As a dog owner, you probably want to take your pooch with you wherever you go. Unfortunately for small dogs, their little legs could feel otherwise. If your puppy or small dog gets tired out quickly on walks but you still want to take her on some adventures with you, then a sling carrier might be the perfect solution for both of you. These carriers keep your hands free and lay conveniently and comfortably around your shoulder and in front of you, so you can keep your dog close without physically carrying her.
We reviewed dozens of dog carrier slings to identify the best of the best. In our search, we looked for slings that are comfortable for you and for your dog, safe to carry small dogs in, and have some extra features for convenience, like adjustability and storage pockets.
The Cuby Dog Sling Carrier stood out as the clear winner because of its breathable cotton fabric, its convenient size for small dogs, and its adjustable strap that makes it possible for you to tailor it to your needs for comfort.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Carrier Slings
|Best Overall||Cuby Dog Sling Carrier||4.4|
|Runner Up||SlowTon Pet Carrier||4.5|
|Best Budget Buy||Grtdrm Pet Sling Carrier||4.8|
|Best Large Dog Sling Carrier||Retro Pug Pet Carrier||4.4|
|Best Pet Sling for Small Dogs||iPrimio Dog Sling Carrier
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Cuby Dog Sling Carrier
If you’re looking for the most well-rounded pet carrier sling for your dog, the Cuby Dog Sling Carrier is probably it. This carrier can safely tote dogs up to 10 pounds, so it’s perfect for puppies or small breeds that enjoy being held by their fur parents sometimes. With a wide, adjustable shoulder strap, the Cuby Dog Sling Carrier is comfortable for you to wear while keeping your pooch (or even your cat!) snugly in front of you.
The Cuby Dog Sling Carrier is also reversible, and comes in a choice of 9 fashionable prints. It is made from a breathable, non-toxic, durable cotton. A safety belt is included, so you can rest assured your dog will be safe in secure in this well-made carrier sling.
More than 3,000 Amazon reviewers have given this carrier an average 4.4 rating, proving that it’s a stand-out in its category. One of the most common praises reviewers have for this sling carrier is that their dogs seem relaxed and secure when they’re in it.
Cuby Dog Sling Carrier Key Features:
- Includes safety belt
- Breathable cotton material
- Wide shoulder strap
- Choice of 9 fashionable reversible prints
- Safe for dogs up to 10 lbs
Our Runner Up Pick: SlowTon Pet Carrier
The SlowTon Pet Carrier is our pick for runner-up. This sling carrier is ideal for dogs between 3 and 12 lbs, holding them in a comfortable and secure scooped position. Inside is a safety hook that adjusts to your dog’s size to safely hold him inside the bag by hooking it to his color.
One of the best perks about this carrier is its zipped storage pocket near the storage strap. You can use this pocket to hold your keys, dog treats, credit cards, cash, dog waste bags, and anything else you want to tuck away to keep your hands free to use. The pocket is about 7 inches long and 7 inches wide, which is even large enough to hold most cell phones.
People who have purchased this carrier say that even their dogs on the higher end of the weight range fit comfortably and securely in the sling without making them feel weighed down.
SlowTon Pet Carrier Key Features:
- Adjustable safety hook
- Fits dogs up to 12 lbs.
- Zipped storage pocket
- Padded shoulder strap doesn’t warp or twist
- Adjustable opening
Best Budget Pick: Grtdrm Pet Sling Carrier
Although most sling carriers for dogs aren’t necessarily expensive, you might want to find a budget-friendly carrier if your dog is a larger breed that will soon outgrow one and you’re just looking for a sling for her puppy stage. In that case, the Grtdrm Pet Sling Carrier might do the trick. This carrier has similar features to slings that are close to twice its price tag, like a soft, padded strap and the ability to reverse the carrier.
This carrier holds dogs up to 16 pounds and is made with lightweight material so it doesn’t weigh you down. The padded strap makes it sit comfortably on your shoulder. Like higher-priced slings, this carrier even comes with a safety hook to attach to your dog’s collar for extra security.
Grtdrm Pet Sling Carrier Key Features:
- Lightweight design
- Padded strap
- Stretchy material conforms to your dog for a secure fit
- Soft material inside and outside
Best Large Dog Sling Carrier: Retro Pug Pet Carrier
No sling carrier is designed to carry large dogs (that job is best left to larger dog carriers) but some slings have a higher maximum weight than others. The Retro Pug Pet Carrier is one of the best of its kind, offering secure toting for small to medium-sized dogs up to 20 lbs.
Thanks to its wide strap design, this carrier distributes the weight of larger dogs evenly around your chest, shoulder, and back for comfortable control. The carrier’s deep pocket allows a 15 to 20-pound dog to sit securely inside with gentle cradling. The material is even somewhat waterproof to keep your pup as dry as possible in wet conditions.
