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Should Your Dog Wear a Backpack?

Have you noticed that more dogs wear backpacks lately? Beyond fashion, backpacks offer the perfect place to stow water for a long walk and give working breeds a sense of purpose. Although backpacks can be a good choice for your pet, it is important to consider your dog’s health, temperament and size before buying a backpack.

 

Dog-on-a-rock

What Backpack is right for your Dog?

Active dogs bred for a specific purpose, such as herding or sledging are particularly well “suited” to wearing backpacks, although other types of dogs can also benefit ”from it”. Herding, sledging and sports breeds generally have sturdier frames and stronger shoulders, which makes it easy to wear filled backpacks.

Backpacks aren’t just for working breeds. Any dog may enjoy wearing a backpack during hikes, walks around the neighbourhood, or visits to the local dog park.

Some dogs don’t like backpacks or anything on their backs and might not adjust to the sensation, no matter how slowly you introduce the backpack. If that’s the case, there’s no point forcing your dog to wear something he or she hates.

It’s also important to consider your dog’s health. If he or she has arthritis or any joint condition, or other health problem, it is best to consult with your veterinarian before using a backpack. Adding extra weight to your dog’s back may worsen or cause health problems in some cases.

 

What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Backpack?

  • Size & Comfort

  • Fabric type

  • Age of your dog

  • Weight

Size and Comfort: Backpacks should fit comfortably. Although your dog’s weight plays a role in the size you choose, it’s also important to measure the circumference of his or her chest to determine the best size. Look for backpacks that feature padded straps for maximum comfort. Check the fit regularly and choose a larger bag if you can’t fit a finger or two under the straps easily.

Fabric Type: Breathable, waterproof fabrics are best. Your dog won’t want to wear the pack if it causes sweating.

Age of Your Dog: Backpacks may not be a good idea for puppies or older dogs. Ask your dog’s veterinarian for guidance if you have a younger or older dog.

Weight: Thanks to that new backpack, your dog can carry water bottles, collapsible dishes, food, and poop collection bags during your hikes. Make sure you don’t add too much weight to the bag, as excess weight can cause joint issues, spine curvature, sprained muscles, breathing difficulties, or loss of balance. Cesar’s Way suggests filling the pack with items that weigh no more than 10 to 12 percent of your pet’s body weight.

By now, you should know whether your dog should wear a backpack or not.