When choosing a backpack for your dog, the key is to know what you are looking for. It is also essential that you consider what you will be doing with the dog backpack.
If you only take short morning hikes along park trails, you won’t need the same type of backpack as a dog owner who does longer full-day or multi-day hikes.
Once you decide what you will be doing with your dog with regards to excursions and hikes, you can look through the options and easily find something that is perfect for you and your dog’s needs.
Material, features, and durability all play a large role in making the right decision.
Read more to find out about the five choices we have selected as well as the buyers guide and FAQs for more details information to help you select the best dog backpack for you.
Best Dog Backpack Reviews
1. OneTigris Saddle Bag
The OneTigris Saddle Bag boasts rugged sophistication and elegance. It is made from durable cotton canvas and the two zippered pockets deliver the extra storage needed for you and your dog to enjoy successful hikes without losing the practicality of a backpack.
This vintage-styled canvas backpack will allow your dog to go out and about in style. In addition to looking good, this backpack is very functional with its two main zipper compartments which can store your dog’s water, food, toys, and leash, plus these are two quick-access Velcro-sealed pockets so you can easily reach the poop bags.
The backpack is made from cotton canvas which adds comfort so your dog doesn’t have their skin and fur pulled or pinched. There are three adjustable straps to ensure a snug fit for your pup, and this backpack is best-suited for medium to large sized dogs.
This backpack is perfect for traveling, hikes, camping trips, and day excursions. There are handles on the pack, but these are only suitable to aid your dog when needed, and are not suitable for lifting the entire weight of your pooch. The color of the material means that dirt will not show, ensuring that your dog always looks neat and fashionable.
The thick and sturdy cotton canvas has been double stitched, providing longevity and durability. Each side can expand to fit 4 small bottles of water. Of course, this would overload the weight of the pack and is only used to demonstrate how big the pockets are.
Despite the backpack not being waterproof, the cotton canvas is quick to dry. Most buyers prefer the strength of the pack over the lack of waterproof properties.
The 3-point securing system holds the backpack securely in place, with one strap fitting around your dog’s neck and two straps under your dog’s body. The pack design keeps the bag high on your dog’s shoulders, which is where your dog is strongest.
- OneTigris BLAZE TRACKER Dog Pack(Tactical Version): Water-resistant 1000D nylon & padded underside offer a durable and comfortable solution
- Two main zipper side compartments with hook-and-loop closured pockets for carrying dog food, first aid kit, dog toys, poop bags, etc. (one of them designed with built-in holder for quick access to waste bag)
- Top zipper pocket with 3.5 x 4" clear ID card window; V-ring for dog leash attachments
- Multi-functional dog backpack, ideal for dog hiking, camping, long trail walks, backpacking trips, traveling or everyday use
- Net weight: 370g/13oz; 3 adjustable straps fits for medium & large dog; F: 16"-26"/41-66cm (chest), 30"-42"/76-107cm (belly), 10"/25cm (back)
What's to like about the OneTigris Saddle Bag
Most owners found that the backpack fitted their dog really well, with very few reporting any comfort problems. In addition, the OneTigris boasts high durability which has received praise from many owners.
What's not to like about the OneTigris Saddle Bag
Owners with thinner dogs found that they occasionally had to use safety pins to secure the pack snuggly to their dog.
Some also found that, while the pockets are spacious, they are very narrow, making it difficult to store certain items.
2. Outward Hound DayPak
The convenience and comfort provided by this bright-colored low-profile backpack will leave both you and your dog happy. It is a great pack for outdoor adventures, and can even be worn while running errands around town.
The mesh harness offers breathable, cooling comfort while walking, and the Velcro straps allow the backpack to be safely and securely fitted to your pup. The Outward Hound DayPak is one of the smallest and cheapest packs available on the market, and its lightweight style ensures your dog is not placed under any strain.
This backpack has four expandable pockets where you can store water, food, toys, and other essential items. It is perfect for shorter excursions, like day hikes. This bag was intentionally built to be smaller to ensure that your dog has freedom of movement while having enough space to carry the necessities.
In fact, despite being small, the pack can accommodate 16 ounces of water on each side while still leaving enough room for essentials in the remaining pockets.
