Traveling can be stressful, but it suddenly makes navigating an airport a lot harder when you add a pet. A way to make things a little easier is by buying a sturdy, comfortable, and reliable dog carrier that you can toss over your shoulder when your hands are busy.
Our top pick for the best airplane dog carrier is the Sherpa Original Travel Deluxe Pet Carrier. It's a decent size for small dogs, and there are plenty of mesh panels for ventilation. The faux lambskin lining and wireframe allow it to retain its shape. Sturdy, elegant, and comfortable, this pet carrier offers all the doggy air travel essentials.
After all, your pup deserves a splendid piece of luggage too. In this guide, we have carefully selected some of the best dog carriers for planes on the market and answer some frequently asked questions.
Table of Contents
- Best Dog Carrier For Planes – Comparison Table
- What Size Pet Carrier Will Fit Under an Airline Seat?
- What Size Pet Carrier Do I Need for my Dog?
- Do Airlines Measure Pet Carriers?
- What to Look for?
- Best Dog Carriers for Planes
- Key References
Best Dog Carrier For Planes – Comparison Table
What Size Pet Carrier Will Fit Under an Airline Seat?
Small pets can be admitted to an in-cabin carrier, provided it is small enough to fit under the airline seat in front of you.
- The dog carrier should be well-ventilated, leak-proof, and have soft or hard sides. Some airlines will set maximum dimensions for cabin aircraft carriers.
- For instance, they cannot be larger than 13.5 inches wide on Southwest Airlines, 8.5 inches high, and 18.5 inches long. Still, the dog carrier’s main thing must fit entirely under the airline seat in front of you, so it does not obstruct access to the aisle.
What Size Pet Carrier Do I Need for my Dog?
You have to know your dog’s height and length to choose the correct size of the carrier.
- The dog carrier should be large enough so that your pup can easily stretch out, curl up, or turn around while lying down.
- Measure the dog’s back from the neck where the collar is to the tail’s base. Then add in a few inches to this measurement.
Do Airlines Measure Pet Carriers?
Each airline has a specific policy regarding pets traveling in the cabin. These guidelines generally contain objective guidelines on the carrier’s maximum dimensions and the weight of the carrier with the animal inside. Airline policies often include more subjective rules, such as:
- Appropriate size: the pet must be able to turn over completely and lie down.
- Waterproof: the floor covering must be waterproof.
- Anti-bite: the animal must not be able to bite through the dog carrier.
- Breathable: air must be able to freely enter the dog carrier.
What to Look for?
Most airlines have specific maximum dimensions that they impose on in-cabin dog carriers.
- This size limit is determined by the space available under the airline’s seat.
- Before you travel, always check that your carrier is suitable for all airlines you will use on your trip.
- We found the “Safe Zone” to be 22 cm high x 33 cm wide x 48 cm long. If you’re using it as a guide, you should have no problem.
Remember, the weight restrictions you see on an airline’s website for cabin travel include your carrier’s weight with your dog inside unless otherwise stated.
- Usually, the weight limit is around 9 kilograms.
- With less than 2 kg, you have enough space to play with.
- If your pup weighs more than 7 kg, make sure the carrier does not put you over.
- The formula we always stick to is “carrier + dog ” = 9 kg or less.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of focusing on the strength of the material used in the dog carrier you are purchasing.
- There are some lovely carriers on the market, in all kinds of decorative fabrics or with pretty embellishments.
- But the reality is that your dog carrier for planes will take a beating. Here, durability is more important than aesthetics.
Even if your pup is lightweight, after some hours of walking with the dog carrier on your shoulder, you’ll feel the pressure.
- It is essential to ensure the strap has a whole and foam-padded part of taking away the pressure on your shoulder.
- Regardless of how tough you think you’re, you don’t have to feel so uncomfortable?
- Also, make sure that the strap’s length can be adjusted so that the dog carrier can hover at the thigh where there is less pressure on your pet.
Best Dog Carriers for Planes
Here are the best dog carriers for planes on the market today:
1. Smiling Paws Pet 4-Way Expandable Airline Pet Carrier
The Smiling Paws Pet 4-Way Expandable Airline Pet Carrier comes with a fleece pad that offers extra comfort and warmth to your dog.
- The ventilated design of the carrier facilitates optimal air circulation.
- This top dog carrier comes with reinforced hinges and parts made of stainless steel for extra security.
- The included laminated fabric is leak-proof and water-repellent.
- This unique carrier bag can be extended on all 4 sides, creating an unmatched space for comfort.
