Buyers Guide to Dog Backpacks

Whether you are heading out hiking with your dog or taking a trip to the local market chances are you will take a rucksack or backpack with you to carry all the different bits and piece that you take with you. Now with our fantastic range of backpacks for dogs your dog can help share the load and we find that dogs love having a job.

When it comes to choosing the right backpack for your dog there are a few things to think about.

  • What is your dog going to be doing when he or she is wearing their backpack? If you are going to be venturing off for a full day of walking or even overnight and your dog is going to be carrying their food, water or other items, you may decide that the saddle bag capacity is important to you. Whereas if you looking for a backpack which is more suited to a trip to the shops only carrying a wallet and a few purchases a smaller day pack could be the one for you.
  • A dog should never carry more than 25% of his or her ideal body weight in their backpack and for young dogs this should be lessened as you do not want to put extra strain on developing bones and joints. Similar consideration needs to be given to older dogs who, while they still enjoy wearing their back packs, may have stiffness, aches and pains.
  • The perfect backpack for your dog should sit comfortably across the rib-cage area as this part of the dogs back has the most support. Bags should always be packed evenly, with the most weight being placed behind the shoulders and lessening as the backpack extends down the back. You should never place items directly across the spine or lower than the end of the rib-cage as this could be uncomfortable for your dog and cause injury.
  • The height of your dog also needs to be thought about when choosing the ideal backpack. The panniers or saddlebag part of the backpack should end approximately an inch above the point of their elbow. This allows the backs to sit comfortably against the rib cage and not flap around which again could cause discomfort for your dog and potential could put a dog off wearing their backpack.
  • Do you need a backpack and harness combination that their lead would be attached to or does your dog wear a collar to walk on. Or do you want to be able to remove the panniers and leave the harness portion on your dog? It can be very handy when you and your dog stop for a break to be able to pop the panniers off so your dog can have a run around or go for a swim.

In the K9Active range of backpacks you will find something for every budget and activity so you are bound to find the ideal one for your dog.

The Daypak by Outward Hound  Outward Hound DayPak Dog Backpack

An ideal introduction to canine backpacks the Daypak by Outward Hound features an air-mesh harness and 2 lightweight panniers which can comfortable hold a fold-able bowl, water bowl and some essential snacks for a day out exploring.

You will also find this backpack/harness combination has a convenient grab-handle should you need to give your dog some help get over obstacles and with the choice between bright blue or lime green along with reflective highlights your dog will be easy to spot on your trip.

The Summit Backpack by EzydogEzyDog Summit dog Backpack

A great value pack the Summit Backpack by Ezydog boasts a chest plate support harness to ensure comfort and a good fit for your dog. Although not suitable for a dog that pulls you will find 2 generously sized, zip up panniers on each side of the pack which are made from lightweight and waterproof Rip Stop fabric. Coming in a range of sizes, the breathable mesh on the inside of the pack means that your dog is kept cool while wearing their backpack while the highly reflective outer material gives good visibility when out on the trail.

The Summit Backpack also has a metal D ring for identification tags, a grab handle in case you need to assist your companion and also a handy lead caddy.

The Eqdog Flex PackEQDog Flex Pack dog backpack

The Eqdog Flex Pack are two generous sized panniers designed to be used in combination with the Eqdog Pro harness. The water-repellent, PVC coated nylon packs provide a durable and streamline design, attaching quickly to your dog’s Eqdog Pro harness using 3 hooks attached to the back of the pack kit then fastening securely under the belly.

The Flex Pack is a clever accessory for your dog’s Pro harness which lets your dog enjoy carrying their own supplies or even a lightweight jacket while wearing their everyday harness.

The Trailpack by HurttaHurtta Trail pack Dog Backpack

A generously sized and robust backpack and harness in one combination this Trailpack set by Hurtta allows you to remove the panniers when needed to leave your dog wearing a well-padded, Y-shaped body harness which gives support to your dog when walking. Adjustable, straps ensure this well designed combination sits comfortably on your dog without rolling or rubbing, remaining in position whatever speed your dog is travelling at.

An added bonus of The Trailpack is that once you have removed the backpacks, the harness can be used in the car to attach your dog’s seatbelt to giving added protection on journeys.

Approach Pack by RuffwearRuffwear Approach Pack Dog Backpack

Based on the Ruffwear 5 point adjustable Webmaster harness frame the Approach Pack ensures that your dog’s backpack sits comfortably on them all day regardless what they get up to. The forward weight saddlebags allow plenty of room for carrying items such as a first aid kit or maps and the single piece aluminium lead attachment point means you can have confidence in the harness when your dog is walking near roads.

Coming in a choice of Pacific Blue or Campfire Orange, both with low-light visibility reflective trim your dog will be easy to see as they proudly wear this pack.

Singletrak Pack by RuffwearRuffwear Singletrak Dog Backpack

Where other backpacks may give the space for your dog to carry a small water bottle with them on their walk the Singletrak Pack by Ruffwear is designed with taking a fresh water supply as its main function. Each side of this comfortable to wear backpack has a soft sided, BPA free water carrier which easily slips into place meaning that your dog or even you can stay well hydrated throughout the day. The pack is fully adjustable with 5 separate alteration points and combined with foam padded belly and chest straps you know your dog will be comfortable when wearing this pack. Two stash pockets allow for must have items to be packed as well such as some treats to keep everyone going along the way.

Palisades Pack by RuffwearRuffwear Palisades Dog Backpack

The Palisades Pack by Ruffwear is perhaps the ultimate in the canine back pack and boasts not only removable saddlebags to give you a Ruffwear Webmaster Harness but also 2 collapsible water bottles. To allow for even and secure weight distribution the panniers have a compression capacity while the webmaster harness comes with all the comfort and adjust-ability you would expect from a product coming from Ruffwear.

Coming in a range of sizes all featuring a strong grab handle, an aluminium ring to attach your dogs lead, high reflective strips to ensure visibility mean the Palisades backpack really does have everything you could want when heading out on an adventure with your dog.


Having chosen your dog’s ideal backpack there are a few accessories you may want to consider to make your time out together more comfortable. If your dog likes to explore undergrowth or run through rough ground the Brush Guard from Ruffwear can give some added protection for their undercarriage and chest when attached to the harness of their Ruffwear backpack. It also gives extra support for your dog should you have to lift them and helps to stabilise backpacks further once all the adjustments have been made. For the all-weather adventurers there is the Hi and Dry Cover from Ruffwear offers extra waterproofing for your dog’s backpack making sure that the contents remain dry regardless what the day brings.


Making sure you chose the right fit for your dog will ensure comfort and eliminate the risk of rubbing, chaffing or rolling and all of our backpacks product pages feature fitting guides. However if you have any doubts or need any advice then do not hesitate to get in touch, we will be only too happy to help.