You can attach your dog’s leash to the secure D-ring, and there are two bright colors to choose from. The reflective trim mean that your dog will always be visible.
- COOLING MESH - Breathable mesh provides airflow & keeps your dog cool on the go
- HIGH VISIBILITY - Never lose sight of your dog with bright coloring & reflective piping
- ADJUSTABLE STRAPS - Comfortable adjustable straps enable full range of motion and keep the pack in place
- EXPANDABLE POCKETS - Store essentials like keys, ID cards, phones and doggie bags in the expandable pockets
- MADE TO FIT - Choose from 2 colors & 3 different sizes & consult the sizing guide to order the best fitting DayPak for your furry friend
What's to like about the Outward Hound DayPak
The compact design of this backpack helps keep your dog cool and doesn’t impact your dog’s movement.
The mesh harness is breathable, and the Velcro straps can be adjusted to secure your dog properly.
Its smaller size means that it is lighter and easier to carry, and the D-ring is secure. The reflective trim also makes your dog more visible to drivers, especially at night.
What's not to like about the Outward Hound DayPak
The smaller size of the pack is not appreciated by all owners.
Some buyers also claimed that the backpack is not suitable for very active dogs as rough play resulted in ripped seams.
A few owners also found that the pack didn’t fit as snuggly on their pup as they hoped.
3. Lifeunion Adjustable Backpack
This LifeUnion Adjustable Backpack is an effective and simple pack that features a handy rubber handle and two big side pockets that are perfect for days spend hiking, camping, or exploring with your dog.
Durable and waterproof, this doggie backpack is made using 100% waterproof polyester materials which can resist the tough elements encountered during a hiking trip.
There is a mesh panel down the middle part of this lightweight backpack which cools your dog’s body. The pack is also easy to clean with soapy water and a rag.
The chest and back straps are adjustable, and the pockets are conveniently located on the sides of the pack. The pockets can easily accommodate your dog’s food, water, and treats so you can grab them easily when you want to give your dog refreshments along the trail.
The built in soft runner handle allows you to easily assist your pup over and through obstacles. The handle also allows you to have up-close control of your dog should you need to control aggression and dominance.
The D-ring is stitched in using bar tack stitches at the critical stress-points. This means the D-ring can bear heavier weights, and boasts durability and strength, ensuring your dog is safe at all times. The high quality zips are strong, durable, and smooth. This allows ease of access when opening and closing the pockets. The zippers also have a lifetime guarantee.
The secure buckle is made from very durable PP plastic, and each strap has a high-impact quick-release buckle for easy adjustments and securing. This means you can easily operate it, saving you time.
- Made of high quality 600D double polyester material,durable and waterproof.
- Adjustable straps and a soft-mesh lined underside for a comfortable and custom fit.
- Space to store all of your dog's travel essentials such as food,treats,toys,first-aid supplies and travel bowls.
- Sturdy, built-in rubber handle and a hard D-ring leash attachment on top for extra control.
- Great gifts for dog lovers,perfect for service dogs daily walking,hiking,camping or training.
What's to like about the Lifeunion Adjustable Backpack
Most owners praise the high durability of this backpack and love the available color schemes. The majority of buyers also claimed that the backpack was very comfortable for their dogs, with many appearing to enjoy wearing it.
What's not to like about the Lifeunion Adjustable Backpack
Check the size chart before purchasing this backpack to make sure that the size is right for your dog.
Some owners reported that they had to tighten the straps to the tightest option in order for their small dogs to fit in it properly.
4. Pawaboo Dog Backpack
This nifty backpack allows you to take your dog’s water and treats along without having to carry an extra bag, all while training your pup to remain calm. The adjustable straps secure the pack in place, while the mesh harness creates breathable comfort while your dog in on the move.
The Pawaboo backpack offers an ample amount of space, so there are a wide variety of things you can put into this pack. It boasts an adjustable neck circumference to keep your dog comfortable while hiking and exploring, and the expandable pockets conveniently fit all of your dog’s necessities.
As it is made from durable and sturdy 600D Oxford cloth, the pack is lightweight and breathable on your dog’s body. This is a great backpack to use for your pup when you are out hiking, jogging, walking, or shopping. It is also suitable for longer excursions.
This backpack is perfect for medium-sized pups, and you should have no problems fitting this snug backpack onto your dog’s shoulders.
- Enjoy the spaciousness of expandable pockets in which you can store extra goods like your keys, some snacks or a drink.
- Perfect adjustable straps and neck circumferenc, secure everything in place.
- Made of high quality 600D Oxford cloth, breathable harness bring your loved dog comfortable feelings. Your dog won't be bothered by the backpack at all.
- Perfect for walking, shopping, hiking and jogging, and geart for you and your pet wherever you go.
- Our backpack is medium sized (Chest Girth: 27.6"- 31.9"; Belly Girth:16.1"- 21.7"; Neck Girth:20.0"- 23.6").
What's to like about the Pawaboo Dog Backpack
Most owners reported that the pack stays securely in place, even over long distances and rough play.
Dogs are often calmer when wearing the backpack, and respond better to training.
Many owners also reported that, despite being rubbed up against sticks and rocks, the pack was still intact with no scratches or tears.
What's not to like about the Pawaboo Dog Backpack
The pockets are a bit shorter than some owners would prefer, so there may not be as much space for your dog’s necessities. This is not a problem if you are doing day hikes or excursions, but overnight trips may need something bigger.
5. OSPet Saddle Bag Backpack
The OSPet Saddle Bag Backpack is a great tool to use when you go hiking or walking with your dog. You can conveniently store all of your dog’s treats and water in the bags, and there is enough space in the pockets for cell phones, keys, and poop bags.
The interior pockets of this pack allow your dog to carry his necessities when hiking or camping. It is perfect for both everyday errands and quick getaways with your pup. The pack is also big enough that you can easily stow away your personal items, making it simple for you and your pooch to explore together.
This pack is a light-capacity backpack with a saddlebag design which is comfortable and convenient for your dog to wear. The bright colors mean that your dog is always visible, especially when walking or hiking in the evening.
The breathable and lightweight Oxford mesh materials help keep your dog’s body cool and the adjustable non-slip straps also ensure that it is comfortable, durable, and sturdy. The backpack weighs just 14 ounces, meaning that your dog won’t be weighed down by the weight of the pack.
This OSPet saddle bag pack design gives your pooch a comfortable way to carry his essentials that doesn’t obstruct his ability to move.
The reflective line on the side of the pockets ensures that your dog can easily be seen. This is especially important if you are hiking in a hunting area, as you don’t want your dog to be mistaken for wild animals. The handle on the backpack also means you can easily help your dog over or through obstacles that you may encounter.
- [EFFICIENT LOAD]:4 pocket backpack can hold water bottles, poop bags, toys, collapsible dog bowls,first aid,etc.Please keep its weight less than 25% of dog body weight and distributing the weight evenly
- [MADE FOR ADVENTURE]: Saddle bag design provides your dog with a comfortable method to carry the essentials for your hiking,training,outdoor activity and service dog use.Reflective line can reflect the rim to ensure good visibility, especially at low-light visibility environments.
- [DETACHABLE]: Plastic Buckle on backpack allows easy removal to instantly turn into a vest harness.Detachable pack Harness with rubber carry handle on top help for any occasions when you want or need to pick up or quickly control your dog.
- [REFLECTIVE AND ADJUSTABLE STRAPS]: Reflective trim on dog pack ensures safety from multiple angles so your pup is visible in the dark; Adjustable straps are easy to adjust,secure and have to distribute load and increase comfort and that is non-slip
- [DURABLE PROMISE]: If you have any question about the dog backpack, contact us by email, you will get satisfied answer within 12 hours, we are waiting to assist you and your pet with your product needs.
What's to like about the OSPet Saddle Bag Backpack
Owners with large dogs reported that they loved this pack’s adjustability, and that it was easy to maintain and clean after each outing.
The zippers and buckles are secure and will hold with most activity. A few owners also said that the saddle bags were larger than expected, which was an added bonus.
What's not to like about the OSPet Saddle Bag Backpack
The Velcro used on the side packs keeps them from bouncing, but some owners reported that the straps don’t keep the packs snuggly fitted to their dog’s body.
