What Do I Do With A Dog Backpack?

July 2, 2012 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Backpack Tips

If you are lover of the great outdoors, chances are your dog is too.  He loves to go on long walks with you around your neighborhood, or maybe to the local dog park where he can run around with his doggy pals.  Perhaps you go on nature adventures with your human friends, camping and hiking in national parks.  Wouldn’t you love to take your canine buddy with you on these journeys?  Well, in certain parks and national forests, you can take your dog with you.  And if you want to, you can have your dog help you with the load, too.

A dog backpack is an old idea, almost as old as the domestication of dogs themselves.  For as long as dogs have been helping humans in their tasks, there have been people who utilize the dog backpack as a means of having the dog help carry the load, be it groceries or camping equipment.  The dog backpack is hardly a new idea, but for those of us who want to take our pets with us camping or hiking, it can be a welcome new addition to our standard camping gear.

Before you purchase a dog backpack, be sure your dog is in good health, because only healthy animals should be helping to lug gear on nature outings.  If your dog is full grown and in good shape, then you can go ahead and allow him to carry up to one quarter of his body weight –  and for a larger animals, that could equal 15 or 20 pounds that you don’t have to carry.

Make sure the dog backpack fits well, because if you’ve ever had a backpack that doesn’t fit properly, you know how uncomfortable that can be.  The dog backpack should fit securely around the dog’s body, but you should still be able to fit your finger between the strap and the dog’s body.  Also, be sure to check the fit when your dog lies down, stands up, and sits, because different positions can greatly affect the fit of the dog backpack.

If your pooch doesn’t; take to the pack right away, you can train him to enjoy it and associate it with pleasurable activities with you.  Reassure him in a happy voice and then place a blanket or towel on his back so he can get used to having weight on his back.  Once he is accustomed to this, you can put the dog backpack on him and let him wear it while it is empty.  Then you can but small plastic water bottles in the pack so he can learn what it feels like to wear the dog backpack when it is full.