If you own a dog, chances are that you have a dog carrier in your home. These carriers can have a number of uses; for example, a carrier can be a way to secure your dog when you take them to the vet or it can be a safe place to put them when you travel for vacation. In fact, many dog carriers have a place to secure them with a seatbelt and several options on the market are even approved to take on an airplane so that you never need to leave your furry friend behind.
In this guide, we are going to take a look at 10 of the best dog carriers on the market. There are several different sizes in this guide, so make sure that you measure your dog before you chose a carrier. Your dog should be able to stand up in the carrier and turn around without any issues. Before we look at the individual reviews, let’s consider the different types of dog carriers. Below the table we’ll discuss different options that are on the market and why or why not they would be a good choice for your needs.
Top 10 Dog Carrier Comparison Table
What Type of Dog Carriers Are There?
There are a few different styles of dog carriers to select from, so you will want to pick one that suits your dog and is convenient for you to carry. The most common types of carriers that are available are:
Hard-Sided Carriers – These models have a durable construction that offers more protection to your furry friend. They typically have a top loading option, and if your dog has an accident during your travels, the hard plastic material is easy to clean.
Soft-Sided Carriers – These are a great option for small dogs because they are designed with a shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry. These carriers can easily fit under your seat in an airplane, and when it is not being used, it can fold into a smaller size that is more compact for storage.
Backpack Carriers – This is a wearable option that may be convenient for your needs. It is designed for a lightweight dog, and some models even have leg holes so that your dog does not feel cramped.
Carriers with Wheels – No matter what size of dog you have, carrying them during your travels can prove to be tiring. Being able to pull your dog around in the airport can make traveling a lot easier.
Benefits of The Best Dog Carrier
The best dog carrier is going to have a lot of benefits for you and your dog. Here are a few:
Comfort for Your Dog – Some carriers have hard bottoms, while others have a softer foundation for your dog to lie on. If you help your dog get used to their carrier, they will find comfort in using it. Perhaps you can layer the carrier with their favorite blanket or put their favorite toy inside as well.
Keeps Your Dog Safe – Having a carrier for your dog means that you know where your furry friend is at all times. You can ensure that your dog does not run off when you are in an unfamiliar location and make sure that your dog does not get hurt when riding in your car.
Helps Control Aggressive Behavior – Some dogs like to growl or launch at dogs or other small animals when they see them, and having a carrier prevents your dog from doing that.
Makes Traveling with Your Dog Simple – Traveling with your dog is made a lot simpler when you can simply put them into a carrier and roll them to your gate.
Downsides of Dog Carriers
As with anything that you purchase, dog carriers also have a few downsides that you may want to think about before making a purchase. Let’s take a look:
Can be Constricting For Your Dog – If your dog is used to having free reign of your home, then being in a carrier for a long period of time can feel restricting for them.
Can Limit Visibility for your Dog – When your furry friend is in a carrier, they will need to look through the vents or the door to see what is going on outside, which is not always the biggest window for visibility.
Not all Comply with Airline Regulations – If you are traveling by plane, you will need to verify that the carrier complies with airline regulations because not all carriers on the market do.
Can be Hard to Maneuver – Some dog carriers are heavy, especially if you have a larger dog, which will make it more difficult to maneuver. Even carrying a lighter dog can become cumbersome after a while, so if you will need to hold the carrier for a long time, a carrier with wheels may be more beneficial for you.
10. Sherpa Element Duffle Pet Carrier, Small
The first dog carrier on our list is a medium-sized soft carrier that is ideal for dogs that weigh less than 16 pounds. The carrier comes with both top and side entry so that you can easily put your pup into the cage when you need to, and there are three ventilation windows to give your dog plenty of fresh air. It is also very easy to carry; in fact, the handles are padded to make it more ergonomic.
The carrier is a soft pink coloration, and it has a soft lambskin liner that makes it comfortable for your pet. In addition, the material of the carrier is simple to wash because it can be tossed into the washing machine at any time. The liner is also removable, so if your pup has an accident during your journey, you can simply remove the liner.
