The 10 Best Dog Carriers for Small Dogs of 2021

Let’s say you’re planning a trip or a stroll around town with your lovely pet, what would be the best way to carry them around without stressing yourself? Well, dog carriers were built for this specific role. They enable you to carry your dog conveniently with you to whatever part of town you’d like to view.

Unfortunately, when making a search for the best dog carriers for small dogs, you’re likely to end up disappointed with some of the suggestions you’ll come across. So, to ensure that you don’t end up losing your hard-earned cash, here is a detailed guide that we’d like you to follow.

The following few lines will teach you the following:

  • How to find affordable small dog carriers
  • Determining the right size for your pooch
  • The kind of extra features or add-ons there is to consider

At the end of the day, we hope that this information will make you a more confident shopper. And most importantly that you’ll be able to find good value for your money.

Best Dog Carriers for Small Dogs

Dog Carriers for Small Dogs 2021 – Comparison

The following list is meant to ensure that you find the best carrier for the money. So, if you don’t have the time to read through detailed reviews.

1Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers17 x 11 x 10.5 inches3.8 pounds
2AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Mesh Pet Travel Carrier13.8 x 8.7 x 8.7 inches2.3 pounds
3Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier22 x 10.5 x 10 inches5.2 pounds
4Bergan, Comfort Carrier19 x 10 x 13 inches2.1 pounds
5Outward Hound PoochPouch Dog Front Carrier8 x 11 x 10 inches1.6 pounds
6K9 Sport Sack | Dog Carrier12 x 10 x 22 inches1.2 pounds
7STURDI Products Pet Carrier17.7 x 11.8 x 11.8  inches 1.18 Pounds
8PetsHome Dog Carrier Purse, Pet Carrier 5.97 x 8.27 x 9.84 inches3.59 Pounds
9Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed17 x 17 x 13 inches5.51 Pounds
10Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack Pet Carriers15.75 x 11.81 x 7.09 inches4.41 Pounds

1. Sherpa Airline Approved Travel Pet Carrier

Traveling with small dogs has never been this easy thanks to this Sherpa pet carrier. Perfect for traveling in style either by car or plane, this carrier provides excellent comfort for your pooch.

Product Description

To begin with, it features mesh panels that ensure optimal ventilation and air circulation. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about your dog overheating while traveling. On top of that, the carrier is outfitted with locking zippers to prevent your furry friend from escaping.

In addition to that, it spots top and side entry options so you can easily load your pet inside the carrier. As if that’s not enough, the carrier comes equipped with a seat belt that also doubles as a luggage strap. Also included is a removable, soft, cozy, and machine-washable liner for extra comfort during those long trips.

Features & Benefits

What’s more? The Sherpa dog carrier features an adjustable non-slip shoulder strap along with padded support for optimal comfort while carrying it. Besides that, it has a large zippered pocket on the side designed to hold essential travel documents for your pet.


  • Backed by a one-year limited warranty
  • Available in small, medium, and large sizes
  • Comfortably carries pets weighing up to 22 pounds
  • Offers adequate ventilation


  • Cannot carry dogs over 22lbs

2. AmazonBasics Travel Carrier Soft-Sided

If you are looking to invest in a durable and reliable carrier for your pooch, then the AmazonBasics is one of the best options. Coming at a very affordable price, the carrier is made to keep your pet secure, comfortable, and protected.

Product Description

The carrier boasts front and top openings designed to allow stress-free loading and effortless entry. Additionally, it features double zippers on the top and a zipper on the front to keep the carrier secure during transport.

Also included is mesh ventilation on the four sides to allow for adequate airflow. Besides, the mesh ensures easy viewing anytime you feel like checking on your furry friend. On top of that, the carrier is outfitted with an adjustable shoulder strap for hands-free carrying.

Features & Benefits

What’s more? The carrier comes with a cozy and machine washable fleece pad that provides optimal comfort for your pet. Like most carriers, it also spots a spring wire frame that easily conforms to major airlines under-seat requirements. For safe transport, the backpack boasts a luggage strap as well as a seatbelt.


