The small dog carrier you choose ideally gives good ventilation to your dog, transports your dog in a safe posture, is fabricated to hold the weight of your dog's breed, is suitable for your local weather, securely restrains him, and allows you to comfortable carry your pet.
No matter which carrier you select, your dog should wear a collar of some kind and you should have a leash handy. Many small dog carriers have compartments where a leash could be stored allowing you to be hands free as you transport your pet, yet maintain a leash in the event you must take your pet out of the carrier.
Is it a good idea to put my small dog in a carrier?
It is safer for you and your dog, to use a carrier when transporting your dog outside of your home. Even if your small dog is lightweight, like a small toy dog, you should always have a carrier to transfer him to, in the event you tire and he does not have the ability to or it is not safe for your small dog to walk the distance you are traveling.
In addition, it is easier on your pet to sit comfortably in a small dog carrier than to suffer potential injury from improper handling. If you cannot properly support your small dog with one arm around his chest and the other around his back leg, serious injuries to bones and joints can occur, no matter the weight of your pet. Simply because your tiny dog is lightweight does not mean it is okay to carry your dog in any fashion, including only with an arm around his chest, as so many times toys are improperly carried placing undo strain upon their rib cages.
A small dog carrier also is an ideal mode of transportation if your small dog is a senior pet and does not have the physical capacity to keep up with you, yet loves outings. Finally, a small dog carrier can allow you to take your pet into areas normally restricted to dogs, such as the airlines or even some stores.
In addition, with proper use, a small dog carrier caters to your pet's instincts for the safety and haven of a den, and can promote calm in your pet in an unfamiliar environment. Use of a dog carrier should not be a trauma for your dog or you. It should be an enjoyable safe means of transportation for both of you.
A word of caution: when utilizing a carrier where you pet is high off the ground, choose one that has some kind of restraining leash you can snap to your pet to prevent your pet from leaping out. You cannot be certain your pet will not leap out at the site of something exciting; do not assume the height alone will keep your small dog from jumping out.
What are the different types small dog carriers?
1. Front Carriers
There are two kinds of front carriers, the infant-style (pet suspended by torso) or pouch style (pet sits in a pouch). If your pet's breed is susceptible to back problems, you should not place him in an infant-style carrier, as this can lead to spinal injuries. There is a variation of the pouch-style, known as a pet sling, which is an over the shoulder carrier.
2. Tote Carriers
Made like a regular tote bag worn on the shoulder, totes are the hottest look in carriers, having zippered windows or openings where your small dog can stick his head out. Tote dog carriers are available for small dogs of all sizes, some models holding pets from up to 18 lbs, while other dog tote carriers even holding small dogs up to 30 lbs. A tote is right for you and your pet if you can easily manage your dog's weight on a single shoulder.
3. Wheeled Carriers
Even the smallest pet can get heavy after a while. Wheeled carriers generally have a pullout handle that allows you to pull your pet around as easy as a lightweight luggage bag. The value of your choosing a wheeled carrier is that many of them tend to be versatile, operating as a backpack as well as a luggage-style wheeled carrier.
4. Backpack carriers
Backpacks come in two variations: one where your small dog faces forward and the other where your pet faces to the rear. Backpack dog carriers offer hands-free convenience. The drawback of a backpack is you are not aware of what your pet is doing so you should only get one with a built-in restraining lead to be certain your pet is safely secure.
5. Crate carriers
A crate carrier is a less intimate mode of transportation than carrying your small dog in a carrier you wear, but if your small dog is too heavy for you to carry and you want a more secure enclosure, a crate carrier is your answer. Crate carriers are available with soft sides, such as mesh, and in the more conventional, heavy-duty plastic. Heavy-duty crates are required by most airlines for domestic and international pet travel, particularly when your dog is flying in assigned places for animals near the luggage area. Soft-sided mesh crates are approved by most airlines for under seat use.
Generally, carriers that you would wear are suitable if your pet weighs no more than you could comfortably carry. Although you may desire to carry your small dog around like a kid, keep in mind that 20 pounds is 20 pounds, and although you may desire to carry your pet around wherever you travel, you may not have the physical strength to do so. A good alternative is to find a multi-functional carrier that can transform from a backpack, to a purse, to a car seat, to a wheeled carrier when you are no longer able to bear the weight of your pet.