Retro Pug Pet Carrier Key Features:
- Easy-pull adjustable strap
- Internal mesh net to adjust opening size
- Internal leash hook
- Lifetime replacement
Best Pet Sling for Small Dogs: iPrimio Dog Sling Carrier
Slings that are too large for your pup can pose a hazard if they don’t cradle them securely enough. The iPrimio Dog Sling Carrier is perfect for the smallest dogs, offering a cozy, secure, and hands-free sling for pups up to 12 pounds. The sling is reversible so you can choose the fashionable side you want to put on display.
Even though this sling is one of the smallest of its kind, it still includes a convenient storage pocket for keeping money, keys, and other small items close to you while you walk with your pet. Customers love how sturdy this sling feels with their dog inside despite its small size.
iPrimio Dog Sling Carrier Key Features:
- 26-inch-long shoulder strap
- Breathable material
- Leash hook
- Machine washable
Who Should Buy a Dog Carrier Sling
Does your dog love being with you as much as you love bringing him everywhere you go? A dog carrier sling could be perfect for both of you. A sling is a type of dog carrier that’s designed for puppies and small breeds, usually up to 16 pounds, max. These carriers wrap around your shoulder and neck, coming diagonally across your chest, much like how you’d wear a crossbody purse, and hold your dog in its cradle-like opening.
Many small breeds have personalities that make them extremely attached to their owners. Leaving the house for even a few minutes can make them anxious, especially as puppies. A dog carrier sling can let you bring your dog along on some of your adventures while leaving your hands free for other things, like shopping or taking pictures.
A sling can also be helpful for owners with dogs who don’t love walking long distances, especially in the heat or cold, or those who have a medical condition that prevents them from walking comfortably. Place your dog in her sling and she can still get some fresh air after she tuckers out from her walk.
Important Features to Consider
A dog carrier sling should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a dog carrier sling for your puppy or small breed dog:
- Maximum weight capacity. Although most slings are designed to carry dogs up to about 13 pounds, some have even lower or higher weight capacities. Check the manufacturer’s weight suggestions, always, before purchasing to make sure your dog can fit safely in the carrier. If your dog is over the weight limit, it might be a good idea to buy a travel crate or a dog backpack instead.
- Adjustable strap. An adjustable shoulder strap can ensure the perfect sling carrier fit for you to be able to carry your dog in the sling comfortably. Ideally, a strap should have a long length with significant adjustability to fit a variety of body types.
- Collar hook. Many dog carrier slings come with a strap with a hook located inside the carrier. This assembly hooks to your dog’s collar or harness to prevent them from jumping out of the sling, adding an extra layer of protection for your pooch.
- Pockets or storage compartments. Taking your dog along with you usually requires you to bring some extra items, like dog treats and dog waste bags. Choosing a sling with internal storage compartments or outside pockets and pouches can help you store your items and your dog’s goodies to keep your hands available.
- Material. A sling made of breathable material, like cotton, can be extra cozy for your dog. It’ll offer just the right amount of ventilation to prevent him from overheating and can also feel comfortable against his body.
- Washable. Dog carrier slings can get dirty quickly, especially if you’re using it daily with your pup. A sling made from machine-washable fabric, like fleece or cotton, is easier to keep clean than one that might need to be hand-washed or dry cleaned.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dog carrier sling and how does it work?
A dog carrier sling wears similar to a purse but has an open pouch where your dog can lay comfortably. These carriers are designed for small dogs and puppies who enjoy being carried by their owners, yet they give you a hands-free way to tote around your furry friend. You can use one by putting the sling over your head so that it sits over your shoulder and goes across your body. Then, pick up your dog and place her inside so that she can comfortably sit or lie down.
Are dog slings safe?
Dog slings are very safe if you use them correctly. Most importantly, you should never put your dog in a sling carrier if he’s over the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit. Also, don’t try to use a carrier if your dog seems scared to the point of possibly attempting to jump out of it. Some slings come with a collar hook to keep dogs secure inside, but you should never use it to hold a scared dog in place. Make sure you can see your dog at all times in the sling to ensure his safety.
Do dogs like to be carried?
Just like people, your dog will likely have an opinion about being held. Some dogs love to get carried by their owners, especially if they’re clingier breeds. Others feel anxious and confined when you hold them. If you notice that your dog fidgets, whines, yawns, or yelps when you pick her up, then she probably won’t feel safe and secure in a dog carrier sling.
Is my dog too big for a dog sling?
Most dog slings are safe to use with dogs between 5 and 13 pounds, although some will go slightly higher with their maximum weight. Slings are meant for small breeds and puppies who can fit securely in the pouch without flopping out or getting scrunched. It’s necessary to always check the manufacturer’s weight suggestions before purchasing a sling. For the most accurate weight for your dog, ask your vet if he or she can weigh your pooch at the office. As soon as your dog exceeds the weight limit on your sling, stop using it and consider a dog backpack or travel crate instead.