  • Durable and rugged design for long-lasting performance
  • Comes with one-year limited warranty
  • Cozy sleeping surface
  • Includes carrying handles for easy transport of pets


  • Feels way to small even at the largest size

3. Sleepypod Pet Air in-Cabin Carrier

Traveling with your dog can be quite stressful, so why not make it a bit more fun with this in-cabin carrier by Sleepypod? This innovative carrier for pups is just as practical as it is reliable.

Product Description

Similar to other carriers in this review, its top and ends are designed to open for easy access to your pooch. On top of that, it boasts larger zipper pockets on both sides where you can store important documents of your pet or even treats.

Moving on, the carrier is made with some of the best materials to ensure maximum durability and comfort. This includes ultra-plush polyester on the inside and luggage-grade nylon on the outside. But you know what the best part is? Well, it can comfortably fit pets weighing up to 18 pounds.

Features & Benefits

Also, it is built to compress from 22 inches to 19/16 inches in length. As such, you don’t have to worry about it not fitting under a plane seat. What is more, the Sleepypod Air is outfitted with straps on the sides to allow you to secure it in a car seat. More importantly, it has a safety tether to prevent pet escapes.


  • Mesh is made from tear-resistant material
  • The shoulder strap can be adjusted for optimal comfort
  • Easily folds flat for convenient storage
  • Crash tested for maximum safety in planes and cars


  • Too dark inside because of the mesh being too thick
  • Poor ventilation hence might get very hot inside

4. Bergan Soft-Sided Comfort Carrier

Looking for a soft-sided carrier that is not only comfortable for your pet but also easy to use? Well, this Bergan carrier might just be what you need. It is made to offer an unequaled dog-carrying experience that focuses on both the safety and comfort of your pooch.

Product Description

Featuring a soft fleece bed, the carrier provides extra comfort for your pet during those long road trips. On top of that, the fleece is removable for easy washing. Additionally, it boasts a side zipper opening that lets you interact and even comfort your dog while traveling.

As if that’s not enough, the Bergan carrier is outfitted with added mesh panels that allow maximum breathability and accessibility for your pooch. More importantly, it includes a rigid insert panel for maintaining the carrier’s shape.

Features & Benefits

For added safety, the carrier comes with a safety belt loop which allows you to restrain it with a car seat belt. Also included are multiple pockets that offer more storage space for your pet’s belongings. Last but not least, it boasts an adjustable and padded shoulder strap for added comfort.


  • Reflective strips for extra safety
  • Airline compliant
  • Carrier is Phthalate and Lead safe
  • Superior ventilation


  • Mesh material look very flimsy
  • Zippers are made of plastic

Also read: 10 Best Cat Calming Spray – As Reviewed By Unbiased Pet Experts

5. Outward Hound Front PoochPouch Carrier

With this Outward Hound carrier, you no longer have to worry about leaving your furry friend at home while you’re out. It is built to fit most small breed dogs and some medium breed dogs not weighing more than 20 pounds.

Product Description

The sides are constructed from lightweight mesh to allow for extra breathability while keeping your pooch cool. On top of that, it is made of nylon fabric that is designed to be water-resistant for added durability.

Moving on, the carrier spots one zippered pocket on the front for storing extra toys and treats for your pup. As if that’s not enough, it is equipped with a safety clip on the inside that attaches to your pet’s collar for added safety.

Features & Benefits

To keep your dog secure, it boasts drawstring to help you tighten the top of your carrier. Padded shoulder straps also come in handy for hands-free convenience. Besides, the carrier has a back strap to keep your furry friend against the chest in case you lean forward.


  • Waist belt included to reduce side to side movement
  • Comfortable to wear on the front and backward
  • Stays cool in warm weather conditions
  • Fits snugly to safely contain your dog


  • Straps have less padding

6. K9 Sport Sack Dog Backpack

Have you always wanted to go with your furry friend during those hiking trips, bike rides or shopping but you couldn’t? With this K9 backpack, you don’t ever have to leave your pooch behind. The carrier is designed for safety as well as comfort making it perfect for everyday use.

