I’m planning some hikes with my dog over the summer and have been looking at dog backpacks, which seem like a good idea. Could these hurt my dog?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
Not all dogs can wear a backpack. The weight would be too much for smaller dogs, canines with preexisting health conditions, older dogs, and “couch potato” dogs that aren’t in peak physical shape. You might wish to consult with your veterinarian before buying one.
Even for a fit dog, make sure that the backpack fits properly. The weight should fall over your pet’s shoulders and definitely not over your dog’s back. Other good features to look for include waterproof, lightweight material; padding to prevent chafing injuries; quick-snap buckles; adjustable straps; and bright colors, like red, yellow or orange, which will be easier to spot if your dog is off-leash. It’s always safer to keep your dog on leash, however, even in open areas.
If you do buy a backpack for your dog, try it out for a while at home. Fill it with items you plan to bring on your trip, or items of similar weight. You can then see how your dog reacts. If your dog can’t handle the extra baggage, however, you might have to be the only backpack wearer during your adventure with your dog.