Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Welcome to our big transport box guide. Here we present all the transport boxes that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best transport box for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a transport box.

Contents




Summary

  • Transport boxes allow you to transport your pet safely. They also ensure the safety of other car passengers.
  • Transport boxes come in different sizes and designs, both of which should suit your pet and the intended use. Your pet should be able to stand, turn and lie down in the carrier.
  • There are foldable transport boxes, transport boxes made of aluminium or plastic, transport bags and transport baskets. Foldable transport boxes and transport baskets are more suitable as a place for your pet to sleep and retreat, aluminium boxes are mainly used for transport in the car and plastic boxes and transport bags for transport by car, plane or on foot.

The Best Transport Box: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a transport box

Are you thinking about buying a transport box, but are a bit overwhelmed by the choice and the different offers? Then you've come to the right place, because we'll explain what you should look out for when buying a transport box.

What is the function of a transport box? What advantages do they have compared to belt systems and barriers or unsecured transport?

According to the road traffic regulations, animals also count as cargo and must be secured. Animals must not fly through the car even during emergency braking or evasive action. The driver is responsible for securing them and must ensure that road safety is not impaired. In the event of an accident, there is not only the threat of a heavy fine but also a partial loss of motor insurance claims. How the animal is to be secured is not prescribed by law. In addition to transporting the animal in a box, it is also possible to install a barrier or to strap the dog or cat in with a suitable harness. The following table compares the conventional means of transport on the basis of essential criteria:
Criterion transport box barrier grid harness system
Stress reduction of the animal through a place of retreat yes no no
Avoidance of dirt in the car yes no no
Breakout-proof yes yes no
Can be used differently for dog training yes no yes

The transport box is for the safety of the animal and the other car passengers. It also prevents the animal from climbing around inside the car. Animals are usually optimally secured in the car by a transport box. The transport box also prevents the entire car from becoming dirty with dirt (possibly from the previous walk), saliva and animal hair or deposited faeces. In this case, the dirt is limited to the transport box, which is usually easy to clean. Apart from transporting the animal in the car, there are other uses for transport boxes. Transport boxes can, for example, also be a popular place to sleep and retreat at home. Dog crates can also be used to teach the dog to be house-trained. Another argument in favour of a transport box is that some dogs feel more comfortable in a dog box in the car. The disadvantage is that the animals are cramped in the box and the box requires a lot of space depending on the size needed for the animal. Depending on the model, (dog) transport boxes in particular are relatively expensive.

What else can transport boxes be used for?

Transport boxes can be used at home as a retreat and sleeping place. They can also be used as a sleeping place on holiday. Transport boxes can also be used for dog training. With their help, it is easier to teach your dog to be house-trained.

Can I rent a kennel?

Yes, you can rent a crate. This applies in particular to transport boxes that are also approved for air travel. It is possible to have them delivered directly to your home or even to the airport.

What size should the transport box be?

A transport crate should be large enough for the dog to sit, stand and lie down without any problems. In addition, it should ideally also be able to turn around in the dog crate. The goal should be that the dog feels comfortable in its dog crate and this is not given in a crate that is too small and too narrow. However, the crate should not be too big either. It should give the dog the feeling of being in a cosy cave. In addition to body measurements, weight also plays a role in choosing the right size of a transport box. The maximum weight specified by the manufacturer should not be exceeded. In addition to the maximum weight, the size of the crate can be determined as follows:

  1. The length should be at least the length of the dog from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail + half the length of the front legs.
  2. The box should be at least twice as wide as the dog's shoulder width.
  3. The height should be equal to the height of the dog from the paws to the tips of the ears + 5cm.

Many manufacturers specify the outer dimensions of the box. Make sure that the inner dimensions are adapted to the size of your dog.

How big should a cat carrier be?

The transport box must be adapted to the size of the cat. If the box is too small, the cats will be cramped and additionally stressed. On the other hand, if the carrier is too large, the cat will not have a firm hold and will be tossed around in the curves during the car ride. A cat carrier should have at least 45 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm inside dimensions. As a general rule, the cat box should be large enough for the cat to stretch out comfortably and lie down in. It should be able to stand in the box, turn around and stretch. It is a good idea to make the carrier one size larger so that the cat does not feel cramped. If the size is suitable, a dog carrier can also be chosen.

