Finding The Best Dog Carrier For The Money: A Review Guide

Dogs are inarguably some of the most loyal and faithful companions we can find on this Earth. A dog, if raised well, will provide you nothing but endearment and loyalty over the course of both your life and your pet’s life.

It’s hard to describe the bond between pet and owner to someone who has never experienced the joy and rewarding feeling associated with caring for your dog. Any pet owner knows how difficult it is to be apart from your pet for longer journeys and vacations.

Best Dog Carrier

Finding The Best Dog Carrier For The Money

If you were to decide to take a trip for the duration of a month or more, there are several choices you can make in regards to your dog. You can either leave your dog with friends and family who have experience dealing with animals and caring for them properly.

For some people, this may be a little too much of an imposition on others, or maybe you live in a city where you do not have anyone available to care for your dog while you are apart.

While the option to allow a friend or a family member to care for your dog is arguably the most desirable option as you will be able to travel without the worry of an additional passenger, you may find yourself missing your dog over the course of your trip.

Your next option in terms of caring for your dog is to leave your pet with a kennel. Many pet owners view this as a somewhat undesirable option as you are unaware of the standard of care your pet is receiving.

Many kennels are excessively overpriced, so you may end up spending more on having your dog cared for than your entire vacation. While this is certainly a price which must be paid, as it is important that your furry friend receives all the care that it should, you have one more option besides leaving your dog in a kennel or allowing someone you trust to care for it.

You can always bring your dog with you on your journey.

Taking Your Dog With You On A Trip

While some pet owners may balk at the idea of bringing their dog along with them on vacation, it is not as difficult as one might imagine. The major obstacle to bringing your dog along with you on a trip is finding a proper place to stay where your dog will be allowed with you.

If you are going on a vacation to visit family, you will certainly find it easier to bring your dog along with you than if you were going on a business trip.

As you can see, when it comes to bringing your dog along with you on a trip, you must consider the circumstances surrounding your voyage.

If you are going on a trip to attend an important meeting, or something else related to your professional career, you will find that bringing your dog along with you will be more of an inconvenience than it would help, and you would perhaps be better off finding a temporary caretaker or enlisting the help of a shelter.

Road Trips

If you are taking a simple road trip across the country and you are traveling either alone or with a limited group of other people, you may find it entertaining to bring your dog with you.

If you are traveling alone and you have a large dog with you, you will also be much better protected during your road trip as would-be thieves would certainly be deterred by the presence of an intimidating dog. If you are traveling alone, there is also the issue of loneliness to contend with.

A long road trip across the country can be a very long and tiring experience; it helps to have your dog with you so that you may more easily whittle away the time and so you do not get overly lonely over the course of your trip.

While it may not seem obvious, loneliness can be somewhat pervasive during a solo road trip, so having your dog with you is an excellent way to ensure that the loneliness does not discourage you after a little while on the road.

One thing to consider if you are bringing your dog with you on an extended trip in the car is that different states have different laws regarding unrestrained animals in cars.

While this may at first seem a little ridiculous to pet owners who have calm dogs who will sit out the duration of the trip without a problem, an unrestrained dog in an automobile can present several very real risks to your safety, and it is recommended that you always travel with your dog in a carrier or dog seat if you plan on bringing them along with you.

When you consider that your dog may get anxious or unnerved while you are driving and can possibly distract you or get in the way, it becomes more evident why it is important to put your dog in a carrier before you go on a trip.

It is just as much for your dog’s safety as it is for your own. In the unfortunate event of an accident, you will want your dog to be sufficiently restrained so it is not injured by the accident, similarly to how people wear seatbelts.

Dog Carrier For Plane

If you plan on traveling with your dog, you may wish to bring it along with you on a flight. Bringing your pet on a flight can get awfully complicated so you must ensure that you are aware of all the procedures and prerequisites involved in bringing your pet with you on a flight.

Every airline has differing procedures for dealing with pets, and it helps to review your specific airline’s procedures multiple times before you go on your flight, as any mistake may result in you missing your flight.

While most airlines do indeed have different standards when it comes to transporting animals, every airline insists that your pet must be in a pet carrier, for obvious reasons. Most airlines use the same recommended measurements for your pet carrier, so you can find airline compatible pet carriers if you would like to bring your pet with you on a somewhat longer voyage.

