As a dog owner, you probably like taking your dog with you when you go out. Small dog breeds especially are easy to bring along, since they’re so light and can fit in a small carrier. The best dog carrier tote bag will keep your dog comfortable and safe while making it convenient for you too.
But first, are you interested in learning more about what to look for when picking the right dog carrier tote bag?
Do you just want to see our top picks?
Select one of the options below to take you directly to that section. Choose wisely.
- Why use a dog carrier tote bag?
- What dogs fit in a dog carrier tote bag?
- Types of dog carrier tote bags
- How it benefits your dog?
- How to choose the best dog carrier tote bag
- Our Top Pick
- Our Upgrade Pick
- Our Budget Pick
Why use a dog carrier tote bag?
Small dogs fit easily inside these tote bags made specially for them. Dog carrier tote bags might seem like just a fancy accessory for carrying your dog around, but they can actually be really useful and prevent discomfort for both you and your dog.
For example, imagine you want to go somewhere and bring your dog with you, whether it’s to the dog park, a friend’s house, or even the vet. Small dogs, while many have lots of energy, can get tired more quickly than larger dogs, as it takes far more energy to play when they’ve got such tiny bodies. When your tiny pup gets tired, they can rest comfortably in these tote bags. These bags may also make it easier for them to relax at the vet. That way they don’t have the confinement of a carrier and they can sit close to you while they wait to be called in.
What dogs fit in a dog carrier tote bag?
There are different sizes of dog carrier tote bags, and it’s very important to pick one that feels good to your dog. It’s always best to measure your dog before you start looking for a tote bag.
You might think a certain size will fit them, but it’s easy to mistake their size by a few pounds. Therefore, you should measure your dog’s height and length prior to searching for a tote bag, and weigh them if you can.
Many dog carrier tote bags are meant for dogs under 10 pounds, so finding a carrier for a dog larger than that may be a little tricky (but not impossible).
Types of dog carrier tote bags
Dog carrier tote bags come in abundant styles, and with a little searching, you can find one that works for you and your dog. The two main types are a tote bag style and a backpack style. The kind you choose depends entirely on your preference, and there are even some that come in a messenger bag style, if that’s your thing.
Some carrier totes double as a bed for your dog to keep them extra happy in their new little space. There are others that attach to luggage or have handles that make it convenient to pull along with you. It’s a good idea to take a look at these features so you can open your options before you decide which one is right for you.
How it benefits your dog
Aside from your dog’s comfort, a dog carrier tote can come with other benefits. If you need to carry your small dog on public transportation like the train or in a taxi, this could be a great way to do it. The totes can help relax your dog in times of stress and keep him from getting tired when you need to do a lot of walking.
The bags also provide an alternative for crates and other types of fully enclosed carriers. While some dogs find the enclosure of those types of carriers pleasant, others prefer the more open structure of the carrier totes, and this can reduce anxiety in stressful situations, such as crowds or the vet’s office.
It’s a good idea to train your dog to travel in his carrier before you start taking him out with you. While dog carrier tote bags are meant to ease stress for your pet, it can help even more to make sure your dog is comfortable before you go anywhere, just to minimize any surprises.
How to choose the best dog carrier tote bag
When choosing a tote bag for your dog, you might have to shop around a little. There are tons of different styles, features, and sizes to consider before you choose the right one for your dog.
Some of the features you’ll want to look out for include:
- Durable material
- Tote bag vs. backpack
- Washable material
- Open vs. closed top
- Overall security
Each of these factors contributes to your dog’s safety and comfort in the carrier bag. Certain aspects also make things easier on you. If your dog has an accident in the carrier, you want cleanup to be as easy as possible, after all. You’ll probably also be looking at the style of the bag, since these bags are designed for your comfort, too. It’s a good idea to check out which dog carrier tote bag will feel good to you and what styles you prefer before you buy. Each brand has its own advantages!
