Many dogs breeds thrive on having a job to do, however in the modern world, most of us do not have a job to give our dogs. This is where the doggy backpack comes in. Although it may sound absurd, a backpack is the perfect way to give your city dog the purpose he craves.

Many of you may notice that you can take your pooch out for an hour long walk, only to find he just wants to play when he gets home! This is due to a lack of mental stimulation from the absence of a job to do. Giving him a backpack to wear, weighed down on each side with something as simple as a full water bottle or a couple of tennis balls, will make your furry friend focus on the task at hand – carrying items for his master. This focus helps to drain your dog’s energy, as he is using his brain, not just his body during his daily exercise. It is also a proven method to assist in stopping your dog pulling after other dogs and being distracted on his walks, as he feels he must focus on carrying your things.

It is a common misconception that a backpack must be weighed down substantially, in order to tire out a high energy dog. However, it is actually the task of thinking that successfully drains his energy. Dogs, like people, require mental stimulation as well as physical – this is why so many dogs appear to be eternally high strung, as they do not get enough mental activity. Although a healthy, fit dog could carry up to 25% of his body weight, this must be built up over time, and is not always a necessity.  It is also important to remember, however, that a backpack may not be for every pooch.

Keep in mind that backpacks usually do not come in very small sizes, as a small dog is not built to carry any weight. Longer bodied breeds such as Dachshunds and Basset Hounds are also advised against wearing packs, as their elongated frame cannot support the added weight. This is the same for dogs with bad hips or joints, and our senior dogs. Puppies under one year should also not be required to carry a pack, as their joints are not fully developed. If you have any concerns about whether your dog is physically capable of wearing a pack, please ask your vet first.

There are many brands of backpacks out there, however a few things to look for are:

  • The pack sits high up on the shoulders, not towards the hips
  • The front strap lays off the trachea and throat of the dog, and are supported more around the chest or breast bone
  • The harness section contours to the back of dog, adding extra comfort and support
  • The compartments are large enough for your carrying needs

Canine Equipment is a local Vancouver company that makes a great dog backpack. Below is the link: