Dogs are cute and loyal but traveling with them can be quite annoying, especially those that are untrained. Most dogs get excited in crowded spaces and consequently hurt themselves.
Furthermore, air travel with pets can be quite taxing, from ensuring their safety to following guidelines. All of it while keeping the dogs calm which most pet owners would know is not a piece of cake.
This is where carriers come in to make things better for you. Be it visiting the vet or a casual stroll in the city, carriers can hold the pets and you can carry on without having to be on a constant lookout.
In this piece, we will let you know about the factors to consider while purchasing a carrier for your pet. Our top picks will hopefully narrow things down for you. So, let’s get right into it.
Which Carriers Are Best for Small Dogs – Our Top Picks
1. Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier – Offers Cozy Sleep To Pet On Flights
Sleepypod air in-cabin pet carrier is a standard soft-sided carrier. This classic soft-sided carrier is best for air travel. It compresses from 22 to 19 or 16 inches in length. The adjustability offers versatility and a solution to many airline size restrictions.
It can be folded flat which makes it portable and easy to store. Furthermore, It has a seatbelt strap on both sides which allows it to be safe on car seats as well.
The bedding inside is made of polyester and the exterior of luggage-grade nylon ensures durability. It comes with mobile and machine-washable ultra-plush pet bedding that gives your pet a comfortable sleep.
You can also buy an additional sleepy pod warmer kit to keep your pet a little extra cozy. It has a padded shoulder strap to keep you comfortable.
Furthermore, the mesh is tear-resistant which also provides visibility and airflow. Large zipper pockets are attached on both sides of the carrier to keep your pet’s stuff.
There’s an additional pass-through pocket at the back of the carrier, so you can secure it on the telescoping handle of your carry-on luggage. Overall this carrier is best for travel whether it be a plane or any four-wheeler.
- Durable structure
- Comfortable bedding
- Large zipper on both sides
- Adjustable length
- Thick fabric
2. BARKBAY Bicycle Basket Bag Pet Carrier- All-Purpose Bag To The Pet Beside You All Day
If you’re a bike lover and love to ride along with your dog then this bicycle basket carrier is a must-buy. This easy-to-install carrier comes with quick-release buckles allowing you to take it on and off your bike easily.
Best part? If you’re concerned about your dog jumping out of the carrier, it has an attached tether that prevents the pup from jumping out. For some extra safety on the road, tighten the draw-string mesh cover on top.
The front of the basket is made up of mesh material with a rolled-up window that allows ventilation inside the carrier preventing your pet from suffocating.
The inside of the carrier is made up of sheepskin which provides a comfy ride and the floorboard is removable making cleaning easy. It can collapse into a flat position which makes its storage easy.
Furthermore, the design of the carrier is multi-purpose. You can use it apart from just a bicycle carrier. It can be converted into a shoulder bag, backpack, and even a pet-car seat carrier. To sum it up, it can be a great daily driver to keep the company of your dog in your daily routine.
- Mult- pose design
- Removable floorboard
- Do not let the dog fall out
- Support is not as rigid
3. PetAmi Deluxe Pet Carrier Backpack – Keeps You & The Dog Comfortable
Backpacks are believed to be the most convenient, comfortable, and versatile kind of carrier. This PetAmi Deluxe pet carrier is about the size of a standard backpack with a little more depth. With the backpack design, you can enjoy the freedom of hands. Your small to a medium dog can easily fit in. If you are going on a hike or just roaming in the park this carrier will suit you the best.
If you’re going on a hike and taking your pet along, this carrier would be perfect for you. You can easily wear it for a long period of time as its super plush padded shoulder straps are comfortable for extended periods. It has buckles attached to the front of the chest and waist for some extra convenience as well as security.
This backpack-style carrier is made with durable 600D high-grade polyester which makes it last longer. Furthermore, the inner bedding is sherpa lined which makes it cozy and comfortable for your dog.
This carrier is designed firmly keeping in mind all the needs of a dog. It has two-way zipper entry doors for easy access. Plus, it has a zip-up mesh window that gives more visibility and headroom.
The reinforced structure of the backpack ensures enough space for the dog to rest and relax. It also has some added pockets to keep your pup’s goodies.