- It has a seat belt strap to secure your pet.
- It’s easy to wash.
- It’s very spacious.
- It has plenty of ventilation.
- There is not a shoulder strap on this carrier.
9. Jet Sitter Luxury Soft Sided Pet Carrier
The next dog carrier is a little bit more luxurious for your dog to enjoy. Both sides of this carrier expand so that your dog has more space while you are traveling in your vehicle. There is also a seatbelt buckle on this carrier to safely secure your dog. There is also a door on the top and the side that gives you easy access to your pet any time that you need.
It accommodates any animal that weighs up to 20 pounds, and it has a soft fleece fabric inside for your dog to lay on. This liner is also easy to remove so that it can be washed. Insofar as maneuverability, this carrier has padded handles that make it simple to lift as well as a shoulder strap to make hefting your dog much easier.
- It’s compliant with most airline regulations.
- It’s very spacious.
- It has a very soft lining.
- The mesh netting is not as durable as it could be.
8. Favorite Top Load Soft Portable Car Travel Vet Visit Pet Dog Cat Carrier
If you are looking for a soft dog carrier that has a little bit of durability, then the next carrier on our list is a great idea. The carrier is made from a waterproof fabric that has a durable frame and rounded corners that are padded to help prolong the life of the carrier. Since this carrier is designed with soft sides, it still folds down with ease for storage purposes, but it is stable like a hard-sided carrier.
It is a little bit on the small side, but this design makes it perfect for any dog that weighs up to 16 pounds. The door is on the top of the unit, and the sides are designed with three vented mesh windows to make sure that your furry friend gets plenty of fresh air during your travels.
- This is a very sturdy carrier.
- It’s easy to carry.
- It’s very spacious.
- It’s not designed for under seat travel on an airplane.
7. Living Express Premium Airline Approved Foldable Pet Travel Carrier, Soft Sided Tote with Fleece Puppy Bedding & Safety Lock, Under Seat Crate Compatibility, Perfect for Cats and Dogs
The next carrier on our list is one that offers a bit of style to you as you travel. The fabric is durable and waterproof so that it lasts for years, and it comes with fleece bedding that gives your dog a comfortable place to sleep. The fabric is also very breathable with five mesh windows to bring in fresh air for your pup.
Insofar as doors in this carrier, there is a full door on one side so that you can easily access your pet, there is a half door that gives your dog the option to pop their head out of the carrier if they want. There is also a smaller window that is designed so that you can easily touch your pet and calm them if they are upset.
- It is compatible with most airline regulations for pet carriers.
- This carrier is very easy to clean.
- It comes with a shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry.
- The zippers clip together that your pet cannot break free.
- The zippers are not as durable as they could be.
6. Pawdle Expandable and Foldable Pet Carrier Domestic Airline Approved
This Pawdle pet carrier is ideal for dogs who like to stretch out while they are in the car. Only one side of the carrier expands, but that gives your pup double the space of some carriers. There is also plenty of ventilation with this carrier because of the mesh roof on the expandable section as well as the vented side door and top.
The side of the carrier that does not expand is designed with a strap that makes it easy to secure the carrier to the top of your luggage. There is also a shoulder strap that you can use as well. It does have a fleece pad inside to make travel for your dog more comfortable, and fortunately, it is removable, which makes it easier to clean.
- It has a very spacious design.
- The carrier is easy to clean.
- The straps make it convenient to carry, especially when you have luggage.
- The zippers do not secure all that well.
5. Pet Gear Car Seat & Carrier for cats and dogs up to 20 pounds
This Pet Gear soft carrier is designed for any dog that weighs under 20 pounds. There is a side entry point as well as one on top of the carrier that gives you easy access to your pet. The sides are also comprised of mesh to give your pet even more ventilation. It also gives your dog plenty of places to look out during your travels.
This carrier has a fleece pad in the bottom for your pet to lay on. This is also machine washable, so you can clean up any accidents without an issue. It is also designed to be secured to your car seat with ease; just put the seat belt through the strap on the back of the carrier.
- It is easy to clean.
- It has plenty of ventilation for your pet.
- The carrier has a very sturdy construction.
- There is not a shoulder strap option for this carrier.
4. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel
This carrier features a hard-sided design that is great for most dogs that weigh up to 10 pounds. It is a carrier that is designed with durability in mind. In fact, it is made from a hard plastic material and metal to ensure that it can withstand the abuse of daily use. There are ventilation holes the entire way around the carrier, so you can be sure that your pup will get plenty of air.
There is a door on the front of the carrier as well as on top so you can easily get your dog out of the carrier when you need. The carrier also separates in the center so that it does not take up as much space when you store it away. Insofar as travel, this carrier is designed in compliance with the regulations of most airlines, so taking your furry friend on a plane with you should not be an issue.
- The carrier is very well constructed.
- There is a lot of ventilation.
- It is a very secure carrier.
- This carrier has a lot of space.
- It is very hard, so you need to make sure a cushion is in the bottom for your dog.
3. Pet Carrier for Dogs & Cats – Airline Approved Quality Expandable Soft Animal Carriers – Portable Soft-Sided Air Travel Bag – Best for Small or Medium Dog and Cat – Fits Under Front Airplane Seat
This is another soft – sided dog carrier that we thought would be great for you to consider. It is a stylish design from Pets Go2, and it is capable of expanding on both sides to give your dog plenty of space to stretch out during your travels. The expandable sections have mesh tops to give your dog more visibility as well as plenty of fresh air.
This carrier is in compliance with most airline regulations, and it has a comfortable shoulder strap to make hefting your furry friend more convenient. Any dog that weighs up to 20 pounds can use this carrier; in fact, it is so spacious that you can even put two small dogs in the carrier if you need. In addition, there is a door on the side of the unit as well as on the top, so you can easily reach your dog if you need.
- This carrier is extremely spacious.
- Carrying your dog in this carrier is simple.
- It has a lot of ventilation.
- The liner inside of the carrier sheds a bit.
2. Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers
The next dog carrier that we are going to look at is the Sherpa Deluxe. The carrier is shaped like a duffle bag with a wire frame to add support to the structure. There is plenty of mesh on the bag so that your pet can get the fresh air they need during your travels. Some of the mesh windows even have flaps that roll down to give your pup some privacy if they need it.
Insofar as comfort, there is a soft, lambskin lining inside of the carrier; this liner is very easy to remove when it needs to be cleaned. The carrier is designed to be in line with most airline regulations, and if you find your pup getting heavy during your travels, there is a shoulder strap to make it a little easier to carry them.
- The carrier is well designed.
- Cleaning this carrier is a breeze.
- Connects to a seatbelt easily for safe travels in your car.
- There is not a vent on the top of the carrier.
1. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel
The final dog carrier on this list is going to be another hard-sided variation. This one is a bit more stylish because of the ash blue coloration, but it still has the same durable exterior that is designed to protect your dog during travel. There are vent holes throughout the entire carrier so that your pup can look out at any time as well as have plenty of fresh air.
This carrier is designed for dogs that weigh up to 15 pounds, and it has two entry ways that you can use; one on the top and one on the side. It is also in line with most airline regulations for pet carriers, so you can take your pup with you on road trips as well as on an airplane.
- This carrier is extremely durable.
- The carrier is very spacious.
- Cleaning up this carrier is simple.
- The ventilation is great in this carrier.
- Assembling this carrier can be annoying.
Editors Choice of Best Dog Carrier
As you can see, there are quite a few different dog carriers that you can choose from, and the one that you select is going to depend on the size of your dog and the reason that you need the carrier.
If we had to select one of the dog carriers that we reviewed as our favorite, the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel would come in on top. It is airline approved, it accommodates a dog up to 15 pounds, it has plenty of ventilation, and it is easy to carry.
Which carrier was your favorite one? What items do you usually carry with you on your travels and what makes you feel more comfortable on long journeys? Do you have must have items such as these to ease your trips?