10 Best Pet Carriers for the Car: Travel Safely With Your Pet

September 13, 2021 | by TravelingCreatures.com

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Our pets have a way of comforting us and easing our anxiety on our travels, but how can we do the same for them, while also keeping them safe? A dog car crate is a great place to start.


Purchasing a dog car carrier is a great option if you have an anxious or excitable pet that you drive with. Venturing out with a pet like this can be very difficult, especially if they are constantly panting, jumping around, and shaking—all of which are signs of motion sickness. By placing your pet in a crate, you minimize the number of changes in your pet’s position, thereby easing their anxiety and car sickness. However, you don’t want to purchase just any dog crate.


Consider asking yourself the following when deciding which car carrier is best for your pet:


-How does my pet react to being in a carrier?

-Do I want something machine-washable?

-Do I want an airline-approved carrier?

-Should I purchase something more heavy-duty?

-Do I want something crash-tested?

-Do I need something waterproof?

-Do I want a soft or hard crate?

-Do I want something with storage?


With that said, let’s explore some of the best dog car carriers out there: for you and your pets!

 

10 Best Pet Carriers for Cars:


1. Petsfit Portable Soft Dog Crate

This Petsfit portable dog crate has 3 large mesh windows that roll up and velcro, making it a great option for use both indoors, and outdoors. Rounded corners allow the crate to fit perfectly in your car, without causing any friction. The crate is upheld by a strong steel frame that can fold flat when not in use. This crate comes in 3 sizes, the largest of which can hold dogs up to 132 lbs. A machine-washable cover and leak-proof bottom make clean-ups easy. Petsfit provides a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty as well.

Our Thoughts:

-Machine-washable +

-Comes in 3 sizes +

-3 entries +

-Non-slip mat +

-Curved corners +

-Lockable zipper +

-Solid steel frame +

-Waterproof +

-Foldable +

-Flimsy material -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 8/10



 

2. Diggs Revol Dog Travel Crate

This travel crate is perfectly designed for traveling with puppies. A removable tray allows you to effortlessly clean up messes. 3-way access—front, side, and top—gives you easy access to your pet. A puppy divider allows this crate to grow with your pet, giving you the option to adjust the amount of space your pet has as they get older. Don’t worry about pinching their paws or your fingers—this crate was designed with baby industry standards. This crate easily folds when not in use, and locking technology keeps it secure when you’re on the road. A combination of high-strength steel mesh wire, aluminum, and reinforced plastic creates a secure crate for your pet.

Our Thoughts:

-Easy to clean +

-Comes in 2 sizes +

-3 entries +

-Foldable +

-Aluminum, steel, and reinforced plastic frame +

-Very heavy -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 9.5/10



 

3. Sleepypod In-Cabin Pet Carrier

Not only is this pet carrier crash-tested in the car, but it is also airline-approved if you also enjoy traveling by air with your small pets. This is a great option for anxious pets, as it has a dark mesh with a removable privacy panel. This allows proper ventilation, while also easing your pet’s anxiety while traveling. Luggage-grade nylon is used to construct the outer part of the carrier, along with a comfortable polyester interior. At the airport, a luggage handle allows you to secure your pet on top of your luggage. In the car, use the 2 included straps to secure your car’s seatbelt from both sides.

Our Thoughts:

-Foldable +

-Airline-approved +

-Crash-tested +

-Machine-washable +

-Only comes in 1 size -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 8.5/10

 




4. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate

The 2PET FOlding Dog Carrier can be used at home, while traveling, outdoors, or for training purposes. With 5 sizes available, this carrier caters to pets of various sizes—from 15 to 70 lbs. This crate has a soft, machine-washable outer fabric that can easily be removed. A covered zipper prevents your pet from chewing their way out of this crate. This carrier is built from steel tubing that is foldable. A waterproof floor mat and reversible fleece cushion are included to keep your pet cozy. 2PET also offers a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty as well.

Our Thoughts:

-Machine-washable +

-Foldable +

-Comes in 5 sizes +

-Steel frame +

-2 entries +

-Flimsy material -

-Only one side opening -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 8.5/10



 

5. Smiling Paws 4-Way Expandable Carrier

If you want to give your pet a bit more room in the car without purchasing a larger carrier, this is the carrier for you. The Smiling Paws Carrier features a 4-way expansion with breathable mesh, allowing your pet to have a bit more room on your travels. Some additional safety features include reinforced metal clips, self-locking zippers (that only open when the string is pulled), and an internal leash. If your pet is prone to having accidents, a soft machine-washable pad allows you to easily clean up any travel messes. This carrier is also airline-approved, and has a luggage handle, allowing you to slip the carrier onto your luggage, making for a hassle-free walk (or run) through the airport.

