A dog is not just an animal but a part of the family for every dog owner. Thus, owners want to spend as much time as possible with their canine friends, carrying them everywhere they go. So, you may ask yourself, “can I put my dog in a regular backpack?”
The answer would be yes but still not recommended. Why is that? Well, there are many factors to which you should pay attention when carrying your four-legged friends. So let’s discuss it deeper together.
Can I Put My Dog In A Regular Backpack
Speaking about regular backpacks and putting your dog in them, it is fine to some extent. For example, you can put a small dog in a regular backpack for a short time. But, further, you must ensure that your dog feels comfortable and safe.
What we mean by safe is that he is in a comfortable position, can sit and stand up, has enough space for his legs, and has the spine and neck in the right position. Also, ventilation is crucial, especially if the dog is small and your backpack is much bigger.
In addition, you should avoid putting any metal objects (for example, keys, water bottles, knives, etc.) in the backpack since your dog can chew them and harm himself.
However, it is recommended to use backpacks specially designed for carrying dogs (dog carrier backpacks) since they are equipped with security features and proper ventilation to keep our doggies safe.
Dog Breeds You Can Carry Around
Now that you know you can carry the dog in a regular backpack and a dog backpack carrier let’s see which breeds are the most suitable. So, some of the dog breeds you can carry around are:
- Cavalier King Charles
- French Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- Border Coli
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
What Is A Dog Backpack Carrier
A dog backpack carrier is a specially designed backpack for humans to carry around their dogs. They come in different sizes but are basically made for small to medium size dogs.
You can wear them at the back, but there are also front packs. The difference between these backpack carriers and the traditional ones, those you put on your shoulder or carry in your hand, is that your hands are free.
So, these carriers aim to enable and facilitate better mobility for owners when hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, running errands, taking the elderly or disabled dog outdoors, etc.
In addition, some backpacks allow your doggies to put their legs and head out.
How To Carry A Dog In A Backpack Carrier
In order to keep our canine friends safe, we need to know how to put and carry them properly. The first step is to put down your backpack carrier and unzip the front compartment.
Also, you can put treats inside the backpack and around it so your dog can explore a little. In addition, placing a blanket or his favorite toy may help with the entry.
Finally, when the dog is inside the backpack, give him one more treat to lift the head through the backpack window. Now you can zip the backpack and check all mechanisms for safety that will prevent a dog from moving or even falling from a backpack.
Once the dog is secure, start by taking short walks around the neighborhood so your four-legged friend can adjust. You may need someone to help put the backpack on your shoulders, especially if the dog is heavier.
Then, when your doggie is comfortable with the new stuff and safe, you can go on longer walks, bike rides, etc.
Backpack And Dog Size
It is crucial to get the size of the backpack carrier that matches your dog’s size. There are several factors that you should consider.
First and most important are the dimensions of your canine friend, such as back length, shoulder height, and dog’s weight. However, some dogs may fit into two sizes, and then you should choose if you prefer either backpack with as much space as possible or a backpack that fits tightly.
Here are the dimensions you should know before getting a backpack carrier:
- The back length
- The shoulder height
- The weight
- The width
- The height
- The depth
- Maximum load
- Size of the windows/openings
Also, if there is a difference in inside and outside dimensions, you must know the inside once and use them as a reference. Moreover, you should be aware of the fact that two dogs can weigh the same but are not the same size.
For example, you have a Poodle that weighs 15 pounds, and your friend has a French Bulldog that is the same weight, but the Poodle is taller and slimmer, so the same backpack would not be appropriate.
How Long Can A Dog Stay In Backpack Carrier
Speaking about appropriate time for dogs to be in a backpack carrier depends on the climate, activity level as well as dog’s health condition. However, if you carry your dog for the first time, the walks or any other activity should be shorter to adapt properly.
It is recommended to stay in the backpack for about 50 minutes since dogs can naturally get a bit restless. Further, they have to do their ”doggie business” and stretch their legs, so making breaks and having little activity is a good choice to keep your doggy happy.
Always take care of the ventilation, check your dog, and keep him hydrated and comfortable.
On the other hand, if your dog has some health issues, you should consult your veterinarian about a backpack carrier.
Also, be aware that this backpack is not a good idea for dogs suffering from arthritis and back disease.
Are Dog Backpack Carriers Safe
Yes, they are safe if used properly. The dog’s needs must be fulfilled, which means that the backpack is perfectly ventilated, has safety mechanisms, is in an appropriate size, the dog is not too heavy, and is placed in the right and comfortable position.
Also, a hard platform at the bottom of the backpack carrier offers support for dogs in the sitting position. However, taking your dog out at times is recommended to be sure he is hydrated well, cooled down, and feels comfortable and satisfied.
Are Dog Carriers Airline Approved
Each airline company has its own rules and requirements for traveling by plane with dogs. However, they all want to ensure that both dogs and other passengers are safe and comfortable during the flight.
Some airlines allow passengers to bring their canine friends on board, but they must comfortably fit in airline-approved dog backpack carriers. Usually, only little dogs can go into the cabin due to certain required measures.
Further, you should note that all the rules are airline-specific regarding dog carriers, so check your chosen airlines’ policies first.
The main rule is that the carrier must fit beneath the passenger seat in front of the owner. Also, the carrier must have a waterproof bottom.
On top of all that, this dog carrier has to be large enough so that dog can stand up, sit in a comfortable position, turn around and lie down. Finally, when it comes to ventilation, which is so important, the carrier must have at least three ventilated sides.
Speaking about medium size and large dogs, they must be in the cargo hold in specially designed dog carriers which also must meet the requirements regarding size, materials, and comfort. 
If you want to go everywhere with your four-legged friend, whether he is healthy and active, has some mobility issues, or he’s a senior dog, the backpack carriers are the perfect solution. Also, you can put your dog in a regular backpack for a short time and with special attention to the dog’s safety and comfort.
Consider the dog’s position, ventilation, and safety mechanisms. Your dog should be able to sit right with the neck and spine in the right place and stand up comfortably.
However, it is always the best solution to use specially designed dog backpack carriers. If you may wonder which breeds are most suitable to carry them around, they are Pugs, Corgis, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Schnauzers, etc.
Moreover, if you use the backpack carrier for the first time, take short walks so the dog can adjust. Also, the size of the backpack and the dog is important because of safety.
Using the backpack properly makes it perfectly safe. In addition, it is recommended to take your dog out from time to time to hydrate and cool him down.
On top of all that, if you want to travel with your canine friend, carefully find all airline-specific rules and requirements. Be sure to have a backpack carrier that is airline approved.