18 min read

Moving with Pets Made Easy: Best Pet Carriers & Pet Transporters

Moving with Pets Made Easy: Best Pet Carriers & Pet Transporters

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Picture this: Your furry friends, cozily tucked in their own private spaces, calmly observing the world go by as you journey to your new abode. No stress, no anxiety, just pure comfort and companionship. Sounds paw-sitively amazing, right?

At Top Move, we’ve created an all-inclusive guide for you to discover:

Whether your pets meow, bark, chirp, or squeak, this guide will have tails wagging and whiskers wiggling with delight. And by the way, if you’re looking for a pet-friendly moving company to help with your move, try Top Move’s marketplace.

Ready? Let’s go.

The Benefits of Using Pet Carriers During a Move

Relocating to a new place entails more than just packing up your items. If you're one of the many Canadians who share their home with a pet, it's essential that they too are taken care of during this transition. One effective way is through the use of great pet carriers.

  • Pet safety is paramount when moving.A sudden stop or falling object in the vehicle can be hazardous for our furry friends roaming freely inside it. Over-the-shoulder pet carriers work great as they provide an enclosed environment, protecting them from such risks.
  • Moving can overwhelm pets due to new sights, sounds, and smells all at once - leading to high levels of stress and anxiety. In these situations, hard-sided pet carriers serve as safe havens where pets can retreat if overwhelmed. The familiar scents within these carriers help reduce their anxiety levels significantly.
  • A sturdy carrier makes transporting your pet easier, whether by car or plane (considering major airlines' guidelines). Air Canada's domestic travel rules emphasize suitable TSA-approved pet carrier doubles, making air travel smooth for both owners and pets alike.

Remember: convenience should never compromise well-being. Ensuring comfort every step of the way helps keep our precious companions relaxed even amidst significant changes around them.

Related: Dos and Don'ts When Moving with Pets

Types of Pet Carriers

When it comes to moving with pets, pet carriers play a crucial role. For those moving with pets in Canada, there are several pet carrier options available.

Hard-sided pet carriers

Known for their robust construction and durability, these are excellent choices when transporting pets over long distances. They come equipped with ventilation holes or grills that ensure proper airflow, keeping the pet comfortable throughout the journey. 

Soft-Sided Carriers

Ideal for smaller animals like cats or small dogs due to their lightweight nature. These types of pet carriers often include breathable mesh walls, which offer visibility and breathability but may not provide as much protection as hard-sided versions.

Fashionable Pet Tote Bags

For those who value style alongside functionality, fashionable tote bags can be an ideal choice. While they might not be suitable for larger breeds, these chic options work well with small ones and usually feature adjustable straps, making them easy to carry around.

Car Seat Pet Carriers

If you’re traveling far on a road trip, you might want your pet by your side for the ride. For pets who enjoy car rides, car seat carriers provide safety and comfort during travel in vehicles.

Airline Approved Pet Carriers

If air travel is on the cards, then investing in airline-approved pet carriers can be a good idea. These carriers are specifically designed to meet specific airline regulations regarding size and safety features, ensuring your pet's safe and secure journey. Apart from being TSA-approved, they also double up as standard pet carrier handles for convenience.

Remember, no matter what type of carrier you choose, it should always allow enough space so that your beloved companion can stand up straight without hitting its head or turn around comfortably.

Choosing the Right Pet Carrier for Your Move

When it comes to selecting a pet carrier, there are several key factors that you should consider.

  • The size and weight of your pet. The ideal pet carriers must be spacious enough for your pets to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably but not too large as they could get tossed around during sudden movements.
  • Material Type: Hard-sided pet carriers offer more protection than soft ones. They're constructed with resilient plastic, which is also convenient to sanitize if any messes occur.
  • Ventilation: A good pet carrier should have plenty of mesh panels or holes for air circulation. This ensures your furry friend can breathe easily while in transit.
  • Safety Features: Look out for additional safety features such as secure locks or seatbelt loops in airline-approved pet carriers like Diggs passenger carrier, which ensure that your animal stays safe during moving.

