The other morning, I was out for a walk with my dogs — GhostBuster and Marshmallow — when the smaller one stopped, lifted two paws off the frosty sidewalk and looked up at me with longing eyes. I carried her 18-pound butt all the way home, while my arms turned to jelly. Enter the K9 Sport Sack.
A backpack-style carrier, it facilitates piggyback rides for dogs up to 30 pounds while keeping your hands free.
Getting a pooch into the K9 Sport Sack isn’t as hard as you’d expect, especially if your dog is used to wearing coats and sweaters, like cold-adverse Marshmallow.
Our first time was a two-human operation: I guided Marshmallow’s front legs through the front leg holes and zipped her in, then Marshmallow’s dad lifted the backpack onto my shoulders and helped me adjust the straps. We lasted about 20 minutes before my shoulders gave out.
After our inaugural wearing, we made a few adjustments, getting the straps as tight as we could, and adding the Booster Block, a piece of foam that helps the dog sit higher in the carrier. That seemed to help with weight distribution, and we worked our way up to an hour of wear at a time.
Unlike other dog carriers that borrow heavily from the Baby Bjorn or the Snuggli, the K9 Sport Sack was obviously designed for dogs, not human babies. It has a collar clip and a whistle clip, and it keeps the dog’s hind legs comfortably contained, not hanging out. Marshmallow was a little tense the first time we tried it, but soon learned she was safe and relaxed into my shoulders, snuggling into the sack’s sturdy bottom. I do wish it had the padded straps and ergonomic waist belts common to human baby carriers, but it’s also a fraction of the cost.
Lightweight and packable, the K9 Sport Sack comes in handy for those times your dog doesn’t want to walk, and is great for families like mine with a big dog who loves to hike and a little dog who wants to come along but gets tired sooner.
Just make sure to brush your dog’s teeth before heading out as they’ll be literally breathing down your neck.
The latest model, the K9 Sport Sack Air, is on sale for $69.99.