10 Best Vet Recommended Dog Travel Crates in 2024

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Our furbabies are family, and we like to bring them with us everywhere we go. But when we’re traveling, we also need to make sure they stay safe and secure. 

Not all travel crates are designed the same. When you’re transporting your pooch in a car, you need a kennel that’s secure and crash-tested. But for airlines, there are other features to consider. 

After evaluating more than 30 dog travel crates, we chose the “VarioCage MIM 4X4 North America” as our favorite because this product is durable, safe for your intended use, and easy to manage. 

But I understand you might have different needs, whether you’re looking for an IATA CR-82 Compliant dog crate or a crate for your extra-large breed. . That is why I prepared a shortlist of our top favorite dog travel crates that address different needs. 

In addition, there are some rules of thumb like durability, materials, and safety features that you should consider. We used these guidelines to review 10 products on the market, to find the best dog travel crate for you.

After discussing how to choose a crate for your travel plans, types of crates, and reviewing what to look for when choosing a product, we’ll share our findings with you and answer common questions from dog parents

Let’s get started. 

What Are Your Travel Plans – Car, Airplane, Camping, Hiking?

Jack Russell and his woman owner is taking a selfie before a flight

Traveling with your dog requires some thought and planning. You need to know how to keep your pooch safe during transport and at your destination. Below we will address one detail you need to consider, choosing a travel crate. For other tips on travel with your dog, check out this article.  

Crates for Flying

If you’re planning to travel with your pooch by air, you need to know the airline requirements. This can vary depending on whether your furbaby is joining you in the cabin or will be safely stowed in the cargo hold. Either way, you’ll need an IATA-compliant carrier:

For Pets in the Cargo Hold:  

Most airlines have some size and breed restrictions for live animals that can accompany passengers in the cabin. If your pup is over the size limit or considered to be too aggressive or strong, he will have to travel with the cargo. But don’t fear, this section of the plane is pressurized and temperature-controlled, so your pooch can still be safe. To meet minimum requirements, a carrier must have:

  • A solid, waterproof bottom
  • A rigid, non-collapsible design and be made from fiberglass, metal, or weld metal mesh. Wire or plastic kennels are not permitted, but some airlines will accept wooden or plywood crates. Always check in advance.
  • Sufficient ventilation on at least two sides
  • A secure or spring-locked door and no handles unless it’s a small crate
  • No wheels – if your carrier has wheels, you must disable them by removing or taping over them
  • Sufficient space for your pup to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably NOTE: for brachycephalic breeds, many airlines require the kennel to be one size larger than normal. Some airlines will not permit these breeds to travel in the cargo hold. Always check with your travel provider in advance.
  • Food and water dishes that are attached to the kennel
  • A label that states “Live Animals”
  • Identification on the crate that includes your dog’s name and your contact information
  • Handles or handling space bars on the long sides of the crate
  • Forklift spacers if your pooch weighs over 132 pounds

For your pup’s comfort, we also recommend that you include a t-shirt or other item with your scent. Do not place any hard toys or objects in the kennel as they could become projectiles during taxi, take-off, turbulence, or landing.

For Pets in the Cabin:

Soft-sided carriers are permitted in the cabin for some airlines. To qualify for travel in the main cabin, your pup must meet the size requirements and may be considered as part of your carry-on luggage. Some airlines may have different policies for international flights. Let’s look at some specific airlines and their policies for domestic in-cabin travel:

  • Turkish Airlines: Turkish Airlines permits pets that are less than about 17 ½ lbs(8 kg) and service animals in the cabin for an additional travel fee. Crates are to be no larger than 9’ high x 12’ wide x 16’ long. The animal must stay in the kennel under the seat at all times. Pregnant animals and puppies are not permitted in the cabin.
  • EL AL: Upon request and approval, EL AL also permits animals up to about 17 ½ lb(8kg) to accompany passengers in the cabin. Two smaller pets that are compatible and will not disturb other passengers may travel together in one carrier as long as their combined weight is less than the limit. Carrier size limits vary by the location in the cabin and the type of airplane. Check with the airline when making reservations. Service animals that accompany special needs passengers may travel in the cabin at no extra charge.
  • United Airlines: If you wish to bring a pet onboard a United Airlines flight, you have to pay an additional fee. Dogs must be an appropriate size to stand and turn around comfortably in your carry-on kennel. Puppies under four months old are not allowed. Dogs have to stay in their crates at all times and must fit and remain under your seat while on the plane. Maximum Crate sizes are 17.5” x 12” x 7.5” for hard-sided kennels and 18” x 11” x 11” for soft-sided kennels. Service animals are permitted for qualified individuals.
  • American Airlines: One kenneled pet may accompany passengers in the cabin of an American Airlines flight for a fee. The crate counts as one of your carry-on items. There is a limit for the number of kennels/pets on a flight. Any crate must have dimensions that fit under the seat. Also, your dog should be able to stand, sit, turn around, and lie down comfortably in the pet carrier. Your pet has to remain in the kennel and under the seat by your feet for the duration of the flight.

    Service animals may fly in the cabin with their person at no extra charge provided they meet the airline requirements.
  • Alaska Airlines: Alaska Airlines allows a limited number of carriers in the cabin, and passengers may bring up to two, but they must pay for an adjacent seat. The pet carrier counts toward your carry-on baggage allotment. Dogs over 8 weeks old are permitted provided they are small enough to fit comfortably in the kennel. Crates must have dimensions to fit under the seat: 17” x 11” x 7.5” for hard-sided and 17” x 11” x 9.5” for soft-sided carriers. The crate needs to be escape-proof, well-ventilated, be leak-proof, and have no cracks, tears, or breaks.
  • Jet Blue: Jetblue pet policy states that pets in a carrier that can fit under your seat may accompany you on board for a pet travel fee. The crate cannot be larger than 17″ x 12.5″ x 8.5″, and the combined weight of the kennel and your furbaby must be less than or equal to 20 lb. yOur pooch will have to stay in the carrier while in the airport and on the flight. Service animals are also welcome on the flight, but they have different requirements.
  • Southwest Airlines: Provided there is space, paying customers are allowed to bring one pet carrier on board for a Southwest Airlines flight. There is a pet fare. Two dogs of the same species are permitted in the carrier as long as they don’t show disruptive behavior. The kennel may be hard or soft-sided. The maximum dimensions allowed are 18.5” x 8.5” x 13.5”. Crates must be leak-proof, well ventilated, and able to fit under the seat. Your furbaby should be able to stand, sit, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Animals shall remain in their kennel at all times. Trained service animals are permitted to accompany their person on a flight.
  • Allegiant: Qualifying animals at least 8 weeks old may travel in the cabin for an Allegiant Airlines flight. Each passenger may only have one kennel. There is a non-refundable fee to bring your pooch on board. Your furbaby must fit comfortably in a travel carrier that is no larger than 9” x 16” x 19”.  The crate needs to be stowed on the floor during taxi, takeoff, and landing. There are other specifications for fully-trained service animals.
  • Spirit Airlines: There is a pet travel fee for dogs that join you in the cabin on a Spirit Airlines flight. Small pups that fit completely in a soft carrier no larger than 18” x 14” x 9” are permitted. The crate must be inspected and approved by Spirit, and the kennel plus your furbaby cannot weigh more than 40 lb. Because your pal will remain in the carrier at all times, he should be able to stand, turn around, sit, and lie down inside.

Crash-Tested Crates for Travel by Car

Hey, it’s fun to bring Fido with you on a car trip. But is it safe? That depends on how you travel with your pooch. According to Pet Pro Supply Company, 84% of pet parents that bring their dogs in the car don’t restrain them, and only 16% of drivers are using the proper restraints. 

