Best Dog Backpack – Reviews & Buying Guide
Outlinist's team and our families are supported thanks to affiliate commissions that we may earn when you buy through links on our site. Read more

Best Dog Backpack – Reviews & Buying Guide (October 2019)

Updated: October 11, 2019

Best Dog Backpack

For dogs on the go, the best dog backpack is an absolute must. These allow your dog to carry their own items whether you’re hiking together or just going down the street to the store.

These backpacks need to be comfortable, while also making it simple to load your dog up with the essentials.

As you start looking at packing for your next trip, you want to be sure that you have it all. We’re not just talking about your dog plush toy and a dog carrier. You need all of the essentials!

For overnight trips, you want to pack grooming tools of all sorts. A dog dematting tool, dog conditioner and shampoo, dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste, and even a dog dryer would be good to have on hand for long trips. Keep your dog laxative on hand for emergencies, as well.

Worried about the weather? Dog boots and a dog raincoat would be good for outdoor play. A dog cooling pad may be a great option as well.

If you’re staying somewhere, then pack up your dog water fountain and food bowl so they’re ready to go. A dog camera can help you to keep an eye on them if you’re out, and you can keep them in a dog playpen then. Keep them entertained with a dog interactive toy, and maybe you won’t need to use the dog anti-chew spray you brought along.

In some cases, you may find it easier to load some of this up in the best dog backpack you can find. A great dog backpack lightens your load and makes traveling with your pup as simple as possible.

Selection Of The Best Dog Backpacks

Here are the best dog backpacks for most people according to Outlinist:

Chai’s Choice Military Dog Backpack

Chai’s Choice Military Dog Backpack
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

OneTigris Hound Hiking Dog Backpack

OneTigris Hound Hiking Dog Backpack
(rated 4.8 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Excellent Elite Spanker Dog Backpack

Excellent Elite Spanker Dog Backpack
(rated 4.6 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Outward Hound Hiking Dog Backpack

Outward Hound Hiking Dog Backpack
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Lifeunion Adjustable Dog Backpack

Lifeunion Adjustable Dog Backpack
(rated 4.2 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Best Dog Backpack Buying Guide

Specifically Designed for Dogs

Above all else, you want to look for a backpack that is meant for dogs. You never just want to use a human backpack and hope for the best.

Dog backpacks are designed with the dog’s unique body shape and design in mind, allowing them to carry items in there with little to no strain on their back, shoulders, or neck. They have a low weight capacity (to accommodate the breeds that would use that backpack) as well.

Chest Measurements

You don’t want to just buy a dog backpack for giant breeds and hope that your St. Bernard will be able to use it. One of the most important measurements that you need to take is the measurement around the broadest part of your dog’s chest.

Most backpack manufacturers will have some type of guide you can utilize to ensure that the size of the backpack is going to be right for your specific dog. They may also have a breed guide that you can utilize to ensure that it’s right for them.

Durability

Backpacks are meant for outdoor use, and if you’ve got an especially active dog, then you want to be sure that you are going to get the most durable option out there for them.

Look for backpacks that are constructed well, made from nylon, polyester, and other strong materials that are meant to last your pet as long as possible. You’re much better off spending a little more to get a stronger model that you can use for a longer period of time.

Waterproof or Water Resistant

Like a dog life jacket, you want to be sure that your backpack is waterproof. Hiking weather isn’t always perfect, or your dog may splash a bit of water while he goes to get a drink in the pond.

If your dog backpack is waterproof, then you don’t need to worry about anything inside of it becoming damaged or waterlogged, and your dog won’t end up with a soggy, uncomfortable pack that they are carrying all day long.

Breathable

Dogs can’t sweat, so you need to be sure that the fabric is as breathable as it possibly can be. The bags are already going to cause them to exert themselves more than usual, so don’t make it more difficult for them.

Look for fabrics that are light (but waterproof, as previously mentioned), like polyester and nylon. These will keep your stuff dry and your dog cool and comfortable for the entire hike.

Built-In Harness

Sometimes, you can put your dog’s harness on underneath their backpack, but it can cause entanglement and really restrict your dog’s range of motion.

In many instances, you just want to go ahead and get a dog backpack harness where the harness is built into the straps. You can hook your dog retractable leash right up to it and know that they are going to stay with you and not feel restrained at all.

Reflective Materials

If you’re planning on taking the dog backpack on hiking adventures, then you want to be sure that there are reflective materials on the pack.

This allows for several levels of visibility. If cars or other vehicles go by, they can see that your dog is there. Not only that, but if you come up upon other hikers in less than optimal light, they will be able to see that you have some sort of animal with you.

Padding

As you may expect from any backpack for dogs to wear, it can get irritating if there isn’t some sort of protection that prevents chafing and rubbing against the fur on their back.

Additional padding can be really helpful. Usually found in between the bottom layers of fabric, the padding will make the backpack more comfortable, hold it in place more securely, and prevent any sort of blistering or chafing while you’re out and about.