Remember, each animal has unique needs; hence, what works well for one might not suit another, so always keep this in mind when making your selection.

Top 7 Pet Carriers in Canada

1. The BurgeonNest Carrier (For Cats & Small Dogs)

The BurgeonNest Pet Carrier promises a blend of comfort and convenience for your feline or canine companion as you transition to new surroundings.


  • Airline Friendly: Sized perfectly for most airline under-seat compartments, making your Canadian move smoother.
  • Light & Sturdy: Weighs only 2.5 lbs but with a robust frame fortified by memory metal.
  • Accessibility: Offers three doors for easy access and no-fuss pet placements.
  • Safety First: Anti-slip zippers ensure your furry friend can’t make an unplanned escape.
  • Functional Side Bag: Handy for stashing essential items like food, treats, or a folding bowl.
  • Easy Aftercare: Wash, fold, and store with ease after every use.

Top Move Tip: Introduce your pet to their carrier several weeks before moving. It acts as a comfort zone during the hustle and bustle of the transition.

Customer Reviews Snapshot (pulled from Amazon)

  • For Travelling: 4.8/5
  • Lightweight: 4.7/5
  • Comfort: 4.5/5
  • Sturdiness: 4.4/5

2. Petmate Two-Door Small Dog & Cat Kennel

Setting the gold standard in pet carriers for over half a century, Petmate unveils a two-door kennel designed with your pet's comfort and safety at the forefront.


  • Color & Material: A sophisticated coffee hue in a durable plastic build.
  • Dimensions & Weight: Measuring 48.3L x 42.6W x 36.8H cm and weighing in at 4.95 pounds.
  • Ideal for Small Breeds: Perfect for dogs and cats weighing 10-20 lbs.
  • Air Travel Ready: Ergonomic comfort-grip handle combined with ventilated sides ensures a pleasant journey.
  • Unique Top-Load Entry: Ensures effortless pet placements and removals.
  • Safety & Durability: A steel front door with a trustworthy latch and the robust wing nut and bolt design keeps pets secure.
  • Comfort for Pet Parents: Easy-squeeze door latches and a well-designed handle ensures a stress-free experience.
  • Visibility & Ventilation: Grated steel doors and vented sides maintain an airy environment for pets.

Top Move Tip: For hard-sided carriers like the Petmate, always ensure they are placed on a stable surface during the move. Their solid structure, while protective, can make them more prone to sliding or tipping during sudden stops or turns in a vehicle. Place toys or treats inside to make it inviting.

Customer Reviews Snapshot (pulled from Amazon):

  • Easy to Clean: 4.6/5
  • Easy to Assemble: 4.6/5
  • Sturdiness: 4.6/5
  • Durability: 4.5/5

3. LIONROGE Double-Compartment Pet Rolling Carrier

For those planning a move or just an adventure with multiple pets or larger ones, the LIONROGE Double-Compartment Pet Rolling Carrier might be a lifesaver. Moving can be stressful, especially with pets. This carrier eases the journey, making it both comfortable for your feline or canine pals and convenient for you.

Key Features:

  • Double Compartment Design: Whether you've got two small pets or one medium-sized companion, this carrier can adjust. With the option to remove a divider, you can switch between double or single compartments swiftly.
  • Material & Durability: Made of cation linen and high-grade polyester, it promises durability and resistance against scratches.
  • Breathability & Comfort: Five mesh windows ensure your pets breathe easy and stay calm, while two plush mats offer them a soft, safe space to rest.
  • Mobility: The telescoping handle and smooth-rolling wheels make navigating through airports or sidewalks a breeze. For those who move or travel frequently, this is crucial.
  • Convenience: Comes with multiple carrying options, two spacious pockets for supplies, and a safety rope to ensure pets remain secure.

Top Move Tip: Hard journeys can unsettle pets. A spacious, breathable carrier like this, especially designed for multiple pets, can minimize their stress. When you're on the move, ensure regular breaks for your pets to stretch and hydrate.

Customer Reviews Snapshot (pulled from Amazon):

  • Comfort: 4.6/5
  • Sturdiness: 4.3/5
  • Durability: 3.6/5

4. Petsfit Expandable Cat & Dog Carrier

Relocating or traveling with pets is a significant concern for many. The Petsfit Expandable Carrier provides a solution that combines convenience and comfort, ensuring your pet feels secure during transit. 

Key Features

  • Expandable Design: Initially measuring 17"Lx 11"Wx 11"H, it expands to 20"Lx17"Wx11"H, providing your pet with a roomy space to sprawl out and relax. This flexibility makes it versatile for different trip needs.
  • Material & Structure: Crafted from durable oxford cloth, the carrier promises longevity. Anti-scratch ventilated mesh ensures proper airflow while a sturdy wire frame prevents collapse. A washable plush pad at the base ensures comfort.
  • Convenience & Functionality: Its lightweight design (around 2.5lbs) accommodates pets up to 14lbs. Beyond its expandable feature, the carrier can be folded flat for easy storage. Self-locking zippers ensure your pet stays secure, while a detachable strap allows you to slide it over luggage for effortless mobility.
  • Travel-Ready: This airline-approved carrier adheres to most airline size regulations, designed to fit comfortably under airplane seats. This ensures peace of mind when taking your pet on flights.

Top Move Tip: Ensure your pet is well-hydrated and fed a light meal about three to four hours before placing them in the carrier. This can help reduce any discomfort during the journey.

Customer Reviews Snapshot (pulled from Amazon):

  • Comfort: 4.7/5
  • For Travelling: 4.7/5
  • Sturdiness: 4.7/5
  • Light weight: 4.6/5

5. Texsens Bird Carrier Backpack

Don’t worry, this pet carrier listicle isn’t just about cats and dogs.

Got a bird? No problem.

​Journey confidently with the Texsens Bird Carrier Backpack, specifically tailored for bird enthusiasts. This lightweight, hands-free carrier combines convenience with style, making trips with your feathered friend as simple as a walk in the park.

Key Features:

  • Optimal Comfort & View: With large mesh areas on three sides, this carrier provides excellent ventilation, ensuring your bird's comfort. The wear-resistant PVC front view offers a 180-degree panoramic view, so your bird won't miss a thing.
  • Safety & Privacy: The backpack's additional fabric shade shields your bird from harsh sunlight, wind, and rain. If your bird gets anxious, lower the curtain to provide a calming privacy.
  • Convenience: Featuring an extra side entrance for easier accessibility, the backpack also includes a toy hanging loop inside, letting you entertain your bird during travels. The added side pockets can store toys, food, and personal items.
  • Sturdy Perches: Comes with two differently sized perches, ensuring a comfortable grip for your bird. The design ensures the perch remains fixed, even during movement.
  • Dimensions & Suitability: At 39.5L x 29W x 32H cm, this backpack is spacious enough for birds like the Green Cheek, African Grey, Sun Conure, and other small to medium-sized birds. Always measure your pet before purchase.
  • Quality: Constructed from durable stainless steel, this carrier is designed to last, offering value for your money.

Remember to familiarize your bird with the backpack in a safe environment before embarking on longer trips. Start with short durations and gradually increase the time, so your bird can adjust and feel secure in its new travel home.

Top Move Tip: Birds are sensitive to changes in their environment. Before setting out, acclimatize your feathered friend to the Texsens Bird Carrier by letting them spend short periods in it at home. This will ensure they are more comfortable and less stressed during the actual travel.

Customer Reviews Snapshot (pulled from Amazon):

  • Comfort: 4.7/5
  • For Travelling: 4.7/5
  • Sturdiness: 4.7/5
  • Light weight: 4.6/5

6. Petsfit Rabbit & Bunny Carrier

Stepping out with a bunny, guinea pig, or even a chinchilla? Petsfit has got you covered.

The Petsfit Rabbit & Small Animal Carrier is your go-to solution for all small animal adventures. This stylish, lightweight, and durable carrier ensures you can confidently travel with your little companion without any hassles. 

