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How to choose the best and the safest harness for your dog

by Lana Paws on August 29, 2022

How to choose the best and the safest harness for your dog

We understand the value and effects of walks on dogs as pet owners. The two to three times you take your pet out for a walk are the happiest and perhaps the most enriching times of his/her day. The general health of your pet depends heavily on the quality of his walks. One way to ensure that your pet is having a comfortable walk, is by making sure that his/her walking gear is appropriate for his/her age, size and activity levels. Above all, your dog’s walking gear should be comfortable for her whilst also being sturdy and durable.

When it comes to walking your dog, it’s always advisable to have them on leash, especially in any public spaces. You may choose to walk your dog using a dog collar belt or a dog harness or as they are sometimes called, dog body belts. Both have their own advantages, which may be specific to your dog’s requirements and training level.

Many pet owners are now switching from dog neck collars to body belts or harnesses. The breed and body type of your pet may make a harness the ideal fit. There are several different harnesses available for one to select from. However, how can you tell which harness will be the best fit for your dog?

Here are some pointers to help you choose the ideal dog harness.

choose the best harness for your dog

1. Consider your dog's size and breed

Dog collars and neck belts, when not used appropriately by the pet parent, could be a source of pain and potential neck injuries for your dog. If your dog tends to pull and lunge a lot while walking, it’s best to opt for a well-fitting body harness over a neck collar.

While choosing a harness for your dog, take into consideration your dog’s size, weight and breed to make sure it’s the best fit. Ensure that the harness is neither too tight nor too loose, such that it could slide off your pet’s head comfortably.

2. Importance of the right fiber/material

The majority of dog harnesses are constructed from cushioned leather, nylon, or some synthetic material such as polyester based dog harnesses. Nylon harnesses are good for humid regions but they may cause skin allergies and are not as comfortable for your dog.

It’s better to go for faux leather or for soft polyester-based dog harnesses, which are not only gentle on your dog’s skin but are also strong and durable. Cotton webbing or fabric-based harnesses are also a great option for your dog from the comfort point of view, however, they are high maintenance especially during the rainy weather.

Another option is a harness with minimal cushioning. Your dog will find the harness more pleasant to wear thanks to this cushioning.

3. Measure your dog

While harnesses are available as per breed and are usually adjustable, it is always suggested to measure your dog before you purchase a harness. Your pooch may be bigger or smaller than the average breed size and so having the right measurements will help you find the best fitting harness.

The easiest way to measure your dog is by using a measuring tape. With the help of another family member/friend hold your dog and measure his/her body for exact measurements.

Start by measuring their chest. Make sure the tape is tightly, yet comfortably, wrapped around them.

You can get a precise measurement in this method. Following this, measure your dog’s neck and their body from the stomach to their back using the tape.

Choose the size closest to your dog’s body measurements.

4. Easy to clean

Your dog walking gear will pick up a lot of dirt and dust as it’s used multiple times a day all over the place. Sometimes the leashes are dragged on the road, the park and so on. Hence, you should unquestionably regularly wash your dog's harness, leash and collar belt. Choose the walking gears that are easy to clean and maintain.

5. Use the two-finger rule

While putting on a harness on your pet, insert two fingers in the space between the harness and his/her body to ensure that the belt is not too tight and suffocating for your dog. If the harness is too loose, tighten it for an ideal fit.

ALSO READ- How to choose the right collar for your dog?

What are the different types of harnesses?

There is no ‘one type fits all’ rule when it comes to harnesses. Buying a harness for your dog is as personal as shopping for clothes yourself. Make sure to understand the types of dog harnesses and their specific functions before purchasing one.

a. Back-Clip Harness

choose the best harness for your dog

The ring that the leash attaches to in this style of harness is situated at the top of the dog's back. The easiest sort of walking gear for many dogs to adapt to is the back-clip harness. Small dogs with fragile necks often hurt by collars benefit particularly from the harnesses. For calm dogs who have been trained not to tug on the leash, back-clip harnesses are used. They are pleasant for a dog to wear and simple to put on.

b. Front-Clip Harness

choose the best harness for your dog

The leash is fastened to a front-clip harness in the middle of your dog's chest. Front-clip harnesses are frequently chosen by trainers to reduce the dog's leash pulling. The owner has control over the dog's movement thanks to the chest clip. However, such harnesses can cause muscle strain and injuries and are not considered as safe for a dog’s anatomy as compared to back clip harnesses or Dog H-Harnesses.

c. Tightening Harness

This type of dog harnesses is used for dogs who tend to pull a lot during walks . This harness exerts uncomfortable pressure to discourage this undesirable behavior. Until your dog starts pulling, the harness fits comfortably. Once your pet starts pulling, this harness tends to become tighter. The pet may become uncomfortable from the little tightness and diminish or cease his pulling in order to go on a looser leash. The sort of tightening the harness creates must be carefully examined, though, as some varieties might generate a strong discomfort when the dog pulls, which is not at all advised. Some tightening harnesses can cause pain and serious injuries and thus, at Lana Paws, we do not recommend using this type of harness for you dog.

d. Dual Clip Harness

Dual-clip, or multi-clip, harnesses have D-Rings on the chest and back for attaching leashes, offering pet owners a selection of control styles. It allows dog owners the freedom and choice between front-clip and back-clip harnesses. Owners can use a double leash with it for even better control. Additionally, using a double leash distributes pressure more equally, reducing the risk of pulling-related accidents. This is a good option for leash training large breeds or energetic tiny dogs.

e. Head Halter Harness

This type of harness is used to control your pet from eating stuff off the road. Your pet’s neck is secured by a head halter, and a second lead is looped around their snout. A head halter harness's main function is to direct your dog's attention forward while you walk, which stops distracted behavior. Since a dog’s walk time is also a time for him to sniff and explore the world around him, this may not be ideal from the dog’s comfort standpoint.

f. Step-In Harness

choose the best harness for your dog

For dogs who dread having a harness placed over their heads, a step-in harness is ideal. Have your dog step into the two loops created by the straps as you lay the harness flat on the ground. The side straps should then be pulled up and fastened around your dog's back. These fit little dogs well and are simple to put on.

g. Safety Harness

Just as safety harnesses are essential for us, ensure that if you travel or have adventures with your dog, you invest in a safety harness. This helps keep them away from danger and secures them. One possibility is a safety harness that is simple to fasten to the seat belt and keeps your dog safe and secure while driving.

Shop for dog harnesses here

To sum up, dog harnesses are one of the most important accessories your dog will be using on a daily basis. It’s recommended to invest some time in doing your research and choosing the appropriate size for your dog. You need to consider the material, durability, upkeep and key functionality of the harness before making the purchase. Canine experts highly recommend choosing a back-clip or H harness for your dog from the safety and comfort standpoint. You must also invest time in walk training your dog to ensure you both have a pleasant experience exploring the outdoors!

If you find this article useful, don’t forget to share this with the fellow dog parents and help them make an informed decision to buy the best dog harness for their furry family member.


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