Home Best Dog Carriers 8 Best Dog and Pet Crates Approved by Airline in 2023 – Reviews & Buying Guide

8 Best Dog and Pet Crates Approved by Airline in 2023 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Last Updated on January 3, 2023
Best Airline Approved Dog and Pet Crates 2023 ReviewsYou have a lot to worry about when taking your pet on an airplane. The crate that your pet will spend the entire flight inside is definitely have to be ready. Having the right carrier definitely makes a huge distinction for your dog.

The right carrier will calm their nerves. The wrong carrier can make them more anxious.

There are hundreds of different options available for flying though and not all of them are great. This article will point you in the right direction of carriers that just work. We’ll also give you our top picks to make your dog as comfortable as possible.

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Airline and IATA Approved Pet Crates and Carriers Types

You must have an approved carrier for your dog to fly on a commercial flight. The manufacturers cooperate with a carriers to meet all the requirements.

Carriers come in two varieties. Hard carriers and soft carriers. We’ll review both of them in this article.

Hard Carrier

Hard carriers offer more protection from exterior objects. Basically, you don’t have to worry about your dog getting squished while in the carrier. There is also a much larger of hard carriers on the market.

If your canine will need to travel as cargo, then purchasing a hard carrier is the best option. In fact, many airlines require a hard crate if your dog must go in the cargo hold for safety reasons. This makes it the only option if you have a large dog. There also aren’t that many large soft carriers on the market. They’re mostly for small dogs.

Soft Carrier

A soft crate works best for smaller dogs that can go in the cabin with you. These crates are much more comfortable and are usually lighter. Maneuvering a soft crate around the tight quarters in an airplane cabin is also much easier. Definitely purchase a soft crate if you have a dog small enough to go in the cabin.

Editor's choice
Petmate Sky KennelFor a great hard crate we recommend the Petmate Sky Kennel. We like the amount of available accessories and customization options available. This makes meeting your specific travel needs extremely easy. The price is slightly higher than the other options, but the unique features more than make up for the few extra dollars you’ll be spending. Pettall Stable CarrierAmong the soft crates, the Pettall Stable Carrier is the best option and our recommended choice. The extra room and ventilation offered by its side compartment makes it super comfortable. It’s also extremely easy to carry, which is something that you want in a soft crate.

Best Airline Approved Pet Carrier Reviews in 2023

We’ve carefully selected seven different crates that are all approved for air travel. For those of you that simply want the best, our top rated soft crate and top rated hard crate are also located in the sidebar. See our top-picks for best airline approved pet carrier.

Top-rated Airline Approved Hard Dog Carriers for Large Dogs

1. Petmate Sky Kennel – Best IATA Compliant Airline Approved Pet Carrier for 2023

Petmate Sky Kennel

The Petmate Sky Kennel — awesome hard carrier for travel by plane. It comes in six sizes and is good enough for dogs weighing about 125 lbs. We like the secure, also easy openning, it allows for easy access when you need to feed your dog on a prolonged flight.

We like this crate, but it is a somewhat bare bones option. You will need to provide your own bedding in order to comply with regulations. The only frill here is that it comes with a pair of clip on doggie bowls. This is actually an important add-on since it makes it easy for your dog to eat and drink while in the crate.

Security features on a dog crate are also extremely important. Some dogs just have a tendency to escape their carriers. This crate has high gauge wires on the doors and sides which help keep the create secure. The wires also allow air to flow through the crate. An important feature for a crate in a confined cargo

Finally, it’s the cheapest hard crate on our list, which means more savings for you. If you need a practical option, then you’ll be pleased with the Petmate Sky Kennel.

Our rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

2. Aspenport Pet Porter Kennel

Aspenport Pet Porter Kennel

The Aspenport Pet Porter Kennel is another great hard crate option. It is a bit pricier than the Sky Kennel though. It’s still an excellent choice to keep your dog safe on a flight.

It comes with a few different color options, which we really like since hard crates tend to have one available color. It’s certainly not a designer crate, but the color option available make it easier to identify than a normal and bland crate.

The sizing options are excellent too. It can hold a dog up to 125 pounds. More importantly, you have eight available sizes. The smallest is designed for a dog under 10 pounds. This makes finding a size for all but the largest breed a simple task.

We don’t like that you will need to supply your own bowls though. Some air regulations state that you must use metal nuts on a dog carrier and this crate has plastic nuts. If you have to follow airline regulations, then you can easily switch out the nuts yourself. This is a great choice for air travel even with the potential regulatory problem.

Our rating:
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

3. SportPet Designs Rolling Travel Dog Crate

The Rolling Travel Dog Crate by SportPet Designs was included to this review due to its excellent quality and exceptional reliability. It’s very important regarding to a travel pet carrier. This one has sturdy plastic construction with metal wires on the door and windows. The latter ones are on all four walls of the carrier providing perfect ventilation. 

The crate comes with all accessories for air flight included: nuts and bolts, and stickers, and even bowls for feeding and watering. It also has the additional holes for bungees to tie the crate during the flight. You can’t go wrong with this carrier. The only thing to care about is the proper mat or bed to put into the crate.

What’s absolutely great about this carrier is that it is perfect for large pups. The crate has casters to roll it instead of carrying, and two handles on the top so that two people can lift it if needed. Why it is so important? Because the largest 3X size of this carrier allows dogs up to 44 inches long and to 33 inches high. They usually are quite heavy too. You just won’t be able to handle it alone like you do with the smaller ones.

The SportPet Designs Travel Crate is available in six sizes from small to extra large. Pet parents get the casters separately and then decide whether to attach them to the carrier, which is very handy. Remember, that no matter of the size, your dog should be crate-trained before you place him inside.

