Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Harness for Your Dog

Being able to safely and securely restrain your dog protects it and other dogs or people nearby.

Adorable black-and-white French bulldog on a leash.
A properly fitting harness should be so comfortable your dog will get excited to put it on.Unsplash/Barthelemy de Mazenod

A dog can injure its neck and throat if it lunges while on a leash attached to its collar, or continually strain its neck, making every walk difficult and unenjoyable. A harness, on the other hand, makes it easy to direct a dog on a walk with a gentle tug in the right direction. So, a dog harness is the perfect solution, right? Not necessarily. A dog harness has to fit both the dog and the owner. A harness that stays on the coat hook or in the closet because it’s too difficult to put on or adjust is a waste of time and money, as is a harness that restricts your dog’s movements. Use these tips to pick out the right dog harness for you and your pooch.

rabbitgoo Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs
The leash attachments on this model won’t choke or harm your pup.rabbitgoo

A dog harness that has a ring at the chest, and one on the back between the shoulder blades, gives you safe but effective places to connect a leash. The chest ring allows you to easily correct the course of the dog because it causes the dog to change direction, a bit like steering a car. If you want to take the dog on a run or a hike, connect the leash to the top ring so the dog won’t trip on the tether.

Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness - All Weather Mesh, Step in Vest Harness for Small and Medium Dogs by Best Pet Supplies
This design is easy to put on and comfortable for pets of all sizes and shapes.Best Pet Supplies, Inc.

If you’re not comfortable using adjustable straps, or if you want to get a harness that’s gentle on a dog, consider a step-in type harness. You put it on a dog by making the dog step into it, then pull it up the dog’s front legs, and connect it at the back. Any adjustment you need to make is simple to do.

PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness, Teal, Small
Multiple adjustment points on this product allow for a comfortable, custom fit.PetSafe

Dogs come in different sizes and proportions. Because some sections of a harness must securely fit horizontally and vertically around the chest, there is no one-size-fits-all harness design. If your dog has a deep or shallow chest, broad shoulders, or is smaller or larger for its breed, choose a harness with multiple adjustment points. A properly fitted harness will reduce the chances of chafing and slipping and make walks fun for both you and your dog.

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