Taking Your Pooch on the Road? Here's How to Choose the Perfect Pet Carrier

I have the cutest dog in the world. No, yours is not the cutest — mine is.

Now that that’s settled, let’s talk travel.

Today I’m going to tackle two topics that are the bread and butter of traveling with a pet: regulations and gear. Most airlines accept pets in the cabin. What you have to keep in mind is weight restrictions. Usually it’s a maximum of 20 pounds for both the pet and the carrier.


1. Number of pets per cabin

Airlines limit the number of pets per flight, so make sure you call ahead of time.

2. Fees

The average cost of flying with a pet is about $100 each way. Some airlines charge more. Very few charge less.


The general rule is that the carrier must fit under the seat and it has to have breathable material, at least two sides, and a leak-proof bottom. Every airline has its own regulations, so be sure to call ahead.

Sherpa — Now $54.99

The Sherpa Duffle Pet Carrier (Photo: Amazon)

This is a medium-size carrier. It holds a pet weighing 12 to 14 pounds. But don’t just go by weight. Measure your pet to make sure it’s the right fit. This model has a front pocket, but it’s small and doesn’t hold much. I like that the carrier fully opens on one side, so your pet can easily get in and out. The greatest feature about this carrier is that it’s collapsible. So if you’re worried about storage, this is fantastic.

Argo Aero Pet Carrier — $110

Argo Aero Pet Carrier (Photo: Amazon)

This bag is more pricey, but it is very well-built. It has padding all over, the inside is removable, and it is waterproof. The mesh is sturdy and doubled up, so your pet will have a hard time chewing through it. It opens fully on the side so that your pet can easily get in and out.

Argo Pet Aboard — $55

The Argo Pet Aboard (Photo: Amazon)

This is by the same designer as the Aero, but it is simpler and less expensive. It’s also taller and superlight, weighing in at just two pounds. My dog is tall and likes to sit, so this would be comfortable for him. It doesn’t have a side opening, but there is a side pocket.

Petote Charlie Bag — $150

Petote Charlie Bag (Photo: Amazon)

I like this bag because it doesn’t look like a pet carrier. When I’m traveling and I’m out in the city, I carry my dog in this bag and nobody knows he’s there. It has a side opening, so he goes in and out by himself. Also, if I leave him in the room, he uses the bag as kennel and he likes it.

I would recommend that you take one of these collapsible cups. They are great for food and water and small enough to fit anywhere.

Final note: You will need a health certificate from your vet for your animal to fly. Also, know that your pet will count as a carry-on, so pack light.

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