Dog Backpack Buyer’s Guide

If you’re here, you’ve decided that you’d like to enhance your hiking experience with your dog by getting him/her a dog backpack and need help deciding on one. If so, you’ve made a wise decision. Let me tell you, dog backpacks are great products and they provide many benefits for both you and your dog. The main benefit that I see is not only are they offloading you, but now they can bring more items they’d really appreciate (favorite toy, jacket, boots, even more snacks, etc.)

Buyer’s Guide

So let’s get to it. When selecting a dog backpack there are a number of categories you’ll want to consider to help you make the best purchase. First you want to decide what price range you are comfortable with, then determine the purpose of the pack, third you want to select the right size for your dog, and finally be aware of which features are available. We will explore each of these categories in the below paragraphs.

Price: When it comes to price, there are two price ranges to be aware of, those for low-end backpacks and those for high-end backpacks. The low-end packs are anywhere from $30 to high $70s while the high-end packs are $80 to $125. In the low-end range you’re going to find packs that have are single-purpose with a pretty basic design while the high-end range are multi-purpose and come with a more complex design. An example of low-end packs are some of the packs made by Kyjen, while an example of the high-end packs are made by Ruff Wear. The good thing to know is that you can find a high quality dog backpack in the low-end or high-end price range. Pet Backpack 

Purpose: Next, we look at the purpose for which your dog will be using this pack. You want to be sure to get the right kind of pack for the intended purpose. If you’re looking for a pack that is for short jaunts or trips downtown you’re going to be looking for a day-hike/short-distance pack while if you’re hoping to go on overnight hikes in rugged back-country, you’re going to want a multi-day/long-distance pack. You can also find a few hybrid packs which can be used for either purpose.

Size: Next, you want to determine the right size pack for your dog’s build. You have to be careful here as the sizing isn’t consistent amongst manufacturers. I recommend either having your dog try on the pack in the store or if your purchasing on the internet to consult the sizing guide on the seller’s website. The sizing guide should give you pointers on how to measure your dog’s girth and torso length and help determine which size matches up with these measurements.

Features: There are a number of features that are offered with dog backpacks that may interest you. Some of the features are unique to the manufacturer while other features become available in the higher price range. A few feature examples are: removable saddle bags, reflective strip, built-in water bladder, D-ring for leash use, haul handle, etc.


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