Safe pet carriers for travel

Furry Loved

Safe Pet Carriers for Travel: Top Picks and Tips

Traveling with a pet can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful if you don’t have the right gear. One of the most important things you’ll need is a safe and comfortable pet carrier. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train, a good pet carrier can make all the difference for both you and your furry friend.

A row of sturdy pet carriers lined up, ready for travel. Each carrier has a secure latch and ventilation holes. Labels show they meet airline regulations

There are many different types of pet carriers available, so it’s important to choose one that is appropriate for your pet’s size, breed, and temperament. Some carriers are designed specifically for air travel, while others are better suited for car trips or short walks. When selecting a pet carrier, it’s important to consider the comfort and safety of your pet, as well as your own convenience and ease of use.

Types of Pet Carriers

A variety of pet carriers in different sizes and styles, including soft-sided and hard-sided options, are displayed on shelves in a well-lit pet store

When it comes to choosing a pet carrier for travel, there are several types to choose from. Each type has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your pet’s needs and your travel plans. Here are some of the most common types of pet carriers:

Hard-Sided Carriers

Hard-sided carriers, also known as hard-sided kennels, are made of sturdy materials such as plastic or metal. They offer excellent protection for your pet and are ideal for air travel, as they meet most airline requirements. Hard-sided carriers are also easy to clean and provide good ventilation for your pet. However, they can be heavy and bulky, making them difficult to carry around.

Soft-Sided Carriers

Soft-sided carriers are made of lightweight materials such as nylon or canvas. They are more flexible than hard-sided carriers and easier to carry around, making them a good choice for car travel or short trips. Soft-sided carriers are also more comfortable for your pet, as they can mold to their shape. However, they may not provide as much protection as hard-sided carriers and can be difficult to clean.

Backpack Carriers

Backpack carriers are a hands-free option for pet owners who want to keep their pet close while traveling. They are usually made of lightweight materials and feature padded straps for comfort. Backpack carriers are ideal for hiking or other outdoor activities, as they allow you to keep your hands free. However, they may not be suitable for larger pets or long trips, as they can be uncomfortable for both you and your pet.

Collapsible Carriers

Collapsible carriers are a space-saving option for pet owners who don’t have a lot of storage space. They can be folded down when not in use, making them easy to store in a closet or under a bed. Collapsible carriers are usually made of lightweight materials and can be used for car travel or short trips. However, they may not provide as much protection as hard-sided carriers and can be difficult to clean.

Overall, choosing the right type of pet carrier depends on your pet’s needs and your travel plans. Consider factors such as size, weight, durability, and comfort when making your decision.

Safety and Comfort Features

A pet carrier with secure latches and soft padding, placed in a car with a seatbelt fastened around it

When it comes to selecting a pet carrier for travel, safety and comfort are the two most important factors to consider. Here are some of the key features to look for:

Airline-Approved Designs

For those who plan to travel with their pets on airplanes, it’s important to choose a carrier that meets airline regulations. Airline-approved carriers typically have specific dimensions and construction requirements that ensure they fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment. Some airlines even require specific types of carriers, such as those with mesh panels for ventilation.

Crash Testing and Durability

A sturdy and durable pet carrier is essential for ensuring your pet’s safety during travel. Look for carriers that have been crash-tested and certified by independent organizations such as the Center for Pet Safety. These carriers have been rigorously tested to ensure they can withstand the forces of a collision, and can help keep your pet safe in the event of an accident.

Comfort Enhancements

In addition to safety features, it’s important to choose a carrier that is comfortable for your pet. Look for carriers that have padded interiors, as well as padded shoulder straps or handles for easy carrying. Mesh panels are also important for ventilation and to allow your pet to see outside the carrier. Some carriers even have built-in features such as water bottle holders or pockets for storing treats and toys.

Overall, when choosing a pet carrier for travel, it’s important to prioritize safety and comfort. Look for carriers that meet airline regulations, have been crash-tested and certified, and have features such as padded interiors and mesh panels for ventilation. By choosing a carrier with these features, you can help ensure that your pet travels safely and comfortably.

Selecting the Right Size and Weight

A hand reaches for a pet carrier, comparing sizes and weights. Labels indicate suitability for travel

When it comes to selecting a pet carrier for travel, one of the most important factors to consider is the size and weight of the carrier. This is because airlines have specific requirements for the size and weight of pet carriers that can be brought on board. Here are some guidelines to help you select the right size and weight for your pet carrier.

Size Requirements for In-Cabin Travel

If you plan to bring your pet with you in the cabin of the plane, you will need to select a carrier that meets the airline’s size requirements. These requirements can vary by airline, so it is important to check with your airline before you select a carrier. In general, carriers for in-cabin travel should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.

For example, United Airlines allows pet carriers that are a maximum of 18 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 11 inches tall. American Airlines allows carriers that are a maximum of 19 inches long, 13 inches wide, and 9 inches tall. Delta Airlines allows carriers that are a maximum of 18 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 8 inches tall.

Weight Guidelines for Pets

In addition to size requirements, airlines also have weight guidelines for pets that can be brought on board. These guidelines can also vary by airline, so it is important to check with your airline before you select a carrier. In general, pets and their carriers should not exceed 20 pounds for in-cabin travel.

For example, Delta Airlines allows pets and their carriers to weigh up to 20 pounds, while American Airlines allows pets and their carriers to weigh up to 20 pounds for domestic flights and up to 16 pounds for international flights. United Airlines allows pets and their carriers to weigh up to 16 pounds.

