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Going on long walks and hikes is one of the most fun activities you can do with your dog. It gets you out exploring and helps burn off their excess energy. It can be cumbersome to bring alllllll the things you need for both you and your pupper, though. Read on to see why you should get a backpack for your dog to wear, and find our favorite dog backpacks.
Dog backpacks are wonderful for giving your dog a job, which can help calm anxious dogs down and provide extra mental and physical stimulation! Any dog can benefit from the task, as long as it is properly sized for them and weighted evenly.
For the majority of dogs, it’s perfectly safe for them to wear an appropriately-sized backpack. Some dogs, including some senior dogs or those with back problems may want to skip this one, however. To keep your dog safe, make sure the load is evenly balanced in each bag. Each manufacturer has different sizes, so look at the fit guide to determine the ideal size for your dog.
To get your dog used to wearing a backpack, start taking them on walks and hikes with it empty. You can gradually add weight to it by placing their poop bags, a collapsible food/water bowl, a small first-aid kit, and small bags of food for the journey. A good guideline is to keep the pack weight under 10% of your dog’s body weight, and ensure it is evenly balanced on each side of the pack to prevent it from leaning.
Outward Hound (the same company that makes some of our favorite dog puzzles!) offers a great starter pack for dogs. It’s nice and lightweight, and the mesh panels keep your dog cool in warmer weather. It holds less than other backpacks, but it’s perfect for getting your pup accustomed to walking with the pack on.
The OneTigris Dog Pack is a sturdy canvas that holds up in tough environments, and looks great doing it. The top handle makes it easier to help your dog over obstacles like boulders and logs.
The OSPet Saddle Bag is pretty awesome, because the side bags are easily removable. That allows it to be used as a traditional harness. It has a nice reflective strip to boost visibility while out at night, too.
Okay, so this cartoon backpack may not be the best for going on hikes. Plus, since it’s only made for dogs from around 11-16 pounds, it won’t fit Roxy or Rico. But seriously, HOW CUTE IS THIS?! I love it so much! This would work awesome for our fur cousins Alley and Mia.