Depending on your airline, you may have to also pay an increased ticket price to bring along your pet.

Types Of Dog Carriers

If you are looking for the best dog carrier for the money, first you must know what type of dog carrier you want to purchase. There is a very large number of different types of dog carriers and finding the best dog carrier is simply a matter of finding the one which adheres best to your needs.

The different types of dog carriers transcend the simple difference between a large dog carrier, a medium dog carrier and a small dog carrier.

For example, if you own a motorcycle, you may invest in a motorcycle dog carrier or a similar bicycle dog carrier in the case of cycling enthusiasts. If you prefer a more practical and convenient form of dog carrier, you can always look for a dog carrier purse or a dog carrier bag, so you can bring a smaller dog around with you wherever you go.

If you prefer your dog carrier to be more mobile or perhaps you have a heavier dog who is very difficult to lift, you can opt for a wheeled dog carrier.

When it comes to transporting German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes and other dog breeds which can typically grow out to over 100 pounds, you will find that a dog carrier with wheels is the only realistic option, as it becomes very difficult to constantly lift over 100 pounds just to bring your dog around with you.

Long Distance Dog Carriers

Airplane dog carriers, also known as airline dog carriers, are designed so that they comply with the most common airline regulations related to the transportation of pets.

As all space on a plane is parceled out and measured exactly so the optimal amount of cargo may be fitted in, your dog carrier must also be of a pre-mandated size and weight capacity to ease the job of the baggage handlers.

If you plan on bringing your dog with you on a plane, an airline dog carrier is the best option.

A dog travel carrier is somewhat similar to an airplane dog carrier in that it is designed so your pet will be comfortable over the course of a long journey. Dog travel carriers are different in that they are not geared exclusively towards airline journeys, however many of them are still within the size limits for airlines for improved versatility.

Certain dog travel carriers can feature seatbelt linkages so your dog can be better secured in your car.

Soft sided dog carriers are good choices if you are looking for a more collapsible option as opposed to a hard sided dog carrier. If you are pressed for storage space, and you would like a dog carrier which you can more conveniently store once you are done with it, a soft sided dog carrier is typically the best choice.

In addition to the storage convenience, you will find that soft sided dog carriers are typically more comfortable for your pet, so they are the best for longer journeys.

Other Types Of Dog Carriers

If you want something more stylish and robust, you may wish to purchase a leather dog carrier. The advantages to using a leather dog carrier outweigh the simple fact that they look good. Leather is a resilient and strong material, though it is typically more expensive than synthetic fabrics.

You may also wish to purchase a dog carrier for hiking. Hiking dog carriers tend to be far more lightweight than other forms of dog carriers as you will be carrying it around in addition to all of your gear. Hiking dog carriers are not typically used all of the time, so it helps for them to be highly collapsible in addition to light.

Typically, hiking dog carriers are used when you reach a point where your dog will not be in an ideal environment, such as when fording a rushing river or climbing a precarious slope.

Dog Carrier For Car

If you are looking for the best dog carrier for longer car trips, you will want to look for a dog carrier which is optimized for use in cars.

As we have mentioned previously, certain models of the best dog carriers feature linkage points where you can connect your dog carrier with the car’s seat belts, so you can rest assured that your pet will remain anchored and safe for the duration of your car ride.

Dog Harness Carrier

A dog harness carrier surprisingly bears no relation to actual dog harnesses. A dog harness carrier is quite simply a sling combined with a dog carrier, somewhat akin to a dog bag or a dog purse. This allows you to have a smaller dog slung around your midsection so you may easily carry it around and still have both of your hands at your disposal.

Portable Dog Carrier

If you want to maintain the maximum possible mobility while transporting your dog, you will want to invest in a portable dog carrier. A portable dog carrier is an ideal choice if you plan on carrying your dog for longer periods of time.

The reduced weight of portable dog carriers allows you to get less tired over the duration of a long walk in which you carry your dog in the carrier.

While portable dog carriers may be somewhat less durable than heavier models, this is typically a worthwhile trade-off unless your dog is particularly rowdy when put in a carrier.

Our Recommendation For Best Pet Carriers

Let’s take a look at some of the best carriers for your furry best friend.

