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Review of Our Newest Dog Backpacks

Author: MayaAndPierson
July 29, 2014

When you travel with your best friend, you go places, right? If nature trails are one of your favorite destinations, we’ve got a great selection of dog backpacks. There is the Kurgo Wander Pack, the Guardian Gear camouflage pack, and the Outward Hound Excursion packs. Our dog Maya has used Kurgo brand and both Maya and Pierson have recently been able to try out the Outward Hound brand. Here’s what we thought of these great products:

Kurgo Wander Back Pack for Dogs

Maya sometimes wears her Kurgo Wander back pack for dogs when she goes hiking.

Kurgo Wander Backpack for Dogs

This backpack for dogs is a one-size-fits-all. Well, it doesn’t quite fit all sizes. It is really meant for medium and large dogs, but not necessarily small ones or really big ones. As you can see in the above photo, the Kurgo Wander Pack fits my Labrador Retriever Maya very well. I love Kurgo brand products because they are very well made. In fact, they have a lifetime warranty and a great repair and replacement policy. If Maya were to tear her backpack or get it too dirty to clean, I can send it to Kurgo and pay just $10.00 to get it repaired or replaced. This option does not expire.

Pierson in Dog Backpack from Outward Hound

Pierson just got this new backpack and has had a chance to use it once.

Outward Hound Excursion Dog Packs

Outward Hound makes a lot of inexpensive pet travel and outdoor products. They are actually fairly well made for the price. The Excursion backpacks for dogs comes in multiple sizes. This way, even smaller and very big dogs can wear them. I love how they have inner pockets inside the packs. It helps keep some items separate. For example, I can put my keys in one smaller pocket and not worry about Maya’s slobbery dog toy getting it sticky!

Camouflage Dog Backpack on Retriever

Guardian Gear Camouflage Pack

Maya and Pierson haven’t tried this one on yet, but it looks like it has the same quality as the Outward Hound. It seems to have more space in the pouches too. This is great for bigger hardcore hiking dogs! The only issue with this camouflage dog backpack is that we only have it in one size – medium – and only in limited quantities. So get one today before they run out!

Maya and Pierson have only had a little opportunity to use their newest packs. We just moved to Des Moines and have not yet discovered all the hiking places. But we will be looking around and doing a lot of walking this summer. What about you? What are some great hiking places you like to take your dog?

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August 17, 2013
Kurgo Wander Back Pack for Dogs

Maya sometimes wears her Kurgo Wander back pack for dogs when she goes hiking.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be relatively inactive in the summer because it is so darned hot. I still take the dogs out for walks in the morning or evenings, but nature hikes are no fun in the summer. So now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m excited about taking the dogs on an outdoor hiking expedition again.

Here are some outdoor hiking safety factors I think about for Maya and Pierson:

Leashes or Harnesses

I admit, I don’t always keep Maya on a leash when we hike. Maya is very good at staying by my side and has a very good recall. Pierson, on the other hand, has never been off leash except in our backyard. So I don’t trust him to come when he is called if he sees an animal to chase. Know your dogs. If you are not sure if they will come to you in various scenarios, then keep them on a leash. Also, be considerate to other people when hiking in areas frequented by others. Some people don’t like dogs and are even afraid of them. Furthermore, some hiking trails are also frequented by bicyclists or people riding horses. Loose dogs do not always get along well with bicycles and horses.

Dog Tags

Maya and Pierson always wear their collar and tags. Plus, they are both microchipped. Even though I am confident in Maya’s recall and that I have a good grip on Pierson’s leash, the unexpected could happen. What if there is a loud noise that scares them? It might catch me unawares and make me lose my grip on their leash when they bolt. It’s unlikely but if the worst does happen, at least you have a better chance of being reunited with your best friend.

