Top 10 Best Small Dog Carriers (2022)

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Dog carriers are very handy for any pet owner to have, but they are particularly convenient if you like to take adventures (like hiking) and travel a lot with your pup. Small dogs are especially easy to take with you on trips on the bike (or in the car) and even to the store, as long as you have the right carrier. Depending on your dog’s size and travel needs, it’s important to look for a carrier that provides lots of ventilation and space for your dog to travel comfortably. Here are a few tips and reviews to help find the best small dog carrier for your traveling needs.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Carriers for Small Dogs

Sleepypod Atom Dog CarrierMost Comfortable Small Dog Carrier
MG Collection Travel Pup CarrierBest Lightweight Small Dog Carrier
Petego Dog CarrierBest Ventilated Small Dog Carrier
Django Pet Carry BagBest Water-Resistant Small Dog Carrier
Petami Dog PurseMost Affordable Small Dog Carrier
Sleepypod Air Dog CarrierMost Versatile Small Dog Carrier
Sherpa Air Dog CarrierBest Soft-Sided Small Dog Carrier
Pet Gear Pet Car CarrierBest Carrier for Car Travel
Henkelion Soft Pet CarrierBest Airline Approved Small Dog Carrier
Gunner G1 Pet CrateBest Heavy-Duty Small Dog Carrier

Best Small Dog Carrier Reviews

1. Sleepypod Atom pet Carrier, one Size

Perfect for car or airplane travel, the Sleepypod Atom Dog Carrier works well with dogs that weigh up to 12 pounds. Available in five colors, this dog carrier is easy to access thanks to the top zippered opening. Plus, the opening offers a screen that allows your pup to see out.

The Sleepypod Atom Dog Carrier also features a window in the front that allows your dog to stick his head to see what is going on. The carrier is made out of strong nylon while the interior features plush polyester to give your dog the most comfort. The padded strap is comfortable to use, and the pocket is large enough to hold toys and treats.


  • You can choose from five different colors
  • It has a durable exterior and super soft interior
  • You can attach it to luggage or use the padded strap to carry it


  • It’s on the expensive side
  • The carrier is hard to zip shut

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2. MG Collection Stylish 2 Tone Quilted Soft Sided Travel Pet Carrier Tote Hand Bag for Only Small Medium-Sized Cats Dogs Puppy

Featuring a quilted design, the MG Collection Travel Pup Carrier is stylish and easy to travel with. Perfect for dogs that weigh less than 12 pounds, the carrier has a gray top and black bottom that will easily hide dirt and marks. On top of the carrier is a mesh flap that provides plenty of ventilation.

On each side of this carrier are two extra holes providing more ventilation along with two holes on the back and front. The MG Collection Travel Pup Carrier includes sturdy and soft handles that make it comfortable to carry. The Velcro pockets on each side of the carrier allow you to travel with toys and treats to keep your dog entertained as you travel. for comfortable carrying.


  • This is a lightweight and affordable carrier
  • It looks like a regular purse
  • This carrier comes with a top screen and two big pockets


  • There isn’t a lot of side ventilation
  • The straps are not comfortable

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3. Petego-Bitty Bag Soft padded small pet shoulder carrier bag tote. (16″L x 9.75″W X 10.75″H)

Created by an Italian designer, this stylish dog purse has a brown suede exterior and an orange lining interior. The Petego Dog Carrier features a soft and strap that allows you to comfortably travel with this carrier on your shoulder. Plus, you can attach a leash to an interior clip to keep him from getting out.

The Petego Dog Carrier can a top zipper that allows you to easily access your dog. And when you zip it shut, it still has an opening that lets your dog stick his head out. This is a great carrier for dogs under 10 pounds.


  • This is a stylish and affordable dog carrier
  • Your pup can stick his head out
  • This is a secure carrier that will keep your dog safe


  • There isn’t a lot of ventilation
  • Your dog won’t have a lot of extra space

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4. DJANGO Dog Carrier Bag – Waxed Canvas and Leather Soft-Sided Pet Travel Tote with Bag-to-Harness Safety Tether & Secure Zipper Pockets

The next carrier on our list is also a dog purse that lets your dog stick his head out and see what’s going on. The Django Pet Carry Bag offers three color choices including live green, black, and navy blue. And you can choose from two sizes with the smallest capable of holding dogs up to 15 pounds.