Our Thoughts:

-2 entries +

-Lockable zipper +

-Machine-washable +

-Foldable +

-Airline-zpproved +

-Tons of space +

-Internal leash +

-Comes in 1 size -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 9/10



 

6. 4x4 North America Crash-Tested Dog Transport Kennel

Though this is an extremely expensive option, there are few kennels that compare to this one. The 4x4 North America Transport Kennel is the only dog transport kennel to have passed front, rear, and roll-over crash tests. With 14 adjustable sizes, this kennel can accommodate most cats, dogs, and vehicles. An emergency escape door, crumple zone, and key lock system keep your pet safe and secure, so you never have to turn your head again to check on your pet while driving.

Our Thoughts:

-Key lock system +

-Metal structure +

-Emergency door +

-Crumple zone +

-Comes in 6 sizes (each with adjustable length) +

-Crash-tested +

-Expensive -

-Time-consuming to set up -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 9.5/10




 

7. Petsfit Steel Frame Dog Crate

The Petsfit Dog Carrier is great for traveling, as it functions as both an open bed and a secure crate. 2 large side entrances along with 1 top entrance allow for easy access to your pet. Keep these mesh windows open with velcro strips to convert to an open crate. A steel frame and locking zippers makes this crate secure for traveling by car. This carrier comes with a machine-washable cover over a comfortable pad to keep your pet cozy. A screw-in frame allows you to adjust how tight the fabric cover is as well.

Our Thoughts:

-Machine-washable +

-Comes in 3 sizes +

-3 entries +

-Non-slip mat +

-Lockable zipper +

-Solid steel frame +

-Waterproof +

-Foldable +

-Non-durable flimsy material -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 9/10



 

8. SPORT PET Rolling Dog Travel Crate

This travel crate comes with removable wheels that can easily be attached if needed. Wheels are included with sizes M-XXL (not with the small size). Sturdy plastic combined with metal hardware keeps this kennel locked at all times. Tie-down spots are present, along with travel stickers, food, and water dishes; therefore this crate meets all IATA regulations (air travel). The versatility of this crate allows you to use it in the air, on the road, or at the campsite. This crate also collapses for easy storage.

Our Thoughts:

-Comes in 6 sizes +

-Collapsible +

-Airline-approved +

-Has wheels +

-1 entry -

-Flimsy plastic and bolts -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 8.75/10




 

9. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

This crate is best for small dogs, as it only holds pets between 10 and 20 lbs. This carrier also meets all airline requirements, allowing you to fly with your pet in-cabin. I personally have this crate, and my Maltipoo and I both love it! There is both a front and top-loading door: the top-loading one is great because it’s actually quite large. One negative aspect of this crate is that the front door gets misaligned at times, making it difficult to close.

Our Thoughts:

-2 entries +

-Airline-approved +

-1 size -

-Front door misaligns sometimes -


Traveling Creatures Rating: 8.25/10




 

10. One for Pets 2-in-1 Double Pet Carrier

This carrier is great for those traveling with multiple pets. The One for Pets 2-in-1 carrier can be used multiple ways: as 2 single pet carriers, a double pet carrier (with separation), or a double pet carrier without separation. Large mesh windows and multiple entrances allow for easy access to your pet. Interior hooks come with this 2-in-1 carrier, allowing you to hang a hammock (great option for cats!). Two hammocks and two comfort pads are included, all of which are machine-washable. In the car, use the built-in strap to attach your seat belt. Outside, use the four stakes that are included to anchor the carrier to the ground. This carrier is one of the most versatile on the market, making it a great choice for those of you traveling with multiple pets.

Our Thoughts:

-Machine-washable +

-Multiple entries +

-Ground stakes +

-Hammocks +

-Can hold multiple pets +

-Foldable (with carrying case) +


Traveling Creatures Rating: 9.5/10



 

If you’ve considered your pet’s needs and have decided that a carrier isn’t right for them, don’t worry! There are many other options for you and your pet, one of which being a dog car harness along with a seat belt. This will not only keep your pet safe but also give them a bit more freedom, and room to relax, in your car. Your smaller pets might benefit from a pet booster seat, whereas a seat cover hammock will better suit your larger pets. All in all, restraining your pet in the car is very important to keeping everyone in the car, safe. Remember to buckle up (you and your pets!) at all times.


These recommendations are not given by veterinary specialists, as they are our personal recommendations. It is advised you look into each product prior to purchasing, and consult with your pet's veterinarian regarding any questions. Traveling Creatures is an affiliate and is in no way responsible for circumstances that may occur with the use of any of the recommended products.


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