Wild Animals

Beware of wild animals. Small animals like rabbits and squirrels can be very tempting for your dog to chase. Your dog getting lost because he chased an animal is not the only concern. There are many harmful wild animals to watch out for such as alligators (BrownDogCBR has to look out for these), porcupines, poisonous snakes, skunks, raccoons, etc. By the way, another good reason to keep your dog on a leash is so that they don’t eat wild animal feces. Raccoon poop, for one, can be infected with worms or even canine distemper.

Plants & Biting Insects Harmful to Dogs

Some plants can be harmful for your dog too. Look out for poison ivy and poison oak. Also beware of thorned plants. Biting insects are what bothers me the most on our outdoor hiking adventures. Ticks here are really bad. We also need to be aware of mosquitos and fleas. My dogs use Frontline, but this only kills fleas and ticks when they get on the dog. It doesn’t prevent the little blood-suckers from getting on them in the first place. As a repellant, I am considering a new product from Earth Heart called Buzz Guard. Earth Heart is the same company that makes the Travel Calm that I use for Maya when she rides in the car.

Pet Water Safety – To Swim

If you are hiking near water and plan on letting your dog swim, consider a dog life jacket. Also, know the dangerous aquatic wild animals native to your area such as water moccasin snakes or alligators.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Maya at Clinton Lake wearing her dog life jacket.

Pet Water Safety – To Drink

Water safety also includes making sure both you and your dog have plenty of fresh cool water to drink. If you can help it, don’t let your dog drink from the lake or river water. It can contain bacteria and parasites that will make your dog sick. I like using the Kurgo collapsible dog water bowl when I go hiking with the dogs. We also won the Frosty Paws travel pack sometime back and it has a fantastic dog water bottle.

Dog Pierson Collapsible Dog Bowl

My dog Pierson is drinking from the Kurgo collapsible dog bowl.

Dog Travel Safety

Don’t forget to travel to your hiking destination in safety. Seat belts for dogs, pet travel carriers, or our new K9 Car Fence, are just a few of the options available to ensure your best friend is kept just as safe as every other member of your family.


I like to take Maya and Pierson to Clinton Lake. The Mutt Run off-leash dog park is nearby and even has a place for Maya to swim. And there are a lot of secluded trails around the lake for me to take my dog-aggressive fluffhead Pierson.

Maya Meets Dog Swimming @ Dog Park

This is one of the rivers that feed into Clinton Lake. This particular area is part of the Mutt Run off-leash dog park.


I hope I covered everything. Can you think of any other outdoor hiking safety tips? Where do you like to take your dog hiking?


Update – First Aid Kit

After reading another blog post on first aid supplies, I realized I didn’t have a first aid kit on my list. Shame, shame! It is a good idea to have one with supplies for both you and your pet when you go hiking. A complete list of ideal first aid supplies can be found on Thanks Kimberly, for your great post and reminder. 🙂

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July 10, 2013

When we purchased some Outward Hound products (a Kyjen company) for Pet Auto and for our new site eDogLifeJacket (coming soon), I also ordered an extra item for Maya and Pierson. That was the Invincible Gecko (from Kyjen), which I read about on Gizmo’s Terrier Torrent blog.

Dog Maya Invincibles Gecko Toy

You can’t hear it, but Maya is squeaking away at her dog toy!

Pierson Kyjen Invincibles Gecko Dog Toy

Pierson is squeaking away at his new Kyjen dog toy too.

Invincibles Gecko Dog Toy and Maya

Maya gets into all sorts of wierd positions when she plays with her dog toys.

Maya is a chewer so I’m always excited about trying out dog toys that say they are invincible. I must say, this gecko dog toy is holding up very well. Not only has she not torn it to bits, but the squeaker still works too. Oftentimes, when squeakers in dog toys get a hole punctured in it from sharp doggy teeth, it stops working. But not this squeaker! Both the toy and its stuffings are invincible!!!

We didn’t buy any invincible gecko’s for resale on our Pet Auto website. But you can get them on Amazon. Stop by our Amazon a-store for yours.

