What's the Best Dog Carrier for Airplanes?

best small dog carrier for airline travel

Taking your small dog on a plane can be so much fun - and being prepared is the key. Wondering what the best dog carrier for airplanes is? Read on!

There's nothing more fun than flying - and when you can bring your dog, it's even better!

Before heading out, there are a few important things to know about how to fly with your dog. And quite possibly the most important is: what's the best dog carrier for planes?

We'll talk about different kinds of carriers: For traveling to and from the airport, around your destination, and of course - carriers for bringing your dog on the airplane.

Get a Small Dog Carrier Sling

First things first: you need to get to the airport - and for that we recommend the best small dog carrier sling for travel - the PocoPet packs up incredibly small, & weighs just 2.5 ounces

If you're taking the bus, subway or train, you to transport your dog without keeping them cooped up in the enclosed airline carrier the whole time.

So, toss a PocoPet Packable Dog Carrier in your bag (or clip it to your carry-on). Your dog will walk themselves, then when you need to carry them, put them in their PocoPet and hop on the subway (or into the Uber or Lyft). 

After you're through the security gate at the airport, let them walk through the terminal (when allowed), and pop them in the PocoPet.

the best small dog carrier sling bag for travel


Airline Approved Dog Carriers
are the same as
TSA Approved Dog Carriers

While you're actually on the plane, your dog needs to be fully enclosed in an airline approved dog carrier (aka a "TSA approved dog carrier"). 

There are a ton of options in a range of prices - so take your time and assess each before you buy. Does it have the features you need and want?

Before purchasing a carrier, you MUST call your airline to ask EXACTLY what their rules are about bringing your dog on the airplane with you.

Each airline has their own regulations, which can (and do) change at any moment - so always start with a phone call, because you don't want to be turned away at the gate!


dog carrier for airplane cabin

Here's what to look for in an airline-approved dog carrier:

  • It must be an "approved" airline carrier
  • It must fit under the seat in front of you
  • It must be fully enclosed
  • Your dog must be able to stand up inside the carrier
  • Mesh ventilation panels for proper air flow
  • Enough room for them to be comfortable for the duration of the flight
  • Exterior pockets, for their leash and treats
  • Padded cushion on the bottom, for your dog's comfort

So as you're shopping for a dog carrier for the plane cabin, be sure to keep these features top of mind.

More tips:

Can your dog fully stretch out comfortably inside the carrier? If not, they might need a little more space.

For these "bigger" small dogs, we recommend dog carrier with expandable sides, like this


After arriving at your destination:

Once you get where you're going, you can ditch that big, bulky, heavy airline carrier - finally!!!

Clip the PocoPet to your leash (or toss it in your bag), and head out to explore.

It's the best dog carrier for the subway, shopping, hiking, camping and other everyday adventures - at just 2.5 ounces, you'll forget you're even carrying it... and when your dog needs a ride, the PocoPet is there to help.

It's the no-schlep lightweight dog carrier for travel of your dreams!

Don't forget to pack snacks, water, and a collapsible travel bowl - you'll need them to keep your dog healthy, hydrated and happy!

How to train your dog to be comfortable in their travel carrier

And don't forget - even with the best travel dog carrier in the world, you still need to do your part first! Here's how to make sure your dog loves their carrier. 

Pro tip: start training NOW, so you'll be ready for your next trip!

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