The Complete Guide To Finding The Best Pet Carrier

The Complete Guide To Finding The Best Pet Carrier

If you have ever tried to get your pet to travel, you know how much of a struggle it can be to do so without a headache. You may have issues with them moving around too much on a car ride or getting them through the front doors of the vet's office without dragging them against their will.

That is why many pet owners opt for pet carriers to make the traveling process easier. It gives your pet the opportunity to travel comfortably while giving them a sense of security in the busyness of the outside world.

Woman Kissing Dog

There are many benefits to having a pet carrier, such as being able to move them easily when needed and to keep them and others safe on airplanes and cars. It is a worthy investment that your pet will thank you for later on.

Despite its many benefits, finding the perfect pet carrier can be a bit of a challenge. As with any product you buy, the amount of choices that are available online and in stores can be overwhelming. With so many add-ons and promises, you need to be able to get clear on what you are looking for to avoid overspending and getting things you don't need.

In this guide, we will break down our top choices of small dog carriers to give you an idea of what to look for in a product like this. Affordability, construction, and comfortability are just a few of things to keep an eye on. These features and more will be discussed throughout the article.

Best Pet Carrier

Winner: Pet Preppy Premium Airline Approved Pet Carrier


  • Constructed from high quality and durable materials that ensure long lasting comfort during travel
  • Perfect size to fit under airplane seats and on your side when carried
  • Roof ventilation for fresh air at all times
  • Double zipper on top and front allows easy entrance from both sides
  • Comes with a bowl, padded shoulder strap, and bedding
  • Just under $40

The first product on our list is the premium pet travel carrier from Pet Preppy. Its most notable feature is its construction, making it one of the best airline pet carriers on the market. There are many add-ons and features in place to make this pet carrier as convenient as possible.

The first thing is its two-side expansion. You have the option to leave the carrier as is, or unzip the walls to get even more room inside. When widened, your pet will have room to stretch out and even have another small companion on the trip to keep each other company.

The carrier itself is made up of eco-friendly materials that are lightweight and breathable. This way, you will only have to carry the weight of your dog around the airport, park, or wherever you guys are going without added bulkiness that some carriers have.

Also, it is made with nylon roof ventilation to allow your pet to breathe easily. Claustrophobia can be an issue with any pet that is in an enclosed space for long periods of time, so this is an important feature that you want to ensure is added to the product. The material is waterproof as well.

The one thing that separates this carrier from others is the slide strap on the side of the carrier when not expanded. This allows you to attach your pet to your suitcase before and after a flight. You also have the option to carry them on your shoulder with the added shoulder strap for when they aren't on the suitcase.

On the other wall of the carrier, there is a pocket where you can keep any treats that you have brought along for the trip, the included bowl, shoulder strap, and toys. With a clip inside for added security, fleece bedding, self-lock zippers, and the features above, you can't go wrong with this dog travel bag.


Runner-Up: AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier


  • Three sizes available to make pets as comfortable as possible
  • Sizes approved for most airlines
  • Comes with a removable fleece bed
  • Designed for convenience with added straps that work as seatbelt and luggage strap
  • Made with front and top openings

Up next on our pick of cat and puppy travel bags is the soft-sided pet travel carrier from AmazonBasics. This carrier is an exclusive item from Amazon and is priced at about $30, making it the most affordable item on the list.

While it may not have as many add-ons as the previous carrier, this does not take away from its overall quality and functionality. The three sizes available are all catered to small animals like most carriers, but still gives you the ability to get the appropriate amount of space.

The smallest size is ideal for kittens and rabbits, the largest is perfectly suited for large adult cats and dogs like Dachshunds, and the middle size fits animals in between. In order to get the most out of the size options, you'll have to measure the height and length of your pet and compare to the size chart online, which is very simple and easy to understand.

Construction is very important for any carrier, and it is one of this product's key features. Being a soft-sided carrier, it is made with a spring wire frame to make it flexible enough to fit under seats on a plane or other tight space.

It also has a unique ventilation design to ensure that your animal has enough space to breathe. The mesh material that it is made of is also the perfect way for your pet to see what is going on outside of the bag and for you to check on them with a quick glance.

Many customers that have purchased this product also say how much they enjoy the top and side openings. For those of you that have a cat, you know how hard it can be to get them into a carrier, especially the hard, plastic ones. Having an opening on top is a lifesaver for the pet owners with stubborn animals.

