Dog carriers have really changed over the last twenty years and have gone from very practical ways to securely transport your dog to glamorous fashion accessories. There are still the very traditional types of dog carriers, more common with the medium to large breeds, but for toy and small dogs there is a huge range of designer types of dog carriers. Most of the designer types of dog carriers on the market today are safe for transporting dogs of up to 25 pounds, but some of the lighter weight purse styles may not safely hold that much. Choosing a carrier that is safe for your pet and easy for you to carry is just as important as the fashion statement that you make.
One of the reasons that dog carriers have become such a fashion accessory in the United States and even in Europe and other areas is because more and more stars are seen out and about with their canine pets in tow. Stars such as Paris Hilton, Hillary Duff, Mischa Barton and Tori Spelling have have all been photographed extensively with their small or toy dogs either in a purse style carrier or in one of the fashionable bag carriers that are all the rage. As people see the rich and famous with designer dog carriers, the general consumer demand also increases.
Airlines have also changed and relaxed their rules about dogs in carriers actually coming into the passenger areas of the plane. Many of the airlines now allow toy and small dogs in the cabin provided they are in a carrier that is secure and will restrict the dog's ability to move about the cabin. Of course there are specific rules for carriers that are going into the cargo area and these types of carriers have to be airport and airline approved.
Since most people aren't planning on jetting around with their dogs, carriers that are stylish as well as comfortable for both the human and the dog are important. It isn't uncommon to see a little dog's head peaking out from a carrier in a clothing store, at the movies or even in some restaurants, particularly if they have patio or outdoor seating. Dogs may not be allowed out running around, but discretely secreted away in a carrier they are more than welcome.
Duffle bag styles of dog carriers are very popular because they are stylish yet also very durable. The great majority of these styles of dog carriers tend to look like a small version of a gym bag and are zippered at one or both ends. They have a moderately rigid rounded type shape, allowing the dog to easily stand up and move about in the carrier without having the sides or the top brushing against them. Typically there are two different styles of zip up doors on one or both ends, one being a solid fabric and one being more of a mesh or screen style fabric. This allows for the dog to be able to see out and even get a nice breeze on warmer days while they can also be snuggly and warm on colder days.
Most of the duffle style carriers also have padded bedding in the bottom of the carrier, typically with options to zip in and out for easy cleaning and machine washing when necessary. Some are completely machine washable, typically these tend to be the nylon and canvas fabrics and materials. Leather or vinyl trim or accents on the carrier may make it less suitable to this type of washing.
For those that might not want to always carry the dog, or for dogs that are starting to get a bit larger than the toys size, rolling styles of carriers are also available. These can be combination types such as a backpack carrier that has the option to be converted to a rolling carrier by simply pulling up the handle. In this way these types of carrier are very similar to rolling luggage and are just as durable and well made.
The advantage to the rolling styles of dog carriers is that the owner doesn't always have to physically carry the dog. They also typically have a good number of storage zippered compartments and areas on the carrier, ideal for keeping dog snacks, clean up bags and even dog toys and leashes when not in use. Many of these types of carrier can hold up to 25 pounds, which includes both the dog and supplies.
Fashion forward types of dog carriers are particularly designed for women and most very closely resemble designer oversized purses and bags. Typically the dog is placed inside the carrier from the top; however the ends may have mesh or nylon screen material to provide the dog with a view of the outside world as well as allowing the dog to stay cool and comfortable. As with all carriers the purse can be secured through locking zippers that ensure the pooch can't jump out when they should be staying in the carrier.
For those that really want to stay in fashion, there are a wide range of specialty dog accessory boutiques that sell designer style carriers. These carriers can sometimes be custom ordered and may have options to select the specific fabric, color of lining and even have additional pillows with the carrier to keep your little dog comfortable on those long car rides or shopping trips. You can also really step up in fashion and provide your pet with a Gucci dog carrier or even a Louis Vuitton, perfect for really showing off your pooch's good taste.
High end luxury styles of dog carriers are a bit pricy, with many selling for between one hundred and three hundred dollars. There is always the option to get a knock off type of carrier, or to buy from a smaller boutique that may not have quite the following. Since dog carriers are typically relatively high priced, finding a bargain can be a very rewarding experience and can help you stay well within your budget. You may want to consider shopping online or even checking out various online sites such as eBay, just be careful as you don't want to end up with a badly used carrier when you thought you were getting something brand new.