Carry Handle

When your dog is using a dog backpack, you’re likely going to be outside and exploring. What if they get stuck or they have a sore paw?

A carry handle is an absolute must. Like with dog harnesses, you can use the carry handle to securely grab and lift the dog up and out of where they are. And, if they’re tired, you can also use the carry handle to give them a bit of a reprieve.

Pockets

A dog harness with pockets is fine for a hike, but a dog backpack is even better. More often than not, backpacks will have one or more additional pockets (outside of the main packing area).

The smaller pockets are really handy if you have things like medication or treats that you don’t want to have jostled around with everything else. You can also use them to store an extra dog tag and/or other identifying information in case you get separated.

Adjustability

Like with a dog anxiety jacket or service dog vest, you want to be sure that you can make the appropriate adjustments to the backpack so that your dog is comfortable.

Your dog may gain or lose weight, or they may need the bag to fit a bit more snugly as you go over that rock scramble on the mountain. Having straps that adjust to circumstances can be a great way to ensure that the pack can be used in any situation.

Bulkiness

You never want the bags to end up being really big, bulky, and awkward. You want everything to be able to lie as flat as possible, and you don’t want a full backpack to be more than an inch or so above your dog’s back.

The less bulky it is, the better off that they (and you) will be. Sometimes, companies reduce bulkiness by adding pockets; others will have additional ventilation so that you can flatten the backpack and get the extra air out.

Snugness

How tightly does the pack hug the dog’s shoulders and back? You never, ever want it to be so tight that it leaves indents in your dog’s fur, but you also want to be sure that it isn’t ever too loose, either.

Let them run with the backpack on. Does it seem to flop around while they’re moving, or does it stay in place? If the former, then it needs to be tighter. Are you able to put your hand in between the backpack and your dog’s back? If you can, but you can’t move the hand around, it’s likely snug enough.

Where the Backpack Sits

You never want the backpack to sit on the dog’s neck or their hips. Ultimately, you want the pack to sit on their shoulders and end somewhere in the middle of their back.

This can be more difficult for smaller dogs, so be sure that you find a model that is as short as possible. It won’t be able to hold as much, but it will be more comfortable for your dog. And, it won’t restrict their movement.

Warranty

This is something that your dog is going to be using for years and they will be using it while enjoying a lot of physical activity. Because of that, you want to be sure that it’s going to last as long as possible.

Some of the best dog backpacks have 5 to 10 year warranties; much less and you may want to consider buying an additional one so you have a spare if repairs or a replacement is needed.

Chai’s Choice Military Dog Backpack
Our pick for the best dog backpack is: Chai’s Choice Military Dog Backpack. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching dog backpacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can I put in my dog’s backpack?

It all depends. According to experts that utilize these bags on a regular basis, your dog backpack load should be no more than 10% to 12% of their body weight.

Now, if your dog isn’t very fit or they are just getting used to using the bag, then you may want to cut it down somewhat (5% is a good place to start). Then, you can work your way up to them carrying 10% to 12% of their body weight. Some dogs will get the hang of it quickly; others may take a bit.

What can my dog carry?

Pretty much anything, but it’s usually best to just have them carry their own hiking gear; boots, blankets, bowls, water bottle, and whatever else that they may need during your trip. If it’s a longer hike, you may also have them carry food and treats with them as well.

Just be careful that nothing is poking through to where it could harm your dog. Pack the bags as flat as you can so that there is less of a chance of irritation while they’re walking.

How do I get my dog used to walking with a backpack?

If your dog has never used a backpack before, put a very slight amount of weight in the bags, and then put it on them for around 15 minutes at a time. You want to walk short distances with it on so that they become adjusted to it.

If the weight is light enough, you can go for a longer walk, taking the pack off at 15 minutes, putting it back on at 30, and so on. This style of dog backpack training will make it simpler for them to get the hang of things.

Will a backpack restrict my dog’s movement?

Not if you do your research. As you seek out the best dog backpack for hiking, you want to be sure that there are not any long straps or cords that hang loose and could potentially get in the way while your dog is walking.

In many cases, the backpack only adds a little extra weight and pressure, and your dog will get so used to it that they barely remember that it’s there.

Why do I need a dog backpack anyway?

There are a lot of different dog backpack benefits, but it means that you’re able to bring more stuff with you on a hiking trip because you have less that you need to carry.

It’s also a great idea because it can help to give your dog a bit of resistance training, which can help them to get stronger and to lose weight over time. Overall, the best dog backpack can make it easy for you to go anywhere with your dog and their stuff.

Chai’s Choice Military Dog Backpack
Our pick for the best dog backpack is: Chai’s Choice Military Dog Backpack. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching dog backpacks.

Sources

Pin this article now!

Click this link to enjoy Exclusive OCTOBER 2019 Deals »