What are Dog Backpacks?

July 2, 2012 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Backpack Tips

Many campers and hikers enjoy camping with their dogs.  In fact, there are many places where you can camp, hike, and experience other outdoor events with your dog.  And a lot of these pet toting campers like to have Fido carry part of the gear too ease the stress on their own backs.  If you have a large dog and would like to bring him or her with you on your next hiking adventure, then you may want to look into purchasing dog backpacks.

Dogs have been traveling with their owners for as long as there have been domesticated dogs.  Sometimes these dogs will wear dog backpacks to help their owners carry a load.  When people go to the store, sometimes they will take their dog and have him help to carry the groceries home.  Other people will take their dogs on hiking trips or camping outings and then dog backpacks come in handy to carry things like extra water and food for the dog, along with other items.

A healthy dog should be able to carry about one quarter of his body weight in gear on his back.  For a large dog, this could be up to 15 or 20 pounds of weight.  However, some dogs will not take to their dog backpacks right away, and you may need to train him to wear the pack.  Start by laying a towel on the dog’s back sop he gets used to having weight on his back.  Then let him wear the empty backpack so he can feel the straps on his body.  Once he is used to that, any of the dog backpacks that are available should have enough room for two small bottles of water.  This will put a little weight in the pack so the dog gets used to having the pack on his back with something in it.

Getting the proper fit for dog backpacks is very important.  Just like you, your dog can become very uncomfortable and can even get injured if his pack is not fitted properly.  While every pack is different, the same general rules apply to pack fitting.  Be sure that the straps are secure and snug, but that they are loose enough to fit a finger between the strap and the dog’s body.  Be sure to test the fit when your dog is standing, sitting and lying down, as these different positions may change the fit.  Some dog backpacks have straps that go behind the dog’s elbows, but this is a very sensitive area. Most would recommend finding a brand that makes dog backpacks without these straps.