Dog backpacks are amazing pieces of pet accessories that not only give your pet the right tool to feel good about itself, but also allow your canine friend to join you in your outdoor adventures wherever that may be. These dog saddlebags are designed specifically to be worn by your pet without necessarily burdening them needlessly. However, it is important to choose wisely as the market can be unforgiving especially for pet parents who are not really trained to look for the best backpack for hiking and any other outdoor activity. That’s why our team came up with this list of the best dog hiking gear to get for your canine friend.
If you’re looking for a large dog backpack that has a rather stylishly vintage design, OneTigris is a great choice. Unlike other doggie bags, the OneTigris is made of high-density cotton canvas materials to give it softer and more comfortable feel on your dog’s back. The large storage compartments come with an interior sleeve pocket for storing some of your dog’s more important things. The integration of a top handle and dual D-rings for your pet’s leash allow for greater handling and control of your pet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with reflective surfaces which should come in handy when the sun bids farewell in the evening.
The chic design of the OneTigris is, nevertheless, a worthy compensation as you can actually have the bag on your dog’s back whenever you take it out for its daily stroll.
Heavy-duty, lightweight, high-density cotton canvas material
Heavy-duty D-ring with haul handle
2 main zippered storage pockets with zippered interior sleeve compartment
Elastic rubber band-reinforced adjustable straps
As the name implies, Outward Hound’s Daypak is perfect for a whole day of trekking, hiking, or any other outdoorsy adventure you may want to share with your pet hound. Get the small dog backpack for your mini hiking hero and you’ll have the best time of your life together. It’s only available in blue and green colors, though. However, this should not dissuade you from getting the Daypak especially if you’re the kind of hiker that never manages to extend well beyond a day outside his home.
The Daypak dog carrier backpack comes with twin spacious compartments complete with storage pockets for your dog’s trinkets and water bottle. The adjustable chest straps and D-ring are already standard. The good news is that it already comes with reflective piping, making this dog rucksack a safer alternative.
Roomy saddlebag storage compartments
4 expandable storage pockets and water bottle holder
Breathable mesh panel
D-ring leash attachment
Fully adjustable straps
Designed specifically for highly active pet parents whose idea of a great weekend is spending the rest of it in the great outdoors, the Mountainsmith K-9 dog hiking pack offers optimum comfort for your pet while carrying its stuff on its back. What is quite remarkable with the Mountainsmith is its unique vet-approved ergonomically-tapered torso section, relieving stress points on your pet’s chest as it carries its load. The padded sternum strap further adds to the comfort.
There are air mesh panels on the K-9 pack to afford breathable comfort for your canine friend. Made of a combination of two types of nylon materials, the Mountainsmith K-9 is built to last many years of heading outdoors. There are reflective trims integrated into the design while its spacious cargo pockets are perfect for putting almost everything that your dog needs to feel comfy and safe during the hike.
Combination of 420D Duramax nylon and 210D nylon
2 zippered pannier storage compartments
Adjustable belly strap with safety reflective trim
Top haul handle with air mesh panels
Durable D-ring leash attachment
You don’t need a large and bulky hiking backpack for your dog if you’ll only be out for less than a day. If you’ve got a small breed of dog then you can get the Ruffwear Approach Full-Day small dog hiking pack. It stylish looks plus vibrant colors are sure to stand out even in the wild. And if you happen to call it a day long after the sun has already set, you’d still have peace of mind for your pet’s safety because of the Approach’s reflective trims.
Of particular importance is the weight-forward design of the saddlebag, positioning the backpack closer to the front of your pet and helping distribute the weight of its cargo squarely over its back. The saddlebag also comes with a more streamlined shape to showcase your hound’s unique profile and to help minimize the strain of putting too much weight for its small body to bear.
Weight-forward, lightweight, streamlined saddlebag design
Padded top handle
Fully integrated harness with V-ring leash attachment
Safety reflective trim
Sheltered buckles and non-slip straps with 5 adjustment points
One of the best things about the Kurgo Baxter doggy bag is that the zippered storage compartments are positioned well along the sides of your pet and not high on its back. This allows for better ventilation to run along the entire back of your canine friend. True to its saddle-type design, the fully-padded back panel that forms the saddle of the Baxter serves as the attachment points for its two storage systems. A thick haul handle is integrated into the panel for greater control.