When thinking about car safety for your furbaby, one excellent restraint option is a travel crate. Crash-tested kennels can safely contain your pooch so that he’s not a distraction. A car carrier should 

  • Provide plenty of ventilation 
  • Be crash-test certified 
  • Have a safe escape hatch in case you can’t reach the front door 
  • Include crumple zone protection 
  • Come from a manufacturer with a track record of meeting safety standards

Crates Styles That Meet the Requirements Listed Above

Pug inside of an airline approved carrier during a flight

Once you know what mode of transportation you and your furbaby will use for travel, you can look for the right type of crate for your needs. There are several carrier styles that you can choose from. Let’s look at their features:

Traditional Plastic Dog Crate

These kennels have a rigid structure, are usually durable, and can offer great protection for your pooch. Because they have a solid base and are sturdy, traditional plastic crates are an excellent choice for large dogs, extended car trips( over 6 hours), and travel in an airplane cargo hold. In the event of an accident, these carriers can help protect your pup from serious injury.

Soft Dog Crates 

Soft-sided crates are popular for small and medium-sized dogs. These portable carriers are lightweight, have walls made from a soft mesh, and are easy to fold and store when not in use. Some may have a steel tube frame. kennels that meet airline specifications can fit under the seat in the cabin. Soft dog crates are not recommended for large dogs, anxious animals, or avid chewers. 

Dog Crate Carrier 

Carriers tend to be made of fabric and are generally for small or medium dogs. They may have wheels for easier transport. These kennels are designed to carry, like a duffel bag or backpack. With a crate carrier, you can travel with your pooch by car or in the cabin of an airplane. 

Wire & Heavy-Duty Metal Carrier

Wire crates and heavy-duty kennels are rigid, sturdy cages that are reinforced. These crates are made to prevent certain breeds from chewing through a standard plastic kennel. Some airlines require heavy-duty IATA CR82 compliant crates for the transport of certain dog breeds.

Measure Your Dog to Choose the Right Crate Size

Yorkie is inside a dog carrier ready for his flight

When you’re traveling by airplane, your dog’s crate must be large enough for him to comfortably stand, lie down, and turn around. But really, you should follow these guidelines for your furbaby whether you’re planning to fly or not. To help you know the right dimensions for your four-footed friend, you need to properly measure your pooch. Follow these instructions:

  1. Measure your dog’s length from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail (A).
  2. Measure the distance from the elbow on the front leg to the ground (B).
  3. Measure your dog’s shoulder width (C).
  4. Measure the distance from the top of Fido’s head to the ground when he’s standing. If he has erect ears like a Doberman or German Shepherd, measure the distance from the tip of the ear to the ground (D).
  5. Use the following formulas to know the minimum kennel length, height, and width for your pooch:
    1. Length = A x ½ B
    2. Width = 2 x C
    3. Height = D

If the formulas seem daunting, you can use Jet Blue’s travel crate size calculator.

13 Rules of Thumb When Purchasing a Dog Crate for Travel

White Albino dog traveling on the morning metro

When selecting the best crate for your dog’s travel needs, there are some features that you should always consider. However, there are also some things to think about depending on your mode of transportation. Let’s take a look: 

