Small Dog Carriers

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Small Dog Carriers

When you have a small dog, you get more options for moving your dog around with you than larger dog owners can take advantage of. Small dog carriers currently come in about as many different styles as wearable baby carriers, allowing you to take your small dog with you just about anywhere.

These carriers can be a great option for new puppies that need a constant sitter – as well as small dogs that miss you when you’re gone. Soft carriers generally make the best cheap carriers for small dogs, though some designer options can get pretty expensive.

However, if you are travelling by plane you need to ensure you have an approved carrier or you will get stuck at the airport – not allowed to take your dog. Check this page for information: Airline Approved Pet Carriers

Below I share a description along with a selection of different types of dog carriers for small dogs:

Shoulder Sling / Cross Body Dog Carriers

Shoulder strap purse style dog carriers are a great way to carry your dog right where you can get to him the entire time he is being carried. These carriers can be worn across the front of your body or on your side like a purse with a long strap and leave your small dog right in arm’s reach.

Cross body designer carriers for small dogs generally either have an optional closing top or remain open topped for regular access to your dog. Some of these carriers even have holes for your dog’s legs to keep him comfortable.

Small Dog Carriers Reversible Sling
Reversible Sling Pet Carrier

Black Oxford Cloth Sling Dog and Cat Carrier
Black Oxford Cloth Sling Dog and Cat Carrier

Black and white Sling Small Dog Carrier
Black and White Sling Small Dog Carrier


Backpack Style Dog Carriers

Backpack style carriers are great for providing a way to carry your small dog while you need your hands free. Most backpack dog carriers have mesh built into the sides that will let in air to keep your dog comfortable and well ventilated while you move.

These carriers generally open from the top like a traditional backpack, though some have molding that allows them to open from the sides as well.

Comfy Go Back Pack Small Dog Carrier
K&H Pet Products Comfy Go Back Pack Dog Carrier

Kyjen Outward Hound Front Dog Carrier Blue
Kyjen Outward Hound Front Dog Carrier Medium Blue

Front - Back Pack Small Dog Carrier
Front – Back Pack Small Dog Carrier


Duffel Bag Style Dog Carriers

Duffel bag style carriers are generally the most versatile for carrying a small dog comfortably. I’d specifically recommend a rectangular duffel bag with square ends, since the carriers with “A” style ends limit space too much.

Most duffel bag style carriers are air travel safe, and they frequently come with both a handle and a shoulder strap. The rectangular bottom of these small dog carriers will give your dog a good amount of space, as well. These pet carriers will usually open up through either the top or one of the two square ends.

Kurgo Wander Carrier collapsible pet carrier
Kurgo Wander Carrier collapsible pet carrier

Fashionable Small Dog Carrier Bag Tote
Fashionable Small Dog Carrier Bag Tote

Sherpa Dual Entry Duffle Small Dog Carrier
Sherpa Dual Entry Duffle Dog Carrier



One word of caution I’d mention before choosing a zipping soft style of small dog carriers:

Make sure the zipper on any carrier you choose is safely outside the carrier area, and pay attention to the style of the zipper. My cat was using a small soft style carrier in an A-frame duffel style (I don’t recommend these anymore) after a vet trip to be neutered and managed to tear his stitches on the zipper before we got him home (Pet hospital for us- he made it).

I’m pretty sure this kind of risk would exist with any zipper style carrier, and would recommend using a hard case dog carrier or simply taking your dog in on a leash (If your vet doesn’t think the light walking will rip the stitches) if you guys are going for surgery.

And remember – if you are flying with a pet – you need an approved carrier or your pet will not be allowed onto the flight. Check this page for information: Airline Approved Pet Carriers