Our rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

4. Marchioro Clipper Ithaka Pet Carrier

Marchioro Clipper Ithaka Pet Carrier

This is the most expensive crate featured on our list. The best feature of this crate, apart from the attractive two-tone aesthetic, is that you can add a wide range of accessories to make it more comfortable for your dog and easier for you to use. Some of these accessories include wheels, water bottles, and even no-spill cups.

It is also the most secure dog crate that we have found. The “side-clackers” to hold the crate together and extra pins on the door both keep your dog safe and secure in their durable plastic container. The spring-latch is also very secure while still being easy to open for those of use with opposable thumbs thumbs.

These security features are the perfect combination of ease of use and enhanced security for a pet carrier. It comes in five different sizes and the under portion can be ordered in two different colors, making for a highly customizable, airline-approved option for your travels. This crate does cost a slight bit more than some other options. However, the extra security is certainly worth the price for those of you especially concerned with keeping your pet secure during the flight.

Our rating:
3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Best Cabin Soft Airline Approved Carriers for Dog and Pets in 2023

1. Frontpet Expandable Carrier

Frontpet Expandable Carrier

The Expandable Carrier by Frontpet is exactly what the name describes. The extra flap on the side allows for extra space for your pet. Its red and black design complement the other benefits offered by the product. The expandable mesh section ensures your dog stays well ventilated.

It also has an internal wire frame that prevents sagging and makes the whole carrier much more stable. This keeps the pup peaceful because it prevents their home from collapsing on them. You really do not want to further stress your dog during an already stressful flight.

Frontpet Expandable Carrier opened

The expanded inner space makes this carrier the top-notch option for elderly pets since it allows them to spread any stiff joins they may have.

We couldn’t find any other drawback in this product other than it is available only in one slightly small size. This small size is only really works with pets up to 13lbs. Overall, if your pet is small enough to fit in this, then you really cannot go wrong with this choice.

Our rating:
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

2. OxGord Airline Approved Carrier

OxGord Airline Approved Carrier

Another decent choice for those carrying a pet in the cabin is the OxGord carrier. We really like the absorbent fleece liner included with the carrier. The fleece liner means you will not care about buying pad or mat for the carrier.

You may use the carrier right away after you bought it without accessories. The food and water bowls should be purchased additionally, though.

Both of the available sizes will fit to the standard  airplane seats. Those customers who value the style will have no shortage of available color options to choose.

OxGord Airline Approved Carrier with a pet inside

The security features are nice too. Specifically, the locking zippers prevent your dog from escaping. Finally, the nylon cloth is machine washable which makes this an especially easy product to clean. If you go on longer flights, then you will almost certainly have to clean the carrier.

The available customization, advanced security features, and seat belt straps combine to make this soft crate a top-notch option for the small pet. Your furry companion will be happy, comfortable, and safe inside this carrier during the trip.

Our rating:
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

3. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

This carrier was designed to be placed under the seat, which means it does not require the use of a seatbelt. It does come in three sizes. You have the choice of either small, medium or large.

The carrier doesn’t have any storage pockets, but it has a convenient zipper. Mesh ventilation on all four sides not only provides adequate airflow, but also easy viewing for your pet. Remember, you will not be able to carry an under seat bag with this carrier.

AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier with a doggie inside

It also has a comfortable handle to make moving it around the airport extremely easy. The handle also comes in handy when you’re entering and exiting the cabin. You can also use the strap to carry this around the airport as well. Most people find carrying the carrier hanging on the shoulder more convenient than holding it in their hand.

100% machine washable is another plus since your dog will most likely use the bathroom during a long flight.

If you plan to take your pet with you to the plane to keep him under the seat, then the AmazonBasics Pet Travel Carrier. Just keep in mind that only smaller dogs will fit under the seat.

Our rating:
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

4. Pettall Stable Carrier

Pettall Stable Carrier

Our next pick may appear the best product of all. It is super sturdy and nice with its black and red design. We like that it doesn’t require much room for storing it while out of use due to it being completely collapsible. The carrier has wide mesh windows to allow your dog to breathe easy as well.

It also features a shoulder strap to make thing even easier while in the airport. The sidepockets can conveniently carry small items to keep your pet calm. In our opinion, this crate provides more space than any other, which is a nice feature for any dog. The extra space is particularly useful if you have a larger dog.

Pettall Stable Carrier

There is a drawback in this option though, and that’s why it’s last on our list, exceeds the size limit for some airlines. Southwest is one major airline that will not allow this carrier. You have to check the requirements of the airline you aim to fly with in order to find out the maximum size of the pet carrier allowed.

Overall, this carrier by Pettall is posh. It stands out with its convenience, ergonomics, and metal frame. However, if you frequently travel on multiple airlines, then you should look for another crate, especially if you own a rather small pet.

Our rating:
4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Other Reasons

For carry-on pet containers, you’ll want to make sure that your new carrier is actually approved by your airline. In most cases, there should be no issue. However, some airlines have different size requirements, which means that you should always check just to be on the safe side.

There are a couple of additional features which can also make your life a bit easier. These features include clip-on bowls for food and water. It also includes crates with a built in absorbent bedding. The bedding can save you time and money. Your preparations will mostly consist of keeping your dog calm in order to ensure a stress-free journey for the both of you.

Final Notes

The main thing pet parents should care about is the comfort of the dog. The reviewed crates would make an excellent options, thus you have to find what works best for you and your dog.

At the end of the day, getting an airline approved pet carrier is a purchase that is just a must-have for anyone who wants to take his or her fur baby on flights. The whole thing makes the trip and preparations less tense for pets and humans involved. More importantly, it is usually a requirement to have a dog carrier when you fly with a pet.

There are more things you’ll have to care about if you want to take your pet aboard, but choosing the right carrier is a huge relief on the way to a comfortable trip.

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