When you’re taking your pet on an airline there can be a lot to keep in mind. Your dog’s container, however, is one of the most crucial elements, your canine may be spending a rather long amount of time within it and there are quite a few elements to keep in mind. There’s a lot of options available, but it’s relatively simple to find the correct carrier for your little, or big, buddy.
The Best Airline Approved Dog and Pet Crates in 2018
Types of Carriers
In general, you will need to make sure that you have an approved carrier, but your choices come in quite a few options. These can generally be broken down into hard and soft varieties.
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.
For smaller dogs that you’ll bring along in the cabin with you, your best bet may be a soft crate. These sorts of crates will offer superior comfort for your pet and are generally lighter and easier to maneuver in the tight quarters of an airplane’s cabin. If your chosen companion has a somewhat diminutive stature you’ll find that these are the way to go.
Reviews of the Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers
We’ve taken some time here to give you a short overview of seven different crates that are all approved for air travel. If you’re in a hurry, though, we’ll have a suggestion for both a hard and soft crate on the side of the article.
Airline Approved Dog Carriers for Large Dogs
1. Petmate Sky Kennel
The Petmate Sky Kennel is a great hard sided crate to transport your dog in. It comes in six different sizes, suitable for dogs up to 125lbs or so. It features a secure, but easy to open latch which will allow for easy access at food and watering time for your pet on a prolonged flight.
This is a rather pragmatic option, you’ll need to provide your own bedding in order to comply with regulations. The only frill here is that it comes with a pair of clip on doggie bowls so you won’t have to pack extras in order to keep your dog fed and watered on your trip.
The Sky Kennel is sure to keep your dog secure on the flight and it features high gauge wires on the doors and sides which are sure to both keep your dog secure and allow for adequate ventilation in a confined cargo space.
It’s also the cheapest of the hard crate options on this list, which makes for savings on your wallet. If what you need is just a practical option, you’ll be more than pleased with the Petmate Sky Kennel.
2. Aspenport Pet Porter Kennel
The Aspenport Pet Porter Kennel is another great option, this time being a bit pricier than the Sky Kennel. It’s a solid option to keep your dog safe on a flight, and you’ll be pleased to know it comes with a few different color options. It’s not exactly a designer crate, but with the correct choice, you’ll be able to make it stand out a bit from the normal bland crates.
This range of crates comes in sizes that will hold dogs of up to a hundred and twenty-five pounds and comes in eight sizes from kennels designed to hold dogs of less than ten pounds and up. You’re sure to be able to find a suitable size for your pet no matter what size he is, provided he’s not absolutely massive.
You will need to supply your own food and water dishes, however, and depending on the regulations in your area you may find that the plastic nuts it comes with aren’t deemed sufficient for air travel. If that’s the case you’ll have to replace the nuts yourself, but this is definitely a solid choice if it meets the regulations you will be facing.
3. Marchioro Clipper Ithaka Pet Carrier
This is the most expensive crate featured here. The primary stand out quality of this crate, apart from the attractive two-tone aesthetic, is that it accepts a number of accessories which are sure to make your life easier when you travel with your pet. You’ll be able to purchase wheels, water bottles, and even no-spill cups to complete your dog’s temporary home and make it easier to transport.
It is also the most secure of these options, featuring both “side-clackers” and additional pins in order to keep your dog safe in this rugged, plastic container. The spring-latch is also quite secure, but easy to open for those of us with opposable thumbs making for a great combination of ease of use and enhanced security for this pet carrier.
It comes in five different sizes and the under portion can be ordered in two different colors, making for a greatly customizable, airline-approved option for your pet’s travels. Although you may pay a few more dollars for this crate, you’ll find out quickly that it was worth the investment for the versatility and security this design offers.
Soft Sided Airline Approved Pet Carriers (for the Cabin)
4. Frontpet Expandable Carrier
The Frontpet Expandable Carrier does just what its name suggests, it has a separate flap for the side which will allow for a little bit of extra leg room for your small dog. It comes in an attractive black and red color combination, and the expandable “room” is made entirely of mesh which is sure to keep your pet well ventilated when it’s expanded.
