Do you take your dog or puppy on a daily walk around the neighborhood? As a responsible pet owner, your dog’s safety is of the utmost importance to you, especially during walks and outdoor adventures.
If you and your dogs love the outdoors, one way to keep them safe is by using a harness. It is one essential tool that can greatly enhance your dog’s walking experience.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why every dog owner should consider using one.
AT A GLANCE (SEE ON AMAZON):
What is a Dog Harness?
A dog harness is a type of walking equipment comprised of straps that wraps around your dog’s chest and upper body. It holds your pup and guides him, as well as controls him when he is pulling.
Dog harnesses are designed to allow free breathing during dog walks and exercises as these equipment do not create tension and pressure on the neck as your pet pulls away.
Unlike a traditional dog collar, which attaches to your dog’s neck, a harness distributes the pressure more evenly across your dog’s body, reducing strain on the neck and preventing potential injuries.
Dog harnesses are commonly used for restraining pets, keeping them from bolting in another direction.
Dog Collars vs Dog Harness
Both dog collars and harnesses are used to restrain and control dogs. However, they differ in design and functionality.
Dog collars are generally made of nylon, leather, or fabric, braided or looped together. They are designed as a strap around the neck with a buckle or clip, where a leash can be attached.
Primarily, a dog collar functions to hold a point where a leash is attached. In some cases, pet parents love clipping an identification tag on the dog’s collar.
Collars are mostly used on dogs that are already leashed-trained as these dogs are no longer prone to pulling exclusively. It eliminates the tendency to pull or jerk excessively, which can cause throat or neck injuries.
On the other hand, dog harnesses are composed of a set of straps that are designed to go around a dog’s torso, around its chest, and shoulders.
A harness primarily functions to control the dog when he pulls or jerks away, with the pressure being distributed around the body and not solely on the dog’s neck. It can also serve as body support when taking small dogs and even toy breeds on a leash.
Why Use a Harness?
There are a few reasons why pet owners should consider getting a harness for their dogs. Here are the most common ones:
One of the main reasons why you should get a harness is the increased and effective control it provides. With the control you can exert, a harness discourages pulling.
When your pup is wearing a harness, attach a leash to allow you to handle your pet. The leash is attached to a ring at the chest or the back part of the harness. With this design, you are able to control your pet’s movements.
Effective and enhanced control delivered by a harness is especially important when you have energetic dogs who tend to pull away or bolt away during walks. If your dogs are prone to pulling towards squirrels or other dogs or just like to forcefully lead the way, using a harness can give you better control during the walk.
Safety and Comfort
Harnesses for pets are safer and more comfortable to use. A dog harness provides an even distribution of pressure on your pet’s body. This can help reduce neck strain for your pup.
When using a harness on your dog, the pressure created when they are pulling is distributed across their body, particularly on their chest and shoulders. There is less strain and pressure around the neck and throat areas, preventing any neck injury.
For dogs with respiratory problems, the pressure on the neck caused by a collar and a leash can add to their discomfort. But with dog harnesses, there are lesser incidences of this happening even when your dogs pull on the leash.
Dog harnesses also serve as a valuable tool in dog training. A harness can prove beneficial in leash training puppies.
As young pups, they have fragile bodies. Any pressure can cause them pain and discomfort. Using a collar (instead of a harness) in leash training can cause our young puppies to experience discomfort.
This could be a negative experience for them. If not addressed properly, puppies may associate their collars and leashes as punishment and learn to stay away from them.
But with the safety and comfort that harnesses can offer, leash training can be a rewarding experience for you and your dog.
Considerations Before Choosing a Harness
When it comes to choosing a harness for your dog, there are a few factors to consider:
Dog Size and Breed
Your dog’s size and breed are two important things to consider when choosing a harness. You want to ensure that the harness you select will fit their body well and be secure for walks.
It’s crucial to choose a harness that fits your dog properly. Measure your dog’s chest circumference and refer to the manufacturer’s sizing guide to ensure the right fit.
The right harness should fit your dog comfortably. It should be snug enough so your dog does not slip away but should not be too tight, which could cause your dog discomfort or prevent your dog from moving comfortably.
Type of Harness
Harnesses come in various types, such as back-clip harnesses and front-clip harnesses. Each type has its own advantages, so consider your dog’s behavior, size, and walking style when choosing the most suitable one.
Another thing to consider is the purpose or what you will plan to use the harness for. Some harnesses may be easier to get on and good for short walks. If you plan to take your pup on long walks or hikes, other models fit the purpose better. There are also harnesses that serve as attachments for car rides.
Durability and Quality
Look for a harness made from durable materials that can withstand your dog’s activity level. Check the stitching and overall construction to ensure it will hold up well over time. This would be especially true when you have strong dogs. A good harness would be one that would not break or tear against your dog’s physical strength.
If your dog is prone to chewing and is aggressive at it, it is best to choose a harness that can withstand your dog’s chewing habits.
Best Dog Harnesses
There are many great harnesses for you to choose from. While the “best” harness may vary depending on your dog’s specific needs, we share with you here our top picks.
Our Top Pick
- DELUXE VERSION: Features padded neoprene straps for cool comfort and reflector strips for night safety
- LEGACY OF TRUST: This harness was created by a veterinary behaviorist and is trusted by a million dog parents and trainers each year
- TEACHES BETTER LEASH MANNERS: Patented martingale loop and front chest leash attachment minimizes your dog’s pulling by gently steering him in the direction you are headed
- NO MORE GAGGING AND CHOKING: The harness safely controls light to moderate pulling by resting across your dog’s chest instead of his throat
- Adjustable Dog Harness - Recommended Breeds: Small to Large Dogs, such as Golden Retriever, Huskie, Labrador, Alaska, German Shepherd, Akita, etc. Please measure the size carefully before purchasing this present for your puppy. Make your puppy stand...
- No Pull, No Choke - Our non-pulling dog harness is specially designed with 2 metal leash rings for safer dog walks. Use the chest attachment clip to stop your dog from pulling on walks, perfect for dog training or dogs who tend to pull. The back one...
- Easy to Use - This hassle-free overhead harness is easy to put on and take off with its 2 fast-release buckles. Slide the harness over your dog's head, buckle it up, adjust the straps, and here you go! Grab the top handle for additional control....
- Fully Adjustable - This adjustable harness features 4 easy adjusting straps around the body. You can use its 2 neck straps and 2 chest straps to create a perfect fit for your dog with some room of growth. No worries about slipping out or choking
Best for the Traveller
- Everyday Dog Harness - Comfortable, lightweight walking harness with 5 easy adjustable points and plastic quick release buckles to make it easy to take on and take off when on the go. Suitable for walking or jogging
- No-Pull Training Clip - Pet harness has a front D-Ring to use as leash attachment to train dogs not to pull; it will turn them around when try to pull; also features a back leash ring for regular walking or jogging
- Includes Dog seat belt - Comes with dog seat belt 10-inch tether that can be used during car travel as a pet seat belt to restrain dogs and prevent distracted driving: or as a training tether. Harness doesn't crash tested
- Size and Fit - Size medium fits dogs with neck 16-25 inches and chest 18-28 inches; Neck is adjusted for this harness; not pleased refer to Kurgo size chart
Best for Large Breeds
- ENJOY MORE WALKS: Easy to use & comfortable to wear, four adjustment points plus Swiss Velvet lining prevents rubbing
- BETTER CONTROL: Two connections give you better training results with your dog
- TRAIN WITH EASE: Recommended by veterinarians, trainers, and dog behaviorists worldwide - helps you train your dog.
- MADE IN THE USA: Stainless steel hardware and super strong nylon webbing.
Best for Toy Breeds, Small Dogs, and Puppies
- ✔️Dog Harness For Small and Medium Dogs: Fits 10 to 17 lbs (Estimated Weight, Please Measure for Exact Fit). Specially Crafted Harness for Small, Medium Dogs and Puppies. Our pet harnesses are escape proof when with the correct size with a snug...
- ✔️No Pull & No Choke Halter Harness: Soft mesh, gentle, breathable double layered mesh fabric made from non-toxic ROSH tested mesh fabric with durability built to last. Strong full body collar for daily walking, running, and hiking. Soft and...
- ✔️Eco-Friendly Pet Harness: Strong Ultra Padded Vests include Recycled Straps made from recycled water bottles. We use environmental friendly material that is highly durable designed to disperse the dog's weight onto the chest to not choke the...
- ✔️Safety Standard: Our Vest Harness is escape proof when the dog has the correct sizing. These Body Harnesses are made to sit a bit higher than most dog harnesses, this ensures that it is harder for your puppy or dog to escape. Specially made to...
Best for Night Walks
- EASY TO PUT ON AND TAKE OFF – Our dog harness for small dogs no pull needs only be adjusted once and you’re ready. Simply adjust the neck and chest, then slip over your dog’s head. This listing is for dog harnesses for medium dogs. PLEASE CHECK...
- TOTALLY REFLECTIVE FOR 360° VISIBILITY – Our Illuminate Reflective dog harnesses for small dogs allows your dog to be seen from over 300 feet away by car headlights. Most harnesses are designed with reflectiveness as a bonus feature, but the...
- UP TO 250% STRONGER PULLING STRENGTH – Our no pull dog harness for small dogs surpass national pulling strength guidelines by over 100 LBS in every size and the medium dog harness has a puling strength of 402 LBS – Like the harness or easy walk...
- REDUCES STRESS ON YOUR DOGS NECK – Our reflective dog harness no pull small breed redistributes pressure on the entire front end of the harness, so your dogs are not damaging their trachea. When using a standard collar, all the pressure is focused...
Walking your dog can be one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy and happy, and provides great bonding time.
Using a dog harness offers a multitude of benefits for both you and your furry friend. It provides enhanced control, ensures your dog’s safety and comfort, and can aid in training efforts.
One thing that is important to remember is that your dog should not wear harnesses while they are inside your home. Unlike collars, harnesses limit your dog’s range of motion. Hence, wear them only during strenuous activities.
A harness can help make walking easier for you and your pup. Be sure to choose the best harness for your lifestyle and your dog’s needs. Then, walk your dog with love and have fun!