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Traveling With Dogs: A Travel Kennel Buyer's Guide

We’re betting you’re a lot like us and you want to take your dog everywhere with you. It’s understandable considering our pets are much more than a dog - they are our fur kids and our most loved furry companions. Who wouldn’t want to go traveling with dogs? In this post, we’ll explore some tips for traveling with your furbaby, and important factors to consider when choosing a travel kennel.

Choosing a Travel Dog Kennel 101

We get it. The selections can feel overwhelming when looking for a travel kennel. From debating between wire, plastic and soft lined kennels to how big it should be, there’s a lot to take into consideration when travel kennel shopping. With that said, below are just a few factors you should keep in mind.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Travel Kennel

  • Safety: Perhaps you’re looking for the safest way to travel with a dog in the car, or on an airplane. Safety is the most important factor to consider because we want our pets to make it safely to our destination with us. Look for things like:
    • Crash tested dog crates
    • Independently tested to safety standards
    • Free of harmful heavy metals/BPA/phthalates
  • Size & Fit: How big should a dog crate be for travel? Perhaps you’re looking for a travel crate for large dogs. Or maybe your fur baby is a tiny doggo. Here are two important items to note:
    • Your crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably
    • Not all travel scenarios will allow for large crates. For example, some airlines have specific guidelines when it comes to crate sizes for air travel. Depending on your pet’s size, a smaller passenger travel carrier may be more appropriate in these cases.
  • Material: Your travel kennel should offer ventilation, privacy, and multiple access points. It’s also a good idea to choose materials that are, let’s just say accident-friendly. If your pup has a potty mishap, you’ll want it to be easy to clean up. Finally, the material shouldn’t be too heavy or bulky. While it’s critical to keep your pet secure, you also don’t want that security to come at the expense of being too heavy for you to handle.
  • How you will use it: We already briefly alluded to this when we mentioned that some airlines have kennel size and weight restrictions when flying with a dog.

However, you also want to keep in mind the dog cases for SUV use may be different from dog kennels for trucks or a dog crate for a car. If you are using an SUV, you may be able to put down seats to accommodate a larger crate with a larger dog for example. In a car that might prove more difficult. In other words, the best portable dog crate will be dependent on your unique needs as well as the size of your pup.

It’s also important to note that like humans, few pups want to be stuck in a small confined space for long periods of time. Whatever your travel plans are, make sure you include plenty of time for potty breaks as well as stretching your legs and theirs.

Tips for Traveling with Dogs

When it comes to traveling with dogs, preparation is key. Whether you're heading out for a weekend camping trip or embarking on a cross-country road trip, you'll want to make sure your furry friend is comfortable and safe throughout the journey. Here are some tips to consider before hitting the road:

Flying with a dog

The first thing we’ll tell you about how to travel with a dog on a plane is that your experience will depend on the size of your pup. Here’s the unfortunate truth - not all dogs are lap dogs and as such not all dogs can actually ride with you in the cabin. To make matters worse, if they are forced to ride in the cargo hold, there is no guarantee they will survive the flight. As recently as April 2023, reported three deaths and one pet loss in airline pet travel.

So what does this mean for you if you plan on flying with a dog? First, do your research on the airline you’re flying with and find out their policies on in cabin dogs. While it is generally more expensive to bring your pup in the cabin, the peace of mind of seeing them throughout the flight is worth it!

Before the flight, make sure your dog is well-exercised and has gone potty. You may also want to limit their food and water intake before the flight to avoid any accidents or discomfort.

During the flight, keep an eye on your pup through the mesh opening of your pet travel carrier. If they seem anxious or uncomfortable, try talking to them softly or providing some calming treats. And remember - never sedate your pet without consulting with a veterinarian first as this can have serious health consequences during air travel.

Traveling with dogs in cars

Invest in a crate for the car. We’ll share again that when you’re looking for a dog carrier for a car or any other mode of transportation, it’s best to choose a travel kennel that will allow them to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down.

How can I calm my dog down in the car?

We get this question a lot, and the answer may vary depending on your dog’s temperament. However, for most dogs the key to keeping them calm for a car ride is to keep them happy and comfortable. This means using bedding they already love, giving them treats, adding plenty of walks to the trip to prevent restlessness, and talking with them throughout the drive in a comforting voice.

It’s also incredibly helpful if you get them used to their travel kennel ahead of time. Let them smell it, play in it, and possibly even sleep in it so they aren’t afraid of it. And, as much as possible, keep the door to it open while they are getting used to it so they won’t see it as a restrictive device.

It’s also worth noting that the Enventur inflatable travel kennel is designed to create a calming, den-like environment, by minimizing overstimulation from light and sound. It's quiet and cozy, which dogs like. The travel kennel features air-cushioned side walls and floor as well - this will help keep your pet extra cozy and comfortable en route to wherever you are headed.

Check out our post on crate training for more tips and ideas to get your pup used to a dog crate.


To close this guide out, here are some of the frequently asked questions we see related to building a travel kennel.

What is the best car carrier for an anxious dog?

The best car carriers for anxious dogs are those that provide a sense of security and comfort. We highly recommend our Enventur inflatable travel kennel because it features the safety you demand from a hard-sided kennel, but it’s made with lightweight materials that feel comfortable for your dog.

What is the best car carrier for smaller dogs?

If you’ll be traveling with a smaller dog, the Enventur inflatable travel kennel does come in a small size that is appropriate for small dogs up to 30 pounds such as French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Dachshunds, etc… However, an alternative that may make more sense to use for things like airplane travel is the Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier. It’s easy to clean, and still made with a safety-first approach, but it’s also airline-friendly meaning it meets the requirements airlines have for carry-on pets.

How do you calm a stressed dog when traveling?

Dogs can easily become stressed during travel, but fortunately, there are several effective ways to calm a stressed dog when traveling.

First, you might want to try playing soothing music or calming scents in the car or crate. This can help relax your dog by simulating a peaceful environment. Secondly, make sure they are comfortable in their travel kennel or crate by adding familiar bedding and toys. Lastly, take frequent breaks during long drives to allow your dog to stretch their legs and relieve themselves.

How long can a dog stay in a travel crate?

The answer depends on several factors, including the size of the crate, the dog's age and health condition, and the mode of transportation.

For air travel, airlines have regulations on how long dogs can stay in their crates. Typically, dogs cannot be in their kennels for more than four to six hours during domestic flights and up to 17 hours for international flights. However, this varies depending on airline policies and route.

On road trips or traveling via train, dogs can remain in their crates for longer periods as owners can make stops along the way to allow them to stretch their legs and relieve themselves.

The truth is there’s no set number of hours, but most experts agree that 10-12 hours can be safe for a dog. You will just want to keep an eye out for signs of discomfort and/or stress from your dog.

Whatever method of travel you choose, it's important to ensure that the crate is well-ventilated with enough space for your pup to move around comfortably.

How long can a dog hold its pee?

The average healthy adult dog can hold their bladder for up to 10 hours, but this can vary based on several factors such as age, size, and health condition. Puppies and senior dogs may have a harder time holding their bladder for extended periods of time. We recommended you give your dog frequent potty breaks when traveling to avoid accidents in their travel kennel.

Click here to learn about the Enventur Travel Kennel and pre-order yours today!

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