- Smiling paws pet carrier comes with a fuss-free top entry option that can be fastened and rolled back.
- You can rely on the Smiling Paws Pet 4-Way Expandable Airline Pet Carrier to reduce your dog’s anxiety of confinement.
- This best expandable pet carrier is carefully sized to comply with both international and domestic airlines under the airline’s seat.
2. Pet Peppy Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier
This expandable pet carrier from Pet Peppy looks like a luxury carry-on luggage, meaning your dog is sure to fly in style.
- Designed to carry small dogs up to 14 pounds, this best dog carrier also comes with a premium design.
- Detachable 360-degree swivel wheels and fully retractable handle make it easy to transport your pup around the runway.
- Thanks to its thick wireframe, it is robust enough when on the go. The mesh panels let air in, and your pet can lookout.
- The two side panels in this Pet peppy expandable pet carrier can be zipped up to create a roomy extension when you really need to stretch.
- When you add a decent-sized zippered side pocket, a rigid floor, and a shoulder strap for on-board carry, you have a great airline-approved pet carrier for hassle-free air travel.
3. MASKEYON Airline Approved Pet Carrier
The MASKEYON Airline Approved Pet Carrier offers your dog more space than the average dog carrier because its 4 walls can collapse down to offer extra space.
- Maskeyon pet carrier features a durable steel construction which is surrounded by a leak-proof material.
- The exterior features a name tag slot and reflective strips for your convenience.
- Furthermore, the carrier comes with 2 handy pockets for storing your dog’s essentials.
- The smart design folds flat and collapses down for easy storage when not in use.
- For your dog’s comfort, there is a removable mat inside. The MASKEYON Airline Approved Pet Carrier has three entrances for easy access.
4. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier
The Sherpa Airline Approved Pet Carrier is lightweight, easy to carry, and just as useful for travel on land.
- This is our best option if you are looking for a budget-friendly option that fits your needs.
- With the look of a gym bag and enough mesh panels for your dog to keep a lookout, this dog carrier is perfect for smaller dogs.
- It fits perfectly under the seat of an airplane thanks to its wire spring frame that allows the end of the carrier to decrease in height.
- It has a top and side entry point for easy access, flaps when your hound needs a break, and a washable sheepskin lining to keep him comfortable.
- Thanks to the padded shoulder and carrying straps and a deep side pocket for your doggy essentials, it is also a suitable pet carrier for its owner.
5. Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier
The Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier is a high-quality option that offers comfort and durability to your dog’s needs for frequent air travel.
- The exterior is crafted from luggage-grade nylon for strength.
- Additionally, the tear-resistant mesh makes this carrier bag a durable option.
- The unique design of this carrier allows you to compress or expand the size of the carrier.
- When fully expanded, this carrier measures 10.5-inches high, 10.5-inches wide, and 22-inches long.
- Also, it compresses down to 8-inches high, 10.5-inches wide, and 16-inches long.
- So when you are at the airport, your dog can have enough wiggle room.
- When you board the airline, you can compress the carrier to fit underneath the airline’s seat.
- The Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier has a large opening that offers easy entry.
- It can accommodate dogs up to 18 lbs.
6. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
If you want to go on a quick trip with a pup but don’t want to carry around a bulky carrier, the 2PET Foldable Dog Crate is the carrier to get.
- This best dog carrier for air travel features a lightweight yet sturdy steel tube design that can be easily folded and unfolded instantly.
- The steel frame is covered with a soft, water-resistant fabric cover that is removable and machine washable.
- This foldable dog carrier maintains ideal natural ventilation thanks to the well-designed mesh panels and bone-shaped windows.
- The full-frontal zipper design makes it challenging for your dog to chew the carrier down to pieces.
- The 2PET Foldable Dog Crate is available in 3 colors and 4 sizes.
Our top recommendation for the best airplane dog carrier is the Sherpa Original Travel Deluxe Pet Carrier. It's an ideal size for small dogs, and there are plenty of mesh panels for ventilation. The faux lambskin lining and wireframe allow it to retain its shape. Sturdy, elegant, and comfortable, this pet carrier offers all the doggy air travel essentials.
Whether you are heading for a quick weekend getaway with your furry friend, moving for summer, or traveling with your pup on a long vacation to another country, the best dog carrier for planes will keep your pet comfortable and safe on the go.
- “Southwest Pet Policy | Southwest Airlines”. Accessed November 04, 2020. Link.
- “Airline Requirements for a Pet Carrier | USA Today”. Accessed November 04, 2020. Link.