It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to go on the road or have a long flight ahead of you, it’s every dog parent’s wish to take their fur babies with them. Top-rated travel dog crates will have all the essentials and the high-quality build in order to ensure the safety of your lifelong companion. Any kind of trip away from home can be stressful for your dog, so you need to find the best travel dog crate that not only gives him security but comfort as well.

It’s easier to find the right travel dog crate for road trips, but when it comes to airline carriers, there are more rules and regulations to abide by. Regardless of the type of vacation you plan to take, our experts have rounded up all the best options on the market to suit every instance and guarantees to keep your fur baby secure and comfortable on the journey.

View The Best Travel Dog Crates Below

1. Henkelion Dog Carrier

Henkelion Dog Carrier

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If you have a small to toy breed, airlines usually allow them to be part of your carryon luggage pieces so you don’t have to be away from them while they endure the flight in the cargo area. This is much more reassuring for a lot of dog parents, which is why we are introducing this top-rated travel dog crate as our first option. Small dogs are easier to manage, there is no debating that and with this airline-approved carrier with an airline approved design, you can keep your dog close to you at all times.

The dog carrier is lightweight, durable and waterproof to safeguard the rest of your belongings and the plane itself from any accidents. It comes with a shoulder strap or carry handles for flexible wearability and is padded for comfort. While the entire crate itself may not be machine washable, the removable fleece lining that keeps your pooch comfy and warm is.

Pros:

+ Airline approved travel crate

+ Durable crate for a dog on a plane

+ Waterproof

+ Lightweight

+ Removable and washable fleece lining

Why We Like It – Traveling can be stressful with all the minute details we have to organize and making sure the hard or collapsible dog crate is plane-friendly is the last thing on our minds. Which is why the guaranteed airline-approved construction is so appealing.


2. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

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If you don’t have a small breed, the EliteField soft dog crate is an excellent crate for big to giant dog breeds to medium ones. It comes in multiple sizes and multiple colors as well. The blueprint is wider and higher than most other brands, which gives your dog a spacious temporary living environment that’s big enough for them to turn around in. Although it’s a soft folding crate, the dog crate is made with steel tubing for structure and is covered with a 600D fabric paired with mesh windows.

The 3 doors come in the form of side, top and front mesh paneling, which gives the dog owner and the dog easy access and sufficient ventilation and lighting for air travel or any other outdoor adventure trips. Once folded, the crate only takes up 3 feet of space for easy storage and is accompanied by a 2-year warranty.

Pros:

+ Larger measurements

+ Different colors and sizes

+ 3 doors

+ Sufficient ventilation and lighting

+ 2-year warranty

Why We Like It – Getting a hesitant dog into a travel dog crate can be a tough ordeal. Having the three floor the ceiling doors makes the travel crate much more accessible and easy to coax your pooch inside.


3. AmazonBasics Portable Folding Soft Dog Travel Crate Kennel

AmazonBasics Portable Folding Soft Dog Travel Crate Kennel

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AmazonBasics always provides exceptional service and products at an affordable price. They now make their own travel dog crates that are soft, comfy and far surpasses a cage for dogs on a trip. Their crates come in 5 different sizes with top door and front door access. To enhance ventilation, there are mesh panels on all sides of the pet carrier to make sure your dog has sufficient airflow and view of the outside.

When the windows or doors are rolled up for access in and out of the crate, they can be fastened in place with zipper closures. The setup of the portable soft-sided crates takes less than a minute and can easily fold down flat for storage. With these two-door crates, you can keep your canine close to you on your journey.

Pros:

+ Two-door access

+ Mesh windows on all sides

+ Secure zippers

+ Folds flat for storage

+ Comes in multiple sizes

Why We Like It – Some people have the misconception that traveling only applies to small dogs However, big dogs aren’t left out with these travel crates as they are easily portable and come in multiple sizes.


4. AmazonBasics Single-Door & Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate

AmazonBasics Single-Door & Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate

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Continuing on our AmazonBasics binge we have the single and double door metal wire crate. This pet crate design may not be everyone’s first choice when traveling, but just hear us out. While it does resemble regular house crates, it features a big carry handle on the top to make it easy to carry. It also comes in many sizes and is quite a durable option, making it one of the best dog travel crates on the market.

The hard-sided dog crate even comes with a divider for you to keep more than one fur baby inside. To give your dogs more room, this divider panel is removable and the overall cage itself is easy to clean in case of accidents. A sturdy crate like this makes car travel much easier.

Pros:

+ Hard-sided crate

+ Sturdy pet carrier

+ Comes with a divider

+ Top handle for carrying

+ Folds flat for easy storage

Why We Like It – The simple metal crate design may make it easier for your small dog or large breed when traveling because it mirrors the house crates they are used to. Pair that with clear visuals on all sides, car travel will be smooth sailing.


5. Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Kennel

Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Kennel

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Next up on the list is a dog crate that we’re sure many of you associate with travel. This heavy-duty dog crate comes in many sizes and colors to accommodate dogs of all breeds. Smaller breed crates have a top handle to make it easy to carry and the crates for big dogs features an easy-to-open latch to open the crate. Each size of the heavy-duty travel crate meets airline specifications for air travel and supplies enough ventilation for your dog on all sides.

The plastic design of the pet carrier is surprisingly lightweight, making it easy for any dog owner to carry their pet (save for large breeds of course). The plastic is also easy to clean should your dog have an accident in the crate and the entire top can be removed for easy access.

Pros:

+ Easy access inside the crate

+ Lightweight plastic

+ Heavy-duty

+ Comes in different colors and sizes

+ Meets most airline specifications

Why We Like It – The Aspen Pet travel crates are one of the best dog travel crates for a reason. Even though they sport a simple design, they include all that’s necessary for your pet to be safe, secure and comfortable.


6. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate

2PET Foldable Dog Crate

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As for foldable dog crates, we know dog owners will appreciate ones that have unique designs. Take this foldable dog crate with a camo design that’s stylish and will keep your dog safe. 2Pet advertises this crate as an all-in-one travel crate for indoor, outdoor, training and travel. To hold up the structure of the dog travel crate you can find reliable tubing that’s still lightweight and folds easily.

The soft fabric cover is washable and easy to clean and features mesh panels on sides to be sure your dog can still have a clear view of the world. It’s easy to assemble and disassemble just by folding the wire tubing down for easy portability.

Pros:

+ Lightweight and foldable

+ Stylish designs

+ All-purpose dog crates

+ Strong steel tube

+ Sufficient ventilation

Why We Like It – The foldable dog crate comes in sizes to accommodate the largest dogs. Large crates for dogs are hard to find, and this one can be found in up to XXL sizes!


7. Petsfit Soft Portable Dog Crate

Petsfit Soft Portable Dog Crate

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This soft dog crate comes in a more unique design than the rest, with a domed roof that simulates a real little abode for your dog. There are 3 different sizes ranging from small to large that can accommodate dogs from 20 to 80 pounds! The dog crates are easy to assemble without any tools and can fold down just as easily for easy transport. There are large side panels that offer ventilation or can be covered up by releasing the covering from the secured straps.

The machine-washable mat included with the travel crate can be thrown in the machine and easily cleaned. This makes the durable pet kennel one of the best dog travel crates around.

Pros:

+ Waterproof and durable

+ Assembly without any tools

+ Mesh panels for airflow

+ Easy to clean

+ Machine-washable lining

Why We Like It – We like the Petsfit durable portable dog crate for its unique domed-roof design and large different sizes to accommodate large and small dogs.


8. Go Pet Club Soft Crate

Go Pet Club Soft Crate

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If you’re a fan of camping tents, then this is the travel dog crate for you. It looks like your dog’s very own tent with a sheepskin mat and a carrying case included with your purchase. It’s a soft-sided dog crate with large mesh panels and an even larger entrance for your dog’s easy access. When it comes time to sleep, the roll-down panels can cover the mesh panel windows to give your dog some privacy. It’s a great option for traveling as the construction and fabric are extremely lightweight and feature a top handle.

If you decide to use this all-purpose soft-sided pet crate for outdoor use, your purchase also comes with 4 grounding stakes to keep the dog carrier in place.

Pros:

+ Comes with a sheepskin mat

+ Carrying case and stakes included

+ Large mesh panel windows

+ Lightweight

+ Has a top handle

Why We Like It – The best dog travel crates should serve a bigger purpose than just for the journey alone. We love how the Go Pet Club soft-sided crate can also double as a shelter once you reach your destination.


9. K&H PET PRODUCTS Travel Safety Pet Carrier

K&H PET PRODUCTS Travel Safety Pet Carrier

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The K&H pet travel safety carrier has a quirky uneven design that folds flat for easy storage. It also comes in a variety of sizes, all of which include a large door for easy access and a washable and cozy mat for comfort. Many dogs may prefer their own mats so feel free to switch out what is included in these dog crates for one they like. Your purchase of this travel crate also comes with a 1-year limited warranty that covers most defects.

The small size works well in the front seat of any car and the larger sizes can be easily placed in the backseat area and be fastened securely with the seatbelt. This way, your dog won’t be distracting you on the road but has an easy line of sight to know you’re close to them.

