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Hiking in the woods, up hills / mountains and valley walks are a great way of enjoying the great outdoors as a family or on your own. Not only is it one of the best forms of exercise for you, it is a great way of getting the whole family together too, including your doggie. Hiking, walking, running with your dog and/or your family is a great way of relieving stress and also improvements to your mental health. Plus, you can make it as fun as you like whilst on the trip. Most dogs love going on long strenuous walks and sharing this experience with them is a must.
Taking your pooch on a hike is a lot of fun however, you need to make sure they have the correct gear in preparation for the walk. This includes yourself as well. Some dogs are strong enough and have enough stamina to carry their own gear, if you have the right equipment that is. That’s where Hiking Backpacks for Dogs comes in. These backpacks not only fit like a harness but have enough storage for the main accessories your dog will need when out on a hike. And if your lucky, you may have enough space to store some of your own things as well. They also work exactly the same as a baby backpack carrier.
Let’s dive straight:
- 1 Best Hiking Backpacks for Dogs.
- 2 Dog Backpacks: Are They Safe?
- 3 Hiking With Your Dog: Top Tips
- 4 Hiking Tips for a Great Enjoyable Experience
Best Hiking Backpacks for Dogs.
Outward Hound prodocue a large range of dog accessories including dog backpacks. The Kygen is a superbly made prodiuct, like everything from Outward Hound. Simple and easy to use includes multiple pockets, light weight and reflective piping to ensure your dog is comfortable and seen whilst hiking. Inside the backpack is a nice sized storage space for your keys, phone, dog bowl, spare lead, poo bags, treats etc etc.
This backpack will ensure you are able to store everything you and your doggie needs when out and about.
Ruffwear provide many doggie items including harnesses and Dog Carriers. The Ruffwear Approach backpack does not disappoint. Tried and tested to be on of the most adventurous backpacks on the market, the Ruffwear Approach is a great accessory in the toughest of environments. The Nylon is a tough and durable material made to be water and tear resistant.
On the top of the backpack is a dual aluminium ring for the lead to attach too. Additionally, the side bags have a nice padding to increase the level of comfort.
When you are looking around for hiking gear for yourself you would always look for the best, so why would this be different for your dog? OneTigris have built this nylon, water resistant and perfectly designed backpack, some say military like. When you look at this backpack, it is no wonder why people will see it as a military style due to the storage space available. There is room for ID Cards, Poo bags, all your doggie treats and accessories PLUS OneTigris have included a waste bag dispenser.
Outward Hound are back with the Explore Pack. Light, comfortable and full of breathable air holes makes Outward Hound Explore pack another perfect purchase. Light green for great visibility the Explore Pack has a super spacious storage space and a extremely durable meshing on the top. Also included is some nifty little webbing that helps balance out the accessories. The handle included on the back really helps you not only keep a firm grip on your dog but prevent them from falling down or putting themselves in danger.
Simple to attach with click in straps, the Pawaboo is probably the most simple and effective design of all the backpacks we have reviewed. The harness is very easy to adjust and can be done whilst attached making it even easier to get the perfect fit.
The materials used ensure that the backpack remains extremely comfortable and breathable, even when full. With 600D Oxford cloth as the main material you can quickly understand why dog owners love this backpack. The large side pocket ensures that all your doggie equipment is perfectly placed to not disturb your doggies stride and also has enough room for your accessories too.
Kurgo Baxter have created a superb Dual Purpose Dog Backpack. Being bale to remove the saddle bags from the harness turn this Dog Backpack into a simple and fully functional Dog Harness. Allowing you to use this backpack day to day reduces the need to own a backpack and a separate harness. You could simply purchase this and have everything in one.
The bags allow you to carry everything required for your walks and hikes such as water, foldable bows, treats, poo bags etc etc. This backpack will be an amazing purchase for you and your doggie.
One final thing to point out is the harness has a handle for you to be able to quickly grab your doggie if required and a reflective piping for easy visibility day an night.
The DayPak is another amazing backpack by Outward Hound. Super stylish, very easy to use and attach, comfortable and above all else – plenty of storage.
This backpack has dual pockets for your own personal belongings as well as your dogs. It is completely water proof making it a superb backpack for being outdoors on long walks, and the lightweight materials used help with the comfort.
