Whether it’s a trip to the vets or the shops, keep your pooch comfortable in the best dog carriers from Amazon, Wayfair, Pets at Home and more
For those of us exploring with four-legged friends in tow, a dog carrier is an essential piece of kit.
It’s also a requirement if you’re travelling by road vehicle, as RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines explains. “The highway code requires you to ensure your dog is properly secured when you’re travelling in a vehicle so that they are safe, and so that you cannot be distracted or injured,” says Samantha, who points out that regular breaks are essential during long journeys, which can be incredibly stressful for dogs.
“It’s important that your dog takes regular breaks when travelling so that they can stretch their legs, go to the toilet and have a drink, and it’s best to avoid travelling long distances during hot weather, as the temperature inside vehicles can rise quickly and dogs can overheat very easily.”
Hoe ons getoets het
We’re huge dog lovers, to start with, and in our case, have owned dogs (and transported them, at various times and over various distances) of all shapes and sizes, ranging from huge vet-hating Siberian huskies to pint-sized Finnish Lapphunds. Met ander woorde, we know exactly what to look for when it comes to dog carriers, and in this case, had the help of our test dog, Liefie. We didn’t just look at carriers designed to fit into cars, either – we included a couple designed for smaller dogs who prefer to be carried when their owner is travelling on foot.
Sturdy construction is essential, as is a design that features transparent areas made of thin mesh or netting which allow dogs to see out, and prevent any feelings of claustrophobia – after all, being transported from A to B is never going to be much fun for our four-legged friends. This is precisely why we also looked for anything to crank up the comfort, whether it was fleece-lined walls or mesh windows with roll-down shades.
We tested all aspects of the carriers, including how comfortable they were to carry on short walks, how easily they could be folded down and how easy it was to unzip the various sections.
The best dog carriers for 2021 is:
- Beste algehele - PawHut folding pet bag carrier: £23.99, Onbuy.com
- Best for design – Lords and Labradors mobile dog gear pet carrier plus: £ 59,99, Lordsandlabradors.co.uk
- Best for posh pooches – Teddy Maximus melody pink and grey carrier: from £135, Teddymaximus.com
- Best for pint-sized pooches – Kintails dog carrier: £100, Kintails.com
- Best for versatility – Eono essentials expandable pet carrier, £23.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for comfort – Pets at Home navy pet carrier with pocket: £ 26, Petsathome.com
- Best for portability – Archie & Oscar chorley pet carrier: from £43.99, Wayfair.co.uk
- Best for range of sizes – Archie & Oscar lyman pet carrier: from £33.99, Wayfair.co.uk
- Beste waarde – The Range collapsible pet carrier: from £14.99, Therange.co.uk
PawHut folding pet bag carrier
This bag, which will carry pooches weighing up to 10kg, is ideal for dogs who don’t like to travel light – there were plenty of pockets for Honey’s dried beef snacks, and alongside the zippered ones was a flap-style pocket into which we could tuck her favourite chew toy. We love how it opens up to transform into an open-sided bed – the roof unzips and folds back, and the short lead attached to the base can then be clipped to a dog lead to ensure dogs don’t make a break for freedom in unfamiliar surroundings. Although we’d have loved to seen a little more softness on the base, the roominess of this carrier, which folds completely flat for easy storage, meant there was plenty of space for a dog blanket. Wide straps with reinforced padded sections minimise the risk of arm ache when lugging this bag to and from cars, and large patches of transparent mesh will help to soothe nervous dogs.
Lords and Labradors mobile dog gear pet carrier plus
Beste: For design
Let’s face it – at the end of the day, nothing can make the prospect of a visit to the vet or a journey in the car more appealing (unless you own one of those dogs which like to stick its head out the window as if it were in a wind tunnel). But judging by Honey’s relaxed demeanour, this is the carrier she’d recommend. The carrier has a length of 43cm, a height of 28.5cm and a width of 27cm, and there are mesh panels on the front and back and a large one on the top. The extra-large side pocket can be used to store items such as toys, whole the smaller purse-like pockets tucked inside can hold smaller items like treats. We love the wide, reinforced carrying handles and the bone-shaped, mock-leather name tag, ook.
Teddy Maximus melody pink and grey carrier
Beste: For posh pooches
There’s something incredibly comforting (we’re not just talking about our opinion, but our tester dog’s, ook) about this bag’s thick, spongey lining, and the base feels like the softest mattress we’ve ever felt. The design of this pastel pink and grey carrier is fantastic, too – the opening for the head extends right down to the base of the bag, which meant it was easier to insert (for want of a better word) our four-legged friend and extract her when we arrived back home. The bag’s sides – which have just the right amount of stiffness – mean the zip can be left undone for larger animals, or zipped up entirely for smaller creatures likely to make unexpected breaks for freedom. We love the fact that the bags, available in small and medium sizes, are made in the UK, ook.
