Dogs are funny, adorable pets. They love car rides, surfboarding, swimming, and so much more! There seems to be nothing that dogs can't do as long as they are with their owners. Most of all, dogs love holidays too! There are many excellent boarding kennels and pet hotels nowadays where your pooch can have a good time hanging out with other dogs. But isn't it so much better to have your furry best friend travel with you? I'm pretty sure your dog agrees!
Sadly, that can't be done if you don't have an airline-approved dog carrier. Even if you're not much of a traveler, it is imperative that you have one reserved for emergency situations such as a once-in-a-blue-moon family reunion that could last a week or two. Not being pessimistic, but we never know when we need to move out to another area or travel far to seek out the best veterinarian we could find.
Top 6 Best Airline Approved Dog Pet Carriers
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What to Look For in an Airline-Approved Dog Carrier
Size is the most important factor to consider when choosing an airline-approved dog carrier, especially for travel in the cabin. The goal is to have the carrier fit underneath the seat in front of you.
Apart from the size, the materials used for its construction as well as it shape will be based on where your dog will be located. Airline varies from one to another so it is advisable that you make inquiries or a quick research first before you decide to book a flight.
Good Ventilation and Comfort
It is general knowledge that proper ventilation is a must at all times. Dogs with thicker coats are most likely to hyperventilate fast when confined. Comfort is also as important especially if you have to travel for hours. Likewise, a good carrier must have room for your dog's comfort object so he may stay at ease. He must also be able to at least turn around inside.
In addition, the OxGord Paws & Pals airline-approved pet carrier has a stand-alone mat, which is high-quality quilted fleece to keep your furry buddy snug during your travels. The mat fits perfectly and has two heavy-duty velcro strips underneath to keep it in place. The mat is surprisingly affordable and can be used straight out of the box. Purchase two or three more so you can swap them out during laundry. Likewise, the interior of this carrier is waterproof and easy to clean. Wet wipes or a damp cloth would already suffice as to cleaning. Simply air-dry the bag and it will look good as new!
Moreover, the OxGord Paws & Pals airline-approved pet carrier has plenty of pockets for water bottles, toys, and other belongings. You don't have to worry about ventilation either since this carrier has mesh windows on both sides. Each mesh window also has its own secure zipper to make sure no mischievous paw can open it.
- Smart design, available in 10 colors
- Waterproof interior
- Easy to clean and dry
- Removable fleece mat for comfort
- Includes mesh windows and plenty pockets
- Has safety belt straps for land travel
- Secure zipper clips keep mesh windows close
- The largest size can only hold up to 10-12 lbs. contrary to its claim
- Offers no good amount of room
- Has no metal frame structure
Sleepypod Air is also great for land travels. This carrier includes heavy-duty straps on each side to ensure your pet's safety when you are driving with your furry buddy. Nobody wishes for a car accident, but it is better to prepare for the worst. So choose a carrier that is crash tested and certified by CPS for your road trips. Also, Sleepypod Air is very solid; no escape artist can get out by chewing, kicking, or scratching.
Unfortunately, the product smells like chemicals. You need to wash and air it for a while. This carrier has a removable plush mat but it is highly recommended that you also put some puppy pads on it to prevent accidents. Many dog owners also complained about their pets hyperventilating due to the lack of proper airflow, so perhaps it isn't recommended for fluffy dogs.
- Passes all airline and TSA criteria
- Has 6 colors to choose from
- Crash tested and certified by CPS
- Includes trolly pocket
- Made of heavy-duty ballistic nylon and features tear-resistant mesh
- Privacy mesh is too thick; you can't see through it
- Dogs with thick fur or hair may hyperventilate due to lack of airflow
- Not recommended for hot summer getaways
- Only for small dogs
Sherpa Element has three access points to make it much easier to load your pet into the carrier. Each entry has a locking zipper to prevent your pet from escaping. It has three mesh panels to keep the airflow constant. The Sherpa Element duffle pet carrier also includes a luggage tag and a seatbelt security strap that can also work as a luggage strap. It also comes with a large side zippered pocket that can hold important pet stuff. In addition, this carrier features a removable plush faux lambskin liner to keep your pet snug as a bug. You may also buy more replacement liners so you can swap them during laundry.
- Patented spring wire frame
- Three mesh windows for ventilation
- Locking zipper for every entry
- Padded hand carry strap and seat belt
- Machine-washable faux lambskin liner for comfort
- Amazing color scheme
- Too small for a small dog (unable to turn around)
- Only for toy breeds
- Dogs may claw through the mesh and tear the netting
In addition, this carrier can also be folded flat for fast and easy storage. It also includes a suitcase-style carry-handle, an adjustable padded shoulder strap, and a short leash that you can attach to your pet's collar so that your mischievous pooch can't sprint when you open the carrier. There is also a mesh pouch for you to tuck in his favorite bag of treats and other knickknacks.
- Features soft padded interior and rigid floor
- Very comfortable and stylish
- Loses its shape over time due to lack of frame
- Restless pets may tear the mesh window
Back by the Sherpa Guaranteed on Board Program, dog owners can rest assured that their pooch will be able to board the plane as long as the carrier reflects your pet's size. (Small is approved for American Airlines, AirTran Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, U.S. Airways, United Airlines, Air Canada Airlines and West Jet Airlines; while medium is approved for American Airlines, United Airlines, and Air Canada Airlines.)
Moving on, Sherpa Original Deluxe features a patented spring wire frame that allows its rear end to be pushed down several inches smaller to conform to under seat dimensions. Likewise, it includes meshing windows for proper ventilation, top and side entries with locking zippers to keep mischievous paws from opening, and a padded carrying strap with an adjustable non-slip shoulder. The carrier also comes with a machine-washable faux lambskin liner.
- Trusted brand
- Features patented spring wire frame
- Can be pushed down to fit specific seat requirement
- Includes machine-washable faux lambskin liner
- Interior padding needs improvement
- Faulty zippers
- Straps have no cushion
- Bulky and stiff construction
- Can accommodate dogs that are 7" tall and 15" wide
- Easy to assemble
- Lightweight and easy to clean
- Metal nuts and bolts used are rust-resistant
- No rollers for easy transport
- The plastic shell is thin
The social nature of our furry buddies makes them great travel companions wherever we go, whether it is just around the neighborhood or across the globe. But without the right carrier, the journey becomes unpleasant rather than memorable. That is why choosing the right carrier is of the essence. It allows you to transport your pet safely and comfortably. Most of all, it prevents you from disturbing your co-passengers. What you want is to simply rest in a comfy place beside your dog until you arrive in your destination.