How Much Weight Should a Dog Carry Backpacking?

By Michael Ferguson

Backpacking with dogs is a great way to explore the outdoors, but it’s important to know how much weight your pet can safely carry. Knowing how much weight your dog can safely carry is essential for both their health and your enjoyment of the hike.

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and this should be taken into account when deciding how much weight they can carry. Generally, a healthy adult dog should be able to carry up to 25% of its body weight in a backpack.

However, if the dog is younger or has any health issues, you should reduce this percentage accordingly.

It’s also important to consider the size and type of backpack you are using. A well-fitting backpack that distributes the weight evenly across the dog’s back will be more comfortable and allow them to carry more weight safely. Make sure that all straps are adjusted properly so that the backpack does not shift or rub on their skin.

When determining what items to put in your dog’s pack, try to keep it light and focus on items that are essential for your hike such as food, water and first-aid supplies. You may also want to include items such as collapsible bowls or a leash depending on what activities you plan on doing during your hike.


Backpacking with dogs is a great way to explore nature together but it’s important to make sure that they aren’t carrying too much weight. A healthy adult dog can typically carry up to 25% of its body weight in a properly fitted backpack but this number should be adjusted if your pet is younger or has any health issues. When packing items for your pet’s pack, stick with essentials like food, water, and first-aid supplies.