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PetEgo’s Pet Dome: A carry-on lounge for your in-cabin dog

In September 2009, I wrote a quick post about a PetEgo carrier that I yearned for but didn’t actually need: the Pet at Work Travel System, a backpack that holds a laptop and a small dog and a collapsible crate. And there it might have ended, but for reader Christie, who wrote to me and asked whether I thought it might work as an in-cabin carrier for their dog, traveling with them to Paris. As you’ll see in the comments, I said yes, if their dog is tiny (next thing I knew, Christie reported from Paris that the bag had worked beautifully for their 15 lb. dog — not a tiny dog at all!).

Photo by PetEgo

The point of this post, though, is not to highlight my mistakes, but rather to bring the Pet Dome to your attention. The Pet Dome is the collapsible crate that’s included in the Pet at Work Travel System. You can, however, buy it separately, and I did, because I wanted to think about using it as a carry-on lounge for Chloe on future long flights.

I like the carrier we use for her (the large SturdiBag I mention so often), but the Pet Dome provides even more space — unfolded, it’s about 32″ long, 14.5″ wide (at its widest), and 14″ tall (at its tallest). As you can see from the picture, it’s a domed oval, but it stays pretty spacious until just at its ends. I cannot get a good picture of Chloe in it to save my life, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that she fits with plenty of room, and seems perfectly content to snooze in there for hours. Our cats like it too.

Folded up, the Pet Dome becomes a U-shaped object 14.5″ wide across the top of the U, 14.5″ tall from the top of the U to the curved bottom, and 2″ thick. Why not pack the Pet Dome in your carry-on luggage, and then once you’re underway transfer your dog from her carrier to the Pet Dome for the bulk of the journey? The Pet Dome has a padded and moisture-proof bottom, heaps of ventilation, and it zips closed, so it meets all the requirements of an in-cabin carrier. It doesn’t fit under the seat, but during flight you can pull your dog’s carrier out from under your seat and into your leg room anyway (on most, though not all, airlines).

As you’ll have seen from Christie’s comments, that’s just what she and her husband did on their flight to Paris, and it worked well for them. She did mention “United’s cramped leg room,” and I have to hope that they were at least traveling in Economy Plus. I can’t imagine fitting my legs and the Pet Dome in the leg room you’re given in Economy. You’d also need to be traveling with a companion, as Christie was, because the Pet Dome is so long that it takes up the leg room of two seats. If you find yourself making plans for a flight with leg room and a companion, however, give the Pet Dome a thought — on a very long trip, it’ll make a huge difference in your dog’s comfort.

The Pet Dome itself is, like all of PetEgo’s products, well-designed and -constructed. The entrance flap can be rolled up and secured with Velcro. The three support ribs are sturdy. The zippers are of good quality. The mesh is not meant to contain a dog that really wants to be elsewhere — it’s not chintzy, but a motivated dog could be through it in short order. A pad is included, and it’s thin but adequate. My only gripe with the Pet Dome is that the pad tends to shift around too much. I may well sew some Velcro tabs along the bottom edges of the pad, and glue their mates to the floor of the Pet Dome, to solve that problem.

[6/16/14 In the years since I wrote this post, I added more Pet Domes to our collection (we now own six of them), and the large size that I review here became unavailable for a while — perhaps because, as we learned, the flexible rods that support its top became brittle and broke. We replaced them, first with similar carbon fiber rods from a hobby store, and then, more successfully, with thin, flat lengths of brass. Unfortunately, because the manufacturer hadn’t anticipated a need for the ribs to be replaced, the replacements tend to slip out of their sleeves. Happily, PetEgo recently began offering the large Pet Dome again; I’ve bought one from the new batch, and I’ll let you know if the ribs are sturdier now.]

Amazon link:
Pet Dome Soft Pet Crate

8 comments

  • Kristina

    I have a question!
    Firstly: I’ve been on about 8 flights with my pup. Using the Sturdi bag. On only one flight did the carrier “fit”, many times I had to bend it and squeeze it in. However it was still large enough for pup to feel comfortable. These flights run by United, Air Tran (the best actually), Frontier, Continental. United was terrible, Continental not much better.

    During my time on these flights (except air tran) i hardly had amy foot space and Some of the flights were with better seats. What airlines are you flying that gives you enough foot space with this type of dome underneath? Or even the sturdi? I am single, so I normally would be flying alone though.

