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Dog Backpacks: How to Find the Perfect Fit and Training Tips

Dog Backpacks: How to Find the Perfect Fit and Training Tips

The best way to step up your hiking game is with one of Alpha Pak’s Dog Backpacks! Our dog backpacks have numerous benefits for you and your outdoor-loving best friend, and it is truly the best addition to any outdoor adventure. If you aren’t sure how to find the perfect backpack for your pup, we’ve got you covered. This quick-start guide gives you all the information you need to know to find the best fit and size backpack and even includes some helpful tips for training your pup to use it! 

How to Measure Your Dog for a Backpack

When measuring for the perfect fit backpack for your dog, the two most important measurements are their neck and chest. Although some websites will offer up estimates of these measurements based on your dog’s weight, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so to ensure the perfect fit, you need to take these measurements yourself. 

You can use a piece of string or a flexible tape measure to the circumference of your dog’s neck and chest. Once you have your dog’s measurements, you can easily compare them to our size guides listed with each of our backpacks so you can confidently purchase the perfect fitting pack for your pup! 

Alpha Pak's Dog Backpack sizing chart

How to Properly Fit Your Dog Backpack

Once you have received your Alpha Pak dog backpack, try it on your pup and adjust it as necessary using the EZ Fit Straps to get the perfect fit. When you’re adjusting the straps, it is best to follow the two-finger rule. That is, you’ll want to adjust the backpack to fit snugly, but there should be enough room for you to fit two fingers between the gear and your dog. This ensures the perfect security while allowing the backpack to sit comfortably around your dog. 

Adjusting an Alpha Pak Dog Backpack

How Much Weight to Put in the Dog Backpack

The general rule for how much weight a dog can carry in their backpack is that it should never exceed more than 25% of their body weight. The perfect weight for your dog will vary from 10% to 25% of their body weight. This is because how much your dog can carry depends upon other unique characteristics like age, size, and activity level. For example, if you have a senior dog or a puppy, they may only be able to carry 10% of their weight. It’s always best to start with too little, then too much, so start light and monitor your dog for how they respond to using it on the trail. 

Putting hiking gear into Alpha Pak Dog Backpack

How to Train Your Dog to Use a Backpack

Training your dog to use a backpack is similar to training your dog for a long run or a challenging hike. The best way is to ease them into it. We recommend having them start off wearing the empty backpack on short walks. Once your dog is comfortable wearing the pack, you can slowly add weight and increase the distance of your walks. 

You can check out Alpha Pak’s Dog Backpacks here

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