“Dogs love having jobs, and if they’re focused on walking and carrying, they’re much less likely to chase squirrels or bicyclists.” Say no more, dog whisperer Cesar Millan, because we love to spoil our good boys and sweet girls.
If you and your four-legged best friend love taking all the walks, sniffing all the bushes, chasing all the squirrels, and marking all the trees together, then a dog backpack is a must. It’s the perfect way to free up precious space in your hiking backpack and lighten your load, while still being sure your pup has plenty of food, water, treats, and poo bags (leave no trace, y’all). Check out the ever-growing array of dog backpacks that any pup will love to carry, then head outdoors for some trail time together.
Looking for something else for your pet? Check out the rest of our pet content, with articles on everything from dog seat belts for car safety to a stylish, hidden cat litter box.
Outward Hound Daypak Dog Backpack
Not all dogs are keen on wearing a pack, so give it a try with this affordable option before investing in a pricier one. Outward Hound’s Daypak is Amazon’s best-selling dog backpack, with an average of four stars from more than 1,200 reviews! This option has all the essentials — expandable pockets, adjustable straps, a harness made of breathable mesh, vibrant colors, and reflective accents — to keep your dog comfortable and visible, all day and night.
Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack
The Approach is Ruffwear’s “full-day hiking pack,” with enough space for a long day’s worth of food, water, and treats. The integrated harness provides multiple options for leashing, including traditional leash walking, lifting, or pulling. It’s made of lightweight materials, so your pooch won’t be carrying unnecessary ounces. After all, it’s about time your dog started carrying its own weight.
Mountainsmith K-9 Pack
Mountainsmith has been leading the dog pack industry for more than 30 years, and their redesigned K-9 pack should be a strong contender. It was designed with input from a Colorado sled dog veterinarian (what a job), with a plethora of adjustment points, so there’s no doubt this pack will stay in place when your pup is blazing trail. This adjustability is also ideal for any pup that fluctuates in weight or size as the seasons change, just like most humans who pack on some “winter weight.” We’re guilty! We personally love this pack more than the rest of the pack! The large handle integrated into the harness is super convenient for scrambling steep sections, when the jump is just a bit too scary for your fearless companion. Its carrying capacity is larger than most, too, which is ideal to bring a few day’s worth of meals for backpacking trips.
OneTigris Canvas and Cotton Dog Backpack
Any fashion-conscious hiker knows that a well-dressed pupper is the best complement to your outfit. With this vintage-inspired canvas pack, your dog will be stylish AF. But looks aside, this pack is super functional. Two main zipper pockets keep their food, toys, and training treats, two quick-access pockets keep the poo bags on hand, and a large handle lets you grab ahold quickly if your furry companion gets too feisty with oncoming foot traffic.
Ruffwear Float Coat Dog Life Jacket
Sure, this life jacket isn’t exactly a dog backpack, but we couldn’t resist. Teach your pup how to swim with this fish-themed life jacket from Outward Hound, which fits like a harness around the shoulders and chest. The front-float keeps her head above water, while dual top handles let you quickly pull your pooch out of water if she is having trouble staying afloat.