Your pup might not want to walk such long distances as you but that shouldn’t mean that he should miss out on the adventure. If your little one needs to give his legs a rest or perhaps the terrain is a little unforgiving for those delicate paws, a dog sling carrier is the perfect solution.
These lightweight accessories are ideal for everyday walks or while you’re out and about running errands. They sit across your chest and your pooch nestles safely inside. While there isn’t a lot of difference between each product, there are some that are much better quality and more comfortable for you and your pet.
So, if you’re eager to get outdoors with your dog, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a great range of dog sling carriers out there. To help you make the best choice, we’ve put together a handy buying guide and some reviews on the best dog slings available at the moment.
What Is A Dog Sling Carrier And Why Do I Need One?
A dog sling carrier is used to carry your dog and is made to sit over your chest. They may appear very similar in appearance to the sling carriers that you would use to carry an infant and are typically intended for smaller dogs.
They are great for running errands and short walks but aren’t quite robust or supportive enough if you are planning on going on a more off-road adventure. In that case, you may be better off choosing a dog backpack, which we have a great rundown of here.
But, if you have a small dog that wants to get out and about but is not physically up to the challenge then a sling carrier is the ideal choice. Perhaps your pup has joint problems or disabilities and cannot safely walk on a lead. Things like amputation, blindness and even old age may limit his ability to get around as normal.
These slings are also perfect for dogs who suffer with behavioural issues. Maybe you have a dog who gets very nervous or anxious when out and about or perhaps they are prone to becoming aggressive. Carrying them in a sling allows them to enjoy the fresh air without any risks attached.
The Best Dog Sling Carriers
The good news is that there are many dog sling carriers out there and choosing the right one is super important for both you and your pooch. We’ve tested and reviewed several options so whether you are looking for an affordable sling for your daily walk or something a little more durable and supportive, we have got you covered.
OUR TOP PICK
Suitable for smaller dogs weighing up to 10lbs, this stylish dog sling carrier has everything you would expect and more. It comes with an adjustable strap so that you’ll have maximum comfort and optimal support while carrying your pet. What’s more, the strap is padded to avoid discomfort across the shoulder.
At the front of the sling, there is a handy pocket where you can keep your dog’s essential items. What’s more, you’ll find a side pocket that’s just the right size for your water bottle.
The Eye sling is made from durable materials and comes with a mesh lining to keep your pet cool and comfortable. There’s also a safety strap so he can’t jump out and injure himself.
Pockets and compartments
We couldn’t find anything wrong with this sling
Adjustable and comfortable to wear
Safety strap for the dog
BEST FOR PUPPIES
If your puppy isn’t quite ready to face the big wide world alone, this comfortable sling carrier gives you the perfect way to take him out and about. It is made from strong materials including cotton and Spandex giving you the durability you need for everyday use.
The opening of the sling is fully adjustable as is the strap, giving you a more personalised experience not to mention making it more comfortable for you and your pet. There’s also a handy pocket to keep your bits and pieces safe and everything is machine washable, which is super convenient.
This dog sling carrier comes in a choice of colours and is suitable for dogs that weigh up to 16lbs. The breathable mesh lining is perfect for keeping your pup cool.
Choice of colours
You don’t need to spend over the odds to get a good dog sling carrier and this is evidence of that. The Qchengsan dog sling is suitable for dogs and other animals up to around 11lbs. It is made from soft, comfortable material that features inner cushioning. But this comfort doesn’t come at the cost of durability and the bag will withstand heavy day to day use.
The strap is adjustable and there is a handy pocket for your essential items. What’s more, the safety strap comfortably tethers your dog inside the bag so he cannot fall or jump out during the walk, risking injury.
If you have a smaller breed of dog, you’ll be pleased to know that this sling also comes in a small size for animals weighing up to 5lbs. Ideal if you have a very young puppy.
Comes with safety strap
Weight capacity isn’t as high as some other products
Cushioned on the inside
Excellent value for money
BEST FOR MEDIUM SIZED DOGS
A lot of dog sling carriers are made for smaller breeds so it can be difficult to find an appropriate carrier if you have a slightly larger animal. Fortunately, this one can carry dogs weighing up to 15kg and has a deeper pocket to allow your larger pet to sit comfortably and safely.
This safety is reinforced with an internal strap to prevent your pet from jumping out. But it isn’t only the safety and comfort of your pet that the manufacturer has considered. The adjustable strap has a wide range of positions that will suit both genders, regardless of their height, allowing you to get the perfect fit.
