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Your Trusted Source for Pet News and Product Reviews

Pet Carrier or Pet Crate - What’s the Difference?

Buyer's Guide Carriers Dog Crates Pet Crate

Pet carrier vs pet crate

When it comes to selecting a pet crate for your dog, new consumers can get confused about which one to purchase. One such confusion can occur between the pet crate and pet carrier distinction. They are two very different things and getting the wrong one can ruin your plans.

Many people purchase dog crates for different reasons. Some buy them for general dog storage, some for toilet training and others so they can travel with their pets. A general pet crate can usually accomplish all of these tasks, whereas, a pet carrier will struggle with several of these. Making sure you get the right one is very important if you are to remain happy about your purchase. So it is important to learn the clear distinction.

In this article, we will look at pet carriers and pet crates to identify the difference. This will help you decide on which one is best for you and your needs. They are both different and it is important to learn the proper uses. If you’re interested in learning which one you need to purchase, we suggest you continue reading.

Pet Crates – The Jack of All Trades

Pet crates are well-known among dog and cat owners and are used for various purposes. They tend to be harder and tougher than carriers and can be used around the home or when you’re traveling. There are hundreds of pet crate brands, many of which are sold on Pet Crates Direct. When it comes to practicality, these are your best option.

Materials and Brands

When it comes to identifying your pet crate (i.e. the one you want to purchase) you will need to identify a number of factors. Defining your uses is a key one as this will govern the material you require as well as the brand. If you want to travel with your dog, we suggest you look at PetMate’s plastic crates, whereas, if you’re looking for something to contain larger, more aggressive dogs, Zinger does some excellent metal crates.


The uses of a pet crate are actually quite similar to a pet carrier with a few exceptions. One such exception is involved with traveling. When you are traveling by car you want your pet to be as safe as possible. This is truer when you consider crashes and accidents.

A pet crate is a lot safer and more secure than a carrier. Some brands (MIM) even have crash tested crates to make sure your pet is safe. In regards to air travel, pet crates are easily approved for airline use and many crates are specially made for this idea.


There are tons of options that will suit everyone’s needs. There are plenty of reasons you need a pet crate and investing in one is investing in your dog’s future. Below are a few points to summarize the benefits and limitations of pet crates, so you have an overall view.


  • They come in a wide range of materials
  • They are easily airline approved
  • They have a variety of uses
  • A one-size fits all investment


  • More expensive
  • Can be a pain to move around

Pet Carriers – What Are Their Uses?

Pet carriers are a good alternative to standard pet crates but there are a number of differences between the two. Firstly, with pet carriers, they tend to be made from one material only – fabric. This is because they are designed to be carried around and they wouldn’t be very practical if they were clunky and heavy.

They also tend to be smaller and easier to move around. For this reason, they are used more for smaller breeds and dogs. You can get larger carriers but, most of the time, you will be using these for little pets.

Pet carriers are also seen a lot with cat owners. You are more likely going to use a pet carrier when it comes to transporting and housing a cat or a tiny to small dog, as they don’t need the excess room. There are a lot of cat and dog carriers and they are all excellent when it comes to transportation.


Although there is a limit to the materials and brands that sell pet carriers on our site, they are widely used for multiple reasons. They can still be used for air and car travel, and, if I’m honest, this tends to be one of their key uses. With air travel, in particular, you can take these on board with you as cabin luggage.

This is beneficial for individuals who like to be with their pet during the flight. With car travel as well, having a pet carrier is more convenient than a crate, which can be clunky to lift and move around. With a carrier, they can be easily placed on the back seat and fastened with a seat belt.

These can be used for general housing and training but if you want to have more flexibility and more room, pet crates might be the better option. Below is another quick summary of pet carriers, so you know what they offer.


  • Cheaper compared to crates
  • Can be brought into the cabin during flights
  • Perfect for smaller dogs and cats
  • Great for short car journeys


  • Less practicality compared to crates
  • Not perfect for larger dogs
  • Not great for training or housing


Having a pet crate is a fantastic investment and one that will benefit you and your pet. However, there is often a distinction between pet crates and pet carriers and this needs to be cleared up. There are differences between the two and choosing the wrong one can mess up your plans.

The main difference between the two is related to transportation. If you only plan on taking your pet on short car trips or for smaller trips, carriers are your best option. If you have a larger dog and want to train and house them, go with a pet crate. They tend to be more expensive but they’re an investment that’s worth it.

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