It also comes with an integrated bottle opener so you can always stay refreshed yourself after a long trek. It has a well-padded chest strap to help provide for a more comfy carry while its 8 attachment points is perfect for ensuring the perfect fit. The reflective trims are always welcome features that make the Baxter a safe bag for your pet to carry at night.
Fully adjustable saddlebag system with integrated harness
Padded chest strap
Rear-mounted bottle opener and leash hook
Safety reflective trims
8 adjustment points
Featuring a rubberized haul handle instead of the usual padded fabric material, the Lifeunion large dog backpack comes as a reliably heavy-duty dog carriage system that comes with 3 fully padded strapping mechanisms for the neck, chest, and belly. The bag only extends halfway into the dog’s back unlike other systems that are planted squarely on the length of the spine. The Lifeunion is made of Oxford fabric giving it dependability when it comes to sturdiness.
It’s got a breathable mesh top to bring comfort for your pet while going on a wonderful trek. Its storage compartment may not look spacious, but it is. The Lifeunion is fully capable of accommodating you pet’s water bottle, collars, treats, and other items and gizmos that you think is important in creating a memorable time outdoors.
Breathable and comfortable mesh saddle top
Breathable and comfortable mesh saddle top Durable 600D Oxford fabric
Fully adjustable straps, zippers, and buckles
Rubberized top handle
Heavy-duty D-ring leash attachment
Fans of military badges and patches will love the GrayCell dog saddlebags as these come with select military tactical morale patches and badges that can be placed onto the different elements of the GrayCell saddlebag. The other good news with the GrayCell, and one that other products perhaps have forgotten, is that it is already throwing in a fully-collapsible silicone dog bowl so you can feed your pet its dog food while you’re taking a respite from your trek.
The reflective strips are also wider than other systems, substantially improving the visibility of the GrayCell even from farther distances and in low-light situations. The rubber haul handle may take some getting used to especially if you’re more accustomed to the feel of polyester on your hands, but it does offer the advantage of excellent grip.
Made of durable 600D Oxford fabric material
Wide reflective strips
D-ring leash attachment
With collapsible dog bowl made of silicone
With military tactical morale badges and patches
The RUFFWEAR Palisades Pack is a dual-purpose canine hiking accessory. It can serve as a nifty backpack for your four-legged friend. The saddlebag design of the Palisades has enough storage space for many of your pet’s hiking stuff and emergency supplies. Pack your dog’s food, treats, toys, and feeding bowls in one of the two weatherproof zippered compartments of the saddlebag. The saddlebag comes with a built-in grab handle that is perfect for assisting your pet when climbing an elevated platform.
The saddlebag is removable. Once removed, the Palisades turns into a standard dog harness. It comes with a V-shaped leash attachment point at the back of the harness. Both the back and chest panels of the Palisades feature ample padding. They ensure better comfort for your pet. There is also the Web Master Harness frame technology that guarantees equal distribution of weight. The system also ensures better load stability. Lining the Palisades is a reflective trim to increase your pet’s safety in low visibility conditions.
Heavy-duty Web Master Harness frame
Removable zippered saddlebags
V-ring anodized aluminum leash attachment point
2 BPA-free, collapsible 1-liter capacity hydration bottles
Padded grab handle and back and chest panels
Don’t get confused. The Outward Hound doggy bag is not from the brand of the same name, but from Kyjen. It features a sportier styling complete with a well thought-out design. The extra-large zippered compartments come fully integrated with water bottle holder and a couple of interior mesh pockets for organizing all the stuff of your pet. The Outward Hound dog rucksack looks more like a nifty dual duffle bag that is perfect for keeping some of your gym gear. It is available in 4 sizes and bright colors that add to the visibility of its reflective trim. Like most of the dog saddlebags in this list, the Kyjen comes with padded and adjustable secure straps. Of particular convenience are the removable storage packs so your pet will be well-rested before continuing on your journey.
