Just wondering at what age you can start using a backpack on a dog? Also, how to do it safely? I don't want to damage Dio in any way... He's 8 months old and weighs 80 lbs, in case this has anything to do with it.
Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)
I'm sure a LOT depends on how much weight you put in a backpack and for how long a time and over what kind of terrain. If it's only a pound or two, I think that'd be safe at maybe 12, preferrably 18 months. If it's more, you might inquire of RuffWear and Outward Hound, two companies that supply backpacks and/or inquire at a CollVetMed/SchlVetMed to ask a specialist.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
What a coincidence! I have also just started looking into packs, and my 9 month old is also 80 lbs.
I was all set to buy one particular brand because of all the glowing reviews, when I came upon a negative review citing how this brand was too far back on the dog's back, and should have been positioned more over the shoulders. This poster emphasized a Y yoke. So I googled all over again, this time including "Y yoke". Like Bob suggested, RuffWear was the main brand in the new list/search.
The $50 and up (sometimes way up) price was more than I expected. I don't really want to go wooded hikes, just neighborhood walks, but I don't want a pack that will chafe, or slide around either. My goal is not to transport goods, just give my dog a little bit of a workout.
Sierra Trading Post had them for much cheaper than anyone else, but only is size XS. I did sign up to be notified if they came in again in size M, but I doubt they will.