- Two-way Zipper Entry
- Mesh window for visibility
- Durable structure
- Freedom of hands
- Can be tiring when used for long
4. Pet Peppy Premium Expandable Pet Carrier -Comfortable, Ventilated & Easy To Clean
Carrying your dog all along can be tiring whether it’s a backpack that you’re carrying on your shoulder or a carrier you are holding by hand. Rollers make it relatively easy, you just need to drag it wherever you’re going. It comes with four wheels that rotate 360 degrees and a fully retractable handle that offers a smooth and easy ride.
Furthermore, the carrier is made of highly safe and durable materials. The bedding is removable and is made up of plush faux fleece that is comfortable and easy to clean. The roof of the carrier is made up of mesh, for good ventilation. It maintains the temperature inside the carrier. Plus, it includes a washable liner and a leash ring to keep your pet safe.
Moving on, It has double zippers on top and both sides of the carrier for easy entrance. Some pets can open the zip from the inside which makes it an intelligent design. The high-quality zippers don’t snag and are inaccessible to the dog. This carrier comes with a unique two-way expandable design. If you want some extra room for your dog to stretch around, open the zippers on the sides.
Another plus point of this carrier is that it can be converted into a regular carrier by removing the trolley. A soft padded shoulder strap is also added as a bonus so you can easily carry it like carrying luggage.
This carrier meets all the airline requirements and is airline-approved. It can easily fit under the standard plane seats making it best for traveling on planes.
- Meets guidelines of most airlines
- Spacious compartment
- Removable bedding
- Four wheels
5. EliteField Soft-Sided Pet Carrier – Does Not Break The Bank
Whether it be long trips or short ones this can be a really good option This soft-sided carrier is comfortable yet affordable. It is made up of durable and light-weight material that is waterproof too making cleaning easy. Furthermore, It contains removable plush bedding inside for added comfort. Removable parts also make it easy to clean and wash.
Moving on, the front and sides of the carrier feature mesh which allows ventilation in the carrier. It has a duffle-style carrying handle and padded shoulder strap so you can carry it easily. It includes exterior belt loops making it safe on car seats.
The specifications of the carriers meet the criteria of most airlines. Hence, if you are looking for a comfortable and affordable traveling pod for your dog, there is no point in searching beyond this.
- Highly ventilated
- Padded shoulder strap
- Exterior belt to tie with seats
- Not very durable
6. YODODO Mesh Travel-Safe Sling Carrier – Perfect Pod For Smaller Breeds
YODODO Travel-Safe carrier is designed for smaller dog breeds and comes in three sizes. Small sizes can accommodate up to 5 pounds while medium and large can handle up to 10 and 15 pounds respectively. The carrier is ideal for those that have breeds like pinschers, chihuahuas, toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, and other small breeds.
It has a front-bag design that offers the liberty to move your hands around while maintaining a constant look on the pet. Furthermore, it has a magic stick fixed zipper that does not open unless you open it yourself. Hence, ensuring the dog’s safety by preventing it from falling or jumping out of the bag.
Furthermore, your dog can easily poke its head out from a convenient opening. The carrier is made up of leather and mesh which keeps the dog comfortable and the carrier ventilated. Plus, it has a super-wide shoulder strap that is comfortable for you to carry for a long period of time.
Not only that, but it also comes with an adjustable buckle on the shoulder strap and a small pocket to keep your phone. Its hands-free design makes it easy for you to multitask. For those of you looking for something to take the dog on random walks, this is the best option.
- Handsfree design
- Adjustable buckle
- Dogs can poke out
- Not suitable for large breeds
Things To Consider While Getting Dog Carriers
Choosing a carrier can be a little difficult given the available variety on the market. The right carrier is the one that is comfortable, airy, and easy to carry. In essence, the carrier must be comfortable and spacious enough, so the dog can easily stretch around.
Ventilation is another important factor you should keep in mind. If the carrier isn’t well-ventilated, the dog will suffocate and become restless. Let’s take a detailed look at some of these factors in detail.
Dogs carriers are designed for varying tasks and no single carrier would be able to ace them all. You must know the potential tasks that would be taken from a particular carrier. For example, there are carriers that are designed specifically for air travel. But such carriers would not be ideal for carrying the pets on bikes or trolleys in supermarkets.
