Get Out with the Dog: K9 Sport Sack, The Canadian Pet Expo & Problem Solving Success

K9 sport sack super zooNecessity is the mother of innovation … or something like that. In other words, so many entrepreneurial endeavours are born out of a need to solve a personal problem.

And K9 Sport Sack – the backpack for your dog – is no exception. (affiliate link)

(K9 Sport Sack gave us a backpack to try in exchange for an honest review)

No, it’s not a backpack your dog wears. It’s a backpack  you wear … with your dog in it.

K9 Sport Sack has a heart-warming origin story.

But first, my pet-friendly weekend….

Welcome to the Canadian Pet Expo

“Did you go to the Canadian Pet Expo?” That’s the question I got asked several times last week from fellow pet-parents within a hour’s drive from Toronto, Ontario.

Twice a year, the Canadian Pet Expo comes to the International Centre near the airport and the parking lot is filled with slow-moving cars and excited pooches wondering why they’re walking through a slow moving parking lot.

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Sign a waiver and you can bring your dog, though it’s crowded and dogs will be in each other’s faces.

Not all dogs like that, including my cocker-cross Victor. It’s been an issue before.

dog in K9 sport sac doggie backpackSo, I was looking for a solution – a way to take him places with high concentrations of dogs – without having to carry him as much as I do.

Apparently, I’m not the only one.

Enter, K9 Sport Sack at the Canadian Pet Expo, not as vendors but as vehicles for Charlie and Tyson – little terriers happy to be taken along and lifted above the floor level fray. Both dogs spent the expo in a doggie backpack called the K9 Sport Sack.

The K9 Sport Sack

Perfect timing. I’d recently given K9 Sport Sack a try at Knoebels dog-friendly amusement park (check it out). Here’s how it went:

  • I got Victor into the K9 Sack ok, but needed a hand strapping it around my shoulders. At 12 kg (27 pounds), my dog is at the high-end of the recommended weight maximum – 30 pounds.
  • The bag was strong enough to carry that weight, but it was a bit too heavy for me to carry for long.
  • Also, Victor thought it was pretty cool to take a break from walking and relaxingly leaned back leaving me leaning forward …. way forward.

K9 Sport Sack might not be the solution for me. But what about lighter dogs?

I had to know, so I asked how it was working out with Charlie and Tyson, both much smaller than my dog Victor. “It works for us, but I do find him heavy after a while,” said Charlie’s fur mom racing to the next vendor booth.

dog in K9 sport sac doggie backpackTyson was doing a bit better, looking forward with paws on his human mom’s shoulders. “He will lean back too when he gets tired,” she tells me.

Seemingly, both made the expo rounds easier than pulling Charlie and Tyson on leashes. And this year, the Canadian Pet Expo was all about stuff, products and shopping. The Jock Dogs performance ring was scaled down from scaffolding seating to chairs. Gone are the seminars and presenters.

Santa posed for pics. Practice agility courses kept little paws active, and the kid’s craft table (thanks to Kid’s Pet Club and Talent Hounds) kept little hands busy.

And most dogs walked on leashes.

Yet, that doesn’t always work – hence the invention of K9 Sport Sack.

Why Invent a Doggie Backpack?

Inventor Joseph Watson loved to cycle, hike and generally move, move and move. Then he met Daisy – or dumpster Daisy as he nicknamed her – because (you guessed it) he found her in a dumpster. The beautiful little Yorkie was abandoned, and Watson rescued her.

From that moment, Daisy wouldn’t leave his side. But her little legs made hiking, cycling, and generally outdoorsy stuff challenging. So Watson fashioned a backpack (several actually) to safely carry her, mostly while biking.

K9 Sport DaisyOf course, once others saw the dog backpack in action, they asked the business-starting question: “Where can I get one?”

K9 Sport Sack was born. Fast forward to SuperZoo 2017 trade show and Daisy is happily spending hours on her Daddy’s shoulders while he, the K9 family, and business partner Daniel Bussio, sell doggie back packs to retailers across North America.

It’s now a full-time venture, selling K9 Sport Sacks so many more dog lovers can spend full-time days with the ones they love. Even if they have to carry them.

Want a K9 Sport Sac?
No problem. You can find them here on (affiliate link).
Happy travels!


  1. This looks amazing! My dog, Buffy, weighs 27 pounds, which is on the higher side, and she may go blind before the next BlogPaws conference due to glaucoma. I was considering using a stroller, but a backpack might be a viable option as well.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your pup – If you can carry her, a backpack can work. I used a stroller for my elderly dog too.
      Unfortunately, BlogPaws conferences are no more.

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  5. They are some lucky pooches. I am afraid my Labrador is way too big for that, though I could try it for a laugh…

    1. My cocker cross was a bit too big… but I have seen pics of people carrying labs up escalators because the dog was too scared to step on.

      1. Ah. Bless them for going the extra mile so so to speak

  6. […] styles: (affiliate link) Sweaters start around $30 (but I found another one in green for Victor at Pet Expo 2017 for […]

  7. I love seeing new innovations. My husband and his friends used to carry their house chihuahua around in a school backpack in college. It work okay, but this is obviously designed for the pet’s safety and visibility in mind.

    1. House chihuahua? Hope he was ok. Yes, this one gives the dog the same visibility you have, which is likely why to dogs I saw in it seemed pretty content.

      1. Yes, he was very much loved and cared for. Better than the boys took care of themselves!

  8. Wow, this looks fantastic. My Buffy is at the high end at 27 pounds and she could be blind before the next BlogPaws conference due to glaucoma. I was thinking of using a stroller, but a backpack might work too.

