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3 Tips for Choosing the Best Pet Carrier

Dec. 27, 2018
Travel, Vacations & Trip Planning
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You live and play with Fido, so why not travel with him?

However, we all know that you can’t just hop on the plane with your four-footed friend in tow. One of the many things you need to plan for when you travel with a pet is its in-flight carrier.

Here are three tips for choosing the best pet carrier.

1. Think about size

This can be harder than you think. According to recent United Airlines information, pet crates should be large enough for your pet to move freely and stand with his head erect, to turn around and to lie down in a normal position. And the carrier should be tall enough to provide enough room for your pet to sit up without its head or ear tips (whichever is higher) touching the top.

If you are planning to take your pet on a trip, get the carrier well in advance so that the pet has time to get accustomed to it.

2. Check with your airline

Most airlines have size and weight limits for pets in both carry-on bags and cargo holds. Typically, a carry-on pet carrier needs to be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you, so if your dog is bigger, they will have to go into cargo. Before booking your travel, check if an airline allows flying with a pet, and what requirements and restrictions you need to follow.

» Learn more: Get personalized travel advice in our community of experts

3. Remember quality

Good pet carriers are expensive; you tend to get what you pay for. The last thing you want to worry about are your pet carrier handles ripping off mid-journey. You will want sturdy handles and make sure they are attached well, and that the carrier has a strong bottom.

Also look for mesh panels and an opening from above, if it’s not a hard shell for cargo needs. You will be spending most of your journey looking down at your pet, and you both will want easy access.

Some good features to make your trip easier are outside pockets for emergency items (food, toys and medicine), a zipper with a locking device so you can open it from the outside but your pup can’t open it from the inside and an attachable food bowl and water cup for long trips.

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