Every doggie parent understands the absolute importance of walking with their furry pal. Aside from the fact that it allows you both time to bond, go on adventures, and just enjoy nature, walking is also the key to exercise. Throw in a backpack
, and you’re all set to conquer the world together!
If there’s one thing that gets your dog’s attention, it is the leash
. Needless to say, it’s impossible to walk a dog without one. But, if that leash is hurting your teensy, weeny toy dog’s neck or can’t handle your massive Mastiff’s aggressive tendencies, what’s an owner to do?
In those cases, it’s time to think about a harness.
The good thing about harnesses is, they fasten around your dog’s body and the leash simply attaches to it. In essence, you’re adding a protective accessory that grants you an easier method of controlling your dog that doesn’t cause pulling of the neck or choking. So, when you block the leash, the pull is no longer on the neck region but rather the shoulder area.
If a dog offers physical support to the disabled or blind, then it is incredibly important that he gets a harness rather than a leash. He’d have to pull really hard to direct the individual they are aiding, so it’s best that all that pressure is taken off his neck. Instead, with a dog harness, the pull can be redirected towards his shoulders, making it a more comfortable walking experience. This way, he could even build some muscle too.
On the market nowadays, there are various kinds of harnesses for lots of different situations. For instance, there are sled harnesses, weight-pulling harnesses and even some that can help you secure your pet to his seat
while on your road trip.
Now that you want to get your dog a harness, it’s important that you know the features that are available. It’s a good thing you’re here though as we have gathered all the info you need to pick a fantastic harness that works for your little pooch. Keep reading to find out.
A good dog harness will usually go for $15 to $60, if not more. There are a few factors that contribute to the pricing of a harness. Those that come padded generally cost more than those without padding. Plus, if you’re going for a nylon harness, you’ll be spending far less than someone going for leather.
But whatever you choose, please try and stay within the price range we have given you. If the price of a harness appears too good to be true, then it just might be. Understand that cheap dog harnesses are really risky ventures that are not worth the trouble. Imagine walking your dog, you know, that enormous, aggressive Rottweiler that scares the neighbors. He suddenly takes off, and the force of it destroys the so-called dog harness. The fact is, you risk putting your dog in danger of getting lost or running headlong into an oncoming traffic. Instead, it’s best to save money and invest in a quality dog harness at the end of the day. No accidents, no heartbreaks, no guilt trips.
We are going to quickly look into the different features you must consider before deciding to go for any one particular harness. Check them out:
- Size and fit
- Front clip or back clip
Let’s get into the details already!
Construction and Design
When it comes to materials for a dog harness, most pet parents go for nylon or other kinds of synthetic materials. Why is this? Harnesses made of synthetic materials are about the most inexpensive kinds you can find, and you know we all would love anything that would be a little less traumatic to our wallets.
There are also leather harnesses too, and of course, these kinds are more expensive. Now, if you have a large breed, aggressive or excitable dog, then you’d need a leather harness. That’s because it’s a lot sturdier than nylon and can withstand intense abuse.
Whether or not harness padding is necessary is heavily dependent on your dog. If he has short hair or a thin coat, the harness might rub his skin and become a little annoying. In that case, you may want to get something padded to make the harness more comfortable.
Make it a point to ensure that whatever material you go for is breathable though, especially if your dog is prone to skin allergies. For these kinds of dogs, a cotton harness might be your best bet. But either way, be sure to consult your vet first.
Here’s an important question: should you go for a front-clip or a back-clip? Let’s look at each briefly:
Front-clip: With a front-clip, you get more control since the dog can’t easily pull on the leash. It’s the harness of choice for jumpy dogs or dogs with poor leash manners. But then, it has its drawbacks. If a dog has serious issues with aggression, it might not help. Plus, it could even get all tangled up with your dog’s front legs if there’s too much slack.
Back-clip: Most dogs find back leashes really comfortable and adjust to them easily. If your dog is of the small variety that tends to develop a sore neck from the collar, then you might want to get a back-clip harness. Also, if your dog is trained, then you’d enjoy using a back-clip harness.
But, if your dog isn’t well-trained and you use a back-clip harness, then picture Santa’s sled. Basically, you’ll be the sled. Nuff said.
Then finally, a note on size…
Measure your dog before picking any sized harness. Why? Because a harness that’s too tight will hurt your dog and one that’s too loose will slip off and end up on the ground. Measuring your dog properly is the key to avoiding either problematic situation.
So, how do you measure a dog for a harness?
Firstly, you’ll need to measure their girth which is the circumference of the area just behind his front limbs. You should measure around the point where his chest is deepest.
Secondly, measure his length from the end of his neck to the base of his tail.
Next, you want to measure his height, and that’s quite easy. You just measure from the floor to his shoulders.
Finally, you’ll need to measure from his sternum to his shoulder. That is from his sternum at the point where it angles up beside his neck down to the top of his back in between his shoulder blades.
Your dog’s breed, sex, and age are also other factors that equally affect the sizing of a harness.
Performance and Ease of Use
The adjustability of your chosen harness is crucial to determine how long you’ll be using it. For instance, if you have a dog that’s still growing or one that’s losing some weight, you’d need to get an adjustable harness. The last thing you want to do is buy a new one every week. Regardless of the type of dog, it’s still wisest to go for an adjustable harness. This way, whether your dog gains muscle or loses weight, the harness will always fit.
If you’ll be taking your dogs for walks in the woods or late-night strolls, consider getting a harness that’s brightly colored or reflective. This way, if you lose sight of him for a second, you’ll have an easier time spotting him.
Plus, in a situation where he nears traffic, drivers would clearly notice the brightly colored harness thus avoiding a heart-breaking scenario.
Finally, check out your weather since there are different kinds of harnesses for varying climates. Some are cold-resistant while others are breathable for the hotter temperatures. In the end, you want to place your pup’s comfort and security above all else when choosing the ideal dog harness.
With our information-packed guide, you now have a clearer picture about dog harnesses. Luckily, settling on one shouldn’t be so difficult anymore. In that case, are you ready to meet our top five? Surely, you must be, so let’s go find us a dog harness!
Since you’ve read through this review, we’re thinking that you now know exactly which dog harness you want for your furry pal. The great thing is, now you can place that order with confidence!