A few owners also stated that this pack is better suited for dogs that don’t rough house.
A dog backpack is a simple accessory that is precisely what it sounds like. It is a backpack specifically designed for dogs, so that they can carry their own water and food, as well as some lighter items for their owners, such as keys, identity cards, wallets, and cell phones.
There are a few safety points that you should keep in mind with regards to how much weight your dog can safely carry, as well as the materials used and the size of the backpack, and we will delve into that below.
There is a wide variety of dog backpacks available on the market, so it can be a real challenge to select the right one for your pup, especially if you are unsure what to look for and consider. We have listed the most important points below.
The material used to make a dog backpack is what gives it durability and strength. Most dog backpacks are made from polyester and have been treated with waterproofing to protect the items in the pack from rain and splashes. Polyester backpacks are also lightweight and are typically cheaper.
There are also cotton backpacks available on the market. They are very durable, but don’t always have good water-resistant properties. As a result, there is a chance that your items may get damaged if rain, splashes, or dew soaks through the backpack. If you do choose a cotton backpack, be sure to store your valuables in an additional waterproof package, such as a Ziploc bag.
As a general rule, dog backpack straps are secured with plastic latches, which are very strong and durable, and are very unlikely to open by mistake, even with active wearing.
Dog's Weight and Size
As a human, when you go hiking, you don’t overtighten or overload your backpack, and the same applies to your dog’s backpack. More than anything else, your dog’s pack should be comfortable.
Your dog is not able to tell you if his backpack is too tight. Selecting the correct size allows your pet to feel more comfortable while hiking and exploring.
Your dog can typically carry around 25% of their weight, but that doesn’t mean you should overload the backpack.
Rather err on the side of caution and limit your pup’s pack weight to 15-20% of their weight, and make sure that you load the pack carefully. Even weight distribution is vital to ensure that the pack doesn’t sag to one side, throwing your dog’s balance off.
When it comes to size, manufacturers will typically offer several options for different breeds and sizes. Use the following guide as a general rule of thumb:
Small dogs (under 40 lbs.): 16-29 inch adjustable straps
Medium-sized dogs (40-80 lbs.): 21-37 inch adjustable straps
Large dogs (65-100 lbs.): 26-45 inch adjustable straps
Try to select a back pack that has a weight limit that your dog is in the middle of, i.e. if your dog weighs 65 lbs., select a medium-sized dog backpack rather than the large dog backpack. If you select a backpack that your dog only just fits into, he may slip out of it, or you may find that it does not fit them snuggly.
Convenience and Capacity
Most backpacks for dogs have a handle at the top of the pack for convenience. This is helpful if your dog is tired, as you can easily carry the backpack yourself. Additionally, you can help your pup to climb hills or lift them out of the water with the versatile handle.
Of course, all dog backpacks have pockets to carry belongings, water, food, and aid kits. Furthermore, some manufacturers include plastic bottles that fit to the shape of the backpack. This is a great feature to look for as it increases the capacity of your dog’s backpack.
Look for packs that have zips to open and close the pockets. Velcro is also used on some backpacks, but can be easily opened if your dog brushes up against a tree or rock, and you may lose your stored items.
You want the backpack to be as lightweight as possible, preferably 1 pound or less. Having a lighter backpack means that your dog isn’t overwhelmed by the weight of the pack once the supplies have been added.
Having a lighter backpack also means that your dog can carry it safely without the risk of injuries.
If you plan to do any nighttime hikes or excursions, bright colors that are very visible are great, especially if your pup has a habit of wandering off.
The bright colors allow hunters, campers, and hikers to clearly see your dog and not mistake your dog for a wild animal. Bright orange or yellow backpacks are popular for this reason.
Dog Backpack FAQ
Why should I use a dog backpack?
Most backpacks for dogs are designed to fit almost any type of size of dog, and can easily fit over their body, much like a saddle fits onto a horse. Apart from the clear need to carry extra gear when hiking with your pup, backpacks made for dogs serve a few unique purposes.
