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Top Air Approved Dog Crates

Top 10 Airline Approved Dog Crates, Carriers, and Kennels in 2018

If you’re a dog parent, chances are you like to take Fido along when you travel.  If your trip involves flying, there are some very important things you will need to consider in order to assure his flight is a “pawsitive” one. 

Narrowing down and purchasing the right airline approved dog crate, carrier or kennel travel carrier for your four-legged fur baby to travel in will help assure his safety and comfort.  It will also help guarantee he’ll make it onboard.  Airlines are cracking down on regulations concerning canines and the carriers they fly in.  Know before you go.

Size it Up

Size matters.  Whether you are checking your pooch in as baggage so he can ride in the cabin with you or if he is going in cargo, the dog crate or carrier itself will need to be IATA (International Air Transport Association) compliant and will also have to meet the guidelines of the specific airline you are flying with.  Most standards state that your dog must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier.

The Best of the Best

Sure, you can scour the internet and research the thousands of airline approved dog crates, carriers, and kennels.  But you’ve got better things to do (like packing for your trip), so we’ve done the work for you.  Here are our top 10 picks:

  1. Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier

Lightweight and comfortable, this stylish Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrierdog tote is a real tail-wagger when you want comfort, durability, and ease in handling all in one affordable carrier.  For in-cabin transport, it’s hard to top this mobile wonder where convenience is concerned.

The carrier fits most dogs up to 17 ½ pounds but weighs only 4.9 pounds itself.  It is able to adapt to the various under-the-seat regulations of different airlines and can be expanded after lift-off to provide the ultimate spot for Spot. 

The sturdy shoulder strap is padded for your comfort and the bedding inside it has ultra-plush padding for his.  The top ends of the carrier open so you can easily care for your dog.  There are zipper pockets on either side. 

The measurements when in use are 22-inch long but can be compacted down to 19 or 16 inches.

It is machine washable and comes with a handy instruction card.  An electric warmer pad can be purchased separately.  It also features a safety tether to make sure your beloved fur-buddy doesn’t make a great escape.  The carrier is available in six different colors including Robin Egg Blue, Orange Dream, Glacier Silver, Strawberry Red, Jet Black and Dark Chocolate.

As with many contemporary dog carriers, the Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier transforms to a mobile bed or car seat too.  When you want to get a handle on traveling with your dog, this port-a-pup may be the perfect one for you.

  1. Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Dog Carrier

No one likes to tote a dog carrier around a crowded airport.  With the revolutionary Snoozer Wheel Around*, you don’t have to.  If you’re traveling with a pint-size pup (15 pounds or under) who’ll be flying alongside you, you’ll love this sturdy portable pooch carrier that rolls with the flow.

The attractive black and grey colored carrier weigh in at just under 8 pound and sports an external dimension of 11x14x20 and an internal dimension of 9 x13x15.  It fits right under the seat of most airlines.  Of course, you will want to check with your specific airline to be on the safe side.  You can opt for a smaller or larger version when available.

Mesh from three sides of the carrier gives your pup a full, dog’s eye view.  The floor area is slightly padded for your pooch’s comfort and the outside bottom portion is removable. 

When the trip is over, this dog carrier can double as your fur-baby’s car seat, bed or backpack.  How’s that for multitasking?

  1. Sport Pet Designs Kennel

If your darling dog is flying in cargo below, you’ll want to make super sure he is jet set with a safe and durable shelter like the Sport Pet Designs Kennel*.  The high-quality poly shell of this fine design withstands extremely hard and heavy impacts so you can rest assure he is in good hands with the people who are behind this fine design.

This port-a-kennel accommodates extra-large dogs, measuring 39Lx27Wx30H (inches) and weighing 26.25 pounds.  The inside is 36Lx23.5Wx28H (inches).  The total weight is 31.2 pounds. 

Hard metal slates mitigate to prevent your pet from being able to chew through the plastic vent holes and metal hardware locks are also in place for his security.  There are snaps that lock to hold the two halves of the kennel together.  Even the kennel door is constructed of strong metal that has a convenient easy-to-grasp extra secure latch.  A handy moat drain keeps unwanted moisture away from your precious pup in the event of a spill or accident.

As per airline regulations, it has tie down holds for bungee cords, four live animal stickers, and an attachable water dish.  The crate is IATA approved.

You’ll have Fido ready to fly in no time because this sturdy air kennel is super easy to assemble. The wheels are optional and can be quickly put on or taken off to suit your traveling needs.  It also features a “just in case” floor gutter that accommodates quick and easy cleanups should your pup have an accident or if his water spills from his bowl in flight. 

For the larger than life dog in your life, you might consider this kennel that is sky high on benefits but not on price.