It also features a strong wire cage which the material is pulled over to prevent sagging and promote stability, keeping your pet calm since its home won’t be bunching up and adding to the already stressful event it is going through.
With the extra room offered by this product, it makes for a great option for older or slightly infirm pets, giving them the room they need to stretch out stiff and aching joints even within the small area.
The only real drawback is that this carrier only comes in one, smaller size which is only suitable for animals up to around thirteen pounds or so. With all of its other features though, this is an option to take advantage of if your furry friend is of suitable size.
3. OxGord Airline Approved Carrier
This is a great option for your carry-on needs from OxGord. Both sizes will be able to be restrained using a standard airplane seat belt, and for the customer concerned with the appearance, this particular carrier comes with a wide range of brilliant colors.
It comes with an absorbent fleece liner as well, meaning you won’t have to spend the time and money picking out an additional bedding for your carrier. This carrier is pretty much ready to go as soon as you get it, although you will have to supply your own food and water dishes.
This fantastic product by OxGord has locking zippers and is sure to be secure for the duration of your air travel, and it’s made of a machine washable nylon material which will make your life easier if the inevitable happens on a longer flight.
With its wide range of customizability, straps designed for seat belts, and great security this makes for a fantastic choice of carrier for your small companion. Your dog will be glad to ride in this comfortable soft crate by your side.
2. Ebun Soft-Sided Pet Carrier
This carrier meets all of the size requirements to fit under your seat, allowing for a convenient temporary housing for your small dog without the need for working with a seat belt. It does only come in one size, however. It comes in either a deep blue or a brilliant red depending on your individual tastes, and both colors are rather pleasing to the eye.
This carrier has three pockets on the sides to make for easy and convenient access to the things your dog might need on your trek, whatever that may be. It also features a great, convenient handle for carrying your friend which will make it easy to maneuver in the tight confines of a cabin.
It’s also 100% machine washable, which you’ll be extremely glad for if you’re on a particularly long flight. You’ll also find that it has secure placement for the shoulder straps, which makes carrying even easier than if you were to use the handle.
If you want to keep your dog secure and comfortable under your seat, you may just want to take a closer look at the Ebun Soft-Sided Pet Carrier.
1. Pettall Stable Carrier
This may be the best option on the list. This attractive red and black carrier is quite sturdy. It is completely collapsible so it won’t take up much storage room in your house when you’re not traveling and has three large mesh windows so your dog can breathe easy.
This carrier also has a shoulder strap and a few pockets to carry the necessities for your pet while you’re on the go, making it quite convenient. It offers a little more room than many options, particularly headroom which is also a great, added bonus.
The main problem with this carrier is that it won’t be approved for all airlines. It’s just a hair too big for Southwest’s specifications, for instance, so you’ll need to make sure that it is approved by the specific airline you’re flying with in order to ensure there are no issues.
As a general carrier the Pettall Stable Carrier is great, it’s ease of use, rigid frame, and convenient features make for a great overall product, but if you want to travel completely hassle-free it’s best to look into another option for transporting your small dog.
For carry-on pet containers, you’ll definitely want to make sure that your new carrier is actually approved by the airline you’re riding with. In most cases, there should be no issue, but just because a product is approved for air travel doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to take it on all airlines as regulations can vary quite a bit.
There are a couple of additional features which can also make your life a bit easier, including clip on bowls for food and water and crates with a built in absorbent bedding which can save you some time when you’re setting up for air travel. For the most part, though, your preparations will consist of keeping your dog calm (Guide: Taking Your Dog Airborne) in order to ensure a stress-free journey for both of you.
The most important thing to consider here is your dog’s comfort, all of these are good, solid choices so you’ll need to tailor things for your own particular animal. Buying an air-approved crate for your dog is something you’ll be glad you did as you take your animal with you on your journeys, and can help to make the process much less stressful for both you and your animal.
There’s a number of things (A Quick Checklist for Air Travel with Your Dog) you’ll also need to keep in mind when you take your dog on an airplane, but making a great choice of housing is a step in the right direction.