Which box size is the right one for small animals?

In general, the question arises whether the small animal - for example the rabbit or guinea pig - will be transported alone or together with a companion. The space requirement differs according to this. For guinea pigs, transport boxes with a size of 40 cm length x 30 cm depth x 25 cm height are suitable. For rabbits, you can orientate yourself on the following minimum dimensions:

Type Dimensions
Large breeds 55 x 35 x 40 cm
Medium breeds 45 x 30 x 35 cm
Small breeds 35 x 25 x 30 cm
Dwarf breeds 30 x 20 x 25 cm

Which dog crate fits in my car? Which dog crate for which car?

When transporting your dog in a car, you should consider how much space is available and measure it carefully. Here you should actually pay attention to the outer dimensions of the transport box and not to the calculated inner dimensions.

Hund in einer Transportbox

Transport boxes are available in different sizes and designs. Both should be suitable for your intended use and provide enough space for the dog. (Photo: Tomasz Mikolajczyk / pixabay.com)

In addition, there is the question of whether you will use the transport box in one or more cars. If it is to be used in several cars, a more flexible solution (foldable transport box or plastic dog box) is certainly more suitable than a stable aluminium box.

Can transport boxes be made to measure?

Yes, there are some suppliers on the Internet who make custom-made transport boxes. When a custom-made box is made, the requirements of your dog and the conditions of the car can be taken into account. This way, the space in the boot can be used optimally.

Are there double crates for two dogs?

Yes, there are double crates for two dogs. These can be separated by a partition in the middle or by leaving out the partition, the dog crate can also be used for only one dog.

Which transport crates are suitable for air travel?

Special requirements are placed on flight crates. The flight crate must be escape-proof, leak-proof and bite-proof. Sufficient air circulation must be guaranteed. In addition, the dog or cat must have enough space in the box. If the criteria are not met, the respective airline can refuse the transport for the protection of the animal. There are special transport boxes that are IATA approved. These are approved by the airlines for transporting animals. You should look for this marking when buying a transport box that is also suitable for transport in an aircraft. Foldable transport boxes, for example, are generally not approved. With regard to size, it is important that the dog or cat can stand upright in the transport box, turn around and lie down in a natural position without any problems. Depending on the size and weight, the dog or cat may be allowed to fly in the cabin or must be placed in the transport compartment. Smaller dogs up to 6 kg and cats up to 8 kg may usually be taken along in their transport boxes in the cabin. However, the transport boxes may usually only have a size of 55 cm length x 40 cm width x 20 cm height or smaller. During the flight, the transport box is stowed in the footwell under the seat. The animal must not leave its transport box during the flight. Opening the transport box during the flight is also prohibited. In addition, many airlines only allow a certain number of animals in the cabin and avoid transporting cats and dogs at the same time. Therefore, it makes sense to register your pet as early as possible in order to have a better chance of it being allowed to travel with you in the cabin. Larger dogs weighing more than 6 kg or cats weighing more than 8 kg are transported in a special compartment in the hold. Make sure that the flight boxes for these animals are equipped with water and food containers that can be refilled from the outside. This is necessary so that the flight crew can refill or replace the water without having to open the box. Foldable boxes may not be used for transport in the cargo hold. The permissible weight in the cabin can vary between airlines, so it makes sense to check this with the airline before the flight.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of carry-on bags?

Carry-on bags are bags that you can hang around your neck and that are easy to carry. They are comfortable for your pet because they are cosy and soft. They are especially suitable for transport on foot or on public transport. The carrier bag has handles or shoulder straps and is therefore easy to carry. They are therefore particularly suitable for transporting your pet on foot. They are less suitable for transport by car, especially for longer journeys, as there is usually no device for secure fastening. In addition, these bags are not very stable. Through various openings that can be closed with zips, they offer sufficient access for the veterinarian. For small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.), transport bags are only suitable if they are sufficiently stable and can be disinfected or washed.
Advantages
  • Easy to carry - handles and shoulder strap available
  • Easy to carry even in public transport
  • Not bulky
  • Cosy, soft and comfortable
  • Several access points for the vet
  • Mesh inserts provide sufficient air
  • Easy to clean
  • Many transport bags are foldable and can therefore be stored in a space-saving way
  • Can be transported very close to the body (calming)
Disadvantages
  • Not particularly stable
  • Not suitable for transport in the car
  • For stressed cats, there is a possibility of clawing or breaking out
  • Not very escape-proof, as zips can be opened with the claws

If you decide to use a transport bag, make sure that you choose a bag with a solid bottom.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of transport baskets?

