockets for storing your pup’s treats, leash, etc.
  • Inside Clip. There’s a small lead clip inside the carrier which keeps your pup safe and makes sure your dog won’t jump out when you open the carrier.
  • Luggage Strap. Included luggage strap makes it easy to attach carrier onto your suitcase.
  • Available in Several Colors. Comes in grey, blue, green, pink, or purple!


  • One Size: 17.5″L x 10″W x 11″H
  • Carrier Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Max Pet Weight: 14 lbs

This quality carrier has tons of mesh windows, which ensures the comfort and safety of your pup. Plus, the multiple entrances are convenient for comforting dogs who are nervous about flying.

Some reported issues with the carrier smelling like chemicals upon arrival, but most customers didn’t have an issue.

3. Bergan Soft-Sided Airline Pet Carrier

Bergan Soft-Sided Airline Pet Carrier

Duffle-bag style carrier

Stylish, discreet airplane pet carrier that comes with removable soft fleece bedding and offers extra side pockets for leash, treats, or other items.

About: The Bergan Soft-Sided Airline Pet Carrier is a soft, duffle-bag style carrier that allows for discreet transportation of your canine as a carry-on.

It’s a mid-priced carrier, not the cheapest on our list, but not the most expensive either.

  • Removable Fleece Bed. Soft fleece bedding and rigid insert panel helps the carrier hold its shape. Both removable for easy washing.
  • Comfort Your Pet. Exclusive “Pet Connect” zipper opening allows you to comfortably and safely interact with your pet while traveling – an excellent choice for airline approved dog carriers for in cabin travel.
  • Shoulder Strap. Optional shoulder strap included is padded and adjustable.
  • Multiple Zipper Openings. Several zippered mesh panels allow for maximum viewing and ventilation.
  • Multiple Safety Features. This airplane pet carrier has locking zippers, seatbelt loops, and reflective strips.
  • Lead & Phthalate Safe. There are no harmful chemicals for you or your pet.
  • Comes in 3 Size Options. Small (perfect for kittens, puppies, and teacup breeds up to 7 lbs), Large (external measurements – 16x8x10in for pets up to 22 lbs) and Large with Wheels (features patented pull strap that instantly converts to shoulder strap, wheels are detachable).
  • Multiple Colors. This airplane friendly dog carrier comes in Black, Mineral Blue, Rose Wine, and Spinach Green.


  • Small: 14″ X 6″ X 8″
  • Large: 19″ x 10″ x 13″

Good quality. This carrier’s wheels and straps are easy to use and comfortable, with extra side pockets for leash, treats, or other items. This airplane pet carrier also has some nice color choices. Overall a great dog carry on bag with wheels.

A few owners felt that this carrier runs a little small. Additionally, a few mentioned that it didn’t smell great at first. So, you may want to let it sit outside in the breeze for a day or two before using it with your pooch.

Best Splurge: Diggs Revol Dog Crate

If you have the money to splurge on a higher ticket crate, check out the Diggs Revol Dog Crate. Inspired by baby industry quality standards, it has an intuitive design that was designed with safety and convenience in mind. This crate comes in three neutral colors and two sizes—Small, suitable for dogs up to 30 pounds and Large, for dogs up to 50 pounds. It can be set up in less than a minute, and folds down equally as fast.

Those with puppies might be especially drawn to this crate, as it comes with a puppy divider for training and a ceiling hatch for easy access. The diamond-shaped mesh adds a more open feel to the cage while also helping prevent injuries, and the single-piece frame is solid and secure. You can easily let your pup in and out using the ergonomic plastic handles, and a top handle and built-in wheels allow for easy transport.

If you're tight on space, you'll be happy to know that this crate easily folds down to nearly half its size, so you can store it out of sight when not in use. When it comes time to clean, simply take out the removable bottom tray and rinse or wipe.

Taking your beloved pet with you around the world is a dream for many pet owners — but choose the wrong airline and it could become a nightmare

Being able to take your furry friend along as you travel the world is a dream for many pet owners — but if you chose the wrong airline, the whole experience could be nothing short of a nightmare.

Safety is the utmost priority. You want to make sure your pet gets from Destination A to Destination B safe and sound, and hopefully without any smelly accidents. And if you've been paying attention to the news lately, you've seen that there's no shortage of airlines who have failed to keep their passengers pet from harm.

Pets have gone on the wrong flights, flown to the wrong continents and in some, very tragic cases, passed away while in mid-air. According to a report by the Department of Transportation, during flights in 2017, 15 animals were injured and sadly 24 didn't make it at all.

Even though traveling by plane is risky, many pet owners are still bringing their dogs and cats along for the adventure. A survey by American Pet Products Association found that the number of dog owners taking their pups on trips more than doubled between 2006 and 2016 jumping from only 20% to 40%.

Thankfully many airlines are noticing this disturbing trend and taking action to review and improve their pet policies. But it's more important now than ever to make sure you do your own research and pick the best airline for you and your furry friend.

To help you out, we've listed the 10 best airlines to fly when traveling with pets and 10 airlines you should definitely avoid.

Watch the video: How to choose an airline approved pet carrier

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