Made out of waxed canvases, the Django Pet Carry Bag is capable of withstanding moisture and rain. Inside, you will find a silky nylon fabric that can also withstand water in the event your dog has an accident. Pockets on both the outside and inside all feature zippers and allow for easy access and extra storage. You can also clip your dog’s leash to the interior to keep your pup safe and secure.


  • You can choose from three different colors
  • This is a water-resistant and stylish carrier
  • It allows you to attach a leash to the interior


  • This carrier does not have a lot of ventilation
  • It’s on the expensive side

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5. PetAmi Airline Approved Dog Purse Carrier Soft-Sided Pet Carrier for Small Dog, Cat, Puppy, Kitten Portable Stylish Pet Travel Handbag Ventilated Breathable Mesh, Sherpa Bed

Designed for small dogs that weigh less than 12 pounds, the Petami Dog Purse is available in four different colors. Featuring a zippered mesh top, this carrier provides easy access to your pup. It also has a front window you can unzip so your pup can stick his head out to get some fresh air.

The Petami Dog Purse features removable bedding that is easy to clean as well as soft and comfortable. It also includes a leash that is built into the interior for extra security and versatile straps that allow you to carry the carrier by hand or on your shoulder. Two big pockets on either side allow you to bring along treats and toys, and the included collapsible water bowl ensures that your pup stays well hydrated.


  • This is an affordable carrier that includes a travel water bowl
  • The bedding is soft and removable
  • It comes with a built-in leash and large pockets


  • The quality isn’t consistent
  • It’s not very durable or sturdy

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6. Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier

This highly rated dog carrier is perfect for dogs that weigh under 17 ½ pounds. The Sleepypod Air Dog Carrier meets all TSA and airline requirements. This soft-sided dog carrier is also appropriate for car travel.

You can choose from either six colors, and this carrier can also be used as a mobile dog bed option. The Sleepypod Air Dog Carrier is made out of durable nylon and features tear-resistant mesh and a plush interior. It has also been crash test approved by the Center for Pet Safety.


  • It is crash certified
  • The design collapses for simple storage
  • It comes with a seat belt for safe car travel


  • It only works with a small dog that is tiny enough to fit under airplane seats

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7. Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Meeting all the size requirements for major airlines, the Sherpa Air Dog Carrier was made particularly for air travel. This soft-sided carrier comes in three different sizes, so you are sure to find the right size for your pup. It also comes with mesh windows and privacy flaps that you can fold down when needed.

The Sherpa Air Dog Carrier comes with a faux lambskin interior that is also machine washable. It’s the perfect size for smaller dogs that weigh between eight and 22 pounds. This carrier is stylish and provides plenty of breathability during travel.


  • It meets any domestic airline required dimensions
  • You can collapse it for easy storage
  • The zippers lock for extra security


  • There isn’t a lot of storage
  • It comes in only one color

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8. Pet Gear Carrier & Car Seat for Cats and Dogs, 60 Pet Carrier & Car Seat

  • Constructed for car travel, the Pet Gear Pet Car Carrier will fit snugly into a standard-sized car seat. Attaching directly to the car seatbelts, this carrier provides added stability and safety for your dog and also includes an interior tether that attaches to your dog’s collar. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, easily remove the carrier from the seat.
  • Offering plenty of ventilation, the Pet Gear Pet Car Carrier includes top and front zippered walls made of mesh. This carrier was made for dogs that weigh up to 20 pounds and also includes an interior made of soft fleece that can be machine washed.


  • It has a lot of pockets for toys and treats
  • There is a lot of ventilation
  • You can convert it from a dog carrier to a doggie car seat


  • It’s only appropriate for traveling in a car
  • It doesn’t meet airline requirements

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9. Henkelion Cat Carriers Dog Carrier Pet Carrier for Small Medium Cats Dogs Puppies of 15 Lbs, TSA Airline Approved Small Dog Carrier Soft Sided, Collapsible Puppy Carrier – Black Grey Pink Purple Blue

Stylish and lightweight, the Henkelion Soft Pet Carrier is perfect for dogs that weigh up to 15 pounds. This is a versatile carrier that includes three sides that zip open easily for storage and accessibility. This carrier is also approved by both the TSA and airlines so your dog can fly in front of you under the seat.

This is a highly-rated travel carrier that is available in five different color choices. The Henkelion Soft Pet Carrier also comes in two sizes, so you can make sure to find the right-sized carrier for your pet.