Transport baskets are usually wicker cat baskets. They look great and offer a cosy place for your cat to sleep and retreat at home. However, the cat carrier can also be used for small dogs. The basket, which is usually made of natural willow, is a classic in terms of its appearance and also looks beautiful when unused in the home. The wicker basket is very hard-wearing and can be closed by a mesh door for transport. Nevertheless, the basket is less suitable for transport. There is no fastening option in the car. These baskets are rather unsuitable for small animals, as they are gnawed on and leak when the animals urinate. In addition, they are difficult to disinfect after transporting a sick animal, which is especially important for small animals.
Advantages
  • Natural material
  • Beautiful appearance
  • Cosy place to sleep and retreat to (cave)
  • Hard-wearing
  • Robustly made with willow branches
Disadvantages
  • Less suitable for transport (no device for the car)
  • Only accessible from the front
  • Cat must be completely removed from the box when visiting the vet
  • Poorly lockable
  • Can claw everywhere
  • Difficult to clean
  • Only one handle

If you decide to use a carrier, bear in mind that it is less suitable for transport, but on the other hand it is a visually attractive place for your pet to sleep.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate transport boxes

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate transport boxes. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular box is suitable for you and your four-legged friend or not. In summary, these are:

  • Intended use of the carrier
  • Size/dimensions of the carrier
  • Weight of the carrier
  • Material/mix and design
  • Locking mechanism
  • Opening possibilities of the transport box
  • Carrying handle
  • Retaining device for the safety belt
  • Air circulation
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Suitability for certain animal species
  • Maximum animal weight
  • IATA certificate

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Purpose of the transport box

The different types of transport boxes, i.e. foldable transport boxes, aluminium transport boxes, plastic transport boxes, transport bags and transport baskets, have already been discussed in detail above. Depending on the intended use, a certain type of transport box is advantageous. So first ask yourself what you need your carrier for and what features it should have. If you mainly want to transport a large dog in the boot of your estate car or SUV, an aluminium transport box is particularly suitable. If you want a more mobile version for small dogs or cats that you can also carry, transport bags, transport baskets, plastic boxes and some foldable transport boxes are more suitable alternatives. Transport baskets are a safe and visually beautiful den for your home but are less suitable for transport.

Size/ dimensions of the carrier

A transport box always takes up a certain amount of space in the car during transport. Before purchasing a large dog carrier, make sure that there is enough space in the car for the carrier. It is best to measure the available space in the car to make sure that the assembled transport box will fit where you want to place it. If you also want to use your transport box as a retreat for your four-legged friend in the house, it also makes sense to check how large the space is that is to be used for this purpose. If the box is permanently installed in the car, bear in mind that you will lose the space permanently. Often, the transport box is available in several versions in terms of size.

Did you know that you should use a separate transport box for each animal and never transport animals together in one transport box, even for short distances? When transporting our four-legged friends, we naturally make sure that they are transported safely from A to B and that the journey in the box is as pleasant as possible. However, as unpredictable situations can occur in road traffic, for example when we have to slow down abruptly, our animals can get into a stressful situation in a confined space. If two animals are now in the box, this can lead to a long-term disturbance of the relationship of trust.

Weight of the transport box

With transport boxes, for example made of aluminium, which you leave permanently in your car, the weight does not play such a big role and rather promotes the stability of the transport box. With a mobile carrier, whether it is made of plastic or a foldable box or a bag or basket that you want to move frequently, the weight is of course also very important. The weight is especially important if you want to transport your pet on foot in the box. Here, a high weight of the box combined with the weight of your pet can be a problem.

Material/mix and design

Different materials are more suitable for certain uses than others. Fabric boxes or bags are less tear-resistant, but pleasantly soft. Aluminium transport boxes are sturdy. Plastic boxes are light and easy to clean and also have a certain stability. Transport baskets made of willow are visually particularly beautiful. Of course, you should choose your transport box according to its intended use. But the carrier must also suit you and your pet. Maybe your pet feels more comfortable in a fabric carrier than in a plastic one. Maybe you prefer to carry your pet in a plastic box because it is more stable, rather than in a fabric bag. But visual aspects may also play a role for you. You may prefer to have a visually appealing carrier in your home, or you may want to colour coordinate a carrier with your dog's appearance.

Locking mechanism

A transport box should offer your four-legged friend security and keep him safe for the time of transport. A crate that does not close properly can cause your dog to break out of the crate. As mentioned above, some cats can open zips from the inside using their claws. If you have such a clever animal, transport bags and foldable transport boxes that can only be closed with zips are out of the question. Unless you secure them with fasteners. Even with plastic crates, you should make sure that the closures are easy to operate. Especially if you put your pet in from above and you can't close the transport box, this is extremely annoying.

Opening options of the carrier

If you have a dog or cat that can easily walk through the front door of the carrier, then this point will not be of particular importance to you. However, there are animals that resist transport and do not want to be put in a transport box at all. In this case it is easier if you can remove the top of the crate and put your pet inside. Many plastic crates are made in such a way that they have an opening from the top and also from the front. Transport bags often offer this option as well. Transport baskets and aluminium crates, on the other hand, are usually only accessible through a door on the front. With foldable transport boxes, it depends on the model and manufacturer.

Carrying handle

Aluminium transport boxes usually do not have carrying handles. For transport boxes that are also used outside the car, a carrying handle makes sense. A carrying handle makes transport easier, especially if the transport box is to be used on foot over longer distances.

Retaining device for the safety belt

Carrycots with a safety belt holder are particularly easy to attach to the back seat or passenger seat. The safety belt is passed through the holder and hooked in. If you want to fix such a plastic box or another transport box on the back seat, these holding devices are particularly practical. However, a study by the German Automobile Association (ADAC) found that fastening with safety belts does not perform well, as plastic boxes can shatter in the event of a collision.

Air circulation

For a relaxed journey, it is important that your pet gets enough fresh air in its box and that the heat does not build up too much in the transport box. Therefore, make sure that plastic or aluminium transport boxes have enough ventilation slits. Transport bags and also foldable transport boxes usually offer relatively good ventilation through a mesh insert. Transport baskets made of willow usually have enough air slits due to the woven material.

Ease of cleaning

During transport, for example in the car, especially if it is associated with excitement, the animals may throw up or do their business. Here, easy cleaning is an advantage. For transport boxes made of fabric, it is sometimes possible to wash it in the washing machine and thus get it clean again. Washable materials such as plastic have the advantage that they are easier to clean immediately on site. For easier cleaning, a removable top is also helpful with plastic boxes. Some aluminium transport crates have removable, closed bottom trays that make these crates easier to clean.

Suitability for certain types of animals

Some crates are suitable for more than one type of animal. Most of the time, this distinction refers to the size of the box and gives an initial indication of whether the box is suitable for your pet in terms of size.

Kuschelnde Katze und Hund

Some crates are only suitable for certain animals. Keep this in mind when buying the right crate for your pet. (Photo: Free-Photos / pixabay.com)

Often, a transport box that is suitable for a cat or vice versa is sufficient for a small dog. Often these transport boxes are also suitable for small animals such as rabbits or guinea pigs. These are often transported in pairs and can share a transport box for larger animals.

Maximum animal weight

Just like the right size, your pet should also be the right weight for the carrier. Especially with transport boxes that are suitable for carrying, there is a permissible maximum weight that your four-legged friend should not exceed. Excessive weight can lead to the transport box no longer withstanding the weight, tearing and breaking.

