The Best Dog Carriers

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Dog carriers can help you transport your pet safely, whether you're going to the veterinarian or flying across the country.
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When your dog bonds with you, chances are that he hates being left behind. With so many dog-friendly places to go, it's essential to get a safe, secure carrier for your small dog so that there is an option besides tiring out little legs or being hand-carried. Large dogs can also use a carrier when taking road trips or traveling on a plane. Make sure you get the best dog carrier for your lifestyle and travel needs.

Consider the best dog carriers

When shopping for a dog carrier, there are many more factors to consider than just price and whether or not you can get free shipping. According to George Mason University, there are a number of factors that are essential to consider when choosing the best dog carrier for your needs:

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  • Hard-sided to protect pet
  • Easy to clean
  • Keeps pet dry in all kinds of weather
  • Keep pet's head out
  • Seatbelt compatible
  • Inside leash or harness to prevent jumping out
  • Easy and comfortable to carry

The best dog carrier for your pup will also be the right size. If your pet will be traveling in a carrier, he should be able to stand up on all four legs with room to hold his head upright. It should be wide enough for him to turn around and long enough to accommodate the full length of his body plus any food and water dishes, toys, or blankets you plan to include without being crowded.

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The best all-around dog carrier

Henkelion Dog Carrier for Small Medium Dogs of 15 Lbs ranks as Amazon's No. 1 Best Seller and is versatile enough to contain your pet whether you're headed to a veterinary appointment or a vacation across the country.

The soft-sided airline-approved comes in two sizes and five fashion colors. Dual carrying handles, a shoulder strap, and a strap for securing the carrier to a seatbelt make it versatile to handle and secure. A broad rear strap even lets you secure it to your rolling suitcase.

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The weatherproof exterior has mesh sides for ventilation and to allow you to check in on your pup. Load your pet from the top or zip down any of the three sides according to your pet's comfort. Inside, a fleece pet bed keeps your dog comfy and can be removed to machine wash. There's also a harness attachment to keep her from jumping out. Tuck treats, vet records, and a leash into the carrier's outside pocket for easy access.

The Henkelion Dog Carrier for Small Medium Dogs of 15 Lbs is available on Amazon.

Best road-trip dog carriers

Protect your pet from injury during travel with a hard-sided carrier. Hard sides aren't the only thing to consider, however.

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Make sure air openings cut into the hard plastic on the sides of the crate are smooth to the touch. Pets can cut their noses on rough plastic when they press their noses up to the air holes to investigate what's going on next to them.

A top-loading hard-sided carrier is convenient for road trips, letting you easily lift your pet out when its time to stop to stretch your legs. A traditional door on one end also lets your pet enter and exit easily when you place the carrier on your hotel room floor.

Petmate's Two Door Top Load pet carrier comes in three sizes to make pets up to 15 pounds secure during travel. The two-tone pearlescent finish comes in four colors to coordinate with your travel gear, home decor, or personal preference.

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Petmate Two Door Top Load is available on Amazon.

Flying across country

Every airline has its own requirements for dog carriers to allow you to travel with your pet or ship them across the country. Most allow either soft-sided or hard-sided carriers for traveling inside the cabin with you but require hard-sided carriers for pets traveling in the cargo hold.

If you're bringing your pet with you into the cabin, its carrier must be able to fit beneath your seat and stay within your airline's requirements for height, length, width, and total weight.

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Dogs will need a hard-sided carrier if they're traveling separately from you. Look for durable construction and 360-degree ventilation and visibility such as the Petmate Sky Kennel. The product also provides secure ways to attach identification tags and clip-on food and water bowls. A secure steel grid door and closures attaching the top and bottom of the crate prevent the carrier from popping open during the flight or baggage handling.

Petmate Sky Kennel is available on Amazon.

Take them everywhere

Let your pup snuggle close to you as you take a hike, shop pet-friendly stores, or go see the sights. A backpack or sling keeps your pet securely nestled against you. The best dog carriers have added security to prevent them from jumping out unexpectedly and makes them feel safe and protected.

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Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack, Adjustable Pet Front Cat Dog Carrier Backpack Travel Bag offers the versatility to carry your pooch on your front or back. Thick sponge material between you keeps you both comfortable and leg holes offer freedom of movement for your pet.

Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack, Adjustable Pet Front Cat Dog Carrier Backpack Travel Bag

YUDODO Pet Dog Sling Carrier Breathable Mesh Travel Safe Sling Bag Carrier is made from breathable mesh with a secure design that lets your pet's head look out. A wide, adjustable shoulder strap helps you find the most comfortable position for you to carry your pet against your body.

YUDODO Pet Dog Sling Carrier Breathable Mesh Travel Safe Sling Bag Carrier is available on Amazon.

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