Dog Backpacks are not just used for Hiking. They are great for service dogs and also if you are walking to a friends house and don’t want to carry everything. Lifeunion Supply Backpack is a great addition to any dog family. The double layered polyester helps keep this backpack completely waterproof. Furthermore, the mesh, durability and lightness of this product makes it comfortable for your doggie, especially if wearing for a long time. Any dog backpack you purchase should always have that comfortable factor otherwise your dog will just feel irritated. If the backpack rubs then this, over time, can affect your dogs skin / fur and cause skin sores. Always make sure you try the backpack on your dog and see how they react. Train them to wear it and walk round with it on. Use treats just like with a harness to ensure they are comfortable.
Now, after look at the best backpacks for dogs, its time too look into some tips and advice to help you with your decision.
Dog Backpacks: Are They Safe?
First things first, backpacks are not a bag for your dog to carry all your stuff. Dog backpacks are for dogs. You should carry all your own things. Building a dog up to carry a backpack requires patience. You cannot just dump a load of accessories into a dog backpack and expect them to be fine. It just wont work that way. Start small and build up to the recommended weight which is no more than 25% of your dogs body weight. This allows for a water bowl (preferably foldable), some treats, poo bags and a lead / spare harness. You could even put a light in that attaches to your harness to help increase your dog visibility. Yes they are safe, as long as you pack and fix correctly. Using the handle is most important when your dog may need a little help. If the dog backpack is not attached properly, using the handle could cause the harness to break and your dog to fall. Always do some safety checks before heading on your hike.
Check the attachments, check the lead, check your backpack is zipped up so you dont lose anything and above all else, check the harness is secure.
Hiking With Your Dog: Top Tips
Plan and Prepare; this is an absolute MUST! If you do not plan your route and prepare for your trip, there’s a chance it won’t be enjoyable. You should always research your area and your return journey. Going for a walk round a park is very different to going on a proper hike with your dog. Many differences include, the terrain on your feet, the moisture in the air, the humidity and overall, the distance.
Hiking can be very enjoyable if you have prepared correctly. Water, foldable dog bowl, treats, poo bags, whistle, flashlight, phone, keys, food and most importantly backpacks. Getting your dog used to travelling with a backpack on can be challenging so you should always start with a small hike and less accessories. Try a small wooded area or valley initially. This helps increase yours and your dog’s stamina but also improve the strength in your dog’s feet and pads. Over several trips your dog will be ready for a proper hike.
After any hike, always check yourself and your dog over. Bites, mites and other foreign bodies can easily find their way onto your doggie. Check the tail, underbelly, mouth, ears, eyes and most importantly paws. Keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour also. If they start eating at their feet or biting their fur then something could be irritating them.
Always look for small cuts and splinters too. These could quickly become infected if not treated properly.
And Finally, give them a good bath / shower when you get home. You will obviously need one to but your doggie should be treated the same. Shower, clean and overall lots of relaxing afterwards.
Hiking Tips for a Great Enjoyable Experience
1 Keep your dogs meal size down in the morning. People make the mistake of keeping the same size feed and then head out on a hike. This is why preparation is key. If you have planned to go on a hike then you should reduce your dogs morning feed to very little. This helps ensure they are not too full which could ultimately make them sick. Whilst on the Hike however, you can give them treats and bits of food throughout to give them that little boost they need. Just like feeding yourself a bit of chocolate or a banana.
2 Hiking at 1pm on a Hot Summers Day is just not nice. Dogs will also suffer in this heat so regular water breaks are required. My advice. Don’t go at this time. It can get too much for you both and cause exhaustion very quickly. Even stopping at rivers / lakes for a drink and refreshment could cause you and your dog further problems. These waters contain parasites that can quickly affect your dogs health.
3 Walking Your dog and Hiking with your dog is enjoyable if the walk is clean. Always pick up your dog’s muck. There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a nice long hike and standing in dog poo most of the way. It takes seconds to pick up and, in many cases, there is somewhere to dispose of it. Leaving it lying around can not only incur a fine, it is just plain disgusting. Clean up after your doggie to ensure you have the peace and satisfaction that you have done your bit. If someone else fails to then that’s their problem and you cannot be blamed. Don’t be afraid to challenge someone who doesn’t pick up their poo neither.