Do Dogs Like To Be Carried?

Having a pet dog is so much fun! My own pup, Duke, loves to play rough with other dogs, which worried us when we first got him.

However, it turns out that he’s just a big softie—he loves to take snuggle breaks and give us lots of kisses while he’s playing too. Duke is always full of energy and never fails to make us laugh. He’s a great companion, and we can’t imagine life without him. 

As dog owners, it’s important to keep an eye on our pet’s needs as they grow older. We have to make sure their diet is balanced and that they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

And we must also be mindful of our dogs’ changing needs as they can no longer do the same activities as when they were young.

By paying attention to what our dogs want and need, we can ensure a long and happy life for our furry friends.

So do dogs like to be carried? The quick and easy answer is it depends on the dog and the circumstances. Smaller dogs and older dogs are more likely to want to be carried than active dogs. Keep in mind that things like injuries or hot pavement can make all dogs yearn to be carried, at least temporarily.

Do Dogs Like To Be Carried?

While certain dogs do enjoy being carried, (my mom’s yorkies come to mind) it’s not always easy to tell what your dog is thinking. After all, your pooch likes to make you happy and might go along with being carried just to make sure you’re content.

With that in mind, you may not be able to tell for sure whether or not your furry friend enjoys being carried. Remember, though some dogs might prefer to be carried, most dogs would rather not be unless there is a valid reason for it.

So, before you pick up your pup, consider why he might want you to do it. Have you been out walking or hiking for so long that your good boy is tired? Or maybe he has a medical issue that prevents him from walking? If not and there isn’t another good reason your dog would want to be carried, then it is likely that your pup would rather stay on his paws.

But! There is an exception…particularly with small dogs. Remember, every dog is different and it ultimately depends on the individual pup.

So, while it isn’t likely for most dogs, some do prefer to be carried. Especially little dogs!

Why Do Some Dogs Like To Be Carried?

I just discussed how most dogs would prefer to walk rather than to be carried, with the noted exception of some small and older dogs. But that isn’t a rule that always applies to every big dog. Some of them do, in fact, prefer to be carried.

So, why do some dogs prefer to be carried, while others are perfectly content walking around on their own four legs? 

Let’s take a closer look.


Dogs have an instinct to not only provide security and protection but to seek it from their pack (you!) as well. Many small dogs feel safer when they are carried, as it allows them to be up off the ground and farther away from what might get (or step on) them.

Being held also gives the dog a sense of security from anything that might scare them, like other animals or loud noises.

This helps explain why some dogs show signs of contentment when they are picked up, such as wagging their tail or licking their owners.

They Hurt

Arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint problems can afflict older dogs. Long walks and stairs can be especially hard for them – they may have difficulty climbing them or even going down them without feeling pain.

Carrying dogs with these conditions helps ease the suffering by removing the strain on their joints and bones.

In addition, some dogs suffer injuries that can make getting around painful. In these cases, carrying can help ease the pain as they recover.

If this is the case with your dog, discuss how much help you should give with your vet. They may advise you to help as much as possible or to back off of helping so your pooch can more quickly recover.

The Ground Is Too Hot (Or Cold)

Carrying a dog can also be helpful in certain scenarios, such as when the ground is too hot or cold for their paws. Remember, the temperature of the ground, especially black pavement, can be much hotter than the air.

They’re Tired

Many dogs like to be carried because they’re tired. Older and smaller dogs can’t go as far as other, more active dogs, so they may need a little help.

Besides that, carrying your pooch helps him conserve energy and lets him travel further than his legs would allow on his own…and you want your dog to go as far as you, right?

I Need To Carry My Dog But Can’t

Maybe the pavement is hot, or your good boy is suffering from arthritis. No matter the reason, you might need to carry a dog that’s too big for you to do so without hurting yourself.

Fortunately, there are good products you can use to help you and your pooch out:

  • Dog backpack
  • Dog stroller
  • Pushcarts
  • Bike trailers for dogs

Summary: Do Dogs Like To Be Carried?

Overall, it is not common for dogs to prefer being carried over walking. However, there are some exceptions such as small breeds and those with medical issues or injuries that prevent them from walking comfortably.

Carrying a dog can be helpful and necessary if the ground is too hot/cold or they have become tired during your walk together.

If you need help carrying your pup but cannot do so physically, consider purchasing products like dog backpacks and strollers that will make it easier while still helping your canine companion out.

With these tips in mind, you should now have an understanding of why some dogs may enjoy being carried – just remember every pooch has their own unique preferences!

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