    1. It might depending on how much weight you can hold. My dog is 27 pounds and I couldn’t go for too long.

  9. Oooh, this backpack looks awesome. What a great idea. I may need to get one of these for Roxie, especially if we ever make it to Blogpaws or another big conference. She loves everyone, but she can get overwhelmed if there are TOO many people and dogs in a crowded space.

    1. I can see that being a good use for it – that and more ‘extreme’ sports like long distance cycling.

  10. I love the look of it but on behalf of all the dogs I know, I have to advocate that they have legs they want to use 😉

    1. True. My dog would rather run but sometimes too many dogs in his space make him crazy.

  11. Daniel Richardson · · Reply

    Haha our retreiver would hate to be in one of those! she would miss being able to run around and sniff everyone!

    1. Yes, not for big ones.

  12. I would be interested to know how long dogs would be comfortable riding in the backpack. I’m glad it worked for some people, but it doesn’t seem natural or comfortable for them. Of course, I haven’t had a dog in ages, so what do I know?

    1. They are in a ‘sit’ position but yes, I think there’s limitations.

  13. 4dogsandalittlelady · · Reply

    Where is the 100lb+ version?!? hahaha, I kid, but I would love to have one of these for when we have foster puppies! It’s such a pain moving all of them to different places all the time!

    1. I didn’t think of puppies – that might be a good solution when they are just learning.

      1. 4dogsandalittlelady · · Reply

        We often do 6+ pups at once so it would be nice to have a bag I could carry them all around in

  14. WOW I have a backpack carrier for Layla (15 lbs) but this one is awesome and I have been looking around for one that she would fit it – am going to check it out more as it would be perfect for me when I go shopping and other errands and will be able to take her with me

    1. This one has little ‘arms’ in it so the are suppose to be leaning on you – rather than leaning back.

  15. Interesting! I have 25 pound corgis. They are long dogs. Do you think a longer bodied dog would fit?

    1. They will likely fit like my Victor who’s also a bit long because he’s part cocker. They would be heavy, I think.

  16. Was so fun seeing you at Canadian Pet Expo and thanks for featuring our Kids’ Pet Club and Talent Hounds Booth! As you know, Kilo has issues with other dogs sometimes but for some reason, he is OK at the Expo as long as he is with my husband and I and sees a few familiar faces. I would love to try the pack for both hiking and events as I often have to carry him but he has refused to get in carriers so far even with treats- I think they make him feel a little trapped (he doesn’t like wearing clothes). We’ll work on that. XS

    1. My Victor likes coats and sweaters – likely because he gets cold easily. I think they don’t feel ‘trapped’ in the pack because they could get out if they really wanted to and their head is sticking out. They are also the same height was the people they are with, rather than looking up. See you at the next event!

  17. Interesting! I have 25 pound corgis. They are long dogs. Do you think they would fit?

  18. The Contemporary Pet · · Reply

    This would also be a great help for people with senior dogs (my Soldier is 19 years old). He gets along well with other dogs, but he has arthritis and tires easily. Rather than missing out on our long walks and visits to others, he would love to ride in a pack!

    1. I didn’t think of that. I did think of the time my dog ripped his leg ligament and we (well, the person I was with mostly) had to carry him back through woods and across the field to get back to the car.

  19. I think my daughter would LOVE this for her dog Link! I also know one of my two cats would love it as well. I really need to get one because Link always wants to be WITH me but I need my hands a lot of the time lol

    1. That’s the issue I encounter too – how do I hang onto the dog and have my hands free? Sometimes I have a leash that hooks around my waist but I still have to keep an eye on Victor when he encounters other dogs.

      1. Haha exactly! I have not tried tying a leash around my waist but Link is SO little and SQUIRMY! He wants to be held he wants down he wants to be held … you get it. He also is always cold! He would love this!

  20. I was at the vet today and saw this cute little puppy in a similar type of bag but it was in the front, not the back. I use a stroller but that bag is brilliant, and certainly a better option for events like a pet expo. One year I’m going to be in Toronto at the right time – it’s either happening right before I get there or right after I leave.

    1. If you’re ever in TO for Woofstock in the summer, I recommend that one too. I’ve seen ones on the front too but I think because the inventor was a cyclist, front didn’t work for him.

  21. thebrokedog · · Reply

    Looks like a fun Expo! I have friends who have the k9 Sport Sack and they LOVE it! I have a competing product, and Henry jumps out of it sometimes 🙁 I’ve been meaning to get a K9 Sport Sack, but am going to wait until I pick up biking again.

    1. I think it’s best for biking because it invites leaning forward – the company seems to be marketing it to ‘adventure’ stores even more than pet stores for that purpose.

  22. I have always wanted to try a pack with Ruby. I am amazed that this one can hold a dog up to 30 pounds! My back hurts just thinking about that. Fortunately Ruby only weights about 15 pounds.

  23. Anonymous · · Reply

    These dogs would get a lot of attention in these wee packs. What a great solution for those traveling with their dogs, particuarly at the Canadian Pet Expo! Cheers fellow Canadian (now living in L.A.). Thanks for sharing!

    1. L.A. must be very different. Yes, I think people get asked a lot of questions wearing these packs, which is likely why one person didn’t want to spend too much time talking to me about it…

  24. This is THE most brilliant idea (although I can see why its mostly a smaller dog thing. 27 pounds sounds very heavy to me!!

    This invention deserves to so SO well and, I know some cats might even like it too!!!

    1. I didn’t think of cats too. Because it’s fairly easy to climb out of, it might need a harness inside to hold a cat.

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