As a pet owner, it’s normal to want to bring your dog with you wherever you go. They’re man’s best friend, after all! Not only do most people consider their dogs to be a part of the family, but your dog undoubtedly loves spending time with you, too. So, finding an easy and effective solution for taking them with you is always a plus.
One of the best ways for pet owners on-the-go to tote their dogs along with them is with a dog backpack carrier. Backpack carriers are different from traditional pet kennels and dog carriers, and they are often used for different purposes.
There are many benefits to choosing this type of carrier for your dog, and it goes well beyond convenience. Not only will you have your hands free to do more, but your dog will be able to openly and freely take in their surroundings. Since backpacks are typically used for walking, hiking, etc., your dog will love being able to stay close to you and see the world around them without getting too tired.
So, what’s the difference between a standard carrier or even a pet stroller and a backpack? This article will focus on those significant differences and how you can benefit from taking carrying your dog in a backpack. Once you know about the best backpack carriers, you can determine whether it’s the right travel solution for you and your four-legged friend.
Table of Contents:
How to Choose the Right Dog Backpack Carrier
The best dog backpack carrier for your pet should reflect your personal needs and preferences while being safe and comfortable for your dog. In this guide, we’ll go over why you should choose a backpack carrier, and provide several of the best options.
Additionally, we’ll cover how you can accurately measure your dog for a carrier. Correct measuring will ensure that your dog is comfortable and secure on your travels. If you’ve been looking for a convenient and fun way to take your pooch with you on your adventures, a backpack carrier can be the perfect solution.
You might be conflicted on whether or not you should purchase a dog backpack or something more traditional, like a designer carrier. Backpacks are more about functionality and comfort. They are often versatile enough to be useful through several different types of travel.
There are multiple reasons to consider a dog backpack over other types of carriers. It all depends on the kind of travel you plan on doing, what you’re looking for in bringing your dog with you, and of course, your dog’s personality. Of course, not all backpacks are created equally. Let’s take a look at a few features you should consider before choosing the best one for your furry friend.
- Make sure it’s specially made for dogs. A traditional backpack of any kind, even if it has mesh siding, etc., is never an appropriate substitute. Dog backpacks have special design and safety features that are necessary to keep your dog secure and comfortable.
- Consider the sizing limits of the bag you’re choosing. This can be difficult if you’ve never purchased one before. You shouldn’t go by your dog’s weight alone, even if the bag specifies a weight limit. Instead, take a look at the measurements of the carrier and how they correlate to your dog.
- Think about your dog’s personality. Will they enjoy spending time in a backpack? Do they get anxious easily? If they don’t typically like to travel or aren’t used to being put in a carrier, you may be better off choosing something like a top-loading pet carrier. Never force them into a backpack or kennel of any kind.
- Note the durability. Think about the purpose of the backpack itself. If you want it for something like a car or air travel, it’s unlikely the material will be ‘tested’ as much. However, if you want a backpack to make it easier to take your dog on walks or hikes, it should be strong, durable, and comfortable for both of you. Considering what you plan on using it for is a key to making the right selection.
Desirable Features of a Pet Backpack
No matter what you plan on using the backpack for, specific features should be kept in mind. These features will keep your dog safe and offer you peace of mind whenever you choose to use it. Look for the following characteristics before making your final choice on a quality carrier:
- Zippers that lock – Your pet’s backpack should only be able to be opened from the outside. This will help to prevent your dog from accidentally breaking the zipper or pulling it open when they’re inside the bag.
- Overall design – Think about your own support as well as the comfort and support for your dog. If you’re going to have them on your shoulders and back, the backpack should have comfortable shoulder straps and should be durable enough to carry for long periods of time.
- Material – Choosing the right material is vital. It should be well-ventilated, yet strong enough so your pet can’t claw or chew their way out of it. You’ll also want to choose something that is easy to clean. Accidents happen, and general sanitation is crucial if you use the bag a lot. A machine-washable material is a great option. Or, choose something with a removable interior that can be washed.
- Extra storage – Because it’s likely you’re taking your backpack on travel excursion, extra storage can be a big help. Look for a bag that includes side storage pockets or compartments. You can store your own personal belongings in these compartments, or necessities for your dog. Either way, they will make your life much easier while you’re traveling.
By keeping some of these key features in mind, the process of choosing the right backpack for you and your dog can be a lot easier. You’ll also have more confidence, knowing the carrier is safe and comfortable for both of you. A dog backpack shouldn’t necessarily as a ‘regular’ backpack. Its primary use is to travel comfortably with your favorite pet. Look at the characteristics that will make it an enjoyable experience for your dog before considering extra features.
Pet Gear I-GO2 Escort Roller Backpack
Pet Gear is a trusted brand in quality carriers for dogs. Their I-GO2 Escort Roller Backpack is a great way to take your pooch with you wherever you go. Not only does it work as a traditional backpack, but it is considered a rolling carrier as well. Its telescoping handle makes it easy to wheel your pet around if your back starts to get tired.
This versatility also makes it an excellent option for airline travel. While it doesn’t specifically market itself for air travel, it does meet the guidelines provided by most companies. So, no matter how big your adventures may become, you can take your dog with you throughout the friendly skies.
Some of the additional benefits of this backpack include:
- Adjustable sides: You don’t have to worry about your dog not having enough room for comfort. The sides of the backpack extend. When you’re not moving, this allows your dog to have a little more wiggle room.
- Inside tether: One of the most important things to think about is safety. The tether inside the bag can be connected to a harness to make sure your dog stays securely in place. This can be very helpful if you’re hiking a bumpy trail or going somewhere they may cause a bit more turbulence.
- Easy to clean: The backpack comes with a removable pad that can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleaning. The wheels also include covers, so they remain discreet and clean when not in use.
