8 benefits of dog backpacks that can help your dog

me and my dog Mayla in the forest

Do you sometimes get the feeling that you are not spending enough time with your dog? Your dog pal is not getting all the exercise it needs and is showing bad behavior, or you just have the feeling you need to do more. Walking your dog every day can be a time demanding task especially when you have a busy life and you need to fit the walk into your daily routine. Also, it can be horrible to go outside when it is raining, and it does not seem like it will stop anytime soon. That’s why in Holland we call such a weather condition, dog weather. However, a backpack for your dog may make these walks more pleasurable for you both.

Eight Benefits of Walking Your Dog While It Wears a Backpack

Mayla taking a break during a walk
  • Wearing a Backpack Gives Your Dog a Job. Dogs need to do tasks for us. We need to provide them with a job so they can fulfill that need.
  • Walking Together Strengthens the Human-Dog Bond. Your dog will love you for taking walks, and it shows your pup who the leader is.
  • Carrying a Backpack Wears off Energy. Carrying the backpack takes more strength to transport, and your pup gets tired faster.
  • Bearing a Backpack Makes for Shorter Walks. Because energy wears off faster, you can go for shorter hikes. A short 30-minute walk with a backpack is like walking without it for a 60-minutes which is a nice benefit on rainy days.
  • Carrying a Backpack Focuses the Dog’s Attention. Having the job of the dog wearing the pack whenever you’re walking gives the dog an incentive to provide you with more attention.
  • Walking Helps You Both Sleep Better. Wearing off energy through walking helps you both sleep better at night.
  • Exercise Improves Physical Health. Walking is training for the muscles and the stamina of you both.
  • Walking Improves Mental Health. During regular exercise, dopamine levels in the body increase. Furthermore, increasing dopamine levels makes both of you feel happier.

Every Dog Needs a Job

Give your dog a job is often advice you will hear dog trainers and other specialists give. However, what does it mean? Some dogs are bred for specific functions like herding, retrieving birds or fetching rodents. These dogs are now our companions without the particular jobs they where bred to do.

So we need to find ways to burn energy and give them the feeling of being needed.

Playing fetch can be an excellent job for a dog. For you, it’s playing, for your k9 friend it’s like retrieving a bird. Teach your pooch obedience or tricks. Such activities are a job for your pup. Dogs love to do these actions especially if they know they will get rewarded afterward.

However, before you start teaching your furry pal tricks, it’s wise to get rid of some of that excess energy. Strap on the pooch’s backpack put a bottle of water in it, and go for a walk. It gives your dog the task of bringing the bottle of water. Moreover, your pet will do it happily for you.

If your dog is not listening to you, chews on furniture is challenging to handle, or does other unwanted behaviors; it might be time to give your dog a job.

So we need to find ways to burn energy and give them the feeling of being needed.

Strengthens the Bond Between You and Your Four-Legged Pal

Walking your canine is essential. Dogs need the exercise, and it teaches them the social and behavior skills they need. Your dog will feel your appreciation; its correct that dogs can sense by your energy that you care. Walking your dog builds a strong bond between the two of you. Your pooch will love you for it. You will see after a short period your pup will begin to jump around in happiness each time you say, “Come on boy let’s go for a walk.”

Now, of course, you can also walk without a backpack. I have less energy when I come home from work, and I don’t always have the will to go for a long walk. So what I do is I shorten the hike by letting my dog wear the backpack, so my pooch will be worn-out faster. After that, we always spend about 5 to 10 minutes doing some tricks.

Carrying a Backpack Wears off Energy

Basic training is essential for a dog. It teaches the dog to socialize with other dogs and helps its mind to relax. Furthermore, training helps you and your dog safely walk the streets and is the basis for more advanced instruction. Without your pup getting rid of some of that energy it can be challenging to handle your dog let alone teach it new skills.

I know, because my dog had lots and lots of energy especially when she was younger. In the beginning, I struggled a lot with her behavior, but I found that a mix of outdoor and indoor activities made her a lot happier. I started to go for long walks every day and found out that she was a lot less jumpy when somebody rang at the door.

Later I gave her a backpack, and now she carries her bottle of water. After a while, I noticed she started to pay more attention to me and less attention to everything around me. She began to walk closer to me and pulled on the leash.

I noticed that since she carried the backpack, the walks got shorter. Now when we come home, we have some time to do some tricks. I let her sit, lay down and roll over and even let her do a high five. The skills will keep her brain active which will wear off that last bit of energy.

Bearing a Backpack Makes for Shorter Walks in the rain

I live in a country where it’s always raining. Of course, not continuously I like to exaggerate sometimes, but it rains a lot. I enjoy both cold and warm weather, and I appreciate the changes in climate from summer to winter. When it gets colder, I just put on some extra clothes and a winter jacket, and I will be fine. I can stay outside for hours, but the rain…. Yes, I have rainwear, but still, after an hour in the rain, you get wet nonetheless.

It’s called dog weather, but I can tell you my dog doesn’t like the rain. My pup wants to turn around and go home as quickly as possible because she hates the rain. Moreover, I know more people who live in my neighborhood who have the same issue with their dogs. Maybe you do too. I have a daypak from outward hound which is waterresistant, and I sprayed it with a waterproofing solution. It never gets wet.