To check out a video I did of me drawing Mos the dog, visit my blog. Also, for more great Wordless Wednesday pet photos, check out the blog hop below:

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September 24, 2011


Distractions cause over a million car accidents each year. These distractions include anything from talking on the cell phone, grooming, tending to a baby, and pet distractions. Keeping a dog in the back seat is an important pet auto safety feature which helps reduce the distraction a pet could cause. The Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier is the simplest way to achieve this.

The Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier is a piece of sturdy canvas which attaches easily by wrapping around the headrests of the front seats and around the bottom half of the front seats. Once attached, the canvas part of the pet car barrier blocks the center console area. This keeps most dogs from being able to put their head between the seats, from standing on the center console, and from jumping into the front seat.

Notice that we said ‘most dogs’. As you can see from the photo above, the Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier is only as high as the seats of your car. It does not go all the way to the ceiling so some dogs may try to jump over it. Therefore, the Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier works best for small to medium sized dogs. It can work for large dogs too if your large dog is not inclined to try to jump over it. If my dog Maya (the dog photographed above) was not wearing her dog car harness, she would probably try to jump it.

The Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier could help protect your dog in the event of a car accident. For small to medium sized dogs, your dog is not as likely to get thrown through the windshield in a front end car accident. But since the Outward Hound Pet Car Barrier does not go all the way to the ceiling, this is still a possibility. While other pet auto safety products exist for protecting your dog, the Outward Hound Pet Car barrier is relatively inexpensive and it is easy to use. Just remember that while it may be effective in keeping your dog from being a distraction, it does not provide the same safety as a dog car harness, pet car seat, or secured pet crate.

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September 1, 2011


Pet Auto has lots of pet car hammock products including the Guardian Gear pet car hammock, Wander pet car hammock from Kurgo, and the Outward Hound pet car hammock.  All the pet car hammock products at pet auto are similar in style and use.

A pet car hammock helps to keep your dog in the back seat.  And it also helps to protect your dog in a minor accident.  Because a pet car hammock covers the floor of the back seat, your dog won’t get thrown onto the floor if a minor car accident should occur.  A dog getting thrown onto the floor could suffer broken bones.

Best of all, a pet car hammock also protects your car from muddy paw prints and dog hair.  The pet car hammock products work by hanging off the front and back headrests of your seats.  If you back seats do not have headrests, then you probably will not be able to effectively use a pet car hammock.

If the pet car hammock products all work the same, what makes the pet car hammock from Outward Hound different from the other pet car hammocks on Pet Auto  The biggest difference is the price.  The Outward Hound pet car hammock is the least expensive.  The cloth is a bit thinner than the cloth of the other pet car hammock products, but it is just as durable.  And the Outward Hound pet car hammock does not come with all the added features that the Wander pet car hammock comes with (ie water bottle and carrying bag).

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July 20, 2011

Pet Travel Bowl

Outward Hound Port-a-Bowl and the Handi-Drink are great pet travel water bowl brands for your dog.  Whenever you take your dog out this summer, you want to make sure he stays cool and hydrated.  Many places don’t have bowls of fresh water lying around for your dog so you may want to bring your own pet travel water bowl.

The Outward Hound Port-a-Bowl pet travel water bowl fits easily in your pocket.  When your dog is ready to drink, simply unfold the pet travel water bowl, set it on the ground, and fill it with water.  When your dog is done, dump out the remaining water, shake it off, and put it back in your pocket.

The Handi-Drink pet travel water bowl comes with both a plastic bowl and a water bottle.  The bowl is long and fits around the bottle and both bowl and bottle clip on your belt for easy carrying.  When your dog is ready for a drink, simply flip open the pet travel water bowl and let the water flow.

Keeping your buddy cool this summer is very important.  Go swimming, boating, to the park, and enjoy the sunshine.  But help your dog stay cool and hydrated with a pet travel water bowl.