General Features Regardless of Your Mode of Travel

  • Size: The best way to pick the right size crate is to measure your pooch. While some products may list weight capacities, that can be misleading. A 55-pound labradoodle will have significantly different dimensions as compared to a pit bull. You want a kennel that has sufficient room for your pup to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably.
  • Safety: If you’re housing your dog in a crate for any purpose, you want to know that it’s safe. Make sure the product is certified non-toxic and safe for live animals. Check for crash test certification and a manufacturer track record for safety.
  • Durability and Materials: Crates can be made from various materials, including fiberglass, hard plastic, metal, and fabric. Which materials you choose will depend on your dog’s behavior and the kennel’s intended use.  For example, a chewer or destructive dog may need a metal carrier. But dogs that don’t chew or scratch when in a crate could do fine in a soft-sided kennel. If you plan to transport your pooch in the cargo hold of an airplane, you’ll need a hard-sided crate. Regardless of the material, look for a product that’s made to be durable and stand up to repeated use.
  • Surface Bedding: When using a crate for travel with your pet, you want to ensure that it’s potty-proof. Make sure the bottom of the kennel is covered with an absorbent pad that can wick away any accidents.
  • Portability Features: Carrying a kennel through the airport can be difficult and exhausting. When selecting a crate for travel, look for features that increase portability. It should be lightweight enough to move around and have wheels and/or handles that are sturdy and comfortable to grip.
  • Foldability: One bonus that some crates offer is foldability. While this is not an absolute need, it can be helpful to be able to collapse and fold the kennel for easy storage when it’s not in use.
  • Ventilation/Air Flow: Airflow is key to your pet’s comfort and safety during travel. If the crate doesn’t have adequate ventilation, a stressed dog could quickly overheat. We recommend you select a kennel that provides ventilation from at least three sides.
  • Leak Proof Bottom: In addition to absorptive bedding or pads, your crate should have a solid, leak-proof bottom. Airlines require this for travel crates, and it’s also a good idea in the car. 
  • Reviews: Reviews by organizations like consumer reports along with customer reviews can tell you a lot about a crate. Check to see if others are satisfied with the product’s durability, safety, and other features.
  • Ease of Cleaning: If you’ve ever had a dog that soiled his kennel, you’ll understand why this is an important feature. Look for materials that are easy to wipe or hose clean. For larger crates, it also helps to have a way to open the kennel so you don’t have to climb into it to remove debris.
  • Warranty: Always review any warranty before your purchase a travel crate. Check to see what the warranty covers and how long it lasts.
  • Made in the USA: Products made in the USA and some other countries have to meet certain minimum standards for manufacturing and labeling. Look for a certification that the crate was manufactured in the USA or another trusted country.
  • Extra Features: Depending on your intended use, you may want to look for added features for your travel kennel, like 
    • A pouch for required travel documents such as rabies or health certificates
    • Attached water and food dishes
    • A luggage tag pocket/pouch to include your identification
    • A rear-exit hatch for added safety in the car

Additional Crate Features for Flying With Your Dog

  • Airline-approved: Check with your airline before you purchase a travel kennel. You want to make sure that the product you choose meets their specifications and is airline-approved. The last thing you want is to arrive at the airport ready to travel only to find out they won’t allow the crate on board.
  • Minimum of 2 Locking Devices: If your furbaby is flying in the cargo hold, make sure there are at least two locking devices to secure him. Anxious animals may try to escape their carriers. A second lock can help to prevent equipment failure and a loose dog in the baggage compartment.

Additional Crate Features for Car Travel With Your Dog

  • Set-Up: When selecting and placing a travel kennel in your car, you need to consider where to set it up. If you drive a crossover, hatchback, or SUV, you may think the best location is the cargo area, but that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes, these sections of the car are designed to be crumple zones in an accident. Check with the vehicle manufacturer to determine what areas are safe for pet carrier placement.
  • Connectors: When traveling in a car, you want to anchor the carrier in place the same way you would a child’s car seat. Make sure that the connectors are strong enough to hold the kennel down in an accident. Many crates fail to pass crash tests because of connector failure.

Our 2024 Top 10 Dog Travel Crates

Shiba Uno pack is posing to the camera while sitting next to a suitcase

After reviewing more than 30 dog travel crate products for dogs using the criteria mentioned above, we chose 10 that we think are the safest for your dog: 

Crates for Car Travel

VarioCage MIM 4×4 North America

  • Crash Tested Dog Crates: Yes
  • Safety: meets or exceeds United Nations Economic Commission crash test safety standards
  • Durability & Material: coated steel
  • Surface Bedding: rubber carpet
  • Portability Features:  none
  • Foldability: No 
  • Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes –  all sides
  • Leakproof Bottom:  Yes
  • Easy Set-up: No
  • Connectors: Tie downs
  • Warranty: Yes,3 years
  • Made in the USA: No, Sweden
  • SPCT certified
  • Best for: Our Top Pick Overall / heavy-duty crate for all breeds

With a proven track record in Europe, the Varicage Kennel is designed to protect you and your pooch in an accident. This kennel meets or exceeds crash test requirements for front and rear collisions and roll-overs. 

