Does your beloved pooch often get dog-tired or have a medical condition that limits their walking? Perhaps you have a puppy that’s not vaccinated yet, or it just makes you sad to leave your best friend behind when you’re going out cycling or to somewhere you can’t walk them on the lead.
The solution is these dog carrier backpacks. They’re the perfect way to take your dog with you on adventures and carry them safely and securely when the going gets ruff!
But which is the best backpack carrier for dogs? Which has the best additional features? Which is the best carrier for your big dog or your tiny pooch? And should you consider a front-facing dog carrier backpack vs a dog sling?
To answer those questions for you, we went on paw patrol to check out the best buys!
In This Review
- The 5 Top-Rated Dog Carrier Backpacks
- More Backpack Carriers We Reviewed
- Frequently Asked Questions
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Carrier Backpacks
Here are the 5 best backpack carriers we reviewed online:
Best Overall: Pawaboo Dog Carrier Backpack/Frontpack
The dog carrier backpack that really got our tails wagging was the very popular and versatile Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack/Frontpack, It can be worn on your front (ideal when you’re walking or shopping and want to chat to your dog) or on your back, which is best for more adventurous activities like cycling or hiking.
Designed for small to medium dogs up to around 7kg, it’s a ‘baby-carrier’ style dog carrier, so your dog’s legs, tail and head are out. This makes it ideal for dogs who become anxious when they’re enclosed—and those who are naturally nosey!
Do you hate heavy dog carriers that are tricky to get your dog into (and out of!)? The Pawaboo is not only a bargain buy, but lightweight, easy to use and super-comfy for you and your dog. Quick-release buckles mean no humiliating struggles to get Fido out at walkies time!
Made from durable, breathable mesh material to keep your dog cool and comfortable, with thick shoulder pads to prevent pressure on your shoulders, it’s a practical and adaptable dog carrier. It’s also available in 4 sizes and several fabric designs, allowing you to choose the one that suits you and your dog perfectly!
- Portable and lightweight
- Open style carrier, leaving dog’s legs, head and tail free
- Can be used as a front carrier or carrier backpack
- Breathable mesh material
- Available in 4 sizes and several fabric designs
Editors Rating: 4.1
Best Runner-Up: HAPPY HACHI Dog Carrier Backpack
Our runner-up is the HAPPY HACHI Dog Carrier Backpack. This dog carrier can hold dogs up to 10kg in weight and it’s airline approved, so you know you won’t have last-minute issues at the airport!
The HAPPY HACHI dog carrier backpack is ideal if you’re worried about the safety of your heavier dog—and airline approval. Sturdy, waterproof, airline-approved and suitable for dogs up to 10kg, it will keep your dog safe—and dry! Extra-thick padded shoulder straps will keep you comfortable too.
Made of strong, waterproof material, this dog carrier has four mesh windows to provide good ventilation and visibility, helping your dog stay calm and comfortable. There are zipped panels on the top and front that can be opened to allow your dog to stick their head out, and a leash clip inside to make sure they remain safely in the carrier. A soft, removable mat at the bottom makes this carrier super comfy.
Both the back and adjustable shoulder straps have extra thick padding to make wear more comfortable for you, and waist and chest straps keep the carrier securely in place. Two pockets provide useful storage for small items like your phone and snacks (for you and your dog!), so there’s no need to worry about carrying an extra bag for your essentials.
- Airline approved
- Zipped panels on the front and top
- Four mesh windows for good visibility and ventilation
- Removable soft mat
Best Forward-Facing Dog Carrier: NICREW Legs Out Dog Carrier
You’ll have noticed this isn’t a backpack carrier for dogs: it’s a front-facing dog carrier ‘backpack’. It’s worth a mention in case you’ve not compared the merits of both styles.
The NICREW Legs Out Front Dog Carrier is our favourite forward-facing dog carrier. It’s worn on your front and one advantage is that you can keep an eye on your dog at all times and see what they’re seeing (like things they might want to bark at or chase!).
Thick, strong padding is used at the bottom and back to keep you and your dog comfortable and a breathable mesh material helps to keep you and your pampered pooch cool and breezy. They will love the freedom of having their head, tail and legs out while they’re carried, allowing them to investigate everything with their nose and eyes!
