One of the biggest benefits of having an emotional support animal is your ability to take your pet with you when you travel. Whether you’re hopping in the car for a road trip or on a plane for a cross-country flight, it’s great to be able to take your ESA along for the ride. In fact, the Air Carrier Access Act means that you and your ESA are protected from discrimination from any commercial airlines, so you can take your ESA with you in the cabin of the aircraft (at no cost) even if the airline doesn’t usually permit animals onboard. But, of course, you’ll want to make sure that your ESA is completely comfortable on your journey, so check out our picks for the best pet carriers on the market!
1. Best carrier for small animals
If your ESA is a cat or a small dog (under eight pounds), you’ll flip for the Bencmate Pet Carrier. It’s lightweight but still durable and includes rings on both sides so that you can restrain the carrier with a seatbelt if you need to. It’s easy to travel with because it comes with a padded shoulder strap to make carrying your pet around even more comfortable. This is also a great option for pet owners on a budget – it’s under $20 on Amazon (and it comes in four fun colors!).
2. Best carrier for large animals
Have an emotional support animal that’s a little bigger? The Sherpa Travel Pet Carrier comes in three different sizes, so you can select the carrier that best fits your ESA’s measurements. The large version can hold pets that weigh up to 22 pounds, and it’s designed in a comfy style with a machine washable faux lambskin liner and mesh sides that let your ESA look out on the action. It runs around $40 on Amazon and has over 4,000 (!) positive reviews from customers who have fallen in love with it.
3. Best backpack carrier
Wanting to transport your ESA around in an easy way? The Pawfect Pets Carrier Backpack is ideal for pet owners going on hikes or for outdoor use (and it’s only 40 bucks!). The adjustable shoulder straps and lower back section have extra thick padding, so it’s more comfortable to wear. It’s also super easy to clean with two removable pads that can be washed with soap and water. This backpack even comes with a pet collar and leash that keeps your pet inside the carrier even if you want to let them stick their heads out. With this backpack, you’ll never have to worry about leaving your pet at home again because they can fit right on your back!
4. Best carrier on wheels
If it’s easier for you to transport your ESA in a carrier with wheels, check out the Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier. It’s a little more on the pricey side, at $68 on Amazon, but you’ll be a fan as soon as you see how easy it is to use. It can hold an animal that weighs up to 22 pounds (so it’s a great pick for larger ESAs), and it comes with recessed wheels for an easy-to-move motion when you’re on the go. You can use the shoulder strap if you’d like to carry your pet, but it also converts to a padded handle that you can use to pull the carrier along. The liner is machine washable faux lambswool, so your pet will be extra comfy. The carrier even comes with a cute “Pet on Board” flag, so all of the other travelers will know you’re wheeling around some precious cargo!
5. Best expandable carrier
The Veckle Expandable Pet Carrier is ideal for both cats and dogs (or other small animals) under 18 pounds who like to roam around a little. All four sides of the carrier can be expanded with a wire frame that holds the bag in place. There’s also a comfy pad that’s included for your pet to lie down on. The best part is the mesh windows that allow your ESA to get plenty of ventilation. This carrier is the perfect option for long trips or flights where your pet could benefit from a little extra space to move around. Plus, it’s less than $35 on Amazon!
6. Best luxury carrier
Your ESA only deserves the best, right? If you’re willing to fork over some extra cash, the Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier will set you back about $157 – but it’s well worth it! The carrier comes equipped with a padded shoulder strap, machine-washable ultra-plush bedding, and a removable privacy panel. You can even pay extra for an electrical warmer pad to keep your emotional support animal warm and snuggly! This carrier, best for animals under 17 pounds, works great for taking your pet on a plane or in the car because of its seatbelts. You and your pet will also be looking pretty stylish when you choose from one of the six cool colors.
7. Best carrier with extras
The SunShack Travel Pet Carrier (for $28 on Amazon) comes with some extras that make it a more special option. Your ESA will love the fleece padded mat that’ll make their travels more comfortable (and you’ll love that you can take it out and wash it with soap and water!). Additionally, the carrier comes equipped with a foldable silicone food and water bowl that’s lightweight, compact, and perfect to travel with. There’s even a handy zippered pocket where you can store treats or toys for your ESA.
Make your emotional support animal as comfortable and content as possible with one of these awesome pet carriers!