Constructed of durable coated steel, the product features a design that mimics the crumple zone of your vehicle for added safety. The cage also has an escape hatch door in case the front of the crate is not accessible. 

The doors feature gas hydraulic motion spring locks, built-in key lock and padlock tabs, and a quick-release lever. With adjustable sides and a movable center divider, you can safely transport two dogs in your car. There are tie-downs to secure the crate in the vehicle.  It comes with a waterproof rubber mat. 

What We Like

  • Meets European crash test safety standards
  • Durable materials
  • You can adjust it to fit your vehicle

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s well ventilated and easy to see out
  • It’s spacious and comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a bear to assemble, and the instructions are difficult to follow
  • It’s noisy

Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed

  • Crash Tested Dog Crates: Yes
  • Safety: 5-star rating
  • Durability & Material: Luggage-grade nylon
  • Surface Bedding: plush polyester with foam liner
  • Portability Features:  shoulder strap
  • Foldability: Yes/No 
  • Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes, zip-on mesh dome
  • Leakproof Bottom:  Yes
  • Easy Set-up: Yes, no assembly is required
  • Connectors: Yes
  • Warranty: Yes, 1 year
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • CPS Certified: Yes
  • Best for: toy, small & medium dogs

Sleepypod provides safety and comfort for your furbaby. This pet carrier has a 5-star crash test rating from CPS. It’s made of durable, luggage-grade nylon to stand up to regular use. There’s a limited 1-year warranty.

Featuring a removable mesh dome for travel, the product fits safely in your back seat. Secure velcro attachments allow you to safely connect the base to a seat belt.

This versatile carrier also works as an everyday pet bed. There’s washable plush bedding and a foam pad wrapped in a water-repellant liner to keep your car seat and your pup dry. Cleaning is a snap. Remove and wash the bedding and wipe the carrier and liner with a damp cloth.

What We Like

  • CPS certified
  • It’s sturdy and durable
  • Portable and versatile for travel needs

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s comfortable and familiar
  • It feels like a safe den

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited sizes and the mini runs very small
  • The zipper tends to be flimsy and can malfunction


  • Crash Tested Dog Crates: Yes
  • Safety: meets or exceeds United Nations Economic Commission crash test safety standards
  • Durability & Material: ballistic nylon, reinforced stitching, and heavy-duty hardware
  • Surface Bedding: machine washable plush pad
  • Portability Features:  Padded shoulder straps and tote handles
  • Foldability: Yes 
  • Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes –  all sides and top
  • Leakproof Bottom:  water-resistant
  • Easy Set-up: Yes
  • Connectors: Yes
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy
  • Made in the USA: No
  • CPS Certified: No
  • Best for: soft-sided carrier crate for medium dogs

Lightweight and portable, Gen7Pets offers a secure soft-sided option for medium-sized dogs. This carrier features durable nylon and reinforced stitching for a sturdy product. Some connectors provide a way to securely attach the crate to the seat belt latch and shoulder strap for travel in your car. 

With a comfortable shoulder strap and tote handles, it’s easy to carry your pooch to load in the car. The sides and top have mesh windows for visibility and ventilation.

The product comes with a plush comfort pad for your pup. It’s easy to remove and wash as needed. To clean the carrier, wipe it down with a damp cloth. This kennel is also approved for in-cabin use on many airlines.

What We Like

  • It’s durable
  • It’s easy to use and secure in the car
  • It’s lightweight and easy to tote

What Dogs Love About It

  • The pad is comfortable
  • There’s plenty of air circulation and visibility

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s not chew-proof
  • The zipper can break easily

Crates for Air Travel

Zinger Winger 10-DX3000-2-FD Front Entry Crate

  • Airlines Approved Dog Crates (IATA-CR-82 Compliant):  Yes
  • Safety: strong materials, secure locks 
  • Durability & Material: aluminum
  • Surface Bedding: not included
  • Portability Features:  Lightweight; no wheels or handles
  • Foldability: No 
  • 3 Sides Of Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes 
  • Leakproof Bottom:  Yes
  • Warranty: Yes –  Lifetime
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: IATA CR-82 Compliant dog crate

Constructed with lightweight, durable aluminum, the Zinger Winger crate is made with your dog’s safety in mind. All four sides are vented to provide airflow and comfort. 