IATA certificate

IATA is the abbreviation for International Air Transport Association. This is the umbrella organisation of airlines, to which 250 airlines worldwide belong. Among many other issues, IATA is concerned with the safe transport of animals. For the transport of animals in the cargo hold, IATA has specified certain requirements for the flight transport box. Besides the right size of the box, a stable box is mandatory.

If you choose a transport box with an IATA certificate, you have the advantage that you can take your animal with you on a flight, and you can also assume that the box is stable and meets IATA requirements.

Foldable transport boxes and transport bags do not have an IATA certificate because they do not meet the required stability.

Facts worth knowing about transport boxes

Finally, we would like to answer a few important questions about rose hip powder and its intake. You will find out how to fix a transport box in the car, whether you can build one yourself and much more.

How do you fix a transport box in the car?

Depending on where you transport your pet, there are different ways to attach it. If it is a transport box that is transported on the back seat, you can fasten it with the normal safety belts. Many dog crates, whether they are foldable or made of plastic, have extra devices through which you can guide and fasten the safety belt. This ensures that the transport box is held securely. However, the ADAC found in a study that plastic crates can shatter in the event of a collision, posing a risk of injury to the animal. Another option for transporting on the back seat are transport boxes that can be fastened with Isofix hooks. It is better to transport the boxes in the rear footwell, if they are small enough, than to fasten them with safety belts. It is best to wedge them in with the front seat so that they get a secure hold. Or you can position the transport box in an estate boot across the direction of travel directly behind the rear seat backrests. Rubber mats or other anti-slip mats can be used to prevent slipping. Additional securing with a sturdy partition grid is advisable here. A more stable and secure stand, however, is provided by securing with tension belts. This is used in particular with aluminium transport boxes.

Can you build a dog crate yourself?

A dog cage for the car can also be built yourself. With a little craftsmanship, you can make your own transport box out of wood and aluminium rods. Of course, you can adapt your own construction to your own needs, the needs of your dog and the space available in the car, just like custom-made transport boxes. In addition to the material costs, you will also have to do the work. You have to decide for yourself whether this is worth it. On the market there are countless variants of transport boxes in many price categories that you can use as an alternative.

How do I organise the box training in a sensible way? How do I teach my pet to go into the box and feel comfortable in it?

Not every animal is immediately comfortable or willing to enter a carrier. Many cats have an aversion to being locked in a carrier. You can provide the box with your pet's favourite blanket, so that he will perceive the scent he is familiar with. However, some training is useful to get your pet to like the crate. You should allow plenty of time for acclimatisation and not move on to the next step too soon.

Did you know that many pet owners only use the carrier for vet visits? This is a big mistake, because our four-legged friends then associate the box with the usually unpleasant visit to the vet. So that your four-legged friend does not develop a fear of being transported in a box, you should gradually get him used to the transport box. You can do this, for example, by placing treats in the box or by positioning it in any place in the home that is easily accessible for the animal. In this way, the box will become a familiar element and will not cause your four-legged friend to panic when it is visible.

Your pet should have a positive experience with the box. This is easier if your pet is still young and has not had any bad experiences with a transport box. For cats, it can be useful to rub valerian root on the blanket that you put in the box, as cats love the smell and this can increase their interest in the transport box. First place the transport box in a familiar environment and motivate your dog or cat with treats or toys to get into the box. Only close the transport box when your pet is no longer afraid of the box and voluntarily goes into the box and lies down there. You should only close the door for a few seconds at the beginning and increase the time periods with increasing training. If possible, the dog should associate the first journeys in its transport box with something positive. It is better to make a short trip to the dog run than a trip to the vet. As transport almost always means stress for cats, you should avoid unnecessary trips with your velvet paw. In the case of small animals, the transport box can be integrated into the enclosure as a fixture, so you don't have to get the rodents used to the transport box.

Warning against heat stroke

Even if you have found the right transport box for your pet, do not leave it alone in the car in summer. Every summer, many animals die of heatstroke in their owners' cars. This can also happen during a short shopping trip. Temperatures inside a parked car can rise sharply within a few minutes. This can cause severe brain damage or death to your pet. So don't leave it alone in the car.

(Cover photo: unsplash / Erda Estremera)

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