Home Fitness Dog Fitness & More with the Ruffwear Approach Pack™ – Review

Dog Fitness & More with the Ruffwear Approach Pack™ – Review

Dog Fitness & More with the Ruffwear Approach Pack™ – Review

The Ruffwear Approach Pack is one of my favorite tools to increase doggie exercise sessions! I have no problem admitting that I’m a sucker for Ruffwear products. All of them. Their quality is simply outstanding. While it is reflected in their pricing, I’d rather pay a little more for a great product that’s going to last me for years as opposed to buying poor quality products over and over again.

I’ve started a nice little Ruffwear collection, so far consisting of 2 Top Rope™ collars, 2 Cloud Chaser™ jackets, and as of recently 1 Approach Pack™ for Missy. I recently had to toss her old doggie backpack by a different company because the holes in the thin material were becoming larger & larger

K9sOverCoffee.com | Dog Fitness & More With Ruffwear's Approach Pack

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored product review. I did not receive any kind of compensation for this review ~ neither in product-form nor in $$$-form! This is solely me expressing my personal opinion! Ruffwear is not responsible for the content of this blog post.

The Ruffwear Approach Pack™

I’ve tried out several different dog backpacks over the years, but none were made of truly durable materials. It’s amazing how much of a difference I was already able to feel after just having unpacked the Ruffwear Approach Pack, and holding it. Unlike Ruffwear’s sturdy pack, all of my previous doggie backpacks felt somewhat flimsy.

Old pack next to Ruffwear Approach Pack
Old flimsy dog pack

The following are the Key Features of Ruffwear’s Approach Pack™:

  • Low-light visibility with reflective trim (perfect for walks in the dark)
  • Sturdy, durable nylon material
  • Spacious Saddle Bags (perfect for carrying food, treats, water, and poop bags when hiking)
  • Saddle Bags are attached to harness, providing perfect load stability and weight distribution
  • Features padded assistance handle & a V-ring leash attachment
  • Available in 5 different sizes (ranging from XXS to L/XL) and 2 different colors (blue & orange)
  • Retails for $79.95.
Ruffwear Approach Pack
Ruffwear Approach Pack Harness

Fitness Benefits: Intensifies Exercise, Burns Calories, Provides Mental Stimulation

You can add up to 25% of a dog’s total body weight to her backpack, which will help tone her body, build some muscle mass, and burn calories when worn on a regular basis.

Since the added weight intensifies the walk or hike your dog does while carrying it, you can get away with shorter outings when using it during the colder winter months.

I am most definitely a proponent of exercising your dog (& yourself!) on a daily basis throughout wintertime, but some dogs have a harder time with the cold than others – my pups, for example, don’t have the insulating undercoat of a Husky or German Shepherd, resulting in shorter workout sessions outdoors when it’s in the 30s and below (Fahrenheit).

Not every dog will need to/be capable of exercising with full saddlebags. It’s therefore great that even just carrying the weight of the empty backpack provides a mental stimulation as the pup will be focusing on the job of carrying something on his back.

Side note: I wrote a blog post about how to get your dog used to accepting a doggie backpack, and just adding the empty pack is actually a good starting point:

How do I train my dog to accept a backpack?

K9sOverCoffee.com | How do I train my dog to accept a doggie backpack?

Great Training Tool Due to Improved Focus on Handler

I’ve come to appreciate doggie backpacks for training purposes in distracting environments. It’s a total game changer and so interesting to watch: As soon as the pack comes on, the pups’ attitude changes. You can really observe them going into work mode.

I’ve found this particularly helpful with training Missy to walk off-leash without taking off on a little adventure…Missy is known to be very easily distracted by small, fast moving critters (and leaves blowing in the wind..), and carrying her backpack makes her focus on me a lot more.

Ruffwear Guarantee

Ruffwear guarantees all of their products against defects in materials and craftsmanship (this does not cover normal wear & tear). Ruffwear provides a warranty form on their website in which product defects can be reported back to the company. 

Bottom Line

I highly recommend getting your paws on a Ruffwear backpack, or any of their awesome products for that matter! There are still several Ruffwear accessories I need to want to get our paws on, of course, like their lifejackets and dog boots, and we’ll get there eventually. You can buy the Ruffwear Approach Pack on Amazon (affiliate link).

Do you have a favorite dog backpack and/or any Ruffwear accessories? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

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  1. That is really interesting how they change their attitude like ok, we are going for a walk now and I need to be focused!! We need good quality for Cocoa. She broke her last harness and we can’t have that happen because she has no fear!!

  2. I’ve tried dog backpacks from a couple of other brands too and they just did not last like our Ruffwear pack. So I’d have to agree. Even though a pack from Ruffwear might cost a little more than some brands, it is worth it because it will last years! I haven’t really used any of the other gear from the company though. Sounds like they have lots of awesome stuff!

    The Ruffwear pack helped Ace sooo much when he was first learning leash manners. Like you said, it gave him something to focus on other than pulling. And it tired him out!