Does your dog like to bounce and back at everything they notice? Don’t worry–you can still use a dog carrier. The open, front-facing style of this carrier is ideal for anxious dogs. You see what they see, and it’s easy to calm and comfort them.
This carrier has durable, thick straps and strong buckles at both the waist and chest to give great support and a good fit, so you don’t have to worry about this front pack dog carrier sliding around or slipping down. A zip and a hook and loop fastener on both sides ensure your dog is held comfortably and securely, and adjustable pads on the wide shoulder straps prevent them from cutting into your shoulders.
Available in 5 sizes, this forward-facing dog carrier makes it easy to keep an eye on your dog as you go on adventures together.
- Strong buckles at waist and chest
- Ideal for dogs who don’t like to be enclosed
- Wide shoulder straps and adjustable shoulder pads
- Adjustable fastenings: zip and hook and loop
- Available in 5 sizes
Best For Small Dogs: Petsfit Foldable Carrier Backpack
The Petsfit Fabric Foldable Pet Carrier/Backpack is suitable for dogs up to 6.8kg. Sturdy and practical, it’s a closed-style dog carrier backpack with three mesh windows that ensure maximum ventilation for your dog—and a great view in nearly all directions. This ensures good air circulation inside the carrier and prevents your dog from feeling bored or anxious. A soft fleece mat sits on the bottom and it’s removable for easy cleaning.
A great choice if comfort (yours and your dog’s!) is crucial. Three large mesh windows ensure a great view and good ventilation for your dog, reducing stress, and a cushioned pad section means this backpack is comfortable against your back. It also folds flat—ideal for throwing in your suitcase!
It’s comfortable for you, too, with a generously cushioned pad section that rests against your back and well-padded, adjustable shoulder straps to ensure there’s no slicing or rubbing on your shoulders. It’s fitted with waist and chest buckles to ensure it sits securely on your back, keeping your pet safe and preventing uncomfortable movement.
A safety strap stops your furry friend from escaping and a special foot pad means this dog carrier stays stable when placed on the floor, making it easier to get your dog in and out. It also folds flat for easy storage and transport.
- Three mesh windows for ventilation and visibility
- Sturdy design
- Adjustable padded shoulder straps
- Cushioned back pad
- Folds flat for easy storage and transport
Best For Large Dogs: Pecute Dog Carrier Backpack
The Pecute Pet Carrier Backpack is one of our top choices overall. The expandable design and venting holes, netting side panels and mesh window ensure there’s plenty of room and good air circulation, preventing your dog from feeling cramped or anxious.
The mesh allows them to sniff exciting smells and see what’s going on. The top can be opened to give them more air and for hotter, sunnier days, a snap-on shade cover keeps your furry friend cool and comfortable.
Concerned about carrying your aging, poorly or less able larger dog? Choose the Pecute and be reassured. There’s plenty of room for your dog to lie down, extensive mesh sections for ventilation and visibility, and a removable, reversible bottom pad—plus handy storage. A strong contender for best backpack carrier!
This backpack carrier for dogs gets top marks for durability, pet comfort and safety. It’s made from strong, waterproof, anti-scratch, environmentally friendly and non-toxic material, with a strong, padded bottom, a built-in, retractable safety hook rope and an anti-escape zip to prevent canine capers! The reversible bottom pad is removable for easier cleaning, with a plush side for warmth and a breathable Oxford cloth side for hot days.
Adjustable shoulder straps with cushioned adjustable pads provide maximum comfort and two retractable buckles secure your dog carrier firmly in place. Each side has a handy storage pocket, eliminating the need for another bag. One is designed to hold poop bags, a dispenser and a water bottle, while the other is perfect for your mobile phone, wallet or other small essentials.
- Great visibility and ventilation
- Suitable for dogs up to 10kg
- Handy storage
- Adjustable, padded shoulder straps
- Reversible, removable bottom pad
More Backpack Carriers We Reviewed
Here are some more dog carrier backpacks we recommend:
Mogokoyo Airline Approved Dog Backpack/Frontpack
The Mogokoyo Airline Approved Cat and Dog Backpack/Frontpack is available in 3 sizes and looks much like a normal rucksack—but with a large hole for your furry friend’s head!
Ideal for outdoor trips and flights abroad, this carrier takes the stress out of travelling with your dog. It’s sturdy, durable, lightweight and airline-approved, with handy external pockets. The head-out design means they’re held securely but get plenty of air and a great view. Buy it before your next trip!