  1. Jet Sitter Luxury

This top-loading portable Jet Sitter Luxury* crate is a dog owner’s dream if you have a “furend” you’ll be traveling with.  The sleek-looking gray colored design provides the ultimate in ease of access for getting your precious little canine cargo in and out while the expanding sides provide him the chance to stretch out after take-off. 

Weighing just 3.8 pounds, this puppy palace holds small to medium pets up to 12-14 pounds.  It measures 18x11x11 inches and is also available in a slightly larger size (19x12x12 inches). 

The critter sitter conforms to TSA compliance for most or all airlines.  The mesh material is high quality and scratch-resistant and the flooring is completely leak-proof.

Secure crossbars provide structural integrity.  The mat is soft, lined with plush fleece but is also very sturdy, sporting a stiff board that supports heavier pets so it can even transport cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and more.  It cannot be chewed through.

With convenient top loading capacity, the roof opens so you can easily get your pooch in or out so that you care for him along the way.  The carrier can be folded up flat and stored under your passenger seat, under a bed, in a closet or even in your suitcase. 

Fido will be well equipped with the large mesh pocket and expandable sides that are perfect for holding his treats, food, food containers, water bowl, and toys.  He’ll be safe too because there are seat belt buckles attached for his ride to the airport and a security leash is included as well.

  1. Teafco Argo Petagon Maldives Blue, Medium

If your furbaby wants to fly fancy, the Teafco Argo Petagon* canine carrier just might be the ticket.  Fashioned like a purse, it has dual-layered windows that give your pooch a nice view and plenty of ventilation too. 

The design is ultra-lightweight at just 2 pounds and meets IATA regulations.  It measures 17.8x9.5x11 inches to comfortably house your pet up to 15 pounds.  It comes in a lovely blue but can also be found in a pretty pink.

The top-loading triple secure mesh opening makes it convenient to get your pet in or out with ease.  There are five zippered pockets on the outside so you can bring along all Fido’s favorite things like treats and toys.  Rear fitting handles are upright for maximum mobility.  There is a strap for use with a seatbelt.

This Teafco Argo Petagon isn’t cheap but it is first class when it comes to style and luxury.

  1. Petmate Sky Kennel

If you’re flying with your furry big guy (or gal), the last thing you need is to worry about his kennel not being safe, secure and comfortable.  With the Petmate Sky Kennel, you can rest assure your bff (best four-legged friend) will travel right.

Housing dogs from 50-70 pounds, the kennel measures 36x25x27 inches and is constructed of a heavy duty durable plastic shell, interlocking secure wire doors with a four-way latching system and features wire windows for ventilation.  Non-corroding plastic wing-nuts keep the kennel tightly together, even upon impact.  An imprinted “live animals” notification adds awareness of your traveling buddy.  The kennel meets most or all airline requirements.  The total product weight of the kennel is 20.75 pounds.

When the trip is over, your dog will have a safe spot to sleep or hang out in with this gem of a kennel which makes it a wise choice.

You’ll be happy to know that this fine kennel is eco-friendly and is proudly made through green manufacturing processing techniques in the USA.  Fido will be thrilled about the food and water containers it comes with and the spaciousness inside.  Petmate Sky Kennels come in six sizes so you are sure to find the one that best fits your world traveler.

  1. Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier

This Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carrier* is a first class act.  Compliant with all or most airlines, the cozy canine carrier is lightweight yet sturdy and secure.  Plus, it’s so comfortable, your fur-baby may not ever want to get out.  After all, he’ll be traveling in the lap of luxury.

Measuring in at 19”x10”x13”, it is great for pets weighing up to 15 pounds.  An “unwind and bind” feature lets you access your pooch without him being able to get a little too adventuresome and make a dash for the exit door or into your lap.  It’s constructed of super comfortable materials that actually breathe, provide optimized airflow and are extremely durable too.  Easy to clean ventilated screens add a measure of extra security.

This pet palace comes with all the bells and whistles - perks like a soft padded shoulder strap, fleece travel bed that can be removed, a lost and found tag and tons of storage for toys and treats.  It is a cinch to clean because it’s fully washable.

For the ride to and from the airport and for other car trips as well, this pup crate has a handy-dandy secure seat belt device.  A convenient zippered opening makes it easy for you to access and care for your little fur-ball during the trip.  The zipper construction is sound which is imperative when your pup is inside of it.  You certainly wouldn’t want a zipper to break and not be able to get him out...or in.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more functional, fashionable porta-pet carrier.  The Paws & Pals series consists of a wide array of colors including yellow, red, blue, green, and even pink that are sure to brighten up your trip in true tail-wagging style.

  1. Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy

Talk about tunnel vision (in a good way)!  This Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppyis perfect for fitting right under your seat in the cabin.  The expandable sides never get droopy or saggy like some other brands do because they are re-enforced with an extra thick wire frame at the top and a 1/4" plywood base.