Made of super-tough, durable nylon
Removable storage packs with adjustable straps
Bright colors and reflective trims
2 large storage compartments with secure zippers
Interior mesh pockets with water bottle holder
Available in 4 colors and sizes
The lightweight and washable Wellver Dog Backpack is ideal for traveling, walking, or hiking whatever the weather. The backpack comes complete with a breathable middle mesh and soft mesh lining to keep your dog cool and comfortable. It also has adjustable straps so that you can fit it to your dog’s specific size and needs. The sturdy buckles make the pack easy to put on and take off and reduce the risk of breakage. The backpack has two roomy pockets that are large enough to carry all your pet essentials without weighing down your dog.
Available in three sizes – small, medium, and large
Two roomy pockets
Breathable middle mesh and soft mesh lining
Adjustable straps with sturdy buckles
D-ring options available
If you go to a pet supplies store you’d be greeted with a number of display cases featuring dog backpacks. These dog hiking gears are becoming as important as dog bowls and toys. The problem is that there are way too many products to choose from. Just looking at them can easily give you a headache. This buying guide should help you navigate through the many issues and concerns that pet parents face whenever they have to pick a backpack for their canine friends.
In picking the right backpack for your pet, there are several things that need to be considered. Here are some of them.
If you are going to go on an outdoor adventure for several days, you will need a doggy backpack that has a larger capacity than usual. If you’re only looking at a day’s worth of hiking, getting a lighter weight saddlebag is a perfect choice.
You need to look for a system with at least 5 adjustment points to help secure the load squarely on the back of your dog. You don’t want the backpack to be shifting or rotating on its own as you and your hound are hiking. It is also important to look for a canine bag that will not put the load directly onto its spine.
While the fabric panel should be made of waterproof material, you should also pay particular attention to the closure systems such as the zipper. This should be able to keep water out so that your dog’s items inside the bag will be kept safe and dry. Some high-end bags come with drain holes to help facilitate the faster removal of interior moisture in cases of accidents.
Putting a doggie backpack can be quite challenging as it does require some amount of work. But if you don’t remove the bag when your dog is supposed to be resting, you’re essentially putting undue strain on your dog. It is a lot better to choose one with removable saddlebags so you can retain the harness on your dog’s body while only removing the load off of its body. This also gives you versatility in the use of the dog backpack as it can be used as a regular dog harness for everyday use.
This will help draw the bag closer to your dog’s body, preventing saddlebag flopping and giving your pet a much narrower horizontal clearance. This should allow your hound to move safely across bushes and other similar natural features that may snag the bag.
Unless you can be 100% certain that your dog’s attention will be on you 100% of the time, then there’s no need for a leash attachment. However, there will be instances when a few other gears can be attached to the dog backpack.
Don’t forget your dog’s drinking water. Most dog backpacks come with water bottle holders, although some high-end ones come with a built-in water bladder system complete with a hose. If not, you can always go for a dog saddlebag that is large enough to accommodate your pet’s bowl.
The strongest part of the dog is in its torso. As such, it is best to choose a dog backpack that is designed as a front-loaded bag.
Whether it is an entire bag panel or a simple strip or trim on the bag, having reflective surfaces will help increase safety especially in low-light conditions.
Whenever you head outdoors, it is inevitable that dirt, dust, and rain will require you to clean your doggie backpack. It is, thus important to look for a bag that’s made of washable materials. Additionally, you may want something that is abrasion-, dirt-, and UV- resistant.
There is one very important measurement when choosing a backpack for your pet – its girth or circumference. Depending on the backpack you’re going to buy, you may need to measure its neck, chest, and belly circumference. To do this, you’ll need a cloth tape measure.
Wrap the tape measure around the base of your dog’s neck and take the measurement. For the chest circumference, position the tape measure over the area of your dog’s chest that is the widest when seen from the side. Wrap your tape measure all around this area to get the chest circumference. Do the same with the abdominal region of your pet, although most dog backpacks will already have this covered once you obtain the chest circumference of your hound.
Just like any other contraption we put on our dogs, it is always best to adhere to a few basic principles of safety even though these are just backpacks. Here are a few safety reminders whenever putting a backpack on your dog.
A: A dog backpack is just that – a piece of bag that is specially designed to be carried on a dog’s back. The design is similar to a horse’s saddle with two bags attached to both sides. The bags are intended to carry the dog’s items as well as a few other things.
A: There are many reasons why you may want to buy your dog its very own pet backpack. For starters, it gives your canine friend a sense of purpose. There’s no denying that a great majority of dogs were bred specifically to do work. Long before they were domesticated by man, dogs have been working for survival – looking for food, defending the territory, and even engaging with other dogs. These may not look like work but at least they don’t do these things sitting down. Today, while many pet dogs have become the quintessential lap dogs, they still need to work for the simple fact that it is in their genes.
That being said, dog backpacks are important while hiking, as your pet gets to carry a variety of items that you would otherwise have to carry. Things like your dog’s water bottle, doggie treats, and even dog food can all be placed inside these canine backpacks so your hound will be the one to carry them.
Traveling is a great way to bond with your pet. You get to bring your hound wherever you want to go. It doesn’t have to be left at home since it can now carry its own gear right in its own bag. This also means you have more space to put your own stuff and gear into your own backpack.
A: The things you can put inside a dog backpack depends on its capacity, or more specifically, the capacity of its storage compartments. It also depends on the maximum weight that your dog can safely carry. Generally, however, you can put your dog’s treats, water bottles and bowls, collars, muzzles, favorite toys, dog food, and even emergency pet medications. Some may even have a neatly-folded pet bed. The most important thing here is to weigh everything before putting them inside the bag. Make sure they don’t exceed the recommended weight capacity of your dog.
A: The general recommendation is to never go beyond 20 percent of your dog’s weight, although sticking at 10 to 12 percent its weight is always a safe idea. So, if you have a pet that weighs 20 pounds, 20 percent of this is 4 pounds. This is the maximum. But then again, you also have to consider other things such as the presence of a medical or health condition that may put your pet at a disadvantage. For instance, if your hound happens to have canine arthritis, even the maximum of 4 pounds is way too much for your pet. The same is true for dogs in their senior years. They are typically not as strong as they once were.
Another factor will be the length of the hike. Carrying 4 pounds may not look like much, but if your dog is going to carry the load for the whole day, then you’re pushing it. You may have to schedule more frequent rests in between.
As always we’d recommend having a chat with your vet so you’ll have an idea of the maximum weight your dog can carry. Your vet will have to consider the health condition of your pet for him to give you an appropriate weight limit for your dog.
Personally, we love the vintage styling of the OneTigris plus its exceptional use of high-density cotton canvas. Unfortunately, quite a number of pet parents lamented about the questionable durability of its design with some claiming the dog hiking gear simply was unusable after going only several miles. Ruffwear’s Approach is quite exceptional especially in terms of its fashionable styling and thoughtful weight-forward saddlebag design. We also found very few negative comments, if any at all. Unfortunately, we find its price to be way prohibitive for a dog rucksack. If you don’t mind the price tag, we’d really recommend the Ruffwear Approach.
This is one of the more compelling reasons why we chose the Kyjen Outward Hound as the dog backpack for hiking and any other outdoor activity. This is not to mention that there were no issues with the Kyjen. However, since these were more related to the uneven distribution of the placement of items in the bag which was also emphasized by the positive commenters of the product, we deemed these concerns were immaterial to the actual quality of the product. The Kyjen’s removable pack, high-visibility color, reflective accents, and nifty pockets all make it a great pet backpack to have on your dog.
Dog backpacks are excellent tools for allowing our dogs to join us in our outdoor adventures. It’s also a great way for them to exercise and a more meaningful way to let them live out their lives. However, since there are also serious safety implications, it is imperative that you be mindful of the product that you’ll eventually choose. Hopefully these dog backpacks we’ve shared will point you in the right direction.
