From trips to the vet to long vacations to a day out on the town, a dog carrier is a must-have item for many pet owners. From big to small, practical to adorable, we’ve rounded up the best dog carriers for every situation and every pet. The first step to figuring out which dog carrier is best for you is measuring your dog’s height, girth and length in order to get a perfect fit. It’s also important to know how you’ll be using the carrier most often - whether you’ll be regularly flying with Fido... or simply going on long car rides together. Once you know exactly what you need, we’re here to help you find the perfect product.
01 of 07
The Pupkiss luxury carrier is perfect for all kinds of travel, but made specifically to adhere to most airlines’ size restrictions to allow you to take your four-legged friend on any vacation. The Pupkiss comes in gray and brown and measures 18” x 11” x 10.5”, which is compact enough to fit under most airline seats so that your best friend can stay with you throughout the entire flight. Even if you’re not taking Fido on a vacation, the Pupkiss is a sturdy and comfortable carrier that comes with... fleece bedding, multiple storage containers and zippered mesh windows, so you can keep an eye on your dog at all times. This carrier holds up to 14 lbs, so it's best for small dogs (owners of larger dogs should consider a plastic carrier for more support).
Reviewers say the built-in strap is comfortable for long hauls and love that the carrier breaks down for storage when not in use. For under $40, the Pupkiss carrier is attractive, durable and perfect for all types of travel.
02 of 07
The Legendog airline pet carrier is our choice for best runner-up because it’s comfortable, durable and attractive. It doesn’t have as many sections for storage as our choice for best overall, but it has a few pockets on the sides that give you space for treats and water. The Legendog carrier holds up to 22 lbs and is 21" long, so it’s great for breeds such as pugs and French bulldogs. It also has a zippered feeding window which allows you to give your dog treats and water without opening up... the whole carrier.
Rewviers have taken the Legendog on planes and say it provides a safe and comfortable haven for nervous pets under the seat. The ventilation allows for open or closed walls if your pup is anxious in new environments.
03 of 07
The AmazonBasics soft-sided carrier is a perfect, simple carrier for most dogs and pet owners who don’t require any bells and whistles. It comes in three sizes, with the largest holding up to 22 lbs of weight. It also comes with a fleece bed for added comfort and multiple mesh windows for ventilation and security. We love the side loading feature that allows your dog to walk right into the carrier without struggle, and the adjustable straps for extra comfort.
If you’re in the market for a carrier... and don’t want to spend a fortune, the AmazonBasics carrier is a great choice. Reviews remark that it's as durable as many of its competitors and add that it’s easy to travel with (and adheres to most carry-on restrictions).
04 of 07
Stylish, chic and practical are all ways to describe the PetsHome leather travel bag, but we think “wow” sums it up best. If you’re looking to upgrade your dog carrier, the PetsHome is a beautiful way to transport your small dog or cat. Perfect for dogs up to 20 lbs, the PetsHome carrier is made from PU leather, though owners say the material looks and feels as sturdy as real leather. The PetsHome bag is just as stylish as a regular travel bag, but strong enough to keep your pet safe and... comfortable. Its hard-sided construction is great for both planes and cars, and we love the multiple mesh windows for optimal ventilation.
Owners say it’s even more attractive in person and rave about its high-end materials and sturdy construction. If you are looking for an attractive and structurally sound carrier, the PetsHome is a great choice.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
While soft carriers are very popular right now, a plastic carrier is still a great choice for durability. The Petmate top load kennel is great for trips to the vet or long car rides, though it’s too large to adhere to most carry-on rules. The kennel is made from heavy-duty plastic and steel and comes in at 19" and 24", with the larger size accommodating a dog up to 20 lbs safely. It has both a top and front load option, which gives you a couple of different approaches if your pet is... squeamish about carriers.
Owners love the dual opening feature and say the handle is sturdy enough for long trips. We love plastic carriers for car rides because it provides a safe, durable barrier against surprise braking or stopping.
06 of 07
Nature lovers don’t have to leave their dogs behind with the K9 Sport Sack backpack. The backpack comes in extra-small through large sizes and accommodates dogs up to 35 lbs. It features seven colors, and allows your pup to join you for those long Saturday morning hikes without the added strain. The sturdy rubber straps let your dog sit forward-facing so he can enjoy the view, and the backpack even includes a metal leash attachment so there’s no fear of escape.
If you’re looking for a carrier to... take your dog out and about, the K9 backpack is a wonderful choice. Owners say it’s comfortable for long hikes or walks, commenting that the strap and sack ventilation keeps both the wearer and the dog cool.
07 of 07
Travel with a pet can be stressful, so why not make it a little more fun with the Texsens bubble backpack? This hilarious and innovative “space suit” for pups (and cats) is just as practical as it is adorable. The pack, which comes in six colors and can hold a dog up to 12 lbs, features a spherical window reminiscent of what you’d expect to see on a space shuttle. It also has side mesh windows for ventilation, and pet owners can purchase a cheap “booster seat” to help prop smaller dogs up so... they can utilize the viewing window.
Reviewers say their once-skittish pets have taken to the bubble backpack because it allows the pup to both hide away and view the outside world all at once. Owners also say it’s comfortable and easy to take on planes and long errands around town.
Disclosure: At the Spruce, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission.