Canine Couture 

Carry On With Pups Who Pack

By Shelby Deering

When it comes to accessories, why should humans have all the fun? Dogs now have backpacks to call their own thanks to Pups Who Pack by Maggie Modena.

Owner and designer Maggie Welsh had been studying anthropology at UW-Madison when she felt the stirring to turn her handbag-making hobby into a career. She completed a program at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and was designing bags when she had an innovative— and adorable—idea.

Two years ago, Welsh took a “little break from people fashion” to make a backpack for her pug, Rhea.

“At first it was just for fun, but then I made it into a harness and backpack in one…and it’s been my focus ever since.” Welsh launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for the startup.

Rhea and Toad, Welsh’s French bulldog, are her top spokes-dogs, modeling the backpacks in photo shoots. But the stylishly-patterned gear suits non-catwalk dogs too as handy vessels to carry waste bags, treats and toys on walks. A few of her items have even been sported by Internet-famous pups like Doug the Pug and The Daily Walter.

Welsh has added collars, harnesses and personalized packs to her line. It’s all a manifestation of her dog love. “The unconditional love that dogs give you is immeasurable and sometimes all you need after a long day.”

Pups Who Pack gear is available at

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