How to fit a dog backpack


About half of readers bring along one or more dogs on their trips. And for many of those readers a big part of RVing is hiking in all the wonderful places they visit. But who loves a hike even more than a human? A dog!

Here, courtesy of Arizona State Parks, is a guide to how to fit a dog backpack. Heck, Fido can carry some of his (or her) own goodies!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I’m not tech savvy enough to know if it’s just me or if it’s an RVTravel thing…but none of the photos that you guys post are ever clickable for me in case I want to see a larger image. Most of the time I don’t really care but this is one of those times I wish I could see a larger version without having to resort to changing my computer settings.


I have had over the years 3 different Labs that have taken readily to their backpacks. The first time they think it’s a little weird but after a fun walk they know the backpack means a good time. I use 1 pound cans of beans or the like to make sure they are equally balanced on practice trips and work up to 25% of body weight over a few trips. Just an aside, but they also adapt well to boots which are very helpful especially for front paws on hikes with rocky terrain. They are hilarious to watch when you first put them on because they prance around like show horses, lifting their feet up high with each step. Worth getting your phone ready for a video when you put them on. Soon boots just mean fun too.


I made backpacks for our dogs (back in 1975) out of old Levi’s. They carried their food. We hiked in the Marble Mountain Wilderness in Northern California. The packs jumped up and down some as the dogs ran, but neither the hound or the setter minded, much. The dogs would range all around us (no leash laws back then). One afternoon as we were hiking down a fire trail, we heard crashing coming toward us. The setter came blasting out of the bushes followed by my Lemon Spotted Walker!!! Boy were we startled – – – then a black bear came blasting right out behind them! Whoa Nellie! I was so brave I jumped up on a 3’ stump and roared at the bear, the dogs got behind me barking and halooooing like crazy. I’m sure that ol’ gal just wanted some tasty Purina. Walter, the setter didn’t stray after that and Chakra, the hound… did she learn? Heck no! She was gone all day most days exploring. We’d hear her halooooing off in the distance and just shake our heads… Dogs and backpacks, what can ya do?

Judy G

Got a backpack for my 80# shepherd mix so we could take long hikes on the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills. Stops for lunch and water while sitting on a rock in the shade the pines – wonderful!