We still don’t stay out very long when it rains, but the backpack helps to get a little extra exercise even when it rains. A 15-minute walk with a pack is like 30-minutes walk without a backpack.

Your Dog’s Attention Is More Focused

Does your dog chase every squirrel he comes across when you walk your pooch in the park or the forest? Alternatively, is he always pulling on the leash wanting to walk faster or upon seeing another dog?  Inattention is a common way of behaving for dogs that are not getting enough exercise. Mayla did it too until she started to wear her pack.

I had said it before since she started to wear her backpack I noticed these things changed in her:

  • She began to walk closer to me.
  • She doesn’t pull on the leash as much as she did before.
  • She has more focus on me and her destination.

Focus and attention is an important thing and should be the basics of your training. Let your dog carry its toys or drink during a walk will give your instruction that little extra touch.

Focus Training

After your walk, you can start with a little 5-minute obedience training. It’s effortless to get some
little treats your dog loves. If you can’t find them, you can always try to cut a bigger treat into smaller pieces. Make sure the size is about as big as a pea. Now, wait for your pooch to look at you and immediately reward the behavior in your pet.  Continue doing so. I can guarantee you within 5 minutes your dog will be sitting in front of you attentively while waiting for the next treat.

Training Duration

Don’t make the training sessions too long. About 5 to 10 minutes is long enough and finish the session with a bigger reward. Give your dog about five little treats and play a bit together. Playing with your pup while giving it a food reward makes the training more fun, and within no time he will love to do some tricks with you.

Next Steps

If you have gone through the essential steps and you have your dog’s attention, after a couple of days your pet will be a lot more focused on you. From that moment you can start teaching some other exercises like sit, down, come and stay.

Walking Helps You Both Sleep Better

Dogs can sleep 12 to 14 hours a day. So if you find your pal sleeping a lot during the day, it’s likely that it won’t during the night. Give your dog plenty of exercises. Setup a routine to walk with your pup every day at around the same time.

Don’t walk your dog for too long just before you go to bed. Keep the activity low at least an hour before you go to sleep. Dogs are like children they need plenty of exercise during the day to get a good night of rest.

Smaller dogs need a minimum of 30 minutes of walking each day. Larger dogs need up to 2 hours a day. It depends on the size of your four-legged pal.

Exercise Improves Your Dog’s Physical Health

Cardio activity helps your dog stay young, strong and healthy. Short and longer walks keep your four-legged friend’s body in top shape. It strengthens your pup’s muscles, bones, and stamina. Exercise also has been shown to improve a dog’s immune system. So they are better able to fight off diseases. Studies show that dog ownership by itself has been associated with health benefits and less medical costs. A study even found that pet owners made 15 percent less annual visits to a doctor than non-pet owners.

Exercise Improves Your Dog’s Mental Health

The combination of all the previous benefits, such as improving the bond with a human, improving physical health and the regular releasing of excess energy, makes your k9 happier. All of this has a positive influence on your pooch’s anxiety and stress levels. Which in turn helps with a better mental state and makes for a healthier pet.

Just like people a walk releases the happy chemicals dopamine and adrenaline in a dog. These chemicals give a positive boost to happiness, health and the immune system of both you and your dog.

Walking your dog is an easy and efficient way to reduce not only the pup’s stress levels but also your own.

Some Tips and Tricks for Walking with Your Dog

  • Walk your dog every day at least 30 minutes or more depending on the size and breed. Walking while the pooch wears a backpack means you can go for shorter walks. A 1-hour walk is about 30 minutes when your dog wears its backpack.
  • When you just get started, keep how long your pooch wears its pack short and don’t put any weight in the bags. Let your pup get used to the backpack first and slowly build out the time they wear it.
  • Always bring food and water. You want to keep your dog hydrated and prevent it from getting blood sugar crashes. The dog can carry the food and water in the pockets of its backpack.
  • Please don’t put too much weight in the pack and make sure that the heaviness is equally divided. Most backpacks have bags on both sides. Don’t put all the burden on one side.
  • Always keep your four-legged friend on a leash when it wears a backpack. A leash will keep your pup safe from traffic, and your dog can feel your energy. After a while, your pet will start walking next to you or behind you. Your dog now knows you are its leader.
  • Always walk your dog in safe areas. Dogs don’t wear shoes as you do. So look out for glass on the street and during hot summers be careful walking on hot pavement. Tarmac can be scorching when it’s in the burning sun for the whole day.
  • Take extra precautions when walking your dog in the summer or winter. In the summer take some added water with you. In the winter don’t let your dog walk to long in the snow and clean their paws when you come home.

A walk a day keeps the doctor away. It will keep you and your dog happy and in a good relationship. Share this article about friendship with your furry friend with your fellow dog lovers!

Erwin Borgers

Hi, I’m Erwin. I grew up with two cats, but I always wanted to have a dog. Since my wife and I lived together, we have Mayla. She is a very sweet King Charles Spaniel. Together we spend countless of hours in the forest near our home. We love to walk together and now I want to share what I learned about walking dogs and what I learned about dog gear with you.

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