Dogs have come a long way from being mere instruments of man’s pursuits such as hunting and herding to becoming truly modern man’s best friend. Look at the various items on display at your local pet shop and you’d get this feeling that you’re actually entering an abode that is especially for little people. From dog clothes to fashion accessories and the more usual dog food, grooming, and healthcare products, there’s technically a canine version of almost everything that we humans have. Take our backpacks, for example. The backpack is the go-to of many adventurers, travelers, and even a few fun-loving businessmen. It is no wonder that dogs have their own backpacks, too. But why should you buy your pet hound its own backpack? We’ve found 10 reasons why.
All dogs have a purpose in life. They are not born into this world designed specifically to do nothing. They are, first and foremost, hunters. While their hunting instincts may have already been tamed or even made dormant because of aggressive domestication by man, their drive is still pretty much hidden somewhere in their system just waiting to be awakened. This is the very basic principle why dog trainers exist and why many dogs seem very happy performing.
Giving your pet a dog backpack gives it a meaningful existence. It knows that it has a job to perform. And that job is to carry its items or even some of your gear inside its backpack. Whether it is its dry food, water bottle, doggie treats, bowl, or any other item that easily fits inside its backpack, these contents are meant for your pet. And while the most obvious effect of working is spending physical energy, it can also provide adequate mental stimulation. This helps them become better-rounded hounds with very few behavioral issues if none at all.
We mentioned above that the most obvious effect of work is the use of physical energy. This can also be equated to a form of exercise. The good news is that when you put a bag on your pet’s back and fill it with just the right quantity of items that your pet can carry, you are essentially putting resistance to your dog’s work.
For example, an ordinary walk in the park can burn about 100 calories per hour. Give your pet a backpack filled with some of its essential gear and this ordinary walk can immediately see an increase in the number of calories utilized. Not only is there an increase in energy expenditure, but your dog also accomplishes this calorie-spent goal in a much shorter period of time. In our example of 100 calories burned per hour, this same 100 calories can be burned within the first 30 to 45 minutes with the addition of weights on your dog’s back. This makes dog backpacking a more efficient way to exercise and reach your pet’s fitness goals especially if it’s already turning into Garfield.
If you’re familiar with resistance training, then you know the benefits of having a backpack on your dog. The weight of its contents – dog water bottler, treats, dry food, dog bowl, and the like – is what gives it resistance. This is what your dog will have to work against. Since your dog will be technically pushing on the ground under its feet to lift the weight on its back, this will tense its muscles, especially in the legs. The muscles of the back will also be worked out.
Building your dog’s muscles can help in many ways. It can facilitate better movement which translates into more fun for your pet. The muscles of the heart also tend to get stronger, allowing for the more efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the different cells of the dog’s body. This helps improve overall stamina or endurance, making your pet go to greater distances.
One of the effects of working is getting your mind stimulated. This is the same thing with dogs. When they are given the chance to carry their own things, you are essentially giving them mental challenges. This helps reduce if not eliminate a variety of undesirable canine behavior such as nuisance barking, destructive chewing, and inappropriate elimination, among others.
Work shifts the focus of dogs on the task at hand. They know that if they don’t think about the way they carry the load on their backs, they will not be able to fulfill their very purpose. Animal behaviorists say that having a focused mind is the key to avoiding canine boredom. It is a well-established fact that boredom in dogs is the root of many canine behavioral problems. When a dog is bored, it tries to get rid of this boredom by doing some of the things that you may not like it to do. As such, when you do give it a backpack it will look at it as its purpose and will do everything it can to serve this purpose.
You are definitely not your pet’s mule, are you? We all love our pets that we are prepared to take every conceivable accessory that they may have whenever we travel. From water bottles to food bowls to doggie treats and even their several days’ supply of dry food, we can actually pack all of these things into their bag. This also teaches our pets to work for their needs. They need to drink, so they have to carry their own water bottle. They need to eat so they will carry their own dry food. You might even want to include in their backpack their own portable travel dog sleeping bag for instant comfort wherever you may decide to stop and rest.
As a general rule, however, you should not put too much into the backpack that is more than 10 to 20 percent of your pet’s weight. For instance, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, it should not carry more than 4 pounds of items or gear. You will also need to consider your dog’s age, body size, and any existing medical condition. Elderly dogs, for example, will often have reduced strength. As such, you might want to give it a load limit of about 10 percent its weight.
