Noa has been using the backpack for a while now on a regular basis and I notice great benefits I would like to share with you. It might be something for you and your dog too!
#1 Good exercise
It’s an exercise that is safe and healthy for both you and your dog. You have better control over your dog than on a bike or when rollerblading which makes it safer for you. For your dog, it’s a good exercise health wise. Definitely when you keep him leashed so he won’t be jumping that much. The workout is balanced and based on endurance unlike fetching or catching a ball where the joints of the dog are having a hard time for every jump or sudden stop.
#2 Your dog can carry his own stuff
Water, food, toys, treats, collapsible water bowl, doggy bags, jackets, and medicine; your dog can carry it all himself. This way you will have more space in your own backpack for your own stuff and his stuff is all in one spot separated from yours which makes it more organized. I can definitely see this being beneficial on longer hikes or trips of several days.
#3 your dog can carry some of your stuff too!
When you’re jogging he can carry your bottle of water and keys. He won’t mind; that’s what man’s best friend enjoys doing. He would probably even like to help you with some small grocery.
#4 Your dog will be better visible
Most backpacks come in bright colors and some even have a reflective trim. Noa is quite dark and in wintertime, the sun sets early and comes up late so on our morning and evening walks it is hard to see her. When she has her backpack on she is better visible, not just for me, but more importantly in traffic and for other people.
#5 Gives your dog a job to do
Another reason for a dog backpack is to challenge him mentally by giving him a sense of purpose. This is especially for dogs that can’t be off leash and get bored quickly. Noa is such a dog. The first time she got her backpack on it was without any weight. She became very self-conscious and walked right next to me instead of pulling. Now once she has the backpack on it makes her more focused the walk itself.
#6 Your dog will be less focused on pulling
I’ve read that some dogs pull less or stop pulling entirely. Noa didn’t stop pulling at all. To be honest I have the feeling she has started to pull more than she did before when she is wearing the backpack. One reason is because I let her; a second reason is because, I think, the weight is lifted between me and her when she uses her own weight to ‘hang’ in the harness. This way part of the weight is carried by me.
However, the very first times she did not pull at all in the beginning of a walk. You could take advantage of that and use it as a jump start to teach your dog not to pull when leashed. Just don’t let your dog carry too much weight only because you want to slow him down!
#7 It saves you time
It does a wonderful job for high energy dogs. By adding some weight to the backpack they tire faster which makes them easier to handle for the rest of the day and you will have a more content dog.
I use to walk Noa 2,5 hours every day and she would still be bouncing around restless. Now I walk her about an hour with 10-15% of her weight in the backpack and she has become a happy and tired dog.