Holding a pup (or other pet) up to 14 pounds, the carrier measures 18L x 10.4"W x 11"H, so sit fits critter up to 16"L X 10"H.  It can fold down to 18"L x 11"W x 1.5" H and zips flat for easy storage.  In this particular model, your dog may not be able to stand if he is very tall but can be quite comfy laying down which is what he’s really supposed to be doing on the plane anyway. 

The Pet Peppy is airline approved by all or most airlines but you’ll want to double check the particular one you are flying with to be certain.  Extra precaution has been put into place with extra layers in case you bump into a wall or door or if someone bumps into you which is very possible in a crowded airport.  This is also a security feature that is good to have in the event the plane runs into turbulence and your pup gets shifted a bit.  It’s always better to air on the safe side were your fur-baby is concerned.

Pet Peppy has the capability to expand from two sides for your pup’s lounging pleasure.  The top is well ventilated to allow excellent air circulation.  A shoulder strap is included as well as a pet bowl.  There is a side pocket for treats, toys or even for medications.

Not sure if this mini canine condo will live up to all it claims to be?  That’s not a problem.  It comes with a 1-year money back guarantee.

  1. Petmate Vari Kennel

Your lucky dog will love the spaciousness of the Petmate Vari KennelSuitable for dogs weighing 70-90 pounds, the tough and durable construction of the kennel make it the ideal home-away-from-home while flying about the country or even for training or housing purposes while in his own backyard.  It is airline approved by all or most airlines although some suggest the plastic screws be replaced with metal ones - that is an easy fix.

The handsome bleached linen look is coupled with some extra security measures like easy-open squeeze latches, ventilation of the side walls, moat interior to prevent soggy pups and a strong tie-down strap holes for installation of zip-ties during travel if desired. 

A bowl or two can be purchased separately and can be hooked on to feed and water your traveler.  A traveling blanket or mat can be added into the floor section for added comfort.  You might even want to put an absorbing pad under the blanket...just in case an accident happens while in flight.

The kennel is completely chew-proof.  Top-notch plastic construction helps keep noise levels down over wire metals models and can offer a spot of solitude even when the trip is over.

The kennel is like a sky castle, measuring a nice and spacious 40 x 27 x 30 inches and weighs just 62 pounds.  It is super easy to assemble with no tools required to do so and is proudly made in the USA.  Petmate Vari Kennels can also be found in six different sizes to accommodate small all the way up to extra-large pets.

For the big needs of your big dog, you can count on this high flying hotel to house Fido safely and efficiently.  It’s a dog-gone great ride your four-legged friend will dig! 

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

For transporting your pint-sized pup, the Mr. Peanut’s Expandable Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier* takes to the sky with outstanding features that make it our top tail-wagging tote.

The inside of the top-loading dog carrier measures in at 4"W x 11"H, so it comfortably accommodates pets up to 16"L x 10"H who weigh up to 15 pounds.  Empty, the carrier weighs only 2.7 pounds and collapses to a mere 3” so it conveniently fits under the seat, in your closet or even in your luggage when not in use.

Airline approved carry-on dog carriers, in general, are designed for pets who are lying down, so your furry friend may not be able to stand up while in it but this canine condo is so plush and comfortable, with thick, lush faux fleece padding and well-rounded contours, doubtfully will that be an issue.  Since each airline differs in their specific air-ready carrier compliance regulations, it’s always wise to check with the airline you’ll be flying with beforehand.

Some of our favorite features about the Mr. Peanut model include the thick ¼” plywood base that offers a secure foundation to the floor so your pooch’s weight is well supported, the breathable mesh that is available on all four sides, the removable fleece travel mat, the nicely padded shoulder strap and the storage compartment for Fido’s belongings.  If your pup happens to have an accident or gets sick to his stomach, don’t go into a tailspin.  The carrier is waterproof.

The high quality of the zippers on this bag play a big role in it being our preferred canine carrier choice.  If you encounter a zipper malfunction while on your trip, especially when in flight, it could easily be a disaster.  You’ll love knowing the Mr. Peanut has that problem all zipped up.

The look and feel of the critter carrier is “plane” to see.  Constructed of premium waterproof and elegant yet strong parachute-like nylon material, it is a fashion statement all its own when cruising down the runway or when walking around in the airport.  It will be the envy of all pet parents.

Security is a top priority for air travel.  You won’t be let down with this carrier.  It comes with a leash tether to prevent any sneaky escape escapades. 

A two year 100% guaranteed, money-back protection plan offer makes the Mr. Peanut a risk-free investment.  Your pup will be in for a real treat when you show him your soft side and indulge in the Mr. Peanut's Expandable Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier.

Landing a Great Crate, Carrier or Kennel

Now that you have read up on our top 10 picks for airline approved dog crates, carriers and kennels, you can decide for yourself which is the best fit for your jet-set furry flyer.

* Links for products will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.



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