The Django Dog Carry Bag has everything essential to a dog’s comfort and safety, including durable and water resistant material inside and out, a secure tether and top zipper, plenty of pockets, and it fits dogs of varying sizes, even those who sometimes have difficulty fitting into standard small dog carriers.
It’s versatile, and good for everyday use or a more arduous hike, which means you probably won’t have to search for another dog carrier anytime soon. Plus, there’s that style bonus. It may be a little pricey, but the expense is well worth it when considering all of its helpful features.
What we love:
- Sturdy and safe
- Soft interior, comfy for your dog
- Inside tether for harness
- Stylish with a few color options
- Fits small dogs of all shapes, including dachshunds
- Outer storage
What we don’t love:
- Easy for very small dogs to jump out
Why it’s great: This dog carrier tote has plenty of features you and your pup will both appreciate. It’s made of canvas and leather to make it both functional and stylish. Not to mention, it comes in three colors: black, blue, and grey.
The exterior of the bag is waxed to make it waterproof and durable, so it’s ideal for daily use. Even the inner fabric is water resistant, and there’s a Sherpa footpad for your dog’s comfort. This bag even has a tether to attach to your dog’s harness to ensure safety and security on your adventures.
This tote fits dogs up to 30 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about it being too small.
It has extra storage for you, too. Outer pockets provide space for the little things you need to carry with you, like poop bags, your keys, and treats. There are even credit card slots.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: There are few downsides to this tote, though it is a heavier bag and carrying it for long periods of time may take some extra energy.
It’s also a pricier tote, likely because it has so many features. Lastly, because this bag is designed for dogs of a rather wide weight range, that makes it easier for very small dogs to escape if they aren’t tethered in properly.
What we love:
- Comfortable for the dog and you
- Lots of storage pockets
- Easy to carry
- Straps have good weight distribution
- Secure zipper at the top of the bag
- Stylish leather material
What we don’t love:
- Does not wide variety of dog bodies
- Slightly heavy
Why it’s great: This dog carrier tote is a stylish leather option that works for shopping trips and everyday use. It comes with a removable foot pad that helps keep your dog cozy and makes any outing pleasant for both of you.
The zipper on top of the bag makes putting your dog in the bag and taking him out simple and painless, also aiding in keeping your dog secure in the tote.
The bag comes with several storage pockets, and the shoulder straps allow you to keep your dog snug at your side. The straps are widely distributed, too, so it should keep your shoulders from getting too sore while you carry your dog around.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This may not be the ideal carrier tote for very small breeds, as it is about 17 inches long and 14 inches high, making it difficult for tiny dogs to see outside of the bag.
Conversely, taller dogs also have a hard time with the bag, even if they’re light enough to be carried in it, so this tote might not be great for dogs with odd builds.
What we love:
- Great for very small dog breeds
- Durable canvas
- Outer pockets
- Inside tether
- Comfortable foot pad for dog
What we don’t love:
- Straps and tether wear out and break easily
- Not suitable for various small dog sizes
- Minimal pocket storage
- Not secure, no top covering
Why it’s great: This canvas bag looks a lot like a trendy beach bag, and could be great for exactly those kinds of trips with your dog.
The canvas material makes it a durable option for the outdoors. It’s lightweight and if you have an extra small toy breed, it might be the perfect fit since this bag is smaller than the others.
It’s 12 inches long and can carry dogs up to 11 pounds, which could be seen as a value or a detriment. On one hand, your super small dog won’t feel overwhelmed in a vast ocean of tote bag, but on the other, there are many small breeds that wouldn’t fit in this tote.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: There are a few other flaws in this tote’s design. While it has pockets, it only has two, so you’ll probably still end up bringing a separate bag to carry some of your dog’s things (at least if you’re planning to bring more than a few treats along for your furry friend).
There’s also no top zipper or covering to this tote, which means it could make it easier for your pet to escape. Also, while the canvas portions of the bag are durable, the straps and leash tether inside the bag are less so, and they fray and break with minimal use.