As an anxious pet parent, it is extremely difficult to leave your pet behind when you go on a long vacation. They will always weigh on your mind and keep you from thoroughly enjoying your trip. The airline approved pet carrier can solve your problem.

To even be allowed to have your dog with you on a flight, you need to find airline approved pet carriers. This means conducting your own research, finding relevant information on websites and finally locating the right size with proper specs. If your flight exceeds a few hours, the comfort of the dog carrier is of first consideration for your small to medium dog.

To save you from the headache of scouring the Internet for this information, we have done the legwork for you and compiled a list of the top choices worthy of your consideration.

Related Review: Best Dog Slings.

View The Best Airline Approved Pet Carrier Below

1. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

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We personally prefer soft carriers to the hard kennels because we know our pup likes it better. This option from Sherpa is perfect for the road and on an airplane. If your pet is traveling in-cabin with you, the spring wire frame allows the carrier to be stored under the seat in front of you for takeoff and landing. The mesh windows extend all around the carrier with roll-down flaps for privacy when it’s naptime.

The shoulder strap makes it easy to carry your pooch when your hands are occupied during travel. The interior is lined with machine washable faux lambskin to keep your pet cozy and comfortable on the flight. Keep all your pooch’s treats and needed supplies in the side storage pocket. With everything you need on-hand, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy a relaxing flight.

Pros:
+ Most airlines approved
+ 3 sizes
+ 7 color and design choices
+ Spring wire frame for easy storage

Why We Like It – It sounds to us like Delta has all your needs covered. The seatbelt and luggage strap will keep your pet secure during turbulence.


2. Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Pet Travel Carrier

Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Pet Travel Carrier

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The Snoozer pet travel carrier comes in 3 different sizes and color choices. If you love your dog like family, you need this to keep him close to you at all times. The 4-in-1 features make this pet carrier better than the rest. It’s a wheeled carrier when you’re strolling with your dog through the airport. Convert it into a backpack when you need your hands free.

If you’re on a road trip it doubles as a car seat and it also transforms into a comfy bed for your pooch no matter what form of transportation you are on. The mesh material on three sides of the carrier gives your pet ample ventilation, and will not give him a feeling of being confined and trapped in a small space.

Pros:
+ 4-in-1 function
+ 3 sizes
+ 3 colors
+ Breathable mesh material

Why We Like It – Being able to transform into different carriers allows you to use just one carrier from Snoozer to fulfill all of your travel requirements. Keep your pet close to you at all times.


3. Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy

This is an awesome pet carrier that comes at an affordable price. It really earns the title ‘’premium’’ with their superior quality. The eco-friendly and durable materials come together to create the perfect carrier with plush fleece lining, lightweight nylon material and padded shoulder straps for your comfort.

The expandable design gives your pet extra room to move and lay but remains within the airline’s safety parameters. Made mostly of mesh fabric when expanded, it allows fresh airflow to your pet. Lay down your pet’s favorite blanket inside or use the washable liner included. The leash ring is added to keep your pet securely strapped in for the duration of the flight.

Pros:
+ Expandable design
+ Airline approved
+ Breathable mesh
+ Lots of storage space

Why We Like It – To sweeten the deal, Pet Peppy has included an extra gift with your purchase. You get one collapsible pet bowl so your pet can feed in comfort and style.


4. PETS GO2 Pet Carrier for Dogs

PETS GO2 Pet Carrier for Dogs

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Most airlines approve of this design from Pets Go2 that is made especially for carry-on use. Built in the right size to fit under the seat in front of you, the steel frame doesn’t lose shape and the waterproof fabric keeps potential messes contained. This pet carrier also expands into a mesh cage, giving your dog more legroom and the freedom to shift positions.

No matter which color you choose, the bottom will be lined with soft lining to keep your pet comfortable. Pets Go2 also includes a collapsible pet bowl for you to take care of the feeding aspect of your trip.

Pros:
+ Good ventilation
+ Expandable design
+ Durable material
+ Airline approved

Why We Liked It – We love the expandable options. They increase the comfort level for your pet and you can rest easy knowing he is happy in his comfortable and airy carrier.


5. EliteField Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

EliteField Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

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This soft pet carrier slides right over the telescoping handle of your wheeled suitcase for easy transport. You don’t need to weigh down your shoulder or arms with an extra piece of luggage. The seat belt buckle and built-in leash keep your pet securely fastened on any type of vehicle. Accidents can happen, but the removable fleece lining is washable and replaceable in case your pet ruins it on a flight.

The durable, lightweight and waterproof material is used to make this carrier with a mesh netting top and sides to give your dog a well-ventilated spot on the plane. Keep all the necessary supplies you need for your pet in the two accessory storage pockets. EliteField offers a 3-year warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Pros:
+ Airline approved
+ Well-ventilated
+ 3-warranty
+ 100% money-back guarantee

Why We Like It – Coming in 2 sizes and 6 colors, this pet carrier is a safe purchase with its affordable price and guarantees offered by the manufacturer.


6. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

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The number 1 best-seller from AmazonsBasics comes in at number 6 with their soft pet carrier. This basic but efficient design has carrying handles and a shoulder strap that’s adjustable for 2 different carrying methods. Not only that, it fits under most standard airline seats without losing its shape.

The fleece bed included in the carrier is machine washable and easy to spot clean. Choose from 3 different sizes, the mesh material gives your pet a wide view of his surroundings and maximum air flow. Use the built-in leash to keep your pet from escaping during the plane ride.

Pros:
+ Sturdy design
+ 1-year limited warranty
+ Washable fleece bed
+ Breathable mesh

Why We Like It – The mesh material on all sides and the top not only provide ventilation, but also gives your pet clear sight of you and you of him. Alleviate travel anxiety for both of you with this soft carrier from AmazonBasics.

Add on: Dog Anxiety Vests.


7. PetAmi Premium Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

PetAmi Premium Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

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What sets the PetAmi carrier apart from the rest is the multiple color selection. The 13 color choices and knowing you will be giving your pet maximum comfort is all you need to click ‘’order’’. Mesh is the new thing with pet carriers because they give full visibility and ventilation.

Check if your pet is sleeping comfortably on the Sherpa lining through the mesh fabric and feed him kibble and water with the bonus collapsible bowl. Safety is always our main concern, and this pet carrier relieves our anxiety with the safety straps. The quality of the construction and safety precautions makes this easy to use carrier a top choice.

Pros:
+ Multiple color choices
+ Bonus gift
+ Durable construction
+ Airline approved

Why We Like It – If you put emphasis on aesthetics or just like to find a color that matches your pooch’s personality, the 13 different color options will definitely appeal to you.


8. Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier

Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier

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This carrier has wheels to become a glider and the adjustable shoulder strap becomes a pull handle. You can choose to carry your pet on your shoulder or pull him along like a little wagon. The mesh fabric panels allow for maximum airflow and ventilation with privacy flaps on the sides when it’s time for a nap. The floor of the pet carrier is lined with faux lamb wool and the little triangular flag that comes with the carrier gives you better visibility.

Sherpa pet carriers are a part of the guaranteed onboard program and are approved by most major airlines. The guaranteed onboard program guarantees that the pet carrier complies with airline regulations. Give yourself a hassle-free trip by towing your fur baby through security with no issues.

Pros:
+ Guaranteed on-board
+ Mesh fabric for ventilation
+ Dual carry
+ Triangular flag

Why We Like It – The wheels are recessed for smooth and easy motion. The newer models have swivel wheels that make it even easier for you to maneuver.


9. Petmate Sky Kennel

Petmate Sky Kennel

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Finally, we introduce a kennel-style carrier for aircraft. The wire door and side vents provide enough ventilation and visibility for you and your pet. The outer shell is made of plastic with strong steel wiring on the door and side panels. This portable dog travel kennel provides you with 2 clip-on bowls that rest easily on the door when its feeding time for your pup.

The top handle situated on the kennel makes it convenient for carrying. Put your dog’s favorite toy inside and line the kennel with comfortable fabric. Your biggest job with the Petmate Sky Kennel is to be ready for a smooth plane ride with your pup by your side.

Pros:
+ Sufficient ventilation
+ Durable materials
+ Vaulted door design
+ Clip-on food and water bowl

Why We Like It – If you prefer a hard shell for your dog, then a kennel that meets airline specifications will be your best bet. Visibility isn’t compromised with the wire door and windows on the side panels.


10. Mr. Peanut’s Expandable Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

Mr. Peanut's Expandable Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

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Just looking at the photos confirms our pet will be very comfortable on the plush fleece bedding. Another airline approved expandable carrier, Mr. Peanut’s guarantees your pet ample legroom and space to sprawl out. The mesh top, door, and sides will give your pet good air circulation.

The soft material makes it easier to store beneath the seat in front of you due to its pliability. The outer shell is made of snowflake nylon, which is a waterproof fabric that is easy to clean and the fleece bed inside is also easy to hand wash. This lightweight carrier has built-in storage compartments for any pet supplies and your travel documents.

Pros:
+ Satisfaction guarantee
+ 2-year warranty
+ Donates to pets in need
+ Meets airline requirements

Why We Like It – It’s easy to clean and gives your dog a smooth ride? Yes, please! Feel good about your purchase from Mr. Peanut, because they donate a portion of their proceeds to pets in need.


11. Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier

Ytonet Dog Backpack Carrier

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Made for smaller dogs, travel has never been so easy with your pooch. The soft-sided backpack is durable and made from eco-friendly polyester that can withstand anxious behavior such as biting or scratching. It’s easy to keep your hands free with the backpack design and the mesh allows you to interact with your pet easy to keep him calm.