You have probably noticed that by repeating certain behaviors, or repeatedly using certain objects in your dog’s presence conditions your pup to associate those behaviors or objects with an action and reward. For example, if your dog has been taken to the park every time you take out a Frisbee, he will get excited when they see the Frisbee, knowing they are going to the park.
The same concept applies to your dog’s backpack. Your pup will learn to associate the backpack with an adventure or walk. Because of this, it can be used as a training tool. The backpack also improves your pup’s ability to focus as it gives them a job to do. This focus also carries over when training your dog on a leash, reducing aggression and pulling on the leash.
Adding a backpack to your dog’s exercise regime helps your pup work off his excess energy. On weekends that you aren’t hiking, load your dog’s backpack with cans, water bottles, books, or food to add some weight and intensity. Make sure that you don’t overload the pack due to the shorter distance as this may result is injury or discomfort.
A backpack makes your dog mobile. Because your dog can carry their own items as well as yours, it is easier for your pup to go on trips with you as you can bring their necessities along without adding to the weight of your own pack.
By wearing a backpack, your dog will attract attention, making them easy to see. This prevents them from being shot by hunters or getting lost on a trail. Many packs have reflective strips which are useful when walking along dark paths and streets. It also makes your dog easy to spot by shining a torch around the area.
How do I choose a dog backpack?
Getting a great backpack for your dog is a smart idea. The backpack will be used for carrying water, food, treats, a blanket, toys, a leash, and any other items you may need for your furry friend. Naturally, you will need to get your dog used to carrying the backpack’s weight slowly, but this shouldn’t be a problem.
The type of backpack you choose and the items you can fit in the pack will depend on what size of dog you have. However, no matter which backpack you choose for your dog, there are a few criteria they should meet. The following features will help you choose a backpack:
- Easily adjustable
- Weather resistant
Ideally, when you choose a backpack for your pup, check whether the weight of the pack is on your dog’s shoulders. If it is further back, it could place strain on your pooch’s back and cause injuries and health issues.
How do I measure my dog for a backpack?
When you are choosing a backpack for your dog, it is essential that you properly measure your pup. This ensures that you get the right size that doesn’t pinch, rub, or chafe your dog. Here are the steps to measure your dog properly for a backpack:
- Measure around the thickest part of your dog’s chest. This is the girth, and is the most important number to get right
- Measure around your dog’s neck on the lowest part toward the chest area
- Weigh your dog so you can buy the right size as well as know how much they can carry
What safety considerations should I look at?
The following guidelines will help your dog get the most out of his backpack while being safe.
- Never overload your dog’s backpack. While a dog can carry around 25% of its body weight, it is recommended that you aim for 15-20%. If your dog is overweight, ensure that the pack weight is based on what your dog should weigh
- Always load the pack evenly. If the backpack leans to one side, it will throw your dog off balance and may also cause muscle strain and sores from uneven carrying
- Wash the backpack after every longer hike or excursion. This can be done by simply using a cloth and water. If you pack allows machine washing, follow the instructions for cleaning
- Check the straps regularly, and make adjustments as needed. Make sure there are no sore spots or rubbing. As your dog moves, the straps may loosen and cause the pack to slip, which could cause an injury. Ensure that the backpack fits well at the start and during your hike
You also need to remember to have regular breaks while hiking. Just like humans, your dog needs a break where the backpack is removed and they can stretch and rest. If you are hiking on a hot day, your dog may become dehydrated and overheated if they don’t have regular rests and water breaks.
A dog backpack is the perfect way to take your dog on hikes and excursions without adding to your backpack’s weight. Your pup can carry his own water and food, as well as other lightweight items which takes the weight out of your pack.
Each of the above choices has features that make them good options for your pup. If you want to look stylish while out and about, the OneTigris with is classic look may suit you. If durability on long hikes is your requirement, the Outward Hound DayPak may be just what you need.
After considering all of the backpacks and their features, we have selected the Lifeunion Adjustable Backpack as our #1 choice. This backpack has everything a durable and comfortable pack needs. The handle with rubber padding allows you to assist your pet with ease. The secure buckle is easy to operate, and the straps are easy to adjust. For the price, this pack is great value for money.
Along with our best dog backpack reviews, you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your pup.