Key Features:

  • Optimal Ventilation: The carrier boasts 16 large ventilation holes on its front and back, along with two anti-bite mesh windows on both sides. This ensures a constant stream of fresh air, keeping your pet comfy and well-ventilated.
  • Stylish & Functional: Not just a pretty face, this carrier is a blend of contemporary design with practicality. Whether you're making a trip to the vet or just a stroll in the park, this carrier is designed to make your journey smoother.
  • Safety Measures: With the interior equipped with a safety leash, the risk of your pet making a surprise exit is minimal. Moreover, the soft interior mat ensures your pet is cozy during the entire journey.
  • Quick Storage: The folding design ensures that the carrier can be packed away quickly. Not in use? Simply fold it flat and store.
  • Dimensions & Suitability: Measuring at 40.6L x 22.9W x 22.9H cm, this carrier is ideal for animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and hedgehogs, weighing up to 7 pounds. As always, measure your pet before buying.
  • Quality Material: Made from Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), this carrier promises durability, making it a worthy investment for your pet's transportation needs.

Top Move Tip: Small animals often appreciate the comfort of something familiar when in new environments. Consider placing a toy or blanket from their home inside the carrier during travels. It can help reduce stress and provide a sense of familiarity.

Customer Reviews Snapshot (pulled from Amazon):

  • Light weight: 5.0/5
  • Value for money: 4.8/5
  • Comfort: 4.4/5
  • For traveling: 4.2/5

7. Penn-Plax Clear & Transparent Plastic Tank

Taking care of tiny creatures requires a specialized environment that provides safety, visibility, and convenience.

So, if you have one of the following: 

  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Fish
  • Frogs
  • Newts
  • Snakes
  • Hermit Crabs
  • Bugs
  • Small Lizards
  • Spiders

The Penn-Plax Small World Habitat is meticulously crafted to become the ideal abode for your petite pets.

Key Features:

  • Versatile Use: Whether you need a temporary space for your hamsters, a quarantine area for new pets, or a transportation tank for live food, this 1-gallon habitat has got you covered. Suitable for a range of small animals including hermit crabs, fish, frogs, snakes, and more.
  • Practical Design: The cover, made with slotted plastic, ensures your pets receive ample ventilation. The central flip-top feeder is crafted to accommodate larger food items, or just about anything you'd like to place within.
  • Easy Transport: With a sturdy and easy-carry handle, transporting your little friends from one place to another becomes a breeze.
  • Dimensions: The habitat measures 10”L x 5.43”W x 6.26”H overall, with the flip-top feeder sizing up at 5” x 3.5”. The handle itself is 6” x 2.25”, allowing for a comfortable grip.
  • Color Options: While the tank itself is transparent for clear visibility, the plastic lids are available in a variety of colors: Red, Green, or Blue. However, they are sent out at random, adding a touch of surprise to your purchase.

Travel Tip: If you're using the Penn-Plax Small World Habitat for transportation, ensure to make the journey as smooth as possible. Avoid rapid movements and keep the environment stable to minimize stress for your critter. The last thing you want is for your little guy to get lost in your bags.

Customer Reviews Snapshot (pulled from Amazon):

  • Easy to clean: 3.7/5
  • Sturdiness: 3.1/5
  • Value for money: 3.0/5
  • Durability: 2.9/5

How to Use Pet Carriers Safely During a Move

Moving can be an anxious time for pets. The correct use of pet carriers, however, can help ease some of this anxiety.

Acclimating Your Pet to the Carrier

The first step is getting your pet comfortable with their carrier before moving day arrives. Leave it open in a familiar area so they have ample opportunity to explore and get used to its presence on their own terms. To make it more inviting, consider adding items that smell like home such as blankets or toys inside.

Packing Essentials Inside The Carrier

In addition, packing essentials within reach could prove beneficial during transit times. This includes food and water along with comfort items such as favorite toys or treats. But remember not to overpack; too much weight may result in discomfort for your furry friend.

