Is It Bad to Carry Your Dog Like a Baby? Facts Explained

Dogs hold a special place in our hearts, often becoming cherished members of our families. It’s natural to shower them with love and affection, treating them like our own children. 

One common practice that dog owners engage in is carrying their furry companions like babies. However, this behavior has sparked debates among pet enthusiasts, prompting questions about its impact on the dog’s well-being. 

In this article, we will delve into the subject and explore whether it is truly bad to carry your dog like a baby.

Understanding Dog Physiology

Before delving into the potential effects of carrying dogs like babies, it’s important to understand their physiological makeup. Dogs have a different skeletal structure than humans, with a distinct weight distribution. 

Their muscles, joints, and ligaments are adapted to a quadrupedal stance, supporting their bodies in a specific way. 

Carrying a dog in an upright position, mimicking the way we hold infants, can put stress on their bodies and potentially lead to discomfort or injury.

Physical Consequences

Back and Spine Issues: Dogs have a flexible spine that allows them to move freely while walking or running on all fours. 

Carrying them in an upright position for extended periods can strain their back muscles, ligaments, and intervertebral discs. This can lead to muscle spasms, herniated discs, or even long-term spinal problems.

Joint and Ligament Strain: Carrying a dog like a baby puts additional strain on their joints, particularly their hips and shoulders. 

Dogs rely on these joints for balance and mobility, and subjecting them to unnatural positions may increase the risk of injury or joint-related disorders such as hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis.

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Breathing Difficulties: Dogs have a unique respiratory system designed to accommodate their quadrupedal lifestyle. 

When carried in an upright position, their diaphragm and lungs may be compressed, impeding proper breathing. 

Certain breeds with shorter muzzles, like bulldogs or pugs, are already prone to respiratory issues, and carrying them inappropriately may exacerbate these problems.

Psychological Impact

While the physical consequences are concerning, it’s important to consider the psychological impact as well. Dogs are highly perceptive creatures and thrive on routine and familiarity. 

Carrying them like babies may confuse or distress them, disrupting their sense of stability. 

Dogs rely on their four paws to explore and interact with the world around them, and being carried may hinder their ability to engage in natural behaviors and socialize with other dogs.

Alternatives to Carrying

Recognizing the potential risks associated with carrying dogs like babies, it’s essential to explore alternative ways of nurturing and bonding with them:

Leash Training: Invest time in leash training your dog to walk comfortably by your side. This allows them to explore their surroundings while still remaining under your control.

Dog-Specific Carriers: If you need to carry your dog for short periods, invest in a proper dog carrier that supports their body securely and distributes weight evenly.

Creating Safe Spaces: Designate a cozy area in your home where your dog feels comfortable and secure. This provides them with a sanctuary they can retreat to whenever they need a break.


While it may be tempting to carry your dog like a baby, it’s important to prioritize their physical and psychological well-being. 

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Dogs have unique anatomical and behavioral needs, and carrying them inappropriately can lead to discomfort, injuries, and stress. As responsible pet owners, we should strive to understand and respect our furry friends’ nature. 

Instead of carrying them, focus on providing them with a nurturing environment, proper training, and opportunities for natural interaction. By doing so, we can ensure that our canine companions lead healthy, happy lives.