Sherpa Pet Carrier – Pet Carrier

This model of dog carrier is ideal if you are searching for an airworthy dog carrier which is sized for smaller dogs. As the maximum weight capacity of this product is 16 pounds, you will not be bringing a larger dog with you in this product anytime soon.

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier


  • Comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee
  • Sturdy support frame
  • ​All around zipper
  • ​Airline approved pet carrier
  • ​Front and side mesh screens
  • Maximum weight capacity of 16 pounds

Sherpa Pet Carrier is a good contender for the title of best dog carrier as it combines a reasonable price point with durable build quality and intelligent design. The all around zipper provides a convenient entry location while still being escape proof.

For example, the front and mesh side screens ensure that your pet will get adequate air and light for the duration of the trip but the screens are still durable enough to ward off any potential escapes. Durability is one of the best aspects of this product as it can successfully contain more hyper and destructive animals.

If you have ever owned a dog who seems to relish in destroying whatever you buy him, this product will help you immensely as it will be hard to tear apart.

AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

This is easily the best dog carrier you will find available at such a low price point. Priced at just under 30 dollars, the AmazonBasics dog carrier is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable, comfortable and well-designed dog carrier for a reasonable price.

Far too many other dog carriers feature useless additional features that serve no purpose besides increasing the product’s price. With this product, you get what you pay for, a reliable and sturdy pet carrier.AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Travel Carrier


  • 19.7 x 10.2 x 11.2 inches in size
  • Features carrying handles
  • ​Features adjustable shoulder strap
  • ​Airline compatible sizing
  • ​Fleece interior bedding is machine washable
  • 22 pounds maximum weight capacity


This model is available in three sizes, extra small, medium and large, with differing measurements corresponding to the size of your dog. This carrier will not be optimal for very large dogs due to the smaller size and reduced weight capacity.

However, if you have a medium to small sized dog, this product will very likely be ideal with you. The sizing also corresponds to the under-seat regulations of many domestic airlines so this product is usable on flights.

Pet Travel Carrier for Small Dogs and Cats with Ventilation

The Best Pet Supplies two tone dog carrier is easily the best dog carrier you will find available in terms of fashion. If you want your dog to look distinguished as you carry it around, there is no better choice than this product. Pet Travel Carrier for Small Dogs and Cats with Ventilation, 2 Openings and and 2 Side Pockets- Reflective by Best Pet Supplies


  • Quilted, two tone exterior is fashionable
  • Top features a plastic flap so your pet may sleep
  • ​Two carrying handles
  • ​Floor studs keep carrier off floor
  • 2 velcro pockets on sides


The classic quilted design makes this product look more akin to a purse, and with the top flap closed, no one will ever guess that this dog carrier is anything other than a large purse. One would imagine that with a fashionable exterior, this product would feature an elevated price but it is available for around 30 dollars.

This product’s decent dimensions will ensure that you are able to carry smaller dogs with room to spare. Unfortunately, this product is somewhat restricted to small dogs as even medium dogs will have difficulty fitting in the interior.

The two velcro side pockets help immensely if you want to carry dog treats, tags or any other things your pet may need over the course of its voyage. The best part about this product is the price.

TOMKAS Dog Carrier for Small Dogs

The TOMKAS dog carrier for small dogs is one of the more affordable options you will find in terms of carriers for small dogs. This product is available for just over 15 dollars, so it is easily one of the most affordable dog carriers you will find available online.

In this product’s case, the low price certainly does not translate to lower quality. It is quite frankly stunning that this product features such durable build quality when you consider the price. TOMKAS Dog Carrier for Small Dogs Puppy Carrier for Small Dogs


  • The material is thick enough to ensure softness and make furkids feel at ease.
  • Machine washable
  • ​Adjustable shoulder strap
  • ​Pocket for additional snacks and treats
  • Included collar clip and safety leash combo


The adjustable strap also allows you to change the size of the sling so different people can comfortably use this dog carrier without having to worry about a bad fit.

As with all other harness-type dog carriers, this model leaves your hands free to do with as you please while still being able to carry your dog.


Finding the best dog carrier for your needs is simply a matter of ensuring that you know what your dog needs and then finding a product which will fit into your budget. We hope that these reviews have helped you find the best dog carrier, as it can be a bit of a chore when you do not know where to start.

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