Pros:

+ Greate dog crates for car travel

+ 1-year limited warranty

+ Can be fastened with a seatbelt

+ Comes with a cozy mat

+ Folds flat for storage

Why We Like It – Soft-sided crates have the bad rap of being flimsy and insecure. The K&H travel crate will prove you wrong and show you that dog travel can be easy and safe.


10. Caldwell’s Pet Supply Co. Airline Approved/Travel Transport Small Pet Carrier

Caldwell's Pet Supply Co. Airline Approved/Travel Transport Small Pet Carrier

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Like we mentioned before, nothing eases an anxious dog owner more than a dog travel crate that can accompany you on the plane. Caldwell’s Pet Supply Co. has created a collapsible dog travel crate for a small dog that is TSA approved and fits beneath the seat in front of you. These soft crates for small dogs are puncture-resistant for your dog’s safety and have structural integrity. In other words, the small dog travel crate will not cave in on your pet to induce more anxiety.

For your comfort and convenience, the small travel crates can be carried with the adjustable and removable shoulder strap or the top carry handles.

Pros:

+ Best dog travel crate that meets all TSA guidelines

+ Fits under the seat in front of you

+ Puncture-resistant material

+ Luggage tag and extra pad included

+ Versatile carry options

Why We Like It – We love these dog travel crates for their versatility and security. They adhere to all TSA guidelines for pets and can allow your dog to accompany you on the flight.


Best Dog Travel Crate Buyer’s Guide

What makes the best dog travel crate is one that’s multi-functional and can not only be used at home, outdoors but also one the journey to your destination. Most airlines only allow small pets, but a large dog can travel too if they stay in the cargo area. When traveling by car, you want to make sure the dog crate is safe for car travel by being sturdily built and gives your dog a view of the outside world. So what are the guidelines to buying the best dog travel crate? Let’s find out!

The Size

The most important thing is the size of the dog travel crates. If you have a large dog, you want the travel crate to offer enough room for your dog to turn around in but not enough so he can roam. This is because a dog is less likely to “go” or do his business in a crate that is smaller. They don’t generally release where they need to lie or sleep, so a travel crate that’s too large may give them sufficient room to go in one corner and sleep in another.

Remember that to offset not giving your pet the space to relieve himself, you must take frequent potty breaks on the road. We realize that that may not be possible during air travel, so a little more space on an airline carrier is okay. As a general rule of thumb for a travel crate, look for one that has about 4 inches leeway in height, width and length to give your dog the right amount of comfort.

Is it Sturdy & Durable?

How the dog travel crate was designed is important. For example, crates for large dogs need to be designed for dogs who break out. Large dogs have the ability to tear through flimsy soft designs and will require a collapsible dog crate that is probably crash tested and very robust. To make sure whether or not the dog crate is durable, this element is often reflected in the materials chosen, but more on that later.

The Design

The design is a huge deterrent if it’s poorly thought out. What you should be looking for to give your dog a leisurely journey is a two-door or more design. This will give him and you easy access. Since usual road trips and flights take more than a couple of hours, it’s also important to make sure your pooch has enough air. After all, there are regulations to crack the window when you leave your dog in the car, so adequate airflow is also needed in a crate.

Close-up Of A Dog Looking Through Open Car Window

A soft crate design will be collapsible and simple to store. Think about what types of trips you will go on and in what vehicle to determine if you need a foldable pet crate.

Safety

The safety of your pet in the dog crate is another big concern. For wire crates and certain kennels, the spacing between the slats can become a hazard. We’ve seen our fair share of pups getting their paws and even their jaws stuck in between. If your dog is a perpetual escape artist or attempted on, we would suggest soft foldable crates with heavy-duty canvas all around to minimize these accidents.

You can also look for dog crates that have tighter spacing within the rods and slats to still provide a view and enough airflow while keeping their four legs and jaws away from harm.

One very important thing to remember when picking out any dog crate is the materials used, but more on that later. The materials are detrimental to the safety of your dog. For example, if plastic crates contain parabens or other harmful chemicals, an anxious dog that chews at the side of the crate during his journey may end up ingesting these particles into their system. Since you won’t be able to keep a close eye on your pup on the road, this can pose a real threat to their safety.

Different Types of Dog Crates

As we brought up the vital importance of the materials that go into the construction, we’ll touch upon the different types of dog crates offered on the market so you can have a clearer picture of different kennel and crate options there are.

Plastic Crates

Perhaps the most popular material used for travel crates is plastic. A plastic crate is sturdy enough to withstand the force of a large dog and they can last for years. We’ll admit they aren’t the most attractive option out there, but they are affordable and they get the job done. They simulate a den for your dog as they are quite shielded with only a few gaps on each side for ventilation and a metal grill door. It’s the best travel crate option for dogs that prefer to be alone and enjoy privacy.

