How to Fit a Dog Backpack

By September 21, 2014 Hiking 6 Comments

Whilst out on the trails, Kate carries her own water and food in her backpack. There are heaps of added benefits to having your dog carry some of the supplies for adventures, not least being able to share the load!

Kate is a 17kg kelpie, and as with all dogs if they are to wear a pack the weight should not exceed 20% of their total body weight. This means I would only ever let Kate carry about 3kg in total extra gear (including the pack weight) as a precaution against overweighting. A great bonus of having your dog wear a pack is this adds extra weight to them, making your dog work a bit harder on the trail and will slow them down a little ensuring they don’t pull or push themselves too hard from the start in their excitement to get going.

So today I thought Kate and I would show you how to fit your dog for a backpack (or harness!).

Step 1: Loosen all the straps on the backpack

This will make it easier to get the pack onto your dog and adjust later.

Step 2: Position the pack

Position the pack over your dogs back, towards their front legs and the wider part of your dog’s body. The pack should sit square in the middle of their back distributing the weight evenly over both sides.

Step 3: Tighten girth strap

Once you have the pack in place, tighten the girth strap first to keep the pack position correct.

Step 4: Tighten chest straps

Then tighten the chest straps as needed.

PRO TIP: Make sure you don’t catch any fur as you are doing up the straps – your dog won’t thank you for it!

Step 5: Ensure pack is in place correctly and the straps are not too tight

You should be able to fit a finger or two in between your dogs body and the straps, you want the pack to be secure but not tight that it will impede your dog’s breathing!

And that’s it! You are ready to head out on the trails with everything you need for your adventures!

PRO TIP: Once out on the trails, be sure to stop for a pack inspection after a short way in. Here you can address any movement you’ve seen while walking by tightening or loosening the straps if needed.

The outtakes from the shoot!

This post is part of the Adventure Dog blog hop, hosted by DOGthusiast, Tiffany’s Diamond Dogs and You Did What With Your Weiner.

Adventure Dog Blog Hop


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