If you’ve got a really large working dog, you can get a dog backpack that is larger than usual but still appropriate for your pet. You know what this means. You can actually use some of the storage space in the dog backpack to put in some of your things. Remember, you’re not supposed to allow your dog to carry a load that weighs more than 20 percent of its body weight; lest you risk harming your pet.
For some pet parents, this might seem a very cruel idea. But we all have to remember that dogs are happiest if they are able to serve a purpose. And while carrying some of our stuff can be interpreted as being selfish and cruel, our dogs actually love the mental challenge as well as the ability to showcase what they can do. They love the attention. They know that we’re giving them work because we believe in their capabilities. Dogs are crazy for human attention. As long as we observe the limits of what their bodies can accomplish, letting them carry some of our things should be perfectly alright.
Have you ever tried working out before? Perhaps going on a 10-mile jogging before calling it a day? Did that made you sleep better? Exercise actually improves blood circulation and relaxes the muscles. This is in addition to the surge of natural endorphins released by the brain, giving you a sense of contentment, of happiness. Overall, you’re more at peace and getting that much-needed sleep to recharge both your body and your mind for the grueling day ahead.
The same is true with dogs. Whenever you give them something to work on, they will feel much better. Their muscles are more relaxed and endorphins in their brain are increased. These give them a sense of calm and an overall relaxed feeling. This helps provide for a more restful sleep. As you know, a dog that sleeps well means you’ll be sleeping better, too. A well-rested dog can also bring about other positive things in its existence such as better temperament and a more relaxed, friendlier demeanor.
It is inadvertent that during one of your adventures with your hound, it will have to go and relieve itself. While you may be outdoors, you are still expected to observe your responsibility as a pet parent and as a member of society. That being said, you’re expected to carry with you your dog’s poop bags upon which to temporarily manage its wastes. Our dogs’ feces aren’t actually sterile. They contain germs that can be transmitted to other dogs when they sniff, lick, or even eat these turds. In the likely event that other adventurers pass by the same path as you and your dog did, they might step onto the fecal matter and they’d be cursing whoever allowed their pets to poop in such areas.
Dog poop, as we’ve mentioned, contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can be transmitted to other dogs, animals, and even other individuals who may pass through the area. If not, these microorganisms can spread by other means and even contaminate the soil. Chemicals and substances from dog poop can reach the waterbed underground and contaminate the water source for communities nearby. As such, you must do your share in controlling the spread of dangerous microorganisms found in your dog’s poop by bringing with you its own dog poop bags. And unless you don’t mind putting them in your pocket or your own backpack, you’re better off putting them in your pet’s backpack for proper disposal when you get home.
Not everyone loves backpacking or even camping in the woods. But for those who do, nothing is more enjoyable and more meaningful than bringing your hound along. Having a dog backpack lets your dog tag along in many of your trips for the simple fact that the things they are going to use will be placed in their backpack, not yours. Just imagine, if you already have a lot of stuff in your own bag and you’ll still cram your dog’s things in, you will most probably opt for your dog to stay behind.
Traveling and going on adventures with your pet can do a lot of things to strengthen the bond between you and your hound. It draws you closer to one another. More importantly, you get to learn more about your pet including its capabilities and overall temperament.
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Have you ever tried spotting your dog through tall grass? How about a dark-colored pooch deep in the woods? It really isn’t that easy to spot our dogs whenever they’re outdoors as the color of their coats can be masked by their surroundings. They’re not chameleons, but it sure will take substantial effort on our part to keep an eye on them. As soon as the sun sets, their visibility also decreases.
Dog backpacks typically come with reflective strips or bands that increase your pet’s visibility even in low-light conditions. Many are also designed with really bright colors to attract attention. Even if your dog is several hundreds of yards away, it is still very easy to spot a bright orange speck amidst a sea of green or brown.
Dog backpacks are a great way to enjoy your adventures with your dog as it gets to carry its own gear and things. And while some pet parents may opt for backpack carriers, most would rather have dog backpacks since they provide many benefits to their dogs. It gives the work, exercise, fun, and a sense of purpose in their lives.
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