Why I Love the Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier
It's The Perfect Size for Toting My Chihuahua
The Outward Hound Backpack Pet Carrier for dogs is perfect for carrying Gizmo, my little six pounds, long-haired Chihuahua on family outings and long walks.
This carrying bag for dogs allows my family the freedom to enjoy the outdoors with our little dog, keeping him safe and secure when necessary, while giving him a little personal space of his own when he needs it.
These backpack carriers are reasonably priced (around $30) in the larger pet stores and on Amazon. They are well worth the investment. I have owned my carrier for just over three years, and it is still in great condition.
The soft, frameless backpack pet carriers are made from a durable nylon material with tough stitching and padded shoulder straps for maximum comfort and are designed for dogs weighing up to 20 pounds.
Why I (And Gizmo) Love This Carrier
I can carry Gizmo hands-free.
This is a biggie for me! Being able to carry Gizmo on my back during outdoor events leaves my hands free to juggle the load of bags, coats, cameras, water bottles and what-have-you that my kids pile on me that I am inevitably stuck carrying for the rest of the day.
Gizmo feels safe, I feel safe.
It can be a little overwhelming for Gizmo and myself when we are around a lot of other people or unrestrained dogs. He feels much safer and relaxed when he is zipped closed into his backpack when we are in crowds of people. He is free to observe all the hustle and bustle from the safety of his own personal space. Gizmo attracts a lot of attention from kids and dog lovers because he is just sooo darn cute and soft, and while most people ask to pet him, there are some that don't, especially small children, which in turn, makes me and Gizmo very 'nervous nellies'.
Keeps Gizmo safe from wildlife.
I love going on long walks through the gorgeous hiking trails in my hometown, but before, I was always hesitant about allowing Gizmo to walk alongside me because it is not uncommon to cross paths with a black bear or cougar. Mountain lions, and even hawks have been known to snatch small pets right from their owners hands or the leash! Using the backpack carrier on my wilderness walks gives me great peace of mind knowing that Gizmo is tucked safely inside the bag. I usually zip the sides of the mesh flap up, leaving only a small opening for him to poke his head out.
Gizmo can rest and re-energize when he tuckers out.
Gizmo only weighs 6 pounds and doesn't have the stamina or energy to go for very lengthy walks. He tuckers out and needs refueling after about an hour of walking and playing, less when it is warm out. When he tires out, he will just sit down, refusing to move, and expects to be carried the rest of the way home! I bring the backpack, packed with plenty of food and water, with me on my longer walks. Gizmo gets the best of both worlds...he gets to walk and ride!
Gizmo minds his manners around other dogs.
While Gizmo does great meeting and greeting other pint-sized dogs, he turns into a vicious ankle biter when he encounters a larger breed of dog, especially if they are unrestrained. When he is in his backpack, he does not bark and remains calm and relaxed when there are other pups around. And so far, no other dog has bothered him while he is in bag.
Gizmo can come camping, hiking and on overnight excursions with us.
I love camping and hiking in the beautiful National Parks of BC and Alberta with my kids, and the backpack pet carrier allows us to take Gizmo with us too! The soft, non-rigid pet carrier folds up flat and takes up very little space at the bottom of your bag, making it extremely convenient for traveling with your pet. He even sleeps tucked safely away in his bag when we are tenting it outdoors or staying at friends or relatives houses.
We love having Gizmo in our family and this pet carrier makes it possible to include him in almost everything we do!
I take Gizmo with me almost everywhere I go because he is just as much a member of my family as my own kids are and it sometimes seems he requires just as much care and attention as an infant. I am lucky enough to work from home and I have one child that is homeschooled, so he rarely gets left alone. The only place he doesn't get to come is the grocery store or mall.
The bag gives me the freedom to control and master my own personal fear of dogs.
Gizmo is the first dog I have ever owned as an adult which is a big step in the right direction for me in overcoming my fear of dogs. Taking Gizmo for a walk through the community is not a very enjoyable experience for me because of my own fear of encountering dogs that are not on their leash and/or are not accompanied by their owner and I am always on guard, looking over my shoulder. I can tuck Gizmo safely inside the bag and enjoy my evening stroll while listening to tunes worry-free. I let him out to play and run around at the ball field before I head home for the night.
Features of the Outward Hound
This backpack is no joke. The design is well thought out, and every feature has a purpose. Here are my favorites.
The bag has see through breathable mesh on all three sides giving your pet a bird's eye view of everything going on around them.
You can unzip, roll back and secure the mesh cover with a plastic clip to give your pooch a view.
Fasten your dog into the backpack using the elasticized plastic clip to their collar or harness so they cannot jump or fall out.
Note: I find that I need to attach a couple of small carabiners to the clip in order to hook it comfortably to my dog's harness because it sits quite high up on the bag. I prefer using a instead of a collar on Gizmo because he is so small and delicate, but even when he wears a collar, it still pulls too much on his neck when he sinks down into the bag. Extending the clip with carabiners solved this problem. step-in harness
The chest and waist straps take the weight off your shoulders and back and it reduces the bounce and jiggle effect on your dog when you are walking.
It has double zippers for easy opening and closing. I like to secure the zippers together with a carabiner so my dog does not use his nose to wiggle the zippers apart.
The pet carrier bag has reflective strips for extra visibility in low light conditions across the front and down the shoulder straps.
It has a deep front pocket which is roomy enough for a water bottle, a sweater, a handful of treats, poop bags, and a leash.
This side pocket has a mesh zippered change purse for holding your money and driver's license as well as a couple of pen pockets and a plastic clip for securing your keys.
The second side pocket has an inside zippered pouch for your wallet or valuables with plenty of extra room for a digital camera, your phone or iPod.
The bag has a removable cushion that is secured by three strips of velcro which can be wiped clean with a wet cloth.
We made a little pillow from an old t-shirt for the bottom of the bag.
Note: I find that the nylon material of the pillow is a bit slippery for my little Chihuahua, so my daughter and her friend made a little non-sew pillow for him from one of her old t-shirts. The pillow works great because it gives him better traction and extra padding, raises him up a little higher and absorbs all of the dirt from Gizmo's little feet, which can then be tossed into the washer for easy clean-up.
Features of the Outward Hound Backpack
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Happy Travels to You and Your Furry Companion!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2013 Corrinna Johnson