Make walks more enjoyable for you and your pup with one of these harnesses
Even the best-trained dogs can get excited when they see another dog or a squirrel when out on a walk. So if your dog has a habit of tugging or pulling, it may be time to upgrade from a traditional collar and leash to a harness for your outdoor adventures.
But finding a high-quality harness is key. Dogs can slip out of a harness that’s too loose, which can be dangerous when you’re out for a walk. However, a harness that’s too tight may be painful for your pup to wear, making it more difficult for your pet to stay active.
If you’re looking for a new harness to keep your dog comfortable and under control on your walks, check out these top-rated options and tips to help you choose the best one for your pup.
What are the benefits of a dog harness?
It’s more comfortable than a collar
If you use a collar and leash to walk your dog, the collar tightens around your pet’s neck if it pulls or tugs. A harness fastens around a dog’s back and chest, distributing the force more evenly when your pup pulls or tugs. That means there’s no risk of choking your dog or straining its neck or throat.
Because it’s more comfortable, a harness is better than a collar for most dogs. However, a harness is a must-have if you have a small breed or a pup with tracheal collapse. These dogs are more prone to pain and injuries with a collar because they have fragile bones in their neck or issues with their throat.
It provides better control and discourages pulling
If you have trouble controlling your dog when it gets excited, a harness provides better control over your pet. When wearing a collar, your dog can continue moving forward when pulling, so you get tugged along and reinforce the pulling behavior.
But when your dog wears a harness, it won’t be able to move forward even when pulling at the leash. That’s because the leash hook on a harness is typically between your dog’s shoulders and can redirect forward, pulling in the opposite direction.
You’re also less likely to get tangled in your dog’s leash with a harness. On a collared leash, it’s easy for your pup to spin around and wrap the leash around you. When you get caught on the leash, you can easily fall and injure yourself. However, with the leash attached to the back of a harness, it’s more difficult for your dog to entangle you in the leash.
It’s harder for a dog to get out of
A harness is often safer than a collar because it’s more difficult for a dog to get out of it than a collar. If a dog slips its head and neck out of its collar, it can run off into traffic or other danger when out on a walk.
How to choose a dog harness
Measure your dog
Getting the right size harness for your dog is crucial if it’s going to be comfortable and effective. The key measurement is your dog’s chest or girth, which is the area right behind the front legs. Have your dog stand up and use a tape measure to wrap around the widest part of the chest.
While the girth measurement is essential, you also want to consider your dog’s weight when choosing a harness. Most harness sizing charts include both measurements to determine size.
Look for padding
Some harnesses are padded to reduce skin irritation. It’s not necessary for all dogs, but if you have a short-haired breed, this padding can effectively prevent chafing and other skin irritation for your dog.
Choose the right color and material
Dog harnesses are available in various colors and even some patterns. Bright colors are usually best because they help your pup stand out when walking beside the road. However, if you often walk your dog after dark, look for a harness with some reflective material. These harnesses reflect the lights from on-coming cars in the darkness, so your dog can be seen.
Best dog harnesses
This comfortable, lightweight harness is ideal for daily walks or jogs. It has a no-pull training clip to discourage tugging and includes a dog seatbelt for safety in the car. The quick-release buckles make it easy to get on and off, too.
Made of durable, soft polyester material, this harness holds up well to regular walks and adventures. It has a neoprene chest pad to ensure a comfortable fit and a step-in design to make it easy to put on. You can choose from six colors, too.
With an adjustable chest belt, this harness lets you get the perfect fit for your dog. It features a super-soft material that won’t irritate your dog and is breathable in warm weather. It’s also machine washable for easy cleaning.
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For older dogs or those with special needs, this supportive harness can help you maneuver your pup when it needs help. It has five adjustment points to provide a full range of motion and padded straps to make it more comfortable for your pup. It also has areas to attach service dog tags or signs.
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This lightweight harness allows your dog a full range of motion without choking or chafing. It has six adjustment points to get the right fit to fit dogs of any size or breed. The buckle-neck design also makes it easier to put on pets who dislike having a harness put over their head.
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If your dog has issues with pulling, this harness helps discourage tugging and provides better control. It has quick-snap shoulder and belly straps to make it easier to put on and features less material than other harnesses for a more breathable design. It comes in nine colors, too.
This step-in harness is perfect for small dogs because it evenly distributes force across the shoulders and chest. It’s easy to put on and take off if your pup has a habit of squirming. It features lightweight mesh, too, so it works well even in hot weather.
This durable, lightweight harness is designed for extended wear, making it an excellent option for hiking or camping. It has two leash attachment points and reinforced webbing to ensure you have control over your dog. It also has an ID pocket where you can keep your pet’s tags.
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For nighttime walks, this padded harness features reflective material to keep your dog visible even after dark. The padded chest and belly straps take pressure off your pet’s neck for added comfort. It also has a built-in top handle to help lift your dog in and out of the car.
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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