Product Description

Available in three sizes to fit different dog breeds, you should not have a hard time finding the right size for your pooch.  In addition, it features over five various safety features making it one of the safest carrier on the market.

On top of that, the backpack boasts ventilated cooling panels on the sides to allow optimal airflow. This ensures your pet is comfortable during those warm weather conditions. Shoulder straps are also ventilated and feature moisture-wicking capabilities for added breathability.

Features & Benefits

Additionally, it comes equipped with dual side pockets to ensure you have enough space to store your dog’s essential items. As if that’s not enough, the backpack spots a metal leash attachment to prevent your furry friend from escaping.


  • Easy to use, safe and very comfortable
  • Extremely convenient for travel
  • Built to last and well ventilated
  • Backed by a 60-day quality guarantee for your peace of mind
  • List Element


  • Straps have a very little padding
  • Does not have a waist strap

7. STURDI Products Pet Carrier

Compared to most of the carriers in this review, this is a more expensive option. It is constructed from durable 600 denier polyester for long-lasting performance. In fact, according to different customer reviews, the fabric can actually withstand dogs’ claws and teeth.

Product Description

One of the best features of this carrier is its adjustable and padded 4-point shoulder strap that ensures optimal comfort. On top of that, it boasts a leather hand grip for added convenience. But you know what the best part is? Well, the SturdiBag has been tested to comfortably carry pets up to 40 pounds.

Similar to other dog carriers, this too comes with mesh door/windows to allow for proper ventilation thereby ensuring your pooch stays cool. Moreover, it features retractable flaps on all the mesh windows that you can pull back to reveal more air vents.

Features & Benefits

To ensure maximum security and safety of your furry friend, the bag boasts zipper clips tether. Additionally, it is outfitted with seatbelt straps for added safety. Best of all, the bag has a flexible design and tension rods that can easily be compressed to fit under the airplane seats.


  • Made of machine-washable fabric
  • Offers great ventilation
  • Feather-light and durable construction
  • Interior fleece pad offers superior comfort


  •  Some dogs can easily chew through the mesh windows

8. PetsHome Foldable Dog Carrier

This is yet another excellent dog carrier for small breeds that money can buy. It features a versatile design that makes it perfect for both travel and everyday use. Made of premium materials, the carrier is designed with durability in mind.

Product Description

One thing that sets this PetsHome carrier is flexible and smooth wheels. The wheels are built to allow smooth-rolling mobility in various directions. Also included is an extended handle to help you take your furry friend anywhere and with ease.

As if that’s not enough, the wheels are detachable and the entire carrier can easily be disassembled for convenient storage. In addition, it boasts a leash inside so you can keep your pooch from running out. What’s more? It comes with a removable soft mat that can be easily washed.

Features & Benefits

At the back of the carrier is a pocket which you can store your dog’s food and other accessories. On top of that, it includes three-sided meshes designed for optimal visual-ability and better ventilation. More importantly, it is constructed from premium PU leather to ensure long-lasting performance.


  • Can be folded flat for easy storage
  • Made of durable, soft, and waterproof fabric
  • Stylish and elegant design
  • Includes four opening options to choose from


  • A little expensive but offers value for money
  • Straps are a bit short

9. Sleepypod Mobile Bed

For those occasions when you’d prefer a mobile pet carrier that lets you travel anywhere with your pooch, this bed has you covered. The carrier comes ready to use right out of the box so no assembly is needed.

Product Description

The bed’s overall construction is one of the things that makes it a great carrier for small dogs. Basically, the inside is made from ultra-plush polyester fabric to ensure great comfort for your pup. The outside, on the other hand, is constructed from luggage-grade nylon for extra durability.

Moving on, it comes with a built-in shoulder strap that is padded for optimal comfort during those long hauls. A carrying handle also comes in handy for those who don’t prefer using the shoulder strap. In addition to that, the bed is designed to fit pets weighing up to 15 pounds.

Features & Benefits

Additionally, the carrier features a mesh dome top to keep the bed breathable and comfortable by keeping your pooch cool. More importantly, it is designed to easily fit under the seat of most airplanes and can also be used in the car.


