The Ultimate Guide to Buying Soft Sided Dog Crates

When you’re traveling with your pet, whether it is a quick trip to the store, a visit to the vet, or if you’re traveling via airline, you want not only to keep your pet happy and comfortable, but they have to be safe as well.  There are many soft sided dog crates, but, how can you tell which one is best for your pet?

There are many kinds of dog crates, and which one you choose all depends on what the crate has to do.  If you are taking a flight, the carrier must be airline approved.  If you are going to the vet or somewhere else in a car, it has to have a seatbelt latch.

Of all things, safety has to come first.  As a dog owner, you already know this.  But your pet’s comfort and their feeling of being secure is just as important.  If they’re not comfortable, or if they don’t feel safe, then you will probably end up buying another kind, letting the unwanted one collect dust.

In this article, we will help you to figure out what kind of soft sided dog crate would be best.  There are many different kinds, for all sizes of dogs.  We will tell you what to look for in a soft dog crate that will ensure your pet’s safety and comfort.  We will also let you know how to measure your pet for the crate, and we also recommend a few products.

Airline Approved Soft Sided Dog Crates

When you travel via air, always remember to call the airline ahead of time, or visit their website, to see their crate requirements.  Most airlines allow any soft sided crate that is labeled airline approved, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Soft Sided Dog Crates

Soft sided dog crates are usually the best option when traveling this way when you have a pet that is small enough to fit under the seat.  Your pet will be more comfortable, and the carrier can conform to under the airline seat without squeezing them.

Soft sided crates for larger dogs are not allowed on airlines, for the reason that they have to travel in the cargo area.  Things can slide and bump into the crate, and if the sides aren’t hard, it can cause serious injury.

One of the best airline approved soft sided dog crates is the Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier.  Click on the link to read our comprehensive review.  This crate is well built, and all airlines will approve it.  It is made only for small dogs, cats, and other pets.

Soft Dog Crates for Different Size Pets

Buying the right crate for your pet is important.  If you buy one that is too small, your pet will be very uncomfortable and will fight to get out.  On the other hand, if you buy one that is too big, your pet will have too much room. You need to prevent them from getting hurt if they’re jostled about during transit.

Below are some suggestions for soft sided dog crates for your dog’s size.


Almost all soft dog carriers are available in small sizes.  This includes toy breeds, small breeds, and puppies. To be classified as small, your pet has to be under 20 pounds.


Medium dogs are those that weigh approximately 30 to 60 pounds.  A good soft sided crate for a medium dog is the Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Pet Home.  You can read our review of this crate by clicking on the link.


At a weight of over 60 pounds, a dog is considered large.  Finding a soft sided crate for large dogs can be hard. The material has to be strong enough to hold them securely.

The NOZTONOZ Soft-Krate Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home is a very good crate for any size pets, and this is one of the very few crates that will easily and comfortably hold pets up to 90 pounds.  Of course, it is not suggested that you push the 90-pound mark, depending on the purpose of the crate.

Extra Large

When you have an extra-large dog, a soft sided option may not be the best. It cannot safely support the weight of your dog.  Although made of hard plastic, the best crate for a dog this size is the Petmate Vari-Kennel Plastic Dog Crate.  To learn more about it, please click on the link to read our review.

Soft Dog Crates

How to Measure Your Pet for a Crate

When buying a crate, or carrier, of any kind, there is nothing more important than correctly measuring your pet for the perfect fit.  If your pet is too big for the crate, they will be very uncomfortable, and it will be unsafe.  When your pet is small, it will be unsafe.  There will be too much room, and they may get hurt if you’re in a car and have to slam on the brakes.

To ensure the maximum safety and comfort for your dog in a soft-sided crate, first measure your dog.  With them sitting down, measure from the top of their head (not their ears) to the floor.  Next, with them standing on all fours, measure from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail (where it connects to their body, not the tip).

Pay special attention to the measurements listed on the crate itself.  If the words ‘inside dimensions’ aren’t mentioned, then the measurements are on the outside.  Depending on the type of crate, take 2 or 3 inches off of the outside dimensions for the best fit.

When traveling, soft sided carriers are more comfortable.  There is no banging around, and no metal clanging noises, which makes it nicer for your pet.  Most of all, soft sided dog crates are very sturdy and safe, making every trip that you take together more enjoyable.