There’s a reversible, front-entry door for easy access. You can secure your pooch with a keyed and flush-mounted slam latch. Heavy-duty options include.

The airline travel carrier is equipped with IATA-compliant rails. This product is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty for parts

What We Like

  • It’s IATA-compliant
  • It’s made of strong, durable materials
  • It’s lightweight and secure

What Dogs Love About It

  • It has good visibility
  • It stays cool and airy

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s hard to assemble
  • The cost

Henkelion Dog Carrier 15 Lbs

  • Airlines Approved Dog Crates (IATA-Compliant):  Yes, in cabin
  • Safety: safety leash in the carrier, sturdy ABS hooks
  • Durability & Material: polyester, anti-scratch mesh 
  • Surface Bedding: Machine washable wool mat with foam padding.
  • Portability Features:  padded shoulder strap, carry handles
  • Foldability: Yes
  • 3 Sides Of Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes
  • Leakproof Bottom:  water-proof nylon
  • Warranty: Yes – lifetime
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: affordable dog crate

With a padded shoulder strap and balanced tote handles, this Henkelion carrier is easy to take along when you travel. It’s made of durable, waterproof polyester and scratch-resistant mesh on three sides for cross-ventilation. 

This product is lightweight and easy to safely attach to your wheeled carry-on luggage to navigate the airport. It has a cozy wool mat with foam padding and a sturdy wood board to keep your pal dry and comfortable in the crate.

You can collapse this carrier for easy storage and transport. The kennel comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s made in China.

What We Like

  • It’s lightweight and easy to transport
  • The dimensions fit under most airplane seats
  • It’s a good value for the money

What Dogs Love About It

  • It comes with a comfortable pad
  • It’s spacious

What We Don’t Like

  • It has a strong chemical odor
  • Some animals can open the zippers from the inside

Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

  • Airlines Approved Dog Crates (IATA-Compliant):  Yes, approved by most airlines
  • Durability & Material: solid plastic shell, extra-strong steel wire interlocking door
  • Surface Bedding: not included
  • Portability Features:  sturdy carrying handle
  • Foldability: No
  • 3 Sides Of Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes
  • Leakproof Bottom:  Yes 
  • Warranty: Yes – 1 year
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: traditional dog crate for cabin (medium & large dogs) 

With strong steel wire reinforced doors and a durable plastic shell, the Sky Kennel is made to keep your pooch safe and secure. The four-way vault door helps to prevent your pup from escaping. 

There are wire ventilation openings on all four sides of the crate to provide proper air circulation. The vaulted ceiling adds extra space and comfort for your pooch.

This crate includes places to tie it down to the cargo hold at each corner for security. It also comes with 2 live animal stickers, 2 ID stickers, and clip-on bowls.

What We Like

  • It’s durable and sturdy
  • It’s easy to assemble
  • It’s IATA-Compliant

What Dogs Love About It

  • It feels like a den
  • It’s roomy and comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • The sizing is inaccurate
  • The handle tends to break off easily

Snoozer Roll Around 4-in-1 Pet Carrier

  • Airlines Approved Dog Crates (IATA-Compliant):  Yes, for most airlines
  • Safety: durable fabric, zipper enclosure
  • Durability & Material: sturdy nylon, mesh windows
  • Surface Bedding: padded bottom
  • Portability Features:  padded backpack straps, wheels, telescoping handle
  • Foldability: Yes
  • 3 Sides Of Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes
  • Leakproof Bottom:  water-resistant
  • Warranty: Yes – 1 year
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: dog crate with wheels

Made from durable nylon and mesh, this attractive dog carrier is easy to bring along when you fly. You can carry your furbaby on your back or wheel the bag between gates. 