The sling is made from super soft material which adds to the comfort for you and your dog. In addition to this, the fabric is extremely durable, as is the buckle that secures everything. The only downside is that it is not waterproof, making it suitable for wet weather or dogs that are particularly slobbery!
Great for slightly larger breeds
Safety strap for dog
You only need to look at the Slowton pet carrier to see how comfortable and cosy it is for your pet. This makes it ideal for winter walks when the temperature drops a little. The sling carrier is made from a soft flannel material which is super comforting as you carry your pet around. For you, there is an adjustable strap that is fully padded to prevent it from rubbing on your shoulder.
While many of these slings have a safety strap, that may feel restricting to your pet so the manufacturer of this one has used a drawstring design. This keeps your pet secure inside the sling and doesn’t tether them. That said, there is a safety belt as well, should you prefer this method of securing your pet.
The sling comes complete with a handy zip pocket for storing your essentials and is mesh lined to promote good airflow.
May be too warm for summer use
Comes with a strap and drawstring closure
Padded shoulder strap
Suitable for dogs up to 12kg
You might also like to read our Best Dog Carrier Backpack For Hiking in 2021
What To Look For When Choosing A Dog Sling Carrier
It is important to assess the features of a dog sling carried before throwing your money away. While most sling carriers are good quality and will do what they are designed to do, there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure you choose one that suits your needs.
It stands to reason that using a dog sling carrier is going to work best for small to medium sized dogs. Attempting to carry a great dane in a sling on your chest is nonsensical. However, that isn’t to say that these slings don’t come in a variety of sizes and you will need to choose one that fits your dog comfortably.
He should be snug and supported without feeling as though he cannot move. You’ll find that most carriers come in a choice of sizes, so be sure to choose the right one.
The last thing that anyone wants is for their dog sling carrier to come apart when out and about. This poses a risk of injury to you and your dog and means that you’ll have to carry your pet home another way which could be dangerous or distressing.
For this reason, we would suggest looking for slings that are designed with durability in mind. Double stitching is always preferable and it is important to look for high quality materials that won’t be easily damaged by claws and teeth.
It may also be worth looking for a dog sling that is water resistant or waterproof for those rainy days. Perhaps your dog has a tendency to slobber and this type of sling will be much more hygienic and easy to clean.
What Do You Want To Spend?
As with anything, there are slings that are a little more expensive and those that suit people working to a tight budget. Paying over the odds isn’t always necessary and, as we have seen in our rundown of the best products, there are some good quality slings that won’t break the bank.
Do You Need A Sling Or A Backpack?
A dog sling carrier is ideal if you are going to be running short errands or going on smaller walks with your pet. However, these accessories may not have the support needed for more demanding situations like hiking.
If you intend on going off on a rugged adventure, we would suggest checking out this selection of doggy backpacks. They offer much greater support and can be used for a wider range of dogs in terms of size. What’s more, they typically come with pockets for storage and offer more comfort for both you and your pet.
Dog sling carriers don’t have to be just for carrying your dog. Many of these products come with pockets and compartments which are ideal for storing dog treats, your keys, poop bags and other items. If you are going to be out for a slightly longer time, these pockets will be invaluable.
You might also wish to look for safety features that will keep your dog comfortable during the walk. One of the most important is the safety strap. Typically, this is a type of lead that is attached to the inside of the bag and clips onto your dog's collar. If he gets scared mid-walk and tries to jump out of the bag, this will prevent him from being able to do so.
In terms of comfort, it is essential that your dog doesn’t overheat, especially in warmer weather. This might mean looking for a sling that has a mesh lining to allow for better airflow. You may also look for internal padding or cushioning to make sure that your dog is comfortable for the ride.
Finally, an important feature to keep and eye out for is an adjustable strap. This allows you to alter the bag to fit your body better, reducing pressure on the shoulders and making it more comfortable to wear. The adjustments should be easy to do and secure once you have put them in place.
Getting your dog out and about is one of the most important parts of his care. Even if your dog has physical or emotional issues that limit his ability to enjoy the outdoors, there are alternative ways. While a doggy backpack is a great choice for hiking and longer adventures, a dog sling carrier is perfect for short walks and daily errands.
There isn’t too much difference between products but you do want to make sure that the sling you choose is suitable for your dog, comfortable and within your budget. The products we have discussed in this guide are among the best, now all you need to do is pick your favourite and enjoy that quality time with your dog!