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June 23, 2011


Perhaps you have heard of the pet brand, Outward Hound.  They make lots of great outdoor gear for dogs including dog backpacks, pet strollers, portable water bowls, and, of course, pet automobile gear.  Our favorite Outward Hound products are the pet car seats.  There are the standard small pet car seats and the larger and padded Kyjen pet car seats (Kyjen is the company who owns the Outward Hound brand).

The Outward Hound pet car seats provide three points of safety for your dog.  First, the pet car seats are secured with strong nylon straps.  The top straps hang from the headrest of the seat while the bottom straps wrap around the body of the seat.  These straps can be adjusted so that the pet car seats are secure.

Second, the Outward Hound pet car seats have a strap on the inside which can clip onto the back of your dog’s harness.  This strap will keep your dog from jumping or flying out of the pet car seats.

Third, since the Outward Hound pet car seats are hanging from the headrest of the car rather than sitting on the seat itself, the airbags will not deploy in that seat should you and your pet be involved in a car accident.  This is a good thing since you do not want the airbags where your dog is sitting to deploy.  Airbags are designed for adult humans, not children or pets.

As with all Outward Hound brands, the pet car seats are of quality make and design.  If your dog loves to ride in the car, they will enjoy the Outward Hound pet car seats and be safe at the same time.

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November 21, 2010


“My dog just won’t tolerate a dog seat belt.”  That is what we hear from people all the time.  Most people think a dog wearing a seat belt is a great idea – just not for their dog.  We agree that it can be very difficult to get a dog used to wearing a dog seat belt.  So while you may or may not be working with your dog to get him used to the idea of wearing a dog seat belt, we have an alternative.

The Front Seat Pet Car Barrier made by Outward Hound is perfect for keeping your small to medium-sized dog in the back seat.  It is easy to use and a very inexpensive alternative to other pet car barrier products.

The Front Seat Pet Car Barrier by Outward Hound is attached using long nylon straps.  Simply unclip the straps.  Then wrap the top half shorter straps around the headrests of your front seats and the bottom half longer straps around the bottom of the front seats.  Lastly, tighten the straps for a snug fit.

*Please note, the Front Seat Pet Car Barrier by Outward Hound may not be enough to keep a big dog in the back seat.

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August 16, 2010


You may already be familiar with Outward Hound pet supply brands.  The Outward Hound brand provides products which combine quality with affordability.  Their products are well made and relatively inexpensive as compared to other brands.  Outward Hound makes dog backpacks, dog toys, water bowls, dog life vests, pet strollers, and more.  But did you know that they also make pet travel supplies too?

Pet Auto provides a number of pet travel supplies with the Outward Hound brand.  Both the Kyjen Pet Booster Seat and the Outward Hound Pet Booster Seat are Outward Hound brands.  Both of these pet booster seat styles provide security for your dog when he travels in the car while at the same time giving him a “boost” so he can see out the window.

Other pet travel supplies from Outward Hound include the Front Seat Barrier which keeps your dog from climbing over the console to the front seat, the Window Bumper which provides padding for the dog who likes to put his head out the window, the Extend-A-Seat which covers the floor of the back seat to give your dog more room, and the Port-A-Bowl which is an easy carry food and water bowl for when you take your dog for long walks or long travel trips.

Check out these and other great pet travel supplies at Pet  Feel free to use discount code, petblogger, to get 10% off your order.

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August 1, 2010


Check out Oliver in his new “chariot”… ie, dog booster seat.  Isn’t he adorable!  A dog booster seat is great for a little dog. Just check out what Oliver has to say. Oliver is comfortable and he can look out the window without having to stand on his hind legs. And most importantly, Oliver is safe. The dog booster seat is strapped to the front seat of the car. And it has another strap inside which clips onto the back of Oliver’s harness. That way, if his mom has to stop suddenly, poor Oliver doesn’t fly forward into the dash, the windshield, or onto the floor.

The dog booster seat which Oliver is riding is the red Outward Hound Dog Booster Seat.

Read the great testimonial from Oliver’s mom at the All Things Dog Blog.  Thanks Oliver for being so photogenic and for enjoying your dog booster seat.

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