Hiking with a Small Dog Made Easy

I love being outdoors with our dogs but hiking with a small dog isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. They get tired easily, stumble over difficult terrain, and have a hard time keeping up if you set a too-quick pace. I tried to take our chihuahua hiking but quickly realized it wasn’t going to be something we could do frequently. Then, I found this dog carrier from Pet Magasin and knew I’d discovered a solution to our problem. Finally, we can go adventuring with our small dog without worrying about his safety.

I’ve missed being able to take our pup everywhere with us. When we got together one of our first dates was a bark in the park holiday event at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. I bought his chihuahua a red argyle sweater and we went to see the lights. The pup did not have a good time. We ended up walking at least 2.5 miles around the gardens looking at the decorations and he was miserable. About halfway through the first mile, he sat down with NOPE written all over his little face. Brandon ended up carrying him for the rest of the night and I gave up on taking him to any outdoor events after that. I didn’t want to push a doggie stroller and refused to carry him everywhere. 

After moving to West Virginia I knew I needed to find a way to make hiking with a small dog work. We always take them traveling with us (see our tips for traveling with dogs) but hiking seemed to present problems. There are hiking trails all over our neighborhood. I knew Wilkins (our cheagle) would love it but Tebow (our chihuahua) was reluctant. I was frustrated until Pet Magasin offered us one of their premium pet backpacks. I wasn’t sure if our pup would like it but I figured it was worth a try. He LOVED it and was instantly like, “Yeah, I can do this.”

Chihuahua in a dog hiking backpack

I’ve never seen our dog so chill, haha. He is usually afraid of heights but this hiking dog carrier has a hard bottom that slips in for solid footing and mesh windows so he can see without feeling too vulnerable. He was comfortable instantly. 

Brandon wore the hiking backpack when we took him out but it was easily something I could have worn. To test it out I put it on (it straps across the chest and the stomach so it’s secure) and we put our dog in it. He’s 7.5lbs but the whole set-up was perfectly comfortable. I am 5’2″ on a good day and had no issues walking around with him in it. It didn’t feel any different than a regular hiking backpack. Even when he decided to wiggle around or stand up, the weight distribution stayed pretty even and I never felt unbalanced.

Our dog was secure in it too so there was no worry of him jumping or falling out. Our dogs wear dog harnesses instead of collars when we take them out for walks so there’s no pull or tug on their necks; inside this dog hiking backpack is a hook that secures his harness to the pack so he can’t jump or fall out. The bottom of the backpack has a flat semi-hard surface so he has a solid place for his feet and if he doesn’t want to stand up and look out, the sides open up to display mesh-covered windows. That way he has plenty of air circulation and basically a 360-view. He couldn’t have been any more spoiled in there!

A small dog in a dog hiking backpack

Hiking dog carrier with a small dog

Small dog hiking backpack with a chihuahua

We took him out for a couple of miles along the trails while Wilkins walked and explored alongside me. At 15lbs he’s too heavy for the hiking backpack, not that he would have wanted it anyway. He’s our little explorer and has to have his nose in everything. If you want to go to outdoor events or hiking with a small dog, this dog hiking backpack is exactly what you need! As a bonus, there’s a side handle so it doubles as pet carrier and conforms to airline carry-on measurements so you can use it as a travel carrier. It’s probably one of the best pet products we’ve ever had. 

Check out details, specs, and pricing of the pet backpack by Pet Magasin.

Thank you to Pet Magasin for sponsoring this post and letting us share our love of hiking with our pup!

Do you like to go to outdoor events or hiking with a small dog? Tweet me @ashleyfromhp or drop them below.

Essentials for Hiking with a Small Dog

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  1. Aww that is such a gorgeous dog! I have been trying to convince myself that a dog is exactly what I need right now. But in reality, they are a big responsibility. I hope I can one day have my own little dog I can spoil and take out for walks. Thank you for sharing your tips, great post! 😀

    • Aw, little dogs are the best! I was honestly a cat person until I met my husband. He had the chihuahua pictures and convinced me to get a second dog. They totally won me over. They are a big responsibility but they are totally worth it! I hope you’re able to get one soon.

    • Our other dog is a chiweenie! He’s 15lbs though which is too big for this pack. I’d say this pack is good for a dog up to about 10lbs so you’ll want to check that first. I’d hate for you to get it just to find out your pup is too big. 🙁

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