  • This is an affordable carrier that is very portable
  • It includes mesh walls for better breathability
  • The removable fleece padding can be thrown in the washer


  • It does not meet airline required dimensions for Southwest Airlines

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10. Gunner Kennels G1 Small Dog Crate and Pet Carrier Crash Tested Pet Travel Crate, Escape Proof, Heavy Duty Dog Kennel Fits XS and Small Breed Dogs

The Gunner G1 Pet Crate is the heavy-duty carrier option on our list. While it is more expensive, it will keep your dog well-protected and safe. This carrier was made especially for traveling in cars and comes with a positive crash test rating.

This is a rotomolded crate that has a double-wall design for added protection. The Gunner G1 Pet Crate includes an aluminum door that has been reinforced making it one of the stronger options for dog car travel on the market.


  • It’s made for car travel and has a positive crash test rating
  • The carrier offers a hard exterior and double-wall reinforcement for added protection
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty


  • It’s on the expensive side

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Summary: Top 10 Best Carriers for Small Dogs in 2021

SizeMaterialItem Weight (pounds)Amazon RatingTotal Reviews
Sleepypod Atom Pet CarrierOne SizeNylon4.24.1 out of 5 stars105 ratings
MG Collection Travel Pup CarrierOne SizePolyester1.44.5 out of 5 stars778 ratings
Petego Dog CarrierMediumSoft Stitched Suede14.2 out of 5 stars111 ratings
Django Pet Carry BagMediumCotton2.54.5 out of 5 stars187 ratings
Petami Dog PurseOne SizePolyestern/a4.6 out of 5 stars1,622 ratings
Sleepypod Air Dog CarrierOne SizeNylon4.54.5 out of 5 stars573 ratings
Sherpa Air Dog CarrierMediumFabric3.94.7 out of 5 stars13,422 ratings
Pet Gear Pet Car Carriern/an/an/an/an/a
Henkelion Soft Pet CarrierMediumPolyester0.654.7 out of 5 stars24,246 ratings
Gunner G1 Pet CrateOne SizeStainless Steel305.0 out of 5 stars5 ratings

Why Should You Buy a Small Dog Carrier?

Any pet parent will find a dog carrier is a handy piece of equipment for a small dog. You can use one to take your dog on vacation with you or in the car to go to the vet. If you like to take your dog with you everywhere you go, certain dog carrier designs work well in public areas. Or you can use a small dog carrier to provide your dog a safe place to hide out at home. Just as you would want to buy the best small breed dog food for your little pup, you will want to make sure that you buy the best small dog carrier for your dog’s particular size and needs.

What Types of Small Dog Carriers Should You Choose?

There are two types of dog carriers. The hard-sided dog carrier is typically made out of rigid plastic and features wire doors. These carriers are durable, secure, and rugged as well as easy to clean. Hard dog carriers.

In comparison, a soft-sided dog carrier is made out of padded fabric and is easier to carry a dog when traveling or shopping. Typically more attractive-looking, soft dog carriers are easy to store since most of them fold up when you’re not using them. Plus, they come with a mesh panel design that allows for plenty of ventilation.

How Much Should a Small Dog Carrier Weigh?

When choosing a dog carrier for your dog, take into consideration the weight of the carrier as well as your dog’s weight since that will be the total weight that you will be carrying. It all depends on what weight you feel comfortable carrying. If you have a heavier dog, you may want to consider a more lightweight dog carrier option.


How can you help a dog feel more comfortable with a new carrier?

It’s important to allow a dog to get accustomed to his new carrier slowly before you take him anywhere in it. Just leave it out so that he can check it out and even put toys and treats inside to entice him to hang out inside. After he has spent some time inside for a while, close the door for a short period of time to get him accustomed to being inside with the door closed. Do this a few times until he is happy being in it for a few hours.

How can you tell if a dog carrier has enough ventilation?

Every dog carrier needs to have enough ventilation to make sure that your dog doesn’t get too hot. A hard dog carrier should have ventilated sides while soft-sided dog carriers need mesh panels. Look for dog carriers that have at least two sides of ventilation, but the more ventilation options the better.

Is a dog carrier easy to maintain?

Out of the two types of dog carriers, the hard-sided carriers are the easiest to keep clean. All you need to do is wipe it down with a cleaner and water to clean it. Soft-sided carriers are harder to clean, but some of them come with removable padding that you can throw in the washer, and some are completely machine washable.

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