Is a dog backpack right for your pet?

by | Dog Care |

dog backpack, dog walks,
photo credit: Spencer’s First Day Of School via photopin (license)

Looking to get your pet into better shape this summer while the weather is nice? Maybe you should consider getting a dog backpack for your pet!

The added weight of a dog backpack helps your pet burn more energy in less time. It can also help your pet feel more secure, and as if they have a purpose when they come with you on walks.

You can use the dog backpack to get your pet in shape for the Ontario SPCA’s Friends for Life! Walk™ – register today at

Here are some tips from our blog; Hitting the Trail with a Dog Backpack: 

Check with your vet

Your very first step should be talking to your vet. A dog backpack isn’t just a stylish accessory; it’s a way of adding a physical challenge to your dog’s walk, and that may not be appropriate for all dogs. Young dogs may not be developed enough to use a weighted backpack (although you vet may allow the use of an empty backpack) and older dogs may be placing too much stress on their joints.

Know the right weight

If your vet gives you the OK, ask what would be an appropriate weight for your dog to carry. This amount can vary from dog to dog, but in general you should not exceed 20% of your dog’s body weight. When packing the backpack, make sure you keep the weight evenly distributed on both sides of your dog’s body with the greater weight near the shoulders and less weight further down the dog’s back.

Know what kind of backpack you’re looking for

Look for dog backpacks that are of sound construction, durable, and comfortable. If possible, visit a specialty store that carries outdoor performance gear for pets. Consider what type of activity you’ll be doing: there are some dog backpacks that are more appropriate for hiking and camping, and some are more suitable for neighbourhood dog walks or jogging… complete tip on full blog!

Be patient when introducing the backpack

Your dog will likely need some time to get used to wearing a backpack. Start with an empty backpack so your dog gets used the feel of it. When you’re ready to add weight, start with a little weight and shorter walks, then gradually increase the weight of the pack and duration of your walks. While it’s natural for dogs to feel strange wearing their backpack in the beginning, make sure you watch for signs of pain or discomfort. Follow-up any concerns with your vet…

See the full post on the original blog below!

Hitting the Trail with a Dog Backpack


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