- Ventilation: Having a soft-sided pet carrier requires proper ventilation. The I-GO2 has mesh sides that allow for plenty of airflow for your puppy. It also folds down easily and can be stored underneath an airplane seat, or in a car.
This is one of the most versatile backpack carriers on the market, thanks to all of its extra features. It’s great for people who want to be able to carry their dogs on long walks, hikes, etc. But, it can also be used for longer trips or to keep your dog safe while traveling.
One of the few drawbacks is that it’s meant specifically for smaller dogs. Medium to large-sized dogs won’t fit in the carrier safely and may test the weight limit. If you have a larger dog, such as a Labrador, you might want to consider a bigger carrier that is more comfortable to tote around and will keep your pet safe. However, if you have a small dog or cat that you can’t wait to hit the trail with, it doesn’t get much better than this easy-to-use carrier.
Pet Gear I-GO2 Traveler Roller Backpack
The Pet Gear I-GO2 Traveler Roller Backpack is another excellent option by Pet Gear. It features the same kind of quality you can expect from other Pet Gear products, with added perks for those who truly want to take their dog everywhere they go. This backpack is extremely versatile, combining the benefits of a dog carrier, roller, and kennel all in one comfortable solution.
Different types of travel can require different methods of carrying your pet. Instead of purchasing multiple options, why not choose a singular backpack that offers multiple solutions? This backpack does just that and is comfortable and safe for you and your dog while you’re using it.
Some of the key features include:
- Expanding sides: Your dog will have plenty of room to move around and not feel cramped since the sides expand three inches.
- Storage pouches: Taking your dog with you is often like taking a child, and you want to make sure you’re prepared for anything that could happen. The included storage pouches on this backpack make it easy to carry treats, medicine, toys, and more. Whatever your dog might need is right at your fingertips.
- Ventilation: The mesh sides of this carrier are fully ventilated for proper airflow. They also allow your dog to see out from all sides to experience what you’re doing. This can help with things like travel anxiety and stress. Mesh carriers are great options for taking your dog with you wherever you go. If you’re more interested in a traditional carrier than a backpack, try the OxGord Soft-Sided Pet Carrier.
- Comfortable: Not only is this backpack safe and comfortable for your dog, but it provides the same comfort to you. It frees up your hands to do extra things, which can make a big difference if you’re hiking, taking them on a walk, etc. Unlike over-the-shoulder carriers, this evenly distributes the weight of your dog, so you don’t put a strain on your shoulders or back. Plus, because it rolls, you can take it with you in buildings like you would with a piece of luggage.
This is not considered to be an airline-friendly backpack. It’s designed for everything from hiking adventures to trips to the vet. If you’re looking for a soft-sided carrier that is meant for air travel, consider the Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier. It’s important to make sure that whatever carrier you choose fits the type of travel you’re looking for. Always call your preferred airline company ahead of time if you’re unclear on their pet policies.
However, if you’re more interested in a versatile solution to taking your pet with you, it doesn’t get much better than this backpack by Pet Gear.
How to Measure Your Dog for a Backpack
Measuring your dog correctly before you buy a backpack is crucial. You wouldn’t want to purchase a backpack for a ‘medium-sized’ dog, only to find out your pooch doesn’t meet the measurement criteria. It’s not enough to go by the weight limit of the bag alone. If your dog ends up being too big for the bag, it could cause discomfort, and it’s unsafe. If they are too small, they could get jostled around and hurt themselves.
It’s always a good idea to use the exterior measurements of the bag as a good rule of thumb. Once you know the dimensions of the backpack you’re interested in, it’s time to measure your dog. However, measuring them the right way will make all the difference. Follow these simple tips to make sure you’re recording their height and width correctly.
- To measure height, make sure your dog is standing up straight. Measure from the top of their head to the floor. Their ears shouldn’t ‘count’ within the measurement.
- To measure length, go from the tip of your dog’s nose to the tip of their tail.
- Always add two or three extra inches to the measurements you record. This will ensure that your dog has ample room within the backpack. But, not so much room that they will get tossed around. You don’t want the carrier to be too snug or too loose.
Though it’s not a measurement technique, you should try to gauge ahead of time how your dog might respond to being in a backpack. Some dogs exhibit unsettling behaviors more than others. They may have travel anxiety or general stress. If you’re putting an investment into a backpack that they won’t feel safe or happy in, it could create significant problems.
Consider your dog’s personality. Have they ever been in a kennel or different type of carrier before? How did they do? Getting the measurements for a backpack correct can provide a sense of secure comfort for your dog, but only if they’re willing to get into the bag in the first place. Remember, choosing the right backpack isn’t just about convenience for you, it’s about comfort and safety for your dog.
Is a Dog Backpack Carrier the Right Choice?
Choosing the right kind of transportation carrier for your dog doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. The biggest thing to consider is the type of travel you’ll be doing the most. Then, consider what your dog might feel most comfortable in.
Most carriers are designed with different features in mind. Backpacks are typically used by people who want to share their active lifestyles with their four-legged friends. Whether you’re going on long hikes, or want an easy way to tote your dog around on short car trips, they are versatile and easy to use. They are also great options for dogs who love going with you on your travels and love seeing the world around them.
We hope this article has given you some insight into how to choose the right backpack carrier for your dog (see also ‘The Best Dog Carrier Backpacks For Hiking & How To Choose Which One To Buy‘). The products listed here are made of quality materials to keep your pooch safe and comfortable while offering you both a great travel experience. If you’ve never purchased a dog backpack carrier before, be sure to consider the features that are most important to you before making your final choice.
If you’re an avid traveler or an active individual who wants your dog to join you on your adventures, a dog backpack carrier could be the perfect solution.