Kintails dog carrier
Beste: For pint-sized pooches
This carrier, designed to carry dogs up to 8kg, is one of the most stylish carriers we’ve come across, and although we’re weary of shoulder bag-style carriers, this one is the exception, thanks to its ridiculously soft lining and Tardis-like design – there’s plenty of room for furry friends to move around in this one. We also loved the extra-long lead, which is much longer than the ones you’ll usually find attached to pet carriers, and which means that when the bag’s placed on the floor, dogs can still have freedom of movement without scarpering off into the sunset.
Eono essentials expandable pet carrier
Beste: For versatility
This tardis-like dog bag, designed for dogs weighing up to 5.8kg, is brilliant value – not just because of its sturdy material and brilliant added extras (including pockets for treats, toys and poo bags), but because it’s expandable – unzip the pocket-like square on the side and extend the interior to almost double the size of the bag. There’s plenty of transparency, too – our test dog Honey is a rescue who’s endured various traumas and isn’t a huge fan of confined spaces (or postmen or binmen, but that’s a whole other story), so her approval of this dog carrier means it gets a supersized tick from us, ook.
Pets at Home navy pet carrier with pockets
Beste: For comfort
Although there’s only one panel of transparent mesh on this bag, its roominess makes it ideal for dogs who don’t like confined spaces. A short lead attached to the base of the bag, which accommodates dogs of up to 7kg, meant we could ensure our test dog stayed put during short stops, and there’s an additional panel of transparent mesh that can be zipped up over the bag’s opening if you’re worried that your four-legged friend might stage a great escape. The generous spacing and length of the two straps mean it can be carried either in the hand or over the shoulder – we swayed towards the latter and loved the extra comfort provided by the patches of soft leather-like material. A big shoutout goes to the supersized pocket on one end of the bag – it’s one of the largest we’ve seen on a dog carrier.
Archie & Oscar chorley pet carrier
Beste: For portability
This is a seriously sturdy pet carrier that comes in three sizes (lengths range from 60cm to 81cm) designed with larger dogs – and those travelling in caravans and motorhomes – in mind. Its industrial-strength construction, supported by metal struts that slot into each other, makes it a multi-purpose miracle that isn’t simply designed to transport furry friends from A to B. If you’re on a campsite or at a festival, pets prone to doing a runner can be placed inside this carrier without the risk of them feeling hemmed in, thanks to the fact that two sides are almost entirely made of a semi-transparent mesh. It’s also incredibly portable, with rugged clips to keep the various struts in place when it’s folded up.
Archie & Oscar lyman pet carrier
Beste: For range of sizes
Think of this carrier, which is designed for medium to large dogs and comes in three sizes, not just as a carrier but as a luxury tent for your pet. It’s both wonderfully comfortable (the removable mat was one of the softest we’ve come across) and incredibly practical – there’s an abundance of Velcro here, used to do everything from hold back privacy panels or secure door flaps – and despite its surprising lightness, it’s wonderfully sturdy, with an arched roof stiffened with flexible, tent pole-like struts. There are transparent panels on the sides and back, although privacy panels (secured with yes, you guessed it, Velcro, when not in use) mean dogs can enjoy a little privacy when needed. It’s another carrier which is ideal for camping and festivals – hence the pack of pegs which we could use to keep the carrier secured in windier weather.
The Range collapsible pet carrier
Designed with smaller dogs in mind, this carrier, which has a height of 29cm and a width of 44cm, has large panels of transparent mesh on the sides, rear and roof, and comes in two colours – black, and a pretty cherry-red hue. The soft fleece blanket – secured to the base with Velcro – cranks up the comfort, and we appreciated the long straps, fixed to the side of carrier with extra-long sewn-on sections, minimising the risk of an accidental doggie drop. Both ends unzip, so it doubles as a sheltered resting place for dogs not quite ready to explore unfamiliar surroundings.
Die uitspraak: Dog carriers
The wonderfully roomy PawHut folding pet bag carrier isn’t just a great option for car journeys, but for a wide range of scenarios, whether your dog’s joining you at a festival or you’re visiting friends who own dogs your pup might not be familiar with. Lords and Labradors’ mobile dog gear pet carrier plus is a brilliant carrier with plenty of added extras (including lots of pockets, which many carriers lack), and for pint-sized pooches who’d rather not dirty their pampered paws when out and about, it’s hard to beat the supremely comfortable Teddy Maximus melody pink and grey carrier.
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