Sometimes it's just more convenient to carry your dog than walk her, especially when there's a lot of people, bikes, and/or car traffic coming and going on your path. But there are other reasons as well....
Suppose, you are in a hurry and you don't want your dog to stop and sniff at every tree. Or you're taking your dog to the vet and you don't want her pulling you in the opposite direction when you get out of the car. Or maybe your dog is tired of walking, or old and achy, or he's a puppy and is too young to socialize with other dogs. Then, of course, there are some vendors that don't allow dogs (but they won't complain if your dog's stuck on your body).
No matter what your reason, if you need to carry your dog, there's no better way to carry her than in a hands-free dog carrier that keeps her snug and safe against your chest or back and helps you balance your dog's weight between both sides of your body.
Before you decide that a dog carrier is the way to go, you should know that carriers are mostly for small to medium dogs. You may think you can carry a 60 pound dog on your chest or your back, but make sure the carrier can handle that much weight.
Some back and chest packs for dogs have holes at the bottom for your dog's legs to come through, like a baby chest carrier. This position is most comfortable for a dog, so you should look for this feature before you purchase one.
Here are some very popular dog carriers, each with some pretty nifty features. Some of them say they are 'airline friendly,' but these carriers don't seem to be sturdy enough for airline travel. You should always contact the airline to inquire about your dog carrier to make sure it will be approved to carry.
Outward Hound makes a good product and the Kyjen PoochPouch is a very popular item. It's lightweight, yet sturdy, with lots of comfy padding for you and your dog so your walk or hike will be comfortable for both of you. You can wear the PoochPouch on your chest or your back, as there is a hook within the sack that clips to your dog's collar or harness (I prefer that a dog wear a harness for stability with this type of carrier.) to hold her in the carrier.
The PoochPouch is great for small dogs, say up to 7 or 8 pounds as, according to customers, it runs a bit small. It has strong mesh sides to keep the temperature comfortable inside the carrier. The adjustable straps are wide and padded for your comfort; they can be worn straight up and down or criss-crossed.
Note that it does not have holes for a dog's legs; I prefer the carriers with leg holes for the back legs, as they make it easier to keep your dog balanced as you move, although not many customers complain about them not being a feature of the PoochPouch.
The Canine Sport Sack is also very popular and it can tolerate heavier dogs than the PoochPouch above - say up to around 30 pounds. (See here for measuring instructions.) It comes in four sizes and 5 colors! The Sack doesn't have leg holes for your dog, but it does sell a Booster Block which can lift a short-bodied dog up to three inches.
Booster Block to raise dog in the Canine Sport Sack
The Canine Sport Sack is nice and airy and has pockets for water bottles and valuables, should you choose to keep them inside.
The Canine Sport Sack also has a collar clip inside and adjustable side pockets to carry a variety of small items. This carrier is very sturdy and is one that is "airline friendly,' according to the manufacturer, but DO CALL to make sure.
This PetAmi Carrier Backpack is an alternative to the other carriers listed here, in that it has a closed top, front, and sides. There is an internal harness, so you can open the top as you carry your pet unless you have a Houdini like I do. The PetAmi is a nice light, but sturdy, backpack. There is plenty of ventilation. It comes in black, dark gray, light gray, royal blue, pink, purple, and red. It measures 11.5 inches long by 9 inches wide by 16 inches high. The PetAmi Carrier Backpack only comes in one size.
The Cozy Cabin is nice and light and probably not for dogs over 10 pounds, judging from customer comments. Nevertheless, the Cabin comes in four sizes (see chart) and five colors - black, blue, green, orange, and rose. Though the neckline looks a little like a choker, it is adjustable, and there is a collar clip on the inside, so you don't have to worry about your dog jumping out. If you're not going on a major hike, this might be a good choice - the pockets are not sizeable enough to hold much. If you don't find the size and color of the Cozy Cabin, try this link to Mogoko; its dog carrier is remarkably similar! Check out the dimensions of each size and make sure the Cozy Cabin will fit your dog and you!
The NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier, unlike the carriers above, has four openings for your dogs legs. This does give you and your dog a feeling of security as your dog's position balances both of you. Because the NICREW is not as supportive as the three legless style shoulder carriers above, I would keep your pup weight down to 8 pounds, even though I've seen photos of pretty large dogs in the promotional copy and customers also say the carrier is fine for larger dogs. Apparently, this new version of the NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier has shoulder pads to keep the pain in your shoulders to the minimum. The NICREW comes in four sizes and three patterns - black, denim, and stripe. (See photo at beginning.) If you can't find the size and color you like, check out this page for identical styles.
This looks pretty cool, doesn't it? It's not something I would take hiking, but the sPETyle Hands Free Reversible Pet Bag Sling Carrier may be perfect for taking a stroll around a park or going to a street fair! It comes in medium and large and the large holds up to 15 pounds. It is available in two reversible color combinations: brown/gray and cream/pale blue.
There are straps inside sPETyle Hands Free Reversible Pet Bag Sling Carrier that hook to your pet's leash so she can't jump out. Customers like the quality of the cotton material and like the adjustable strap so you can carry your pet high or low.
If you have a small dog, a front pack or backpack carrier is a great thing to have around for just that occasion when you want to bring her with you, but not on a leash!
That's the buzz for today!