The medium and small sizes have dimensions that should fit most airline requirements for under-the-seat storage. Always check ahead with your airline.

With mesh on three sides, the portable crate provides plenty of air circulation for proper ventilation. The padded back and plastic base allows you to set this bag on its back for a comfortable kennel. It includes a storage pocket.

What We Like

  • It’s convenient for travel
  • It’s lightweight
  • It has sturdy construction

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s cozy
  • It has great visibility

What We Don’t Like

  • The base can detach easily
  • The rollers and telescoping handle are not well-made and difficult to use

Morpilot Pet Travel Carrier Bag

  • Airlines Approved Dog Crates (IATA-Compliant):  Yes, in cabin
  • Safety: metal zippers and connectors, safety leash inside the crate
  • Durability & Material: durable grade polyester, breathable mesh 
  • Surface Bedding: washable plush pad
  • Portability Features:  padded shoulder strap, carry handles
  • Foldability: Yes
  • 3 Sides Of Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes
  • Leakproof Bottom:  Yes
  • Warranty: Yes – 1 yr
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: soft-sided carrier airline approved

Featuring durable polyester and a support board, this portable pet carrier is easy to take with you when you travel. You can carry your pooch using the shoulder strap or the tote handles. With breathable mesh on three sides, the product offers excellent air circulation.

There’s a removable and washable woolen mat included in the kennel for your pup’s comfort. A complimentary collapsible bowl is also provided. 

The crate has a convenient side pocket to store toys, treats, or other items. Inside, you will find a safety lead to secure your dog when necessary. With metal clips and zippers, the carrier is designed to stand up to repeated use.

What We Like

  • It has sturdy construction
  • It’s water-resistant and easy to clean
  • It has plenty of room for a small dog

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s comfortable and roomy
  • It has good ventilation and visibility

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s too high to fit well under some airline seats
  • It has a strong plastic smell

Portable Crate for Traveling With Your Dog

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

  • Crash Tested Dog Crates: No
  • Safety: zipper locks, sturdy steel frame
  • Durability & Material: steel tube frame, 600D fabric, hex mesh fabric
  • Surface Bedding: Fleece bed included
  • Portability Features:  carrying handles on the crate, carrying bag included
  • Foldability: Yes 
  • Ventilation/ Air Flow: Yes 
  • Leakproof Bottom:  Yes 
  • Easy Set-up: Yes – no tools required; set-up and fold down in minutes
  • Connectors: No
  • Warranty: Yes – 2 years
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: portable crate for traveling with your dog

This lightweight portable crate is durable and roomy. You can take it along on a camping trip or set it up in your hotel or rental property. It’s easy to assemble and folds easily for packing and toting. There are tote handles on the carrier, and a carrying bag is also included.

With durable 600D fabric and a steel tube frame, this travel kennel is made to last. Hex mesh fabric on all four sides and the top provide plenty of air circulation to keep your pooch comfortable.

The product includes a removable foam mat with a washable fleece cover. The zip-front door can be rolled up to allow your pooch access. When you need to secure Fido, lock the zipper in place to prevent escape. 

What We Like

  • It’s sturdy and well-constructed
  • It’s easy to set up and takedown
  • It’s lightweight and easy to carry

What Dogs Love About It

  • It has 360 visibility
  • It has plenty of room for comfort

What We Don’t Like

  • It smells like vinyl
  • The zipper can tear off easily

Common Questions from Dog Parents

Pomeranian is smiling straight to the camera while sitting on his owner in a flight

What should I put in my dog’s crate? 
You should put an absorbent pad in the crate in case your pooch has an accident. You should also take a water dish that you filled and froze in the kennel. Attach it to the door or side if possible.

How To Crate Train Your Dog?