This carrier is lightweight and durable, with breathable mesh for ventilation and zipped top section that can be opened to give your dog more air. There’s an interior rope that clips to your dog’s collar, padded panels to keep you and your dog more comfortable, adjustable padded shoulder straps, and a removable padded bottom for easy cleaning.
Three handy external pockets, including a zipped central pocket, are great for storing maps, phones and other essentials for you and your dog’s adventures.
- Breathable mesh for ventilation
- Padded panels and adjustable padded shoulder straps
- Removable padded bottom
- Storage pockets
Timon Trixie Rucksack
Another great dog carrier backpack is the Timon Trixie Rucksack. Its anatomically shaped, padded sections make it a comfy fit for your back, chest and waist straps keep it secure, and wide shoulder straps help prevent any slicing into your shoulders.
The backpack to choose if you’re a hiker or concerned about pain while carrying your dog. Anatomically shaped, padded sections for your back and chest, wide shoulder straps and secure waist and chest straps make this one of our top picks for owner comfort. Give your back a break!
A padded base provides a comfy ride for your dog and three mesh panels provide ventilation and visibility. The larger central panel has a zip so that your dog can travel with their head out, and there’s also the option of unzipping the entire top cover or its inset panel to give your dog more air. A built-in short safety leash prevents escapes!
- Zipped panels at the front and top
- Three mesh panels for ventilation and visibility
- Anatomically shaped padded panels
- Built-in short safety leash
- Padded base
Pawsse Dog Carrier Backpack
Last but not least is the popular Pawsse Dog Carrier Backpack, which is suitable for dogs and puppies weighing up to 6.8kg. Four mesh windows provide good air circulation and the front and top windows have a zip, allowing them to be opened for your dog’s comfort.
Does your dog get anxious if enclosed? Choose the Pawsse, Four mesh panels ensure they’re kept cool and can see what’s going on, while zipped sections make it easy to get your dog out quickly. You’ll also get a free collapsible travel bowl, great for outdoor adventures, camping and holidays!
The top and bottom of this backpack are also sipped to make it easy to get your dog in and out, and there’s a removable plush mat in the bottom. This durable backpack folds flat for easy storage and transport and is easy to wash (ideal if you enjoy muddy adventures!). Again, there’s an internal leash to ensure your dog stays safely in their backpack!
- Four mesh panels (top and front panels are zipped)
- Zipped top and bottom sections
- Internal safety leash
- Plush removable base
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dog carrier backpacks suitable for doggy amputees?
Life on three legs can be tiring and dog carriers are a great way to take doggy amputees out and about. Choose one with a large floor area so that they can lay down in comfort rather than sit. A soft, padded bottom is ideal too.
Are dog carrier backpacks safe to use when you’re cycling?
Yes—but for safety and balance, these sling-style dog carriers are best avoided if you’re cycling, and frontpack dog carriers may be obtrusive, especially if you have a larger dog. Dog carrier backpacks are the best option for cyclists.
Can I take my dog carrier backpack on an aeroplane?
Some dog carriers state they’re airline-approved, but if not, always check the measurements and weight restrictions yourself to make sure your dog carrier will be approved for travel.
What’s the best type of dog carrier backpack to take camping or on holiday?
Foldable carriers that you can pack away when not in use are the most practical and storage pockets are a good feature too, reducing the number of bags you need on trips.
How do I choose the right size carrier backpack for my dog?
Consider both the weight and size of your dog and check this against the carrier dimensions and weight limits. Many carriers come with measuring guidelines so that you can measure your pooch correctly and get the perfect size.
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CDC Pet Food Safety: When picking the right food for your pet there are some important things to consider. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/publications/pet-food-safety.html
Pet Food Standard Agency: Are responsible for animal feed legislation in the UK including pet food and treats. https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/pet-food
Welfare of Dogs: A well-balanced diet is needed for your dog to stay fit and healthy. Some dogs can also have special dietary requirements. https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/welfare-dogs-need-suitable-diet
Stuart is an animal lover with a passion for writing about dog care and health. Through his writing, he's spreading awareness on how dog owners can live better happier lives with their pets. He's been the proud owner of Rolley Washwilf the Springer Spaniel for the last 15 years.