How much weight can a dog safely carry?
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Thread: How much weight can a dog safely carry?

  1. #1
    Senior Member PugChick's Avatar
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    How much weight can a dog safely carry?

    Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster.

    I like to do short day hikes with my GSD/corgi/who knows mix, Zero. My backpack is full with my snacks and drinks, his snacks and drinks, and all my other junk. Sometimes I bring the papillion or the pug along if it's cool, and the little ones always end up riding in the backpack too. Then it's really full. I was thinking about getting Zero one of the dog backpacks so he could carry his own stuff, but I worry about the weight.

    What % of their weight can a healthy young adult dog safely carry? He's only 40lbs, so it doesn't take much in the pack at all before it's a significant % of his weight. I weighed my pack, just to get an idea and it was 38lbs! No wonder I need the dog to drag me up hills...

    Pictures, just Because.


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  3. #2
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    Re: How much weight can a dog safely carry?

    After spending some time building up his strength, a dog like that should be able to carry eight pounds (about 20-25% body weight). That does of course depend on the dog's age. If he's puppy young I wouldn't go over 5-10% one to two times a week on short walks until he's full grown. For reference, two liters is about 4.4 pounds.

  4. #3
    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: How much weight can a dog safely carry?

    Be careful with the corgi background. I've known many that developed back problems (mostly dogs we knew in agility) as they aged.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
    Cally- 14 yo papillon, Moose the puppy, McKenna 8 yo pomeranian grand-dog, and chickens

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    Senior Member RBark's Avatar
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    Re: How much weight can a dog safely carry?

    yeah about 20% sounds right. I started at 5% and added more weight slowly. Ollie carried 15-18lb and was 60lb.

    01-09-2010 12:18 AM OMG! Brilliant post! You are like...a total genius *swoon* <3 <3 <3
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: How much weight can a dog safely carry?

    Sassy would carry up to 10 pounds on an overnight trip and she was a lean 42 pounder. It was probably too much weight but that is what we did. Food, two small water bottles for balancing the pack, her sweather and bedroll was about it. Make sure the pack fits correctly, up over the ribcage. I will have to dig out photos of her packed up, it was cute. She even had a bed roll made from a cut down sleeping bag.

    A short dayhike with 38 pounds? How much would you be carrying for an overnight trip?

  7. #6
    Senior Member PugChick's Avatar
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    Re: How much weight can a dog safely carry?

    Thanks for the answers everyone! I was worried that he wouldn't be able to carry very much. I think I just need a bigger pack for me.

    Kathyy- Probably 3/4 of the weight is in water. The weather has been so bad here, it's still 90F+ even if I go out in the later afternoon/early evening. When I have to work evenings I'm usually stuck going out mid-day when it's over 100F. We go through water like we're fish.

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