Small dogs are appealing in part because they can accompany you places that larger pups can’t.
You can’t very well take your Great Dane into the local flea market, but Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and other pint-sized pups are often welcomed into these and other places.
But, your little pooch’s legs will get tired if you force him to walk for very long, and he may even get stepped on or kicked while trying to walk in crowded areas. And while you could carry him, that will get old really fast.
There’s a great solution for these situations: dog carrier slings! They’re something of a cross between a baby Bjorn and a purse, and they are comprised of a strap and a pocket. The strap goes over your shoulder and your four-footer rides in the pocket.
Below, we’ll discuss some of the most important things to seek in a pet sling and recommend five of the best options on the market.
We’ll also talk about some basic safety guidelines to keep in mind while toting around your terrier and provide a few care tips to ensure your sling lasts as long as possible.
See our top picks here, or keep reading for full details!
Pet slings are pretty simple products, so they are produced by a huge number of manufacturers.
However, there are a number differences between good slings and not-so-good slings. Some of the most important things to seek when selecting a sling include:
If you want your pup to ride around for extended periods of time, you’ll need to a harness made from comfortable materials. Cotton and fleece are two of the most popular and comfortable choices, but polyester is sometimes used and provides adequate comfort.
Collar clips are small metal or plastic clips that are designed to keep your dog securely attached to the sling. This way, your dog won’t be free to run off if he jumps out of the bag. You don’t want to rely on these clips to keep your dog contained; they should only be used as an emergency backup. Instead, you’ll want to ensure your dog is comfortable riding in the sling and can be trusted to remain inside.
Note that although these are typically called “collar clips,” you should try to use them in conjunction with harnesses, rather than collars. This will prevent your dog from suffering neck injuries if he makes a break for it.
While you’ll still want to select a sling that features a collar clip, slings with closing tops provide an additional way to keep your canine contained. Usually, zippers are used to keep the bag closed, but some slings incorporate Velcro, buttons, or snaps instead.
With these types of slings, you can let your dog stick his head out of the bag, before zipping or cinching it closed behind him. This way, he’ll be able to see what’s going on, without being able to jump out easily.
Just avoid zipper closures for long-haired pups, as their fur can easily get snagged in zippers – which is no fun at all!
A few high-quality slings lack adjustable straps, but most of the best models include them so that you can achieve the best fit possible. Some adjustable straps feature buckles to help collect or release excess length, but others us metal rings to accomplish the same thing.
If you aren’t of average height and weight, you’ll need to consider adjustable straps mandatory.
To help provide the most comfort possible, some manufacturers install thick cushions or pads in the bottom of the bag. This provides your pup with a little bit more comfortable place to rest, and it helps protect the bottom of the sling pocket from your pooch’s claws.
You can’t go wrong with any of the following five slings but be sure to select the one that will suit your needs best.
Note that most slings are made for very small dogs, who weigh between 5 and 15 pounds. If your dog is larger than this, you’ll probably want to look for a backpack-style carrier.
About: The Alfie Chico Pet Sling is a stylish and comfy pet sling, which will help you carry your canine everywhere you go, while still looking fashionable in the process.
Features: The Alfie Chico Pet Sling is a reversible, fleece-and-cotton pet carrier that is designed to sling diagonally across your body.
It is available in two different versions – one features an adjustable strap and the other doesn’t (given the very small difference in price, it makes little sense to purchase the non-adjustable version, so we’ll concentrate on the adjustable strap version here).
The adjustable version is secured by wrapping the primary strap through a large metal ring, which allows you to adjust the length from 14 to 35 inches. This should allow owners of most body types and sizes to attain a comfortable and secure fit. It comes with a safety collar hook to keep your pet safe and it is machine washable.
The Chico Pet Sling is available in six different color patterns (although not all color patterns are available for both adjustable and non-adjustable models), but it only comes in one size. It features a 9-inch-deep pocket for your pooch and is designed for pets weighing up to 12 pounds.