To crate train your dog:

  1. Place the kennel in a common area and lay a familiar towel or blanket in it for a few days to acclimate your pooch. 
  2. Coax your pal to approach and eventually walk in and out of the kennel by dropping treats by and in the kennel. Do not force him to enter.
  3. Once your pup will go in and out of the crate comfortably, start feeding his meals in the kennel.
  4. Start confining your pooch for short periods. Introduce a command like “kennel” Praise and treat your pal for entering the kennel. Stay near the crate for five or ten minutes then go to another room for a few minutes before returning.
  5. Slowly extend the confinement periods and the length of time that you’re out of sight.
  6. Once your pup is comfortable with 30 or more minutes of confinement, try leaving the house for a short time. Before you know it, your pooch should be comfortable staying in the kennel when you’re not around.

How do you prepare a dog crate for air travel? 

  • First, call the airline to confirm that your crate is acceptable to bring on the plane. 
  • Then, make sure your furbaby is accustomed to the kennel. 
  • Include identification and your contact information on the crate along with “live animal” stickers. 
  • Place an absorbent pad in the bottom of the crate
  • Before boarding, remove or block any wheels

Can I take all kinds of dog crates on a plane?
No. Not all crates are approved for airline travel. Check with your air carrier to confirm that your kennel is acceptable. For transport in the cargo hold, make sure your kennel complies with IATA requirements.

What dog crates are airline-approved?
Even if your dog’s crate claims to be airline-approved, you should always check with your air carrier. Each airline has its own requirements.

What size pet carrier will fit under an airline seat?
This will depend on the size and model of the plane. To see the general dimensions that each airline allows, please refer to the “Crates for Flying” section above.

What size crate do I need for my dog to fly?
If you are planning to bring your pup in the cabin, the crate must be able to fit under your seat. Otherwise, you can measure your dog and select an appropriately sized crate(See Step 3 above). The rule of thumb is that your pooch should be able to comfortably stand, sit, turn around, and lie down in the crate.

Can a dog crate be too big?
Yes. If you choose a crate that’s oversized for your dog, it can sabotage house training.

What are the rules of flying with a dog?

  • Call the airline directly to confirm there’s room on the flight.
  • Dogs must be fed and given water within four hours of your check-in time. We recommend you feed as close to 4 hours before the flight to ensure your pup is not traveling on a full stomach. He can have water any time.
  • Wire carriers are not allowed. Soft-sided crates are only acceptable in the cabin.
  • Carriers must have a solid, leak-proof bottom.
  • There must be ventilation openings on at least three sides and cover at least 14% of the walls.
  • There must be grips or handles for baggage personnel so that they won’t need to put fingers in the crate.
  • Mark the top and side of the crate with “Live Animal”.
  • Attach your contact information, your dog’s name, and identification.
  • Include dishes for food and water and feeding instructions.
  • Disruptive pets are not allowed in the cabin.
  • Minors are not permitted to travel with pets.

Which airline is the most pet-friendly?
One of the most pet-friendly airlines is United Airlines.

Can large dogs fly in the cabin? 
No. Dogs generally need to be under 20 pounds to fly in the cabin.

How much does it cost to fly a dog on a plane?
The pet fee varies by airline but tends to range between about $35 and $225.

How do dogs pee on long flights?
You should line the crate with an absorbent puppy pad that can wick away moisture if your dog needs to pee during a flight.

Should I put a pee pad in the crate?
If your dog is flying on a plane, a pee pad is a good safeguard because he won’t be allowed out of the crate to relieve himself.

What size is a 300 dog crate?
A size 300 dog crate is an intermediate-size kennel. Dimensions may vary by manufacturer.

Can 2 dogs fly in one carrier?
2 dogs may only fly together in the same carrier if they each weigh less than 20 pounds, are less than six months old, and meet the specific airline’s rules.

The Final Woof

brown Labrador is cuddling with his owner while camping together

After evaluating travel crates for a variety of uses and comparing them to our requirements, we recommend VarioCage MIM 4X4 North America as the best dog travel crate option. 

These carriers come in a variety of sizes ranging from very small/small to large. It’s built to be sturdy and has double-walled sides, aluminum doors, and stainless steel fixtures. The door has a paddle lock and backup safety latches to keep your furbaby secure.

With air vents on four sides, the crate provides cross ventilation to keep your pup comfortable. The interior is roomy.

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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