When you are walking your dog regularly, adding a backpack to the scenario is a great way to change things up a bit. A backpack is one of the simplest and powerful ways to make his walk more efficient and challenging.
Backpacks are great because they make your dog feel useful. It gives them a task to do as they walk next to you. Backpacks also help to redirect the focus of your dog’s attention. Your dog may become less likely to chase after squirrels or other distractions as he has a job to do.
If you have a small dog, you can put an empty backpack on them. For any dog, in the beginning you just want them to get used to having on the backpack in the beginning. When you are starting out, you should make the experiences brief and associate it with feeding time, treats or praise.
Before deciding to add weight to the dog’s backpack, it is a good idea to get the go ahead from a veterinarian, should your dog be a senior or have existing health issues. Your dog’s breed, physical fitness and energy levels should all be taken into consideration.
With a medium or large dog, you can begin to add some weight to the backpack. Try putting items in that you will need for your walk, such as a water bottle, a ball and poop bags. It is a good idea to gradually increase the amount of weight you are putting in it. Your dog needs time to build up his muscles.
According to Caesar Millan, the backpack should typically contain 10 to 12 percent of the dog’s body weight. For example, for a dog that weighs 50 pounds, the backpack should weigh 5 to 6 pounds. Keep a scale nearby to make sure that you aren’t putting too much weight in the pack.
For medium to large dogs, using bottles of water to add weight to the backpack is a good idea. This allows you to add or remove weight as you need to. The weight should be distributed equally on both sides of the backpack.
When your dog is wearing a backpack, you will need to walk for a shorter amount of time. For example, a 15 minute walk with a weighted backpack is equal to a 30 minute walk without one.