Picking a suitable dog harness can be challenging. Find one that fits your dog and your needs.

Taking your dog out for a walk is a great exercise for both you and your dog. However, no matter how well-behaved your dog is, they could still get distracted and lose you along the run. Therefore you should make your dog wear a collar or harness to ensure that they’re with you throughout the entire trip and avoid any possible issues with other people and dogs that they might come across.

There are two ways to keep your dog with you whenever you go out. You can either make them wear a collar or a dog harness. While a dog collar is a more popular choice, going for a harness can provide plenty of benefits for your dog, one of which is the force from their tugging will be distributed evenly to their bodies rather than their necks. 

If you’re planning to buy one, use these tips to choose the right harness for your pooch:

Look for the right size

One of the most important and obvious things you should consider when finding a suitable harness for your dog is its size. Choosing the right size will help guarantee their comfort as you walk them. While most dog harnesses are adjustable, you should pick one nearest to your dog size as some have a limit on how they can expand or scale down.   

When picking the right size for your dog harness, bringing your dog with you would be the best idea. While some may fit well, ensure that it’s not tight on your dog’s body as it can hurt or make them feel uncomfortable. Ideally, you should try to make it a bit loose so they can move freely without the harness scratching their bodies.   

Consider padding

Jack Russell Terrier pulls on dog harness during walk.
If your dog pulls, consider a harness with padding.

The last thing we want our dogs to feel is discomfort during their daily walks. The reason why you’re giving them a harness is that you want to take the pressure off their throat, especially when you need to pull them back to you. However, even with a harness, tugging can still be painful for your dog, especially when they are trying to run away. To ensure that your dog would still feel comfortable, even if they’re trying to pull away, adding padding would certainly be helpful.   

Apart from the regular strap, some dog harnesses include padding that could act as soft support as your dog tugs away. Some paddings are already added to the harness, while some can be attached. So, if your dog is a heavy puller, adding pads would undoubtedly be helpful.   

Check how to insert

While most dog harnesses look the same, they can be quite different in how you put them on your dog. You can either use a step-in strap or an over-the-head strap, which can be more complicated but provides better comfort for a specific type of dog, especially for fluffy and hairy ones.  

If your dog has a long coat, an over-the-head strap will work best for them. With this type of harness, you’ll need to place the harness through their head and then allow them to step in. This method eliminates the possibility of snagging their fur onto the harness, which can be painful and cause skin issues. On the other hand, a regular step-in strap would go well for a short coat dog. While harnesses are a bit of work, the benefits outweigh their cons.   

Choose one that matches your leash

Different dog harnesses might require a specific leash that you can attach. While you may feel like your regular leash could work, you won’t be able to use it if the leash doesn’t attach well to your dog’s harness.   

Leash compatibility might be a small issue when choosing a dog harness, but if you don’t want to replace your current one, for instance, your high-quality retractable leash, you should look for a harness that can fit well. In most cases, the lock sizes are different, which could make your leash unfit. You can always bring your leash to the pet store to pick the right harness.  

Pick the right color

Picking the color is more of a personal choice. The color of your dog harness is highly important, especially if you’re planning to walk your dog out at night or early in the morning when there’s still no sunlight.

If you plan to bring your dog out during the dark, you should purchase a dog harness that has a reflective color so that people can easily spot them in the dark with their car lights. To increase your chances of allowing your dog to be visible, you should purchase a reflective dog leash as well. Moreover, going for neon colors over a dark dog would also be helpful.   

The verdict 

Picking a suitable dog harness can be challenging, especially when you’re faced with a lot of options in the market. But as long as you consider the tips mentioned above, you should be able to find the perfect one for your dog.   



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