Although is now 40 pounds and counting, when we first brought her home from the shelter she weighed only seven pounds. As you know, we take long, twice-daily dog walks on our trails–but, shared by plentiful wildlife, those trails aren’t suitable for an unvaccinated puppy. The answer: a pet carrier backpack. We did some searching and ordered the HALOVIE Pet Carrier Backpack and put it to the test.
The HALOVIE Pet Carrier Backpack is, like the name suggests, a backpack that is specially designed to carry pets, whether that’s a puppy or small dog–or a cat or other small pet.
Unlike a regular backpack, it has a reinforced flat bottom for your pet’s comfort and mesh panels for ventilation and views. And, unlike a pet carrier, it can be carried on your back.
Why We Wanted to Use a Pet Backpack
As I mentioned, we wanted this pet backpack to carry our puppy Isla along our dog walking trails before she was fully vaccinated. During this time, she wasn’t able to be on the ground outside our fenced yard.
I wanted her to get accustomed to our dog walking routine and get socialized to the sights, sounds and smells along the walk–while safely riding in the backpack.
We also wanted to be able to take her to the park with Barli for socialization–letting her watch and listen to children on the playground, see cars coming and going in the parking lot and just become more familiar with life outside our house and yard.
Socialization during those early weeks is vitally important to a puppy’s development.
Why We Chose the HALOVIE Pet Carrier Backpack
The shelter guessed that Isla would grow to 40-50 pounds so I knew that, to get the most use out of the backpack before she outgrew up, I needed a backpack rated for larger puppies.
On the other hand, I didn’t want a backpack carrier that held her in a vertical position due to concerns about her spine in that position.
I wanted her to be able to sit or lie in the backpack.
The backpack has a flat bottom with two removable bases, both plush and smooth for cold and hot weather. The plush base has a removable, washable cover as well.
The HALOVIE Pet Carrier Backpack can hold pets up to 18 pounds–so I knew that would give us at least a few weeks of use before Isla became too heavy to carry. (We also have three cats so the backpack will come in handy with them for vet visits or even potential evacuations.)
My Favorite Features of the Pet Backpack
The adjustable, padded straps on the pet backpack are as good as any I’ve had on backpacks. There’s also a chest support strap.
The Locking Zippers
We all know that puppies can (make that WILL) get into everything and zippers are no exception. The zippers on the backpack have a small buckle (much like a miniature dog collar buckle) to make sure your dog cannot get a paw into the zipper opening and start unzipping the bag.
The Top Opening
The backpack has a front opening but I prefer the top opening; it made it easier to lower Isla into the bag.
The top opening has two flaps: a mesh zippered flap for ventilation and a solid waterproof Oxford cloth flap that you can close in inclement weather.
The cloth flap has Velco attachments to either hold the flap closed or roll it back and secure it open.
You can also opt to keep the zippered mesh top open so your dog can put his head out of the bag. There is an adjustable safety strap that attaches inside the bag then to your dog.
The safety strap was too long and stretchy to use safely with Isla so I did not keep the zippered top open on our walks.
The backpack features pockets on both sides. One side includes a zippered pocket; the other side features a water bottle open pocket as well as a small zippered pocket with poop bag dispenser.
Expanding the Backpack
OK, this was a big selling point for me on the HALOVIE Pet Carrier Backpack: the back of the backpack can unzip and fold down to pull out a large mesh section so your dog has extra room to stretch out:
I’d planned to use this feature at a patio restaurant but the weather didn’t cooperate before Isla outgrew the bag.
I was able to use it on a socialization run to the gas station so Isla could get accustomed to the sounds of the car and filling up the car.
One day we were burning brush on our property (always a favorite activity for Barli) so I brought Isla along, sitting the carrier on a blanket since she was not yet fully vaccinated, and letting her enjoy all the sights and smells:
All in all, I was very pleased with the pet backpack. It allowed us, for a few weeks, to get Isla out in the world safely. The backpack was well made and sturdy and had some great features.
I’d recommend this backpack for a small dog or puppy as an alternative to a carrier. It is currently available on Amazon for about $55.
Now our puppy backpack has become a cat backpack so, even through Isla has outgrown it, it will still be a useful addition to our pet gear!