The carriers come in tons of different designs but the most common one is the duffle bag which comes with a handle and shoulder straps. Backpack, sling-style, and even the ones with wheels are available.
Each of them has a different purpose. The Duffle-bag design is ideal for air travel, while the backpack is excellent for taking a casual stroll with the pet. The latter can be used to ride on the bike as well.
Most buyers get the carriers based on looks which are also important but practicality should take the first seat. Always remember, the purpose of a carrier is to make things convenient for you. You already have a cute pet to make yourself look good.
Size of the carrier
The size of the carrier is very important. It should be large enough so your dog can easily stretch out and lay down in the carrier. If the carrier is small, it won’t be comfortable for the dog.
Consequently, the pet would become anxious and restless. Almost all manufacturers provide a size chart that should be read to select the best size for the pet.
Imagine putting a leather jacket on in the summers. Sounds ridiculous? It sure is and the same goes for the dog carriers as well. Pets have to spend hours in these carriers which makes their ventilation a non-negotiable feature. Furthermore, there are rigid criteria for ventilation for air travel with pets.
A carrier should have at least three vents on different sides for domestic travel and four for international flights. Besides this, the fabric of carriers should also be taken into account. It should be comfortable and breathable.
The Comfort of the Dog
Dogs or any other pet will remain calm as long as it is comfortable. It is especially true for pets like dogs and cats as they usually have space to roam freely. Putting them in a congested carrier can make them uncomfortable which consequently provokes them. You can avoid it by having an eye on the comfort features while looking for a carrier.
That said, comfort is not a measurable feature and is determined by a number of factors. These include size, ventilation, and cushioning of the carriers. Hence, it is important to take them into account to keep your dog calm and comfortable.
Your Own Comfort
Your own comfort is just as important as your pet. Ultimately, it is you who has to carry the carriers and if it is tiring it renders the carriers useless. The carriers should be ergonomic, have adequate paddings, and most importantly should be lightweight.
The breathability of the fabric is also important in backpack carriers as otherwise, it can produce excessive sweating which can cause a huge deal of discomfort.
Different Styles of Carriers:
As discussed earlier, there are tons of designs one can choose from but each one has a specific purpose. Let’s take a look at them to understand which is the most suitable for you.
Standard Hard-Sided Carriers
These carriers are plastic-made crates. The best part of such carriers is that they are super easy to clean and can last longer than any other type of carrier. They feature a rugged construction of the carrier that offers a bit more protection for your pet.
Such a carrier is best for traveling long distances with dogs. Smaller breeds can move freely in the crates which prevents them from getting provoked.
However, such carriers are not the best for a casual stroll or riding on bikes with pets.
Soft-sided carriers, in essence, have the same design as hard-side but the difference is such carriers employ fabric instead of plastic. As a result, the carriers are lightweight and offer versatility. You can use them to travel to supermarkets, casual strolls, and even on the airlines.
Furthermore, they are usually foldable which makes them portable and convenient to store. You can simply fold the carrier and put them in the handbag. Most owners would appreciate the convenience when it becomes too tiring to hold and permission to release the dog on a leash is available.
Wearable Dog Carriers
You must have seen mothers carrying their babies in a sling, they are available for pets too. If you have a small dog or a baby dog this option is best for you. In wearable carriers, there are two types of carriers available, a sling and a backpack. The only difference between both carriers is that one is to be worn in front and the other on the back.
Sling carriers the front bag like carriers. You can wear it on your shoulder via the strap and the dog will be secured in the bag in front of you.
Backpack carriers are just like usual backpacks in larger sizes designed according to the dog’s needs. You can wear it easily on your back.
Roller carriers are always said to be the most convenient kind of carrier. As they don’t require much effort from you to carry it. They are best for traveling, especially in airplanes.
Most pet owners would love to take their dogs everywhere they go but it is not convenient all the time. Dog carriers offer a workaround by providing a space for dogs where they can relax while you can carry them around.
The market offers a ton of options but “BARK BAY Bicycle Basket Bag Pet Carrier” is probably the most suitable one for most users because of its versatility.