A leash tether is built-in for security. Your dog can stick his head out during the trip without falling out or escaping from the backpack. The two large side pockets are conveniently located to store any travel documents, or pet supplies you may need. The lining pad and the backpack itself are easy to clean and comfortable to wear with padded shoulder straps.

Pros:
+ Two-way entry
+ Comfortable wear
+ Safety leash tether
+ Well-ventilated

Why We Like It – Traveling means constantly pulling out your passport, boarding ticket, and other travel documents. The large side storage pockets make it easy. Being able to keep your hands free and knowing your fur baby is safely tucked in the backpack will put you at ease.


Airline Approved Pet Carrier Buyer’s Guide

We are lucky to be living in a day and age when taking our pets along on a vacation is the norm. However, there are certain criteria we still need to follow in order to enjoy this perk. The size and fit of the carrier can pose problems when selecting the correct one.

You must take into consideration the size and comfort of your pet along with the regulations of each airline. Before we give you relevant information on picking the right carrier, we’ll give provide you with an in-depth look at what factors go into an airline approved travel carrier.

Does It Meet Airline Guidelines?

Although the options we have provided above all meet airline criteria, you should always double check and make sure before a trip. It must be a breathable, bite-proof and leak-proof housing for your dog and of adequate size. This is what airlines are looking for. Aside from that, also make sure your dog is under the size limitations of the airline you are traveling with.

What to Look for When Buying Airline Approved Pet Carriers?

Sizing

If you have a carrier that meets airline regulations but happens to be too small for your pet, then you have a problem on your hands. Make sure your dog is comfortable during the flight. Many major airlines require your pet to have adequate room when lying or standing. Measure the length and height of your pooch for reference.

How do you measure your dog for the perfect fit? There are a few different positions in which you need to measure your pooch. Measure his length, width, and height when he is sitting and standing erect. Next up, get your dog to turn while standing to get the circumference of his range of motion. Lastly, get him to lie in his natural position and measure the length and width.

Is it Sturdy and Durable?

Most airlines also require the kennel/carrier to be in good condition. Any tears, cracks or breaks could be the cause of refused entry. Some pets are anxious flyers not unlike some of us, and having a kennel or carrier made of durable materials is important in case your dog starts chewing or biting at the sides.

Is it Comfortable?

Especially on longer flights, the comfort level of the crate is also high up on the list. Make sure the floorboard is lined with washable and soft fabric. You should be able to easily clean or replace the lining if your pet accidentally soils it. Bring his or her favorite toy for comfort if they are a first time or nervous flyer.

It Needs to be Well-Ventilated

The best crates and carriers have mesh or wire on most of the surface. This allows your pet to keep a close eye on you and you on him for comfort. Not only that, but breathable material gives good ventilation so your pet won’t feel trapped and constricted on a long flight.

Safety

For safety, lockable zippers and a built-in leash tether are ideal. These features keep your dog safely and securely inside the compartment. If your carrier has a seatbelt buckle or loop, they could get their own seat and be securely strapped in during takeoff and landing.

Storage Room

You are only allowed one carry-on aside from your purse, so to have storage pockets and compartments on the actual pet carrier will be of great convenience. Taking care of your pet on a long international flight requires a ton of supplies such as pee pads, food, etc. To be able to keep what you need for your pet close at hand without having to get into the overhead compartments is also a good idea.

Extra Features

Such as the expandable design and clip-on bowls, extra features can add to the comfort of the flight. Many manufacturers try to outdo the others by coming up with crafty ideas that make your life easier.

Conclusion

If you are big on traveling, a pet carrier will be something that allows your pet to be close to you. You want to invest in a good and sturdy one that won’t give in to your dog’s roughhousing. Make sure it’s easy to clean, as accidents do happen, even thousands of miles in the air.

Keeping your pooch comfortable with the right sized kennel is extremely important. Lay down soft lining and make sure you measure him correctly and give him some breathing room. Speaking of breathing, mesh or wire side panels and top will give your fur baby a clear line of vision and ample ventilation.

Expert Tip

If you have a snub-nosed dog or are on an aircraft that doesn’t allow pets in the cabin, you need to make sure your poor pup has everything he needs. Most pets can do without food for 12 hours upon takeoff, but if a flight is longer than that, water is definitely needed.

Don’t tranquilize your pet if it’s not necessary. Tranquilizers lower blood pressure, which already happens at high altitudes and this could lead to heart and respiratory issues.

Did You Know

If your dog is allowed in the cabin, most airlines usually expect you to keep your dog in the crate for the entire flight. The carrier should be stored under the seat in front of you, where it should remain the entire time.

Airline regulations apply to all kinds of carriers, whether it be soft-sided, hard kennels, or crates. Make sure you have all the necessary documents such as animal stickers, declaration stickers (which are mostly included with your purchase), and the proper vet certification.

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Jess
Jess' life is never boring and full of loyalty and love from her fur babies. Being able to write about all of these products and being a doggy mom herself, gives Jess insight into what’s important when choosing the right products for our cuddly pals.