There’s nothing better than spending quality time in nature with your dog as they make a fantastic company for longer hikes and backpacking trips. Instead of hauling everything yourself, a backpack for your dog can help you share the load.
Whether you’re taking your dog on a shorter hiking trip or you plan to conquer a long trail, the best backpacks for dogs makes your pup equipped for anything. Backpacks for dogs are conveniently designed so the dog can carry some of its gear – food, water, and toys (among other things). The best backpacks for dogs are comfortable too, so your furry friend can enjoy wearing them.
To help you out with your decision, we have gone through several dog backpack reviews and compiled the best dog backpack list to allow you and your pup to conquer any trail with ease.
How To Choose A Dog Backpack – Buying Guide
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Size and Strength of the Dog
Depending on the breed, dogs come in various sizes. Luckily, most packs for dogs we have reviewed come in various dimensions so finding the right fit won’t be hard.
Besides the size, you should also consider the strength of your dog. Some breeds are naturally stronger than others. To get the right size, make sure you measure your dog before ordering the backpack.
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Fit (Strap Adjustability)
Even if you measure the dog, you still have to do some fine-tuning when you put a dog pack for backpacking on. This is why we put a big accent on strap design and adjustability. A dog day pack should come with plenty of buckles so you can tighten and loosen when needed.
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Dog backpacks need to fit well, otherwise, your dog will get tired faster and might even get hurt. Badly-fitting straps can dig into the skin after a couple of hours of non-stop use especially if it has sharp corners and abrasive edges. To eliminate the problem, dog backpacks hiking come with EVA padding on the inside surfaces, usually in the shoulder, armpit, and chest areas.
Most doggy backpacks come as a saddlebag design, with equally-sized storage compartments on both sides of the body. This also allows you to pack the dog backpack for hiking evenly, so your pup won’t lose balance when walking or running. The best hiking packs for dogs have a snug and tight fit against the body so the pockets won’t move too much.
Depending on the dog day pack you pick, the dog saddlebag storage capacity can vary significantly – from 3 liters (small dog models) to well over 14 liters (models for large dogs).
Pockets and Compartments
The pockets and compartment of hiking backpacks for dogs should be spacious enough to hold your pup’s gear but not too large that your pup struggles to carry it. Most backpacks for dogs come standard with two zippered side pockets, but some also have additional pockets and compartments inside.
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Some extra features that will make using a hiking backpack for the dog even easier for both you and your pup are:
- D-rings: Attach a leash to the backpack and control the dog
- Grab handles: Safely pick up the dog and move it without hurting it
- Reflective patches: Significantly improve the dog’s visibility in low-light conditions
- Hydration bladders: The pup can conveniently carry its water
Make sure that packs for dogs are strong enough to withstand the strength of your pup. Look at the stitching, webbing quality, and buckles. A dog day pack should have strong stitching throughout, but the most important points are the leash attachment ring and the chest area.
The best dog hiking packs always come with a high Denier rating. Three of the most common materials used for dog day packs are nylon, polyester, and canvas. When it comes to construction quality, you should pay attention to the stitching, zippers, and buckles, as well.
Q: Are dog backpacks cruel?
No, they are not. A dog backpack gives your dog a sense of purpose. Make sure it fits your dog perfectly and isn’t over-burdening it.
Q: How does a backpack help a dog?
Dog backpacks massively aid your dog in building muscles as they are a source of a well-balanced workout. They also give your pet a sense of purpose and feel that they are helping tangibly.
Q: What age can a dog wear a backpack?
If you own a medium or large breed dog, then you should wait a year and a half before you mount a load on it. Giant breed dogs mature slowly; thus, it is recommended that you wait at least two years before it carries any weight.
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When it comes to packing and managing your gear, your pup can be of great assistance and help you carry small items on long hikes with a top rated dog hiking pack. With the best dog backpack, you and your doggy can happily explore the woods and hike the trails with all the outdoor gear you need.
More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:
- Winter Hiking Boots
- Rain Pants
- Garmin Watch
- Survival Kit
- Hiking Baby Carriers
- Survival Books
- Bug Out Bag
- Gore Tex Jacket
- Drone For Gopro
- Backpacking Sleeping Pad
More Backpack Reviews:
- Camera Backpack For Hiking
- Camelbak Backpack
- Osprey Backpack
- Roll Top Backpack
- Hiking Backpacks Under 100
- Budget Hiking Backpack
- Solar Backpack
- Patagonia Backpack
- Under Armour Backpack
- Ventilated Backpack
- Black Diamond Backpack
- Columbia Backpack
- Picnic Backpack
Do you own one of the dog backpacks that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your outdoor needs in the comments section below.