    I had another question but it’s lost me!
    Thank you

  • Hi, Kristina! Nearly always, I have to press the top of the large SturdiBag down too — not much, generally, just a couple of inches. We travel mostly on United, Southwest, American, Delta, JetBlue, and Virgin America. The difference may be that I always orient Chloe’s bag left-to-right under the seat in front of me, not front-to-back. You can see a typical picture in this post: http://www.dogjaunt.com/2011/01/update-height-of-southwests-under-seat-spaces-737-300-and-700-series/

    That leaves me, of course, with no foot room under the seat itself, but there is sufficient foot room directly below my knees for me to be comfortable. After take-off, I pull Chloe’s bag directly out, so it’s still oriented left-to-right, put it under my knees, and tuck my feet under the seat, into the space she previously occupied.

    With a Pet Dome, I think you’d really have to be in United’s Economy Plus (or a similar location on other airlines, where you have the option of buying extra leg room), or in one of the upper classes (Business and above). You’d have to stow her now-empty carrier up above, orient the Pet Dome left-to-right, and drape your legs over the top of it, sticking your feet into the spaces below the seats in front of you. It’d be snug, I have no doubt, in Economy Plus, but it’d be a breeze in the upper classes.

  • Karin

    Hello, i been shopping around for a good dog carrier who will fit under the seat. Im taking my 12 lb shih tzu overseas.

    Read so many good reviews about the sturdiBag, i know you can bend the hight of the sturdi bag but can you flex the width?

    Im gonna fly scandinavian airlines and they only allow 10″ wide carriers. So it would be 2″ to big. I really would like the size large, i think the small would be to cramp for my dog.

    Thanks for a wonderful website with GREAT information.

    sincerely
    Karin Hodge

  • Hi, Karin — Thanks for your comment, and for the praise! It’s very much appreciated. I understand your concern — however, although I can’t offer you any kind of guarantee, I would myself not hesitate to take Chloe’s large SturdiBag on an SAS flight. In my experience, width measurements have not been a source of concern for airline agents — at most, they’ve worried about length and weight — and, too, people seem to cut pet owners traveling internationally a break (or, more likely, they have pity on the traveling pets!).

  • Karin Hodge

    Hello, thanks for your input, after looking at many other pet carriers we decided on a size large sturdibag! Were flying out in december so i’ll take picture and send it to you, how the sturdibag turned out underneath the seat!

    my husband is bringing a smaller dog carrier bag as a personal carry on, just to be on the safe side. In worst case we just have to swithch her to the smaller one.

    Im also trying to find pictures of the sturdibag underneath the seats, so far i found a red sturdigbag on a southwest flight and another black bag on a southwest flight, im printing the pictures out to show the SAS personell in case if i get trouble. Do you have any other pictures from another airline with the sturdibag? I tried to do searches but cant find anymore.

    Thanks for a wonderful site with lots of info!

    Sincerely
    Karin Hodge

  • sunday

    Hi, I have a shih-tzu, he’s about 5 kilos. His normal carrier is about 40cm l x 24 cm w x 32 cm. He fits comfortably in it but that’s a day carrier where his head can stick out.

    i’m traveling back home via ferry at christmas with him back to Belfast. He needs to be in a closed carrier. I’m having a hard time picking out a carrier that will keep him enclosed but be safe. my biggest concern with this system is his safety, obviously.

    Will he fit comfortably and securely in this bag? It’s between this and the Jet Set or the Sports Bag, I have no idea!

    Thanks for your advice!

    sunday

  • Hello, Sunday — Thanks for your message. Your pup’s day carrier is pretty small, but as you say, his head sticks out of it, so it’s no wonder you’re looking for something a little larger to carry him on the ferry. The Pet Dome is not the answer — it’s a great place for your dog to lounge about in, but it doesn’t have any handles, and it doesn’t have the kind of structure that would allow it to function as a carrier. Either of the other bags you mention would work very well — indeed, I have yet to come across a PetEgo product that wasn’t well made and thoughtfully designed. Since size doesn’t seem to be an issue (the PetDome is HUGE!), you could get the Jet Set in the large size, which is just about the same size as the Sport Wagon. As long as your pet is comfortable, size-wise, you can’t really go wrong with either bag.

  • Thanks so much for your comment, Karin! This may be way too late for your use (please forgive me!), but recent posts included or linked to pictures of a SturdiBag on a Delta commuter jet, (http://www.dogjaunt.com/2011/12/readers-report-flying-with-an-in-cabin-dog-on-a-delta-crj-200-50-seater/ ), a WestJet 737 and an Air Canada A320-2 (http://www.dogjaunt.com/2011/12/chloes-clicks-this-weeks-best-dog-travel-links-26/ ). It’s a good point — I need to work back through the blog posts and tag the ones with pictures of carriers under seats. Adding it now to the to-do list!

    Please do send pictures, and I hope that your travels go smoothly!

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