One of the more common questions
we receive has to do with getting the right fit on dog packs. Finding the right pack for your buddy can be a bit of a challenge, but with the measurements we provide, you should find the task greatly simplified.
Unlike people, who tend to have similar form with only different size, dogs come in a much wider variety of body shapes. Some dogs weighing well over 100 lbs. can have a girth smaller than some other breeds of 70 lbs or less. Since most of the dog pack manufacturers give pack sizes based on the dog's weight, we've seen many customers receive the wrong pack size. To help with this issue, we have provided girth and shoulder width measurements on our pack listings in addition to the weight guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Utilizing these along with the dog's weight should hopefully get you the right fit the first time.
Girth is measured all the way around the widest part of the dog's chest (beneath the dog, not to the front). We recommend choosing a pack that provides girth adjustment both directions from your dog's measured girth or opting for the smaller pack if the girth measurement is toward the small end of the packs adjustment. Having a pack that is on the large end of the spectrum causes the saddlebags to ride up under the chest and can interfere with the dog's stride. As an example, if your dog's girth is 35" and you're looking at the Ruff Rider Pack, he could wear the Medium or the Small. You might be more pleased with the small. The minimum adjustment of the Medium size is 33" so this pack might be large enough to circle under his chest once fitted.
Shoulder width is measured on the same line as the girth but across the top only. The reason this measure is provided separately is aluded to above. If the saddlebag circles under the dog's chest, it interferes with stride. Some breeds of course have a large but rather narrow chest. In an instance such as this, the shoulder width measurement can become more crucial.
The OP Dog Packs
provide a mesh back panel across the dogs shoulders. While straps across the back allow the mesh back panel to be taken up, it does bunch up on the dog's back. You'll probably prefer to have these straps at their fullest stated width (maximum shoulder width listed) or only slightly smaller. Keep this in mind when ordering the OP.
The Granite Gear Ruff Rider Packs
a pad across the dog's back, so a minimum and maximum shoulder width is listed here. Either measurement or any measurement in between should be equally comfortable for the dog. We have also provided a measurement of the saddlebag height on the Ruff Rider since these bags tend to be a little on the large side.
Hiking with your pet can add so much enjoyment. We hope these pointers will aid in getting the best pack for your "best friend". Happy hiking!