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Choosing a Backpack for Your Dog

Hitting the trails this summer?  If so, there are a few dog supplies for hiking which are essential, and one of those is a travel pack!  A travel pack has many benefits for you and for your dog, and can make for a much better hiking or camping trip. 


  • A backpack for your dog allows your dog to carry his own gear.
  • Backpacks can actually help a dog to focus and can convey a sense of enthusiasm.  Since they are doing a job, they take pride in it, instead of chasing after every squirrel.
  • As a result, behavioral patterns can seem to magically vanish when a dog wears a pack.
  • A dog pack for hiking can provide your furry pal with a better workout in less time.  This actually makes it a great supply not just for hiking or camping, but also just for walks around the neighborhood when you are pressed for time.


What do you need to know to choose the best dog pack for running or hiking? 


  • Something really minimal may be fine if you are just going to be using the pack in your neighborhood.  Then again, if you plan to make a regular thing of it, you want something durable which will last.  For actual camping trips, you may need something sturdier with more compartments.


  • Look for a dog pack which features adjustable straps for the chest and girth.  That way you can get a snug, comfortable fit.  You do not want the pack to roll while your dog is walking, or get in her way.


  • Make sure that the strap or straps across the front will not produce strain on your dog’s neck.


  • If you will be hiking in hot weather, you should look for breathable mesh fabric. 


  • Reflective strips are another very helpful feature for safety reasons.  This will keep your dog from blending into the scenery, and will protect him from road traffic.


  • If you are going hiking, then there are a few more features that are important.  The dog pack needs to be lightweight (a pound or less is best), include a sturdy handle, a shoulder strap so you can carry it, and preferably removable saddlebags.  Water resistance is another important feature.  Closely check the harnesses and straps to ensure that they are not going to chaff your pet or cause hot spots.


How should a dog pack fit?  The key is to make sure that most of the weight is sitting over the shoulders and not weighing down on your dog’s spine or hindquarters.  Make sure that it is evenly distributed so that your dog’s walk is balanced.  Ensure that the lowest part of the pack is at least one inch over your dog’s elbows.  Measure your dog and then check the measurements you see posted in the product description so you know which size to buy.  Again, adjustable straps will give you a little more flexibility.


Take time to get your dog used to the pack; like all new objects, it will take some adjustment time before your pet accepts it.  How much should you put in it?  That depends on your dog’s total weight.  Always start with a light load.  As your dog adjusts to the pack and starts developing more strength, you can increase it.  The weight should never exceed 25% of your dog’s own ideal body weight (do not overload for an obese dog).  Anything more than that can be unsafe and uncomfortable.


Dog packs are great for pets and for their owners.  Whether you are going hiking and camping this summer or you just want a way to keep your dog focused and enthusiastic on your daily walks around the neighborhood, give it a try!  Most dogs love wearing packs and being given a job while they bond with their owners.


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