  • The exterior is very sturdy and durable
  • Water-resistant and ultra-plush foam
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Spacious and comfortable for use for long hours


  • Quite bulky
  • It is not certified for use in commercial airplanes

10. Texsens Traveler Innovative Bubble Backpack

If you worry that no one would take care of your pup while away, this Texsens backpack is designed to solve this problem. The carrier offers the perfect way for your furry friend to accompany you on all your adventures.

Product Description

First off, it features a unique semi-sphere window that is designed to keep your pet safe by preventing them from escaping. The window also boasts mesh panels and ventilation holes to promote proper airflow and breathability. In addition, it comes with a built-in security leash for added safety.

Moving on, for maximum accessibility, the backpack is designed with both top and side entries. Adjustable shoulder straps with enough padding along with a carrying handle also come in handy for easy transportation. The handle makes it easy to attach the carrier to a seat belt for extra safety.

Features & Benefits

Moreover, the backpack is constructed from non-toxic and premium materials including polyester, cotton, EPE, ABS, and PC. But probably the best part about the pack is the fact that it is airline travel approved.


  • Can be used on most major airlines
  • Easy to store while traveling
  • Sturdy and very stylish
  • The base has enough cushioning for your pet’s comfort


  • Has a strong chemical smell

How to Buy a Dog Carrier – Factors To Consider

Whether you own a small or medium-sized dog, it is important that you invest in a dog carrier. Whether traveling on a plane, walking on foot or driving around town, these carriers can help keep your pooch comfortable and out of harm’s way.

Besides that, dog carriers can come in handy when you go cycling or jogging around your neighborhood. Small dogs don’t have the same endurance as human beings. Their 4 legs are meant for short bursts of speed and can’t keep up with long stretches at a slow pace.

With all that said, it is important to be armed with the right kind of details so you can make an informed buying choice. And these are just a few of the important factors you need to always pay close attention to.

Choose the Right Size

One thing you have to note about size is that there’s nothing like a one-size-fits-all size. So, you’ll need to consider your dog species and size while making a choice.

Remember, don’t underestimate or overestimate this. You basically want to ensure that the carrier you choose allows your dog to sit in quite comfortably. Ill-fitting carriers would only end up pinching and straining them a little too much.

Material and Design

At this point, you want to strike a balance between durability and comfort. You don’t want to invest in a material that’s too tough to an extent that it ends up hurting your dog. Ideally, a good carrier is one with soft and hard side surfaces.

You want your dog to only come into contact with the soft surface. The hard surface should only step in to either provide protection of stability to your pooch.

Extra Features

What perks does the carrier come with? Well, we’d say that the more, the merrier. If you can get a couple of this, chances are that your dog carrier will become even more functional.

So, for instance, you might want to consider going for a carrier that comes with wheels. Such would be easy to transport around or taking to the airport. It, however, wouldn’t be a practical choice for hikers.

Then there are those carriers that come with harness systems. These are great for off-road use and also tend to be cheaper.

Think about the extra features that might make sense to you. Not all are great – so keep an open mind.


Wondering what it takes to make the right choice for your pooch? Here’s a QnA section that we hope will answer some of your burning queries.

How do I choose the right carrier size for my pet?

We’d recommend you start by measuring the size of your pet. Measure its height and length in particular (the length should include that of its tail). Also, the height should be measured then the pet is standing.

What safety features should a good carrier come with?

Not all carriers come with advanced safety features. But quite a few of them come with the seat belt strap which can be used for added security while on transit. Zippers, padding, non-slip features, and liners are also important features to look for.

Which One Is The Best?

The simplicity in the Sherpa Airline Approved Travel Pet Carrier makes it our all-time favorite. It is spacious and has a well-made mesh which provides good ventilation. What’s more? It’s approved for use by most airlines

Final Thoughts

Never gamble with your dog carrier. A small one for that matter is important if you own a small dog as well. So, be sure to get the dimensions right and you can rest assured that your pooch will be glad to have a perfectly fitting carrier.

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