About: The FurryFido Pet Sling is a simple and safe pet carrier that makes it easy to carry your pet around for extended periods of time without hurting your shoulders or back.
Features: The Furry Fido Sling is made from cotton for your dog’s comfort, and it features a relatively wide strap, which makes it easy to support your pup’s weight.
It is intended for dogs weighing up to 15 pounds, and it features a reversible design, so you can match the color to your outfit (or, your dog’s outfit, if you like to dress up your little cutie).
The FurryFido Sling only comes in one size, but it is available in four different color combinations: Black, Blue, Grey, and Pink. The reverse side features a brown and pink polka-dot pattern in all models. The FurryFido Pet Sling is machine washable in cold water. A collar clip is included for your pet’s safety.
About: The PYRUS Dog Sling is a feature-packed dog sling, which comes equipped with a number of novel innovations to help ensure it works well for you and your pup.
Features: The most notable feature of the PYRUS Dog Sling is the ventilation window, which helps keep your pup cool and comfortable, even when the temperatures soar. The fresh air that passes through the opening also helps to combat odors and ensure the bag doesn’t become damp.
It is also equipped with an adjustable strap so that you can wear it at the best height for your body. A small pocket is also included for carrying your keys, wallet or cell phone. The sling’s pocket features a zipper closure to keep your pet securely inside.
The PYRUS Dog Sling is made from 100% cotton and also comes with a removable, machine-washable fleece pad that sits in the bottom of the sling and provides maximum comfort for your pooch.
About: The I’Pet Dog Sling is a reversible, machine-washable sling, designed with your pet’s comfort in mind and made from a blend of cotton and polyester fibers.
Features: The i’Pets Sling is a simple dog sling, which is made without any extraneous bells or whistles. However, it does feature a charming dog graphic and is stitched in a which help ensure it is stylish and looks great. A leash hasp is included to keep your dog secure.
The i’Pets Dog Sling is available in three different colors options: Blue, Grey, and Pink. The opposite side of all three versions features a pink and brown polka-dot pattern. The i’Pets Sling is only available in one size and accommodates dogs weighing up to 12 pounds.
About: The Timetuu BUY Dog Sling is a high-quality dog carrier that comes with just about every feature owners want, including an adjustable strap that will accommodate owners of all sizes.
Features: The Timetuu BUY Dog Sling is an attractive, reversible and machine-washable sling, which works well and looks great.
It comes equipped with a collar clip to keep your dog safe, and a roomy pocket to store your keys, cellphone or wallet. The pocket features a zipper closure to keep your stuff from falling out while you walk.
The Timetuu BUY Dog Sling is available in three different color combinations: Brown/Orange/White, Grey/Blue/White, and Ruby/Orange. It is only available in one size. The manufacturer does not indicate the sling’s weight capacity, but most owners found it large and strong enough to accommodate a 10- to 12-pound pooch.
The PYRUS Dog Sling is well-made and received very positive reviews from most owners, and it also comes with several features that aren’t found in competing products, such as the included pad, mesh window, and pocket located on the strap. It’s also very affordably priced, making it a pretty clear leader in the category.
Plopping your pup down inside a sling and heading to the mall isn’t exactly a high-risk activity, but you’ll want to keep safety in mind to ensure that your dog stays safe.
If he ever suffers an injury (even a minor one) while riding in the bag, he may never feel comfortable riding inside again.
If you take good care of your dog sling carrier, it will last for a long time and continue to look great while you haul your little pup around town.
Try to implement the following practices to extend its life as long as possible:
Do you use a sling to carry your furry friend around? Have you found a great model that suits your needs well? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Also, be sure to share any sling-use tips you may have figured out – your experiences may help your fellow K9ofMine readers.
Last update on 2018-03-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ben is a lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, trees, outdoor recreation, science and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com or @FootstepsForest on Twitter.
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