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Expert Shopper Pets

Best dog travel bag

Which dog travel bag is best?

As more public spaces allow pets to tag along with their owners, you can take your pooch with you to your favorite sidewalk cafe, boutique or even on vacation. When bringing your dog on an outing, it’s helpful to have a travel bag in case you need your hands free or your pet becomes overwhelmed.

When shopping for the best dog travel bag, consider your dog’s size and personality and which style you’ll find convenient. A bag like our top pick, the Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier, is easy to maneuver and has side flaps to give your dog some privacy.

What to know before you buy a dog travel bag


Where you intend to use your dog travel bag will have a lot to do with which bag is right for you. If you plan to fly with your bag, check your airline's specific parameters. You can also use a travel bag to keep your pet secure on car rides or while taking your pet from one location to another. Bags are nice for extended outings where your pet might need a shaded place to hang out or to be carried around.

Dog’s personality

When choosing a travel bag, consider your dog’s personality. Highly sociable dogs that love to interact with people might enjoy a bag that allows them to easily poke their head out of the top. Friendly dogs also appreciate a bag that has open, mesh sides so they can still observe their surroundings. If you have a shy dog, then a bag that has sides you can roll down for privacy is a good idea. The flaps allow you to create a place for your pet to feel safe and secluded while promoting air circulation.

Air travel

Dog travel bags are often used when traveling with your pup in the cabin of a plane. Before you purchase a bag for your trip, check with the airline. Each airline has their own specifications for the height, width and depth of bags that will fit underneath the seat.

Airports can be an overwhelming place for animals, so picking a bag with flaps is a good idea. This will give your pet some respite from crowds and large amounts of activity. Choosing a dog travel bag with pockets will provide you with a convenient place to put your dog’s leash, extra food, health papers and collapsible food and water bowls.

For more air travel tips, check out the BestReviews buying guide for the best dog carriers.

What to look for in a quality dog travel bag


It’s important to select a dog travel bag that is the correct size for your pet. You’ll want a bag with just enough room for your pet to stand up and turn around. PetMD recommends measuring your dog from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail, and from the top of their head to the ground. Add 3 inches to these measurements and you’ll have the correct bag dimensions.


Check that your pet fits within the weight minimum and maximum recommended by the manufacturer. Also, consider if you’ll be lugging the bag for long distances. If your pet is on the heavy side, opt for a bag with wheels.


Most dog travel bags are made from a sturdy material such as heavy-duty nylon and come with a padded, absorbent bottom you can remove for washing. You want something durable with a frame that easily holds the bag’s shape. Ideally, the bag should be made from material that is easy to wipe clean.

How much you can expect to spend on a dog travel bag

Dog travel bags usually cost $20-$100. If you want a designer bag, expect to pay more than $200.

Dog travel bag FAQ

How do you acclimate your dog to their new carrier?

A. Start by placing the bag somewhere in your home with the entrance unzipped. Put your dog’s favorite treats or toys inside to get them curious. Allow your dog to spend time in the bag with the door open and slowly graduate to short amounts of time with the door closed. Once your pet is comfortable, try taking them on short trips in the bag.

How can you relieve your dog’s travel anxiety? 

A. Try giving them a tasty treat to eat inside their travel bag while going on a short car ride. You can try giving them a calming supplement, which can help your dog feel secure and safe. Make sure your dog gets adequate potty breaks and try to drive as smoothly as possible. 

What’s the best dog travel bag to buy?

Top dog travel bag

Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier

What you need to know: A wheeled bag, it is perfect for traversing airports with your pet.

What you’ll love: The flaps on the side can be rolled down for privacy or rolled up for air circulation. This bag also has a detachable handle and a faux lamb's wool lining that will keep your dog comfy during their commute. 

What you should consider: Some customers found the carrier was smaller than they anticipated. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dog travel bag for the money

Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier 

What you need to know: This is an affordable carrier with many convenient features. 

What you’ll love: This bag features a spring-wired frame perfect for travel. Made from leak-proof material, this travel bag has a removable, machine-washable faux lambskin liner. It features a spacious open pocket and one zipper pocket. 

What you should consider: The interior of this bag is on the smaller side, but it does come in three different sizes. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

SlowTon Pet Sling Carrier

What you need to know: A convenient shoulder sling holds smaller dogs.

What you’ll love: With adjustable padded straps, you and your pup will be comfortable for the long haul. It comes with a pouch for treats and supplies and a drawstring closure to double as a bag for when your dog is out and about. 

What you should consider: This bag is only really suitable for dogs 9 pounds and lighter.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

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Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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