Most of the time, the answer is yes, but it depends on your airline and type of air travel. Finding an airline approved carrier with wheels can be difficult. IATA has strict rules when it comes to pet cargo carriers and checked baggage containers. If your pet is traveling in cargo, the wheels must be removable. Rules regarding in-cabin flight are more lenient, but you should still check with your airline.
Wheeled pet carriers are available for all types of pet travel, but they must adhere to IATA’s restrictions. Below, we have three excellent options for in-cabin wheeled carriers and two kennels which feature removable wheels—perfect for pet cargo transport.
In-Cabin Wheeled Carriers
Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Pet Carrier; $119.95 on Amazon
If you travel with your animal with enough frequency, you’ve likely discovered that you need a different carrier for each travel method. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train, varying rules and height/weight allowances mean you may be accumulating too many pet carriers to count. If this describes your situation, the Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Pet Carrier is the solution you need. This multi-functional container is compact, comfortable, and airline approved. It can hold animals up to 15 pounds.
Our favorite feature for this carrier is its versatility. The Snoozer Wheel Around can serve as a car seat, a backpack, a rolling pet carrier, and a bed. It comes in two sizes, several colors, and is crash tested at 30mph. It features mesh on three sides, a multi-stage telescope handle, lots of ventilation, and microfiber material. The carrier easily transforms into a backpack for optimal convenience. For all your travel-related needs, this 4-in-1 container is the answer.
Sherpa on Wheels; $68.99 from Amazon
At a cool $70, the Sherpa on Wheels clocks in as one of the most affordable wheeled carriers available. This is an excellent option for frequent flyers who struggle with heaving Fido around the airport. The carrier features recessed wheels for an easy-glide motion and an adjustable shoulder strap which converts into a padded pull handle. It fits pets up to 22lbs who are less than 19” in length and 9.5” in height. The carrier itself measures 20” x 12.25” x 10.5”.
The Sherpa on Wheels guarantees airline approval. In fact, they even have a program; the Guaranteed-On-Board Program means this carrier is approved for use on any major airline. If your pet is refused, you are eligible for a full refund. The container features four mesh panels for ventilation, roll down privacy flaps, top and side entry with locking zippers, and a machine washable faux lambswool liner. If this sounds like the carrier for you, we recommend checking the weight allowance for your airline; the Sherpa on Wheels is just over 5lbs, which is heavier than most carriers.
WPS Wheeled Pet Carrier; $94.99 from Amazon
Similar to the Sherpa on Wheels, this airline approved pet carrier with wheels is extremely spacious and durable. The newly upgraded design is perfect for anxious and eager pets who may try to escape from their carrier while in the airport. The WPS Wheeled Pet Carrier is composed of metal and durable materials, offering maximum strength. Pet parents can choose between using hand-carry straps, shoulder straps, and the pull strap. This is a TSA approved pet carrier, and the compact size ensures it will fit in the space below most airline seats.
This carrier features meshed fabric to ensure proper ventilation. Additionally, the carrier has six wheels; this adds weight, but allows for maximum sturdiness. You can also use this carrier in the car; it includes straps and a seatbelt for added security during motion, and the container itself is collapsible and foldable. As with the Sherpa on Wheels, we recommend checking your airline’s in-cabin pet weight allowance. This container is a heavy 7 pounds, which means your pet will need to be at or under 15 pounds to fly with most commercial airlines.
Cargo Pet Kennels with Removable Wheels
Skudo Plastic Pet Carrier—From $25.19 from Amazon
The Skudo Plastic Pet Carrier boasts all necessary features for an airline-approved cargo kennel. This model includes removable wheels and a pull handle, significantly reducing the strain of hauling a heavy, cargo-bound animal through an airport cargo facility. The wheels and handle make moving this kennel a breeze, and their ability to be removed makes the container IATA-compliant. The container is available in six separate sizes and boasts a traditional handle, built-in hooks for a shoulder strap, easy snap-lock buckles, ventilation on all sides, and a durable plastic shell.
Cargo travel requires metal screws and food/water dishes for optimal safety and comfort. If you opt for the Skudo Plastic carrier, you will need to purchase your own metal screws (the crate comes with plastic) and food bowls separately.
Marchioro Clipper Ithaka Pet Carrier—$233.12 from Amazon
The Marchioro Clipper is one of the most secure wheeled cargo pet containers available. In features a variety of additional accessories, including a shoulder strap, a water bottle, and a no-spill cup. This eliminates the need for pet owners to purchase these additional requirements on their own. The kennel also comes with wheels for easy transport to the cargo facility, but they can be removed upon arrival to remain IATA-compliant.
The Marchioro Clipper also features “side-clackers,” additional pins, and a spring-latch. The kennel is available in four sizes: 27.75”x19.5”x20.25”, 32.25”x22.25”x23.5”, 36.5”x25.5”x26.75”, and 41.5”x29.25”x31”.
Why Wheels Matter
When it comes to pet travel, navigating the airport can be the most difficult part of the process. If you’re juggling your carry-on, a personal item, and a pet kennel, you’ll be more susceptible to accidents—leaving something behind, dropping a fragile item, or—in the worst scenario—letting Fido out of the carrier. Wheels are the easiest way to mitigate this issue. Rolling a kennel through the airport is far easier than carrying one. Both you and your dog will be happier with this simple addition.
IATA prohibits wheels on pet cargo and checked baggage for one simple reason: they move freely while in transit. When researching crates, you should always check that the wheels are, indeed, removable. This one feature can determine you animal’s ability to fly. However, most kennel companies understand this restriction, and so most crates have optional wheels to facilitate a greater range of function.