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If you enjoy hiking with your dog, you may have heard of a backpack that fits specifically to them to ensure comfort and while giving them a task, which most dogs enjoy having. Idleness creates anxiety and that’s when dogs become destructive, so when you’re taking your pup for a walk or a hike, it’ll be an extra treat for them to feel a sense of purpose. Backpacks for dogs come in a variety of styles but most are made of a comfortable material that hangs over their shoulders and down to their belly, putting most of the weight they’ll carry in a spot where they won’t feel burdened. Aside from the mental benefits of giving your dog a sense of purpose, hiking backpacks for dogs will ease the strain on you by lightening your own pack, even if just a little.
So what kind of backpack should you choose? It all depends on the size of your furry friend and the function you want the backpack to perform. Dogs can carry up to 25% of their body weight. There are some with more pockets than others and they vary in material. Some are lightweight and waterproof, while others are sturdier and will allow your dog to carry up to two or three days worth of their own food or water.
When you’re getting started, place an empty backpack on your pooch to ease them in for comfort and then add some weight. Let them walk around the house (but don’t let them lie down on that gorgeous dog couch) or down the block first to make sure they don’t shake it off. Once they’re ready to go, add their water and head off for that hike!
We’ve rounded up the best dog hiking backpacks to buy right now. Check them out below!
1. 2Pet Dog Backpack
With a soft, comfortable harness with easily adjustable straps, this is a good pack for larger dogs. The saddles detach for more or less weight depending on your hike or for removal as the hike goes on and your furry friend becomes tired. The neck circumference is 16 to 28 inches, so be sure to measure your pet before purchasing.
2. Mountainsmith K9-Dog Pack
This pack is great for longer hikes as it has two large pockets that are great for storing food and water. The pack also has comfortable straps that adjust easily and a handle to grip along the back so you can grab your dog easily if they fall into a body of water or anywhere else. Along with a comfortable belly strap, this pack is very durable and will last a long time.
3. Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack
There are two sizes in this backpack, from a medium at 30-85 pounds to a large at 50-110 pounds, so be sure to measure accordingly. The Kurgo pack has great pockets and a cozy harness and will fit your dog so well that they won’t even notice they’re wearing any extra weight. The reflective straps will serve you well on late-night hikes and an added bonus on the back strap is a bottle opener — a great way to end the night!
4. Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack
A great choice for those with smaller dogs as the chest size fits 22-27 inches. This pack has ample pockets for your pooch, five points of adjustment to make it as comfortable as possible — which is great for dogs who like to shake things off — and a weight-forward design so everything sits higher up on your dog instead of near their back or belly.
5. Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack
At a higher price point than the Ruffwear Approach, the Palisades Pack is of more durable heft, has more straps for adjusted comfort, and boasts larger pockets for longer hikes. The saddlebag attachment uses aluminum hardware and Hypalon fasteners for a secure connection and grip. The biggest perk to this backpack is the built-in one-liter hydration packs, which make this a sure winner in anyone’s book.
6. OneTigris Dog Saddlebag
This dog hiking backpack is water-resistant and made from durable nylon with a padded underbelly strap to enhance comfort for your furry friend. There are two main zippers that can easily contain food, water, treats and poop bags. An added bonus is a clear pocket on top of the harness for a photo ID in case you or the pooch goes missing.
7. Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack
Another great choice for your pooch, this dog hiking backpack is made from a relaxed, durable material that will keep your dog comfortable for the duration of your hike. With zippered pockets and a high visibility color, this pack will be enjoyed by all.
8. Lifeunion Dog Backpack
Made from high-quality polyester material, this Lifeunion backpack fits comfortably on any size dog as they come in sizes small to large. Just be sure to measure your furry friend beforehand. With multiple deep pockets, this bag can store as much water or food as you need, making it ideal for a longer journey.
9. Ruffwear SingleTrak Pack
A sportier design than the previous Ruffwear packs listed above, the SingleTrak is great for taking your dog along on trail runs, mountain biking, or any other activity where you’ll be more active than walking. Built as a hydration pack, there are two soft-sided 0.6-liter water bottle pockets that will come in handy during long adventures.