Overall, the AmazonBasics soft-sided carrier is a great choice for anyone who wants a simple travel bag that gets the job done. It has a price that many similar items on the market can't beat without sacrificing quality.


Alternative: Pet Magasin Hard Cover Collapsible Pet Carrier


  • Made to give owners the best of hard and soft carriers in one
  • Small size is perfect for quick and easy transportation without taking up too much space
  • Very sturdy and durable
  • Simple assembly process

The last item that will be mentioned today is the Pet Magasin collapsible pet carrier. It is perhaps one of the best cat carriers online, but is also perfectly suited for other small pets as well.

If you are a cat owner, you are aware that trying to get them into a hard pet carrier with the caged door can be extremely difficult and could even result in injury. Most times this happens because your cat may sense that they are going somewhere unpleasant, like the vet, or because of how uncomfortable it is.

This brand has worked to keep the sturdiness that hard, plastic pet carriers tend to have and implements it into one that is comfortable and less intimidating. Customers that have tried it out have even said that their cats actually like being inside it when not in use, so it is definitely worth a try, especially for dreaded vet visits.

Another great thing to note is that it is collapsible, which means that you are able to break it down into a flat disk when not using it. It won't take up any room at all in your home or car, a bonus to those of you that are low on space.

The only issue with this that we and other customers have noticed is that while it is simple to take apart and put back together, it is a bit time consuming. This is a good thing to keep in mind when deciding on pet carriers.

On the front part of the carrier, there is a mesh door that allows your cat or dog to still be able to see the world around them, which is another advantage that is has over hard carriers. The soft side walls are made with holes throughout the surface to give your pet adequate breathing room.

Weighing only 2.2 pounds, the carrier is lightweight, easy to carry with a handle on top, and has a great design overall. The added bedding at the bottom of the carrier creates a non-slip surface and makes them feel comfortable and at home.


On What To Pay Attention To When Choosing A Pet Carrier

Amount Of Travel

Man Traveling With Luggage And Pet

One of the first things to consider before deciding on a carrier is how much you travel. If you are hardly ever home and you bring your pet along for the ride, you will want to get a carrier that is lightweight, spacious, and very comfortable since your pet will be inside for long periods of time.

You will also need to make sure that the carrier you choose is approved for airline travel if that is your choice of transportation. On the other hand, if you only need a carrier for trips to the vet or the park, you won't need to focus on the amount of space and storage provided in the case.

Comfortability is still essential for any carrier, but if you don't take your pet out very often then hard pet carriers may be an option to consider. Also, it may not be much of a problem to lug a heavy carrier into a vet's office, but trying to carry one around an airport is less than ideal.


The next thing that you want to pay attention to when it comes to choosing the best cat and dog carry cases is the quality. The quality of the product will determine the price and how long it lasts.

Usually, the more you pay for a carrier, the better the quality will be. You have to determine if features like added pockets, shoulder straps and extra storage is important to you. Also, buying a cheap carrier can lead to easily torn walls and parts of the carrier breaking off, so ensure that it is made from good materials.


As mentioned above, you will need to decide what your preference is when it comes to the material. While some like hard carriers because of their build and sturdiness, and others like soft ones because of their coziness, there are other things to look at when it comes to the type.

For example, the use of mesh can be an issue for some pet owners, as it can be easily ripped and torn. Cats have very sharp claws, so make sure that them clawing at the carrier in frustration won't be an issue. You will also need to look at the material to see if the carrier's construction meets your standards.

Pet Weight

Small Dog On Weight Scale

Another key component when it comes to choosing the right carrier is how much your pet weighs. The heavier your dog or cat, the more durable the carrier will have to be to ensure that it lasts a long time.

Always make sure that you check the dimensions and capacity of a carrier before making a purchase. All are created in different ways, so if one is perfect for your pet, it does not mean another that looks about the same size will be.

Staying within the weight range will also make sure that your furry friend is as safe as possible. An unstable carrier could lead to accidents.


So, there you have it, our top three picks of pet carriers. These choices are diverse and represent the wide spectrum of options that are available to you on the market. While this can be overwhelming, we hope that the advice will help you choose the perfect fit for you and your beloved pet. Thank you for reading.

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