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Carriers

The Best Carriers for Chihuahuas

Slings, Carrier Bags & Crates and Strollers

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Why a Carrier Can be a Great Idea

There are several reasons why having a carrier for your Chihuahua can help out tremendously. Here are the top aspects:

Walking ability - Being the smallest toy breed in the world, the little Chihuahua simply cannot keep up with his humans in regard to both pace and duration. While daily exercise is important and twice-per-day walks are recommended, those particular times are done at a pace that is good for the Chihuahua, which is much different than if you are on the go and have your dog with you.

In regard to bringing your Chihuahua with you when you have a good amount of walking to do, it's unrealistic to expect a Chihuahua to keep up with his human. Although this active, high-energy dog may very well try, overexertion and undue stress on the body is detrimental to his physical well-being. 

Placing your Chihuahua in a carrier bag or other method of holding him allows you to go at your own pace while he can either enjoy looking around or cuddle down to take a nap.

Floor level risks and dangers - In some situations such as when you'll be out and about with your Chihuahua in an area that has lots of fast moving foot traffic, down on the ground is not the safest place for this breed to be. For concerts, very busy city streets, highly trafficked outdoor fairs and the like, it's incredibly easy for a tiny dog to be trampled. In addition, having a bad experience in an overcrowded area can cause a dog to be much less receptive to being social at other times. 

Hands-free care - If you are busy but want your Chihuahua to be near you, trying to hold him while you are doing other things is not always practical and can lead to injury due to the dog falling or wiggling out of your arms. With many of these carrying options, your puppy or dog stays near you but you are able to use both hands for other tasks.  
When a Carrier is a Must

Aside from the ease of toting your Chihuahua around with you to make life easier, there will be other times that require the use of a carrier, including:
  • Certain instances at the vet's. Many veterinarians have rules about bringing in sick dogs that may have a contagious disease or condition. To be fair to the other dogs in the waiting area, a vet's office may request that a dog with a possible communicable health issue be brought in through an alternative entry and/or be placed in a carrier. 
  • Traveling. It is important to note that bags, slings and carriers are not meant to be vehicle seats; for driving in the car, you will want your Chihuahua to be in a certified canine car seat. However, if flying on an airplane with your Chihuahua, a carrier is needed and for some trains as well. Each airline has very strict policies regarding the sizing of the crate, so you'll want to check their website first for the measurements to be sure that the one for your Chihuahua fits regulations
Carrying Options

Slings - Sling bags are made of soft material that hangs with a pouch area (similar to a hammock), in which the dog is cradled and kept close to his human. The straps are meant to be diagonally over your shoulder, to keep it securely in place. 

Pros:  Easy to use, super lightweight, washable, rhythmic motion often lulls a dog which keeps him relaxed, visual of your Chihuahua at all times, easy to stash away when not in use, perfect for running errands with your Chi such as shopping or walking around the mall, is the least expensive of all of the options. 

Cons: Not for airline travel, not the best choice for super hyper dogs that would want to jump down, would not be appropriate if you were jogging or running. 

Top recommended slings:
Carrier Bags - Carrier bags are based on the same idea as sling bags, however these are more structured. Some of the features to take note of are that these hold a dog in via holes for his legs, the straps go both over your shoulders (similar to a backpack) and you can use the belt to go around your waist to distribute weight and pressure.

Pros: Moderately easy to use, washable, lightweight, rhythmic motion often relaxes a dog, visual on your Chi at all times (if you choose to wear it 'front facing'), relatively easy to store when not in use, perfect for when you are moving around a lot, good for dogs that tend to wiggle (won't be able to jump down), is one of the lesser priced options. 

Cons: Not for airline travel, cannot be tucked away in as small of a space as a lighter, thinner sling. 
Top recommended carrier bags for Chihuahuas:
Carrier Crates - Carrier crates are fully enclosed structures that are meant to be zipped or otherwise secured once the dog is inside. These are made to transport a dog such as when flying on a plane or when bringing him somewhere that requires that he be crated. There are two types; both hard (plastic shell) or soft (durable material, similar to a sturdy gym or duffel bag). *** Please note that crates such as these are not appropriate for housebreaking. For those needs, see: Chihuahua Pens for Housebreaking
Pros- The appropriate carrying methods for airplanes, appropriate for vet visits in which it has been requested that your Chihuahua be crated, has room for items such as toys and snacks. 

Cons- Can be tricky to lug around therefore you will only want to use this when you really have to, a Chihuahua may need to become accustomed to this before being okay with it (will need sessions that start short and build up in time). 
Top recommended carrier crates:
Strollers- This is an often overlooked option as a way to bring your Chihuahua with you, but is viable in many situations. It serves the main purposes of keeping your Chi off the ground, is great transportation when there's too much walking to do, allows you to take him into crowded areas and additionally, can be great in the summertime when it's hot out and you want to help keep your puppy or dog shaded.

Pros: Offers lots of room (can hold toys, food, blankets and other things to keep a dog occupied) plus plenty of room to lay down and sleep, is adjustable (top can be left open or zipped closed), is good when outside to keep a Chihuahua in the shade. 

Cons: Not for airline travel, is not 'hand-free' since you will need both hands to push it, while these can be folded they do take up space when tucked away, is the most expensive of all the options. 
Summary- Choosing a carrying option for your Chihuahua is a wise decision; it allows you to bring him with you so much more than if you were restricted to either carrying him in your arms or having him on leash. And since this breed bonds so closely with his humans and tends to get separation anxiety when home alone, spending more time with you is just what your Chi needs. 
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