Safety Measures While In Transit

During travel, ensure that the carrier is securely fastened using seat belts if you're traveling by car or held steady if being carried manually—your dog's safety should always come first. Avoid placing anything heavy atop which might cause harm while also ensuring never to leave them unattended inside any vehicle at all costs.

Care After Arrival

Upon reaching your new destination, give them plenty of space and time to adjust after letting them out from their cage - this will aid in reducing potential stressors associated with introducing them into unknown environments suddenly.(Humane Society).

Top Pet Transporters in Canada

emBARK Pet Transport

emBARK Pet Transport is a pet transportation service located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada that offers local, national, and international pet shipping and relocation services. They have years of experience and provide high-quality services to ensure that your pet travels comfortably and safely. Their team of pet shipping experts has coordinated countless travels for animals from all over the world, including Canada’s Northern Territories, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, the European Union, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, South America, Africa, and even war-torn countries in the Middle East.

Their team will walk you through every step of the process, from getting properly vaccinated to meeting customs requirements and updating your vet certificates. They can even arrange local transportation anywhere in the world using their reputable industry contacts. If you need to transport your pet to or from Canada, emBARK Pet Transport is a trusted company that can handle all of your pet transportation needs.

emBARK Pet Transport

Monday-Friday, 8 am–6 pm | Saturday-Sunday, Closed


Homes Alive Pets

This Canadian pet store offers a wide range of pet supplies, including food, toys, and accessories for dogs and cats. They are committed to providing high-quality products at competitive prices and offer a price match guarantee to ensure that their customers always get the best deal. They have a wide selection of products from top brands in the industry, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best for your pet.

In addition to their wide range of products, Homes Alive Pets also offers a selection of pet carriers for safe and comfortable transportation of your furry friends. They have a variety of sizes and styles to choose from, so you can find the perfect carrier for your pet’s needs. Whether you’re taking your pet on a trip or just to the vet, Homes Alive Pets has the right carrier to make the journey as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.

Homes Alive Pets 

19888 Langley Bypass Unit 200, Langley, BC V3A 4Y1, Canada

Monday-Saturday, 8 am–10 pm | Sunday, 9 am–7 pm


Your Dog Butler 

Your Dog Butler is a top-rated pet transportation company in Canada that offers a wide range of services to pet owners. Their Pet Taxi service is ranked number #1 by pet owners in Canada, and they treat your pets as if they were their own. They provide private rides for your dogs and cats, with all breeds and sizes welcome in their spacious, comfortable vehicles driven by experienced drivers.

They also offers pet relocation services that are easy to understand and stress-free. Relocating your pet to another country can be very stressful and confusing as every country has its own rules and regulations for entry. Their concierge team is here to manage the whole process for you, ensuring your pet is safe and comfortable in their private Pet Taxi ride, where their drivers focus on your pet. With their worldwide partners, they can provide VIP Services, including Airline Reservations, Crate selection, Pet health Documents, Passports and Certificates, Custom Brokers for Canadian Customs Clearance, Boarding Options while in transit, and Assistance with CFIA requirements. If you need to transport your pet over the Canadian/US border, you can count on them to manage the team of transporters and brokers to successfully bring your pet home.

Your Dog Butler

2300 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 1E4, Canada

Monday-Friday, 8 am–7 pm | Saturday, 9 am–2 pm | Sunday, Closed


Moving With Pets? Get the Right Help on Top Move

All in all, the journey of relocating or merely traveling with your beloved pet doesn't have to be daunting. From feathered friends to tiny critters, there's an ideal carrier out there tailored to their unique needs.

As you prepare for your next adventure, remember that comfort, safety, and adaptability are key. Don't forget to familiarize your pet with their new travel home in advance to ensure a smooth transition.

And if you’re looking for an end-to-end moving solution, Top Move is a fantastic platform to find a pet-friendly moving company.

Safe travels to you and your furry, feathery, or scaly companions!

Let us transport your pet

Our pet transport service is trusted by thousands of pet owners just like you. Door-to-Door Transport. Same Day service. Any Pet Type.
9.5 · 212 reviews

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