Pet Carriers: What To Look For in a Good Pet Carrier

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Travel with your pup is an important part of their life, just as it’s an important part of yours. One of the most important aspects of travel is safety, and to truly be safe while traveling, your four-legged friend will need a pet carrier. Pet carriers keep them stationary, allow them to be buckled into the car, and provide a comfortable way to get around with their best friend!

When selecting a pet carrier for your pooch, you’ll need to know what to look for. There are ways to tell a good carrier from a bad one, and each dog will have different needs when it comes to the best carrier for them. Learn all about how to find a good pet carrier down below!

Different Kinds of Carriers

When looking at pet carriers, there are plenty of options to choose from, but there are a few types of carriers that you’ll see commonly when shopping. Each one has its own intended use, and some are better than others, depending on what you need.

Hard-Sided Carriers

Hard-sided carriers are available at most big box stores and are typically made from a hard plastic. They’re lightweight but are prone to cracking and breaking. Hard-sided carriers are made in many sizes and accommodate nearly all dogs.

Soft Sided Carriers

Soft-sided carriers are similar to hard-sided carriers that are made from fabrics like neoprene and polyester. They’re easy to clean and care for and are lightweight. They’re commonly foldable and easy to clean. These are made for smaller dogs, normally.

Wearable Carriers

Wearable carriers are essentially soft-sided carriers but are made specifically to be worn. They come with straps that cross the body, or they come in a style similar to a backpack or baby carrier. These are exclusively made for small dogs and are great for commuting.

Crate Carriers

Crate carriers are exclusively for the largest dogs and are generally made from metal mesh. They’re not as versatile as the other carriers available and only tend to fare well when traveling by automobile.

Materials To Look For

When you’re looking to purchase a good pet carrier, you want something that’s durable and easy to clean. There are a few ideal materials available, depending on what you’re looking for.

Hard Plastics

Hard-sided carriers are made from hard plastics, as the name implies. This can be pretty advantageous when it comes to cleaning, but that’s about it. Hard plastics can be brittle, so if the carrier is dropped, it can crack or break. Additionally, they don’t provide a high level of comfort while traveling for your pet.

Neoprene, Polyester, and Other Fabrics

Soft-sided carriers and wearable carriers are going to be made from durable, cleanable fabrics. Most often, you’ll find that they’re made from neoprene or polyester, both of which are lightweight and very easy to clean. They won’t be prone to ripping, either. They’re really comfortable for your four-legged friends, as well.


Crate carriers are almost exclusively made from overlapping metal that’s been painted or coated and normally have a plastic tray for a bottom. They’re only meant for the largest of dogs when it comes to travel and need to be outfitted with a soft bottom to be made comfortable. They’re easy to clean and can last a lifetime if taken care of properly.

Measuring Your Dog For a Carrier

When you’re deciding on a crate, you’ll likely be given different options when it comes to the carrier’s size. The size of your carrier is entirely based on the size of your dog, so you’ll need to measure your pup to make sure you get them a good carrier.

Measure Their Height

For stationary carriers, your dog needs to be able to stand up comfortably. To make sure the pet carrier you’re looking to purchase is large enough, measure your dog’s height while standing. Measure from the ground to the top of their head at the highest part, and then add three inches. This will make sure that they can stand comfortably.

Measure Their Length

Another important measurement is the length of your dog. You want to measure them from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail, then add three inches. This will allow them to stretch out in the carrier comfortably, as well.

Do I Need to Measure Their Width?

The width of your pup doesn’t need to be measured, thankfully, as the width of any carrier is determined by the height and length of it. If you have a particularly wide pooch, however, consider getting the next size up.

Wearable Carriers Are Different

Wearable carriers are meant to be worn, hence the name. They’re designed for smaller pups and serve a different purpose than some of the other pet carriers on our list when it comes to measurements. With a wearable carrier, the pup is supposed to be a bit more confined to prevent their weight from shifting and throwing off the wearer’s balance.

When choosing a wearable carrier, the most important measurement is actually weight. While other carriers have weight limits, the wearable carrier’s weight limit is far more of a hard limit. If your pooch weighs too much, it can cause failure in the seams, risking injury to you and your four-legged friend. Pay attention to weight limits if you choose a wearable carrier.

Choosing a Carrier

Now that you know all there is to know about the different types of carriers available to you, it’s time to pick the best carrier for your needs! Here’s how to go about picking the best carrier for your four-legged friend.

  • Consider Your Travel Needs - Do you do most of your travel by car? Or do you travel by plane? This is a big consideration that you need to keep in mind.
  • Your Pup’s Size Matters - Not all carriers are created equally, and you’ll need to take into consideration how big your four-legged friend is when buying a pet carrier.
  • Durability and Material - Do you and your pup like to go on adventures and get grimey? You’ll need a carrier made from a durable material that’s easy to clean.

Wild One’s Travel Carriers

When it comes to picking a great pet carrier meant for an on-the-go lifestyle, we recommend either one of Wild One’s pet carriers. Both carriers are centered around smaller dogs, and they’re perfect for them. They’re easily worn and made of durable materials that are easy to clean. The Travel Carrier is airline compliant, allowing for your pups to fly with you anytime. The Commuter Carrier is the perfect option for the big city pup who travels with their owner everywhere that they go.

Pick Up and Carry

When you’re looking for a pet carrier, there are a lot of options on the market. Selecting a pet carrier comes down to three simple things; size, travel needs, and lifestyle. Once you’ve determined those, you’re on your way to picking the best travel carrier for your four-legged friend!