We do not recommend the plastic crates for fur babies with separation anxiety as it only gives them a limited view of you, which could prompt them to succumb to their fears. Aside from the 2 drawbacks, plastic crates are the most durable and secure, as in your dog will have the most difficulty trying to escape from them, plus they are lightweight enough to be portable (dependent on the size of course) and most airlines have no issues with plastic pet travel crates.

Wire Crates

In terms of durability, the wire crate, also known as the metal crate is the best option to keep your fur baby from escaping. It is the recommended crate for large dog breeds, especially ones that are extra destructive. Metal crates, due to their bar design, are the easiest to clean. If your dog does happen to make a mess just take a cloth and give it a good wipe or hose it down. A wire crate also comes with a pull-out tray that catches all the accidents and keeps the mess inside.

However, wire options aren’t without their drawbacks. They can be quite cumbersome and heavy, which is an undesirable trait for travel. Over the years, manufacturers have countered this fact by designed foldable metal crates.

Soft-Sided Crate

Perhaps one of the best choices for traveling is the soft crate. They are compiled with mesh paneling for windows, airflow and an outside view of the world with some sort of tough fabric such as nylon. They are comfy, cozy, foldable, lightweight and can come in many sizes, styles and colors. It sounds like there is nothing but great things about this type of crate. However, due to their soft nature, they are less sturdy than other crate options and will be no match for big teeth from big breeds or tenacious chewers.

Ventilation

The next thing to make sure of is ventilation. Soft crates will use mesh panels, which make great windows, allow for adequate airflow and gives your pup a clear view of you. As mentioned, dogs with separation anxiety need to be near you all the time. A crate will keep them from getting in your way while you’re trying to drive, but they would still appreciate a close view of their human to feel at ease.

Depending on the type of weather outside, having some air is even more crucial. As a rule of thumb, we would suggest sufficient ventilation on all sides and even the top of the crate if possible.

Is It Airline Approved?

To help you sail through security and baggage checks, an airline-approved model would be the best option for a travel crate. One thing we will say is that not all crates are built the same and airline requirements are not uniform. What will work for one airline might not work for another, so always check their requirements before bringing your fur baby on a trip with you.

How Do I Measure My Dog for a Dog Crate?

Every dog is different but one thing is for sure, you need to get the right-sized best dog crate to ensure safety. You need both the length and width of your dog to get the best fit. To measure the length, take a tape measure and secure end at the end of his snout and stretch out the tape measure for the entire length of your dog’s back to the tip of his tail. As we mentioned, we need about 4 inches of leeway so add 4 inches to that to get the tightest fit.

Do the same to get the minimum height of the cage by measuring your dog on his four legs from his paw to the top of his head and add another 4 inches for the best height of the cage.

Do I Need a Travel Dog Crate?

Aside from the obvious safety benefits it provides, such as keeping your dog safely confined to not disturb you and to be sure they are securely strapped in in the face of a collision, a travel dog crate can prevent an accident from happening inside or outside the cage. It is especially vital for puppies to get used to these crates because they are at the most restless and unpredictable age.

Since dog cages provide that sanctuary for dogs, it gives them the sense of security they need on the road. Dogs have no idea where they are headed or what is in store for them, so having a safe space where they feel at ease can also curb crying, whining and barking on the journey.

Conclusion

A travel pet crate isn’t a choice, it’s more of a necessity. They are the best option to keep your dog safe, lets you know where they are 100% of the time, and provides a safe haven for them to relax. A few things to remember when picking out the best travel crate is to think about your lifestyle and your destination. If you often venture to warmer climates, definitely get a pet crate with more ventilation. For small dogs, a soft nylon carrier would suffice, but it is by no means enough for big pooches with strong teeth.

The material matters when it comes to your dog breed and his tendencies, so keep that in mind. Another thing to always remember is to give them enough room to feel comfortable, but not so much that they can roam. This will minimize the chances of crate accidents but still give them the best fit to feel cozy and comfortable.

Expert Tip

When the question of how long you can leave your dog in a crate comes up, we always say there is no right answer. A dog who is crate trained is often left there overnight anywhere from 6-12 hours and they will be fine. One thing is for sure, if your dog is still a puppy, he will need a potty break every 2-3 hours.

Did You Know?

To get your dog used to the crate before the actual trip, try to crate train him in areas where there is high traffic. Most experts suggest placing the crate in your room at night so they know that you’re always close by.

Amazon Recommends:

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AmazonBasics Portable Folding Soft Dog Travel Crate Kennel, Large (24...
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  • Secure zipper closures; fastening straps keep unzipped rolled-up doors...

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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.