It is important to note that these weight limits include the weight of the pet and the weight of the carrier. So, if your pet weighs 15 pounds, you will need to select a carrier that weighs no more than 5 pounds (assuming the airline’s weight limit is 20 pounds).

By following these size and weight guidelines, you can ensure that your pet carrier meets the requirements for in-cabin travel and that your pet will be safe and comfortable during your trip.

Carrier Features and Accessories

A sturdy pet carrier with ventilation holes, secure latches, and a comfortable cushioned interior. Optional accessories include a detachable water and food bowl, and a shoulder strap for easy transport

When it comes to choosing a safe pet carrier for travel, there are several features and accessories to consider. These features can help ensure your pet is comfortable and secure during travel.

Waterproof and Water-Resistant Materials

One important feature to consider when selecting a pet carrier is the material it is made of. Opting for a carrier made of waterproof or water-resistant material can help protect your pet from the elements during travel. This is especially important if you plan on traveling by plane, as luggage can sometimes be exposed to rain or other weather conditions.

Convenient Storage Solutions

Another feature to consider is whether the carrier has convenient storage solutions. Many carriers come with side pockets or other compartments that can be used to store pet supplies, like food, water, and toys. This can be especially helpful if you are traveling long distances with your pet and need to bring along extra supplies.

Additional Safety Elements

When selecting a pet carrier, it is also important to consider any additional safety elements that may be included. For example, some carriers come with locking zippers or other mechanisms that can help prevent your pet from escaping during travel. Additionally, many carriers come with interior tethers that can be used to secure your pet inside the carrier and prevent them from moving around too much during travel.

Overall, choosing a pet carrier with these important features and accessories can help ensure your pet stays safe and comfortable during travel.

Brand Reviews and Recommendations

Top-Rated Carrier Brands

When it comes to pet carriers for travel, some brands stand out from the rest. One of the most popular and highly-rated brands is Sherpa. Their Original Deluxe Pet Carrier is a top pick among travelers and pet owners alike. It is airline-approved and designed to fit comfortably under most airplane seats. The Sherpa carrier is also lightweight and comes with a padded shoulder strap for easy carrying. It is available in multiple sizes and colors to suit different pets and styles.

Another top-rated brand is Away. Their pet carrier, called “The Pet Carrier,” is a sleek and stylish option that is also airline-approved. It features a durable polycarbonate shell and a removable, washable interior pad. The carrier also has a built-in pocket for storing treats and toys. While it is more expensive than some other options, it is a great choice for pet owners who want a high-quality carrier that is both functional and fashionable.

Budget-Friendly Options

For pet owners on a budget, there are several affordable carrier options available. One such option is the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed. This carrier is designed to be versatile and can be used as a bed, carrier, or car seat. It is also crash-tested and made with high-quality materials to ensure your pet’s safety. While it is more expensive than some other budget carriers, it is still a great value for its versatility and safety features.

Another budget-friendly option is the Petsfit Expandable Pet Carrier. This carrier is expandable, allowing for more room for your pet to move around during travel. It is also made with durable materials and has a sturdy wire frame for added stability. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some other carriers, it is a reliable and affordable option for pet owners on a budget.

Luxury and Premium Picks

For pet owners who want to splurge on a high-end carrier, there are several luxury and premium options available. One such option is the Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier. This carrier is designed to fit under most airline seats and is made with high-quality materials for added durability. It also has a plush, comfortable interior and comes with a padded shoulder strap for easy carrying. While it is more expensive than some other carriers, it is a great choice for pet owners who want a premium carrier that is both stylish and functional.

Another luxury option is the SturdiBag Pet Carrier. This carrier is made with durable materials and features a patented, flexible design that allows it to fit under most airline seats. It also has a removable, washable interior pad and comes in multiple sizes and colors. While it is more expensive than some other carriers, it is a great choice for pet owners who want a high-quality carrier that is both stylish and practical.

Frequently Asked Questions

A pet carrier sits on a sturdy surface, with a small dog or cat peeking out from the mesh window. The carrier is labeled "Safe for Travel" with clear instructions and features listed

How do I determine if a pet carrier is airline approved?

To determine if a pet carrier is airline approved, pet owners should check with the specific airline they plan to travel with. Each airline has its own requirements for pet carriers, including size, materials, and features. It is important to ensure that the pet carrier meets both the airline’s requirements and the pet’s needs before purchasing.

What are the size requirements for a pet carrier to fit under an airplane seat?

The size requirements for a pet carrier to fit under an airplane seat vary depending on the airline. Generally, the carrier should be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the passenger and large enough for the pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. It is important to check with the specific airline for their size requirements before purchasing a carrier.

What features should I look for in a safe pet carrier for air travel?

A safe pet carrier for air travel should have adequate ventilation, be made of sturdy materials, and have secure closures. It should also be large enough for the pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. It is important to check with the specific airline for their requirements and recommendations for pet carriers before purchasing.

Are there pet carriers with wheels that are allowed in-cabin on flights?

Some airlines allow pet carriers with wheels in-cabin on flights, while others do not. It is important to check with the specific airline for their requirements and recommendations for pet carriers before purchasing.

What constitutes a TSA approved pet carrier?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not have specific requirements for pet carriers. However, pet carriers must go through the same security screening process as other carry-on items. It is recommended to choose a carrier that is easy to remove the pet from for the screening process.

What alternatives exist for transporting pets if I don’t have a pet carrier?

If pet owners do not have a pet carrier, they can consider using a pet travel service or hiring a pet-friendly taxi or ride-sharing service. It is important to research and choose a reputable service that meets the pet’s needs and ensures their safety during transport.

Leave a Comment