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How to Choose The Best Small Dog Carrier Sling

The best dog sling carrier for walks, travel and car

How to find the best dog sling carrier for your pup

Is there anything better than spending the day with your furry best friend? We know, we know - it's the best!

But as EVERY small dog owner knows, there's always a time in the day you need to carry them...  but which small dog carrier sling bag is the best? 

Read on for everything you need to know about small dog carriers - PLUS our recommendation for the best dog carrier sling ever!

Table of Contents

Buyer's Guide:
What to look for in a dog carrier sling

Strong material

First things first - make sure the material of the carrier is durable and tough. You want to be sure your baby is safe for years to come.

Adjustable Shoulder Strap

One of the most important features of any dog carrier bag is the shoulder strap - specifically, you want to be sure it's adjustable. That way, you're guaranteed the perfect fit, whether you wear it on your shoulder, or as a cross-body dog carrier bag.

Good Ventilation

Warm weather is the time you're most likely to bring your dog on adventures, so check the ventilation on the dog carrier sling you're going to purchase - if it has a large ventilation panel for maximum comfort, it's a winner!


Make sure the small dog carrier sling you choose is packable and portable - so you won't hesitate to bring it everywhere, and you'll always have it when you need it (no schlepping required).


Trust us - you want a lightweight dog carrier bag. Why? Because the last thing you want is to carry a heavy carrier all day long. So look for a lightweight dog carrier sling - and you'll both be happier.

Winner: PocoPet
Best Overall Dog Carrier Sling

best small dog travel carrier sling bag
pocopet small dog carrier sling bag review
The PocoPet Packable Dog Carrier is the winner hands-down - this small-and-mighty dog carrier sling has it all, in a compact and lightweight design!

The PocoPet folds into a small pouch (the size of a deck of cards), then opens to hold dogs up to 15 pounds, and 12 inches from chest to rear (excluding neck and tail).

Just clip it to your leash (or toss it in your bag or car), and head out on your next adventure!
 Small size
 Light weight
 Durable construction
 Adjustable shoulder strap
 Mesh ventilation
 Safety collar clip
 Treat pocket
 Best dog carrier for travel
The PocoPet Packable Dog Carrier is the winner hands-down - this small-and-mighty dog carrier sling has it all, in a compact and lightweight design!

The PocoPet folds into a small pouch (the size of a deck of cards), then opens to hold dogs up to 15 pounds, and 12 inches from chest to rear (excluding neck and tail).

Just clip it to your leash (or toss it in your bag or car), and head out on your next adventure!

Searching for the best dog sling carrier? Here's what you need to know:

Are dog sling carriers safe?

Yes, it's safe to use a dog sling carrier for your puppy or small dog - as long as you follow the manufacturer's weight and size requirements, which should be clearly marked on their website.

Are dog slings safe for puppies?

We all know puppies can be wiggly, slippery little ones! Only you can decide if a puppy sling carrier is right for them. Always be realistic about how calm (or not!) they are, and if necessary, wait for them to calm down before using a puppy carrier sling.

Will my dog fit in a dog carrier sling?

Every dog carrier is different, so pay careful attention before purchasing. Read the tags/description to ensure the weight limit and size work for your dog. In general, most carriers only hold dogs up to 15 pounds - mostly because it's difficult to carry heavier dogs!

How do I make a dog sling carrier?

There are a lot of ways to make a DIY dog carrier - do a few internet searches to find the one that's right for you. Most require a beginner or intermediate level of sewing skill, but we've also found instructions for making a dog carrier out of a scarf!

Are front facing dog carriers safe?

In general: yes, front-facing dog carriers are perfectly safe. However, you'll need to assess for yourself if your dog is comfortable in them. Many dogs find them uncomfortable, as the are in an unnatural position (legs sticking out) for a prolonged period of time.

What's the best travel dog carrier

The best dog carrier for travel is the one that fits your needs - and every situation is different. If you're taking a car, airplane, or RV trip, you can get a carrier that's well padded and has structure, while a backpacking trip required an ultralight, portable travel dog carrier that doesn't take up much space. 

Which type of dog sling carrier is the best?

To be perfectly honest, there are different small dog carriers that are best for different situations. A dog carrier that's made for hot weather will be different than one that's made for cold weather. If you drive a car often, your favorite carrier may be different than for someone who takes the subway. Assess your own life situation and pick one or two carriers that work best.

Are sling carriers comfortable for dogs?

Most dog carrier companies have designed their products with your dog in mind - so yes, that sling dog carrier you're eyeing will probably be comfortable for them! However, pay attention to your dog, as they'll tell you for sure if they're comfy or not.

Do I need a car dog carrier?

It's always a good idea to keep a dog carrier in your car.  You might be out running errands or on a road trip, and it's too hot (or cold) to leave your dog alone in the car. By having a car dog carrier, you'll be prepared for any situation that arises.

Are dog carrier backpacks safe?

To be honest, we don't usually recommend a dog backpack carrier (unless there's a specific reason you need one). Here's why: since your dog is placed behind you, you can't tell if it's uncomfortable, hot, or needs attention. The best you can do is keep taking the pack off every few minutes, and checking on your dog - which is super inconvenient! For this reason, we always recommend a "dog sling carrier" style. 

What size dog carrier can I take on a plane?

Every airline has their own rules (and different seat sizes and heights), so you need to search their website to ensure your carrier fits - BEFORE heading to the airport!

Are dog carriers with wheels good or not?

For certain situations, we love dog carriers with wheels - especially for traveling through an airport, or for urban city pet parents. For most other situations, it's not necessary to buy a dog carrier that has wheels.

What's the best dog carrier for bikes?

Always be careful bringing your dog on a bike, and if your dog is especially wiggly or active - it might be better to wait until they've chilled out a bit. You don't want to lose control of your bike if your dog tries to jump out! That being said, if you purchase a dog carrier for your bike, make sure it has adequate padding, and a "harness clip" that's short enough your dog can't jump out of the carrier.

What's the best dog carrier for hiking?

The key with hiking gear is keeping it lightweight - for that reason, the dog carrier that's best for hiking and camping is definitely the PocoPet Packable Dog Carrier. Weighing just 2.5 ounces, it's light as a lime, and small as a deck of cards - and opens to hold dogs up to 15 pounds.

Best Warm Small Dog Carrier for Winter

best warm small dog travel carrier sling bag for winter
Add the cozy fleece liner to your PocoPet Carrier, and you have the best warm small dog carrier! Simply snap it in when the day is cool, and snap out as the temperature changes.
 Light weight
 Use the carrier you already have year-round
 Available in a variety of fun colors

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