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Best Dog Backpack – You can put them to work!

Last updated on February 24, 2020

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Image of dog with backpack

Maybe Your Dog can carry his own weight!

Many of us enjoy taking our furry friends with us on trips and walks and it can be great fun.  But what about the dog’s water and drinking bowl?  Do you simply add that to your own pack?

There is no reason your dog can’t carry his/her own stuff, especially if he is not too small.  For my husband and myself, our dog “Boaz” is plenty big enought to carry his own stuff at 130 pounds.  Bo loves to go walking and hiking with my husband, but he does need to have water and something to drink out of just like my husband does.  Recently Bo went along on a 10 mile hike and we decided that he needed to carry his own things.  My husband jury-rigged a small human waistpack for him to carry across his shoulders but that didn’t work out so well – his movements made the pack slide around off his shoulders.  So my husband went shopping to get him a “real” doggie backpack.  Bo is rather large, so he had to go along to try it on.  It just fits and is a little snug but works well without being too tight on him.

So I thought I’d do a little research of doggie backpacks since some of you might be interested in them too for your doggie companion.

As I researched, I found out that they are often called “canine backpacks” and that you should think about them possibily holding the dog’s water, drinking cup, muzzle, medications, clickers, towel and treats/food, even a first aid kit.

I found that good high-end dog backpacks should have rugged clasps, buckles, zippers/snaps, rather than cheaply made connectors and hardware and padded straps for comfort.

Interestingly enough I did learn that carrying a doggie pack can actually calm your dog, kinda like a doggie “thunder shirt” or how swaddling does for a baby.

What about the weight of the pack?

While a healthy dog might be able to carry up to 25% of his/her bodyweight, you might consider 10-20% asa more comfortable figure to use.  You certainly want to keep from injuring your pet.  Also, you might consider the weather you will be walking/hiking through.  Carrying much weight in the heat uphill might be too much to ask.  Be sure and consider your dog’s comfort and safety – after all, you certainly don’t want to be carrying a sick dog back from your walk.

Our Bo weighs 130 pounds, so he should be able to carry 13-15 pounds easily.  After all he has pulled me in my wheelchair around lake Bella Vista, so a backpack will be a breeze for him.

How to Measure your Dog?

Chest (girth): Measure from the top of his spine right behind his shoulders down around the widest area of his rib cage and back to the top.

Here are some estimates for sizing a pack from Ruffwear:

Size Girth
X-Small 17-22 inches
Small 22-27 inches
Medium 27-32 inches
Large/X-large 23-42 inches

In researching, I’ve found some great dog backpacks to choose from.  Below are some of the better ones, and some doggie bowls that can be portable and put in backpacks.



Here is Boaz wearing his personal doggie backpack.Image of dog, Boaz, with backpack


Below is the backpack that we have for Boaz and the collapsible water bowl for him.



I love to get questions and comemnts from my site visitors, you can leave yours below -Shirley

NOTE:  This post contains affiliate links, which if clicked on and a product purchased, I receive a small commision.



  1. StrahinjaStrahinja

    Thank you for awesome news. I was completely unaware that things like this existed to be honest. On the other hand, I am a little old school so that is the reason I lack the info. Anyways, because I have a big Labrador, I think dog backpack would be ideal for him as well.

    I am really glad you shared the offer on Amazon here.

    • Strahinja, thanks for reading my post and your kind comment. You should get your Lab a pack. I believe dogs love to have a job to do. Thanks again for your comment. -Shirley

  2. What a great idea. I never knew that this kind of bag pack actually existed. It was certainly worth reviewing because in truth I have never seen a dog wearing one. But then again, I am based in Bali where street dogs are still rife! I loved the idea that you actually measured the weight that a dog can carry – it puts everything in the right perspective.

    • Hi Mariella, thanks for visiting my site and your kind comment. Live vests for dogs, backpacks for dogs, seatbelts for dogs… I’ve been learning a lot since our Bo (Boaz) became part of our family. Bo is the first dog we’ve had that was this big (130 pounds) and he’s a Velcro dog (meaning he is basically attached to us) – he is very loving and thinks he should do everything we do. Last week my husband Mel, got his own hiking stuff own and left for a Hill N Dale hiking club official hike (dogs are not allowed on these) and Bo was so disappointed. He had got all excited when Mel was putting his waist pack on and filling water bottles. When Mel left, he laid by the door and made these pitiful sounds (little whines) for a long time. I told Mel when he got home that he had broken Bo’s heart by not taking him. Anyway, thanks for your comment. -Shirley

  3. This is a great idea for your dog, but how did you train your dog to carry the backpack? Maybe you could write us an article on how to train your dog to carry their backpack, I for one would love to read that article


    • Thanks Jeff for reading my post and your question. That is an interesting one. Our Boaz had no problem wearing his backpack and was on a leash for the hike anyway. “Bo” has worn various harnesses for the car, a dog life vest when kayaking with us and has pulled my wheelchair with me in it. He enjoys hiking with my husband so much that a slight weight on his back doesn’t faze him I guess. Thanks again -Shirley

  4. I love the idea of this doggie backpack – I have 3 dogs and we often take long mountain walks and I end up carrying a lot of weight in water and treats for them all. Thank you for giving me this solution you have lightened my load.

    • Hi Kate, thanks for reading my post and your comment. Water for three dogs and yourself can add up to a lot of weight and there is not aways a stream on a hike so they can get a drink. You might truly love to get backpacks for your three dogs. Thanks again. -shirley

  5. Enjoyed your post and you’re right they can carry their own weight. We have a 14 lb Pomeranian – is there a particular pack you would recommend for a smaller longer haired dog?

  6. Muhammed Zia MusthapaMuhammed Zia Musthapa

    Really love the concept and I think I’ll be getting mines today

    • Muhammed, thank you for visiting my mall site and for your comment. We tend to love our pets and enjoy treating them well, but there is no reason they can’t learn to help themselves also as long as it doesn’t hurt them. Thanks again. -Shirley

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