The best soft-sided dog carrier
If you’re going on a trip with your four-legged friend or just want a convenient way to take them around town for errands, a soft-sided dog carrier may be the perfect solution.
Soft-sided dog carriers come in a variety of sizes, designs and colors, so there’s one for every dog and their owner. Some, like the Sherpa Pet Carrier, even have wheels that allow you to easily pull your dog behind you.
What to know before buying a soft-sided dog carrier
When choosing a dog carrier, you need to adapt it to your dog’s size. It should have enough room for your four-legged friend to stand, sit, and lie down with a few inches to spare. It should also be large enough that they can turn around freely. That said, make sure you don’t buy a carrier that is much larger than what your dog needs, as it will be bulky for you.
Since you will be carrying the dog carrier on your shoulder or in your hands, consider its weight when making your purchase. Some carriers weigh as little as 2 pounds, while some wheeled options can weigh as much as 10.
Unlike hard dog crates, soft sided dog crates come in a variety of trendy colors and patterns. This means you can easily find one that matches your outfit if you want to make a style statement when traveling with your dog.
Features of the soft-sided dog carrier
It is important that the dog carrier is ventilated enough to keep your dog cool. On soft media there are mesh panels for this, and the more the better.
While air circulation is important, especially in hot weather, there are times when your dog may need a bit of peace. Privacy shutters allow you to cover mesh ventilation panels when your dog is over-stimulated or it’s time for him to take a nap.
If you want to be able to periodically provide your dog with extra room to lie down while keeping him safe, look for a dog carrier that has stretch side panels. These can be securely zipped when it’s time to grab the carrier and take your dog on the go.
You should clean your dog carrier periodically to keep it hygienic and odor-free. A removable liner makes this more convenient, as you can just pull it off and throw it in the washing machine. For added comfort, look for a baby carrier with a removable liner made from a soft, durable material like fleece.
Sometimes you may want to allow your dog to stick his head out during the trip. Baby carriers with leash attachment points make this safer because they eliminate the risk of your dog jumping to chase something. You may need to purchase a small clip for this, or one may be included with the carrier.
Strap and carrying handles
Most soft-sided dog carriers have fabric handles and an adjustable shoulder strap. Both should be strong and have a reasonable amount of padding. If you are purchasing a rolling baby carrier, the shoulder strap can double as a pull strap or can have a separate telescopic handle.
If you don’t want to have to carry the dog carrier wherever you go, opt for a model with wheels. These are heavier but can be more convenient, especially when walking long distances on smooth indoor surfaces, such as when navigating through an airport.
Soft-sided dog carrier cost
Most soft-sided dog carriers cost from $ 20 to $ 100. Some design options can cost several hundred.
Soft-sided dog carrier faq
Can I use a flexible dog carrier for air travel?
A. You can use a soft-sided carrier for air travel as long as it is approved by the airline and your pet will be traveling in the cabin with you. They should never be used when an animal travels in the baggage area.
How can I make my dog feel comfortable with his carrier?
A. There are a few things you can do to help your dog feel comfortable with their new carrier. Never force them inside, but instead leave it open on the floor of your house with a nice pillow and a treat or two inside. This gives them time to investigate on their own. Get in the habit of giving them a treat, bone, or chew toy inside the carrier until they feel comfortable spending time inside with the door open. , then possibly with the door closed. The next step is to take short trips or walks around the block in the transporter and slowly increase the time they spend inside.
Which soft-sided dog carrier should I buy?
The best of the best soft-sided dog carriers
Our opinion : This roller carrier is the perfect choice for anyone who travels with their pets often and doesn’t want to have to physically carry them all the time.
What we like: It has large mesh panels for air circulation, but there are also privacy shutters that you can drop when it’s time for your pooch to take a nap. There is an attachment point for the leash so you can let your dog stick his head out without worrying about it escaping.
What we don’t like: It’s heavier than most others of the same size, which can make it a problem during the times you choose to wear it.
The best price-performance ratio for your soft-sided dog carrier
Jet Sitter Luxury Soft Sided Pet Carrier: available at Amazon
Our opinion : While it may have a few flaws, the Jet Sitter Luxury is ideal for owners who want to give their pets extra room to stretch out.
What we like: It features stretch side panels, plenty of mesh, and plush fleece padding, so it strikes the right balance between airflow and comfort.
What we don’t like: It does not hold its structure well and has a tendency to sag.
Honorable mention flexible dog carrier
Kurgo Soft-Sided Wander dog carrier: available at Amazon and soft
Our opinion : The Kurgo Wander is an airline approved carrier with a sturdy construction that allows it to withstand regular travel with pets weighing up to 18 pounds.
What we like: It has seat belt buckles to protect your pet while driving in a car, and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.
What we don’t like: He could use more padding.
Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a single mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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