Three best dog harnesses
If you have a dog in your life, there's one activity that you do daily: you take walks together. Whether it's around the block or an adventure through the park, you want the most security possible when your pooch is at the end of the leash. While collars are practical for some dogs, harnesses provide benefits for both humans and canines. The combination of less pressure around your dog's neck and more control for you means more comfortable walks for you and your best friend. Our quick guide has everything you need to know when shopping for dog harnesses, including our top picks for the best products on the market.
Considerations when choosing dog harnesses
The most important thing to consider is whether your dog would benefit from a dog harness over a dog collar.
Does your dog tend to pull on the leash?
It's common for dogs to pull ahead of their owners when walking on leashes. It usually just takes some patience and a little training with positive reinforcement to get canines to heel and walk close by their owners. But if your dog tugs and pulls while walking, a collar can cause discomfort around the throat from the pressure. Walking your dog with a dog harness will distribute the pressure throughout the chest, back, and shoulders when she pulls, which is more comfortable and safer.
Better control when walking
If you've ever walked a dog wearing a collar, you know how challenging it can be, even with a calm dog. Any time your dog turns, stops or pulls requires tension around the neck to control his movements, which can cause discomfort, coughing, and even injury. A dog that becomes very agitated while on a walk for any number of reasons can even manage to slip out of a dog collar, causing numerous other hazards.
Harnesses are designed for both control and comfort. When a dog tugs on a leash while wearing one, the force will be gentler and not affect the throat as a collar can. Dog harnesses fasten around a dog's back or chest, with the front legs threaded through, so the dog cannot slip out.
Before you choose a dog harness for your best friend, here are some features to think about to be sure you get a harness with a nice fit and look.
The majority of dog harnesses fasten with a secure clip that is positioned either on the back, belly, or front of the harness. These clips are sturdy and easy to use, as the mechanism clicks when in place and is released by firmly squeezing the sides together.
You attach the leash to the harness's D-ring. D-rings are typically positioned either on the back of the harness, which is the most common, or on the front, which provides a bit more control for dogs who tend to pull more rigorously.
Some dog harnesses consist of straps that fit under the front legs. They have a minimalist design that's suitable for dogs who don't tend to pull very hard. Vest or bib harnesses are wider and feature a material like mesh that fits under a dog's neck and chest for gentle control and comfort. No-pull harnesses have extra material on the back and padded straps in the front, making them suitable for both large, rambunctious dogs and breeds with short muzzles, such as pugs and bulldogs.
Dog harnesses come in nearly every color, including brights, neutrals, or fancy prints. On the practical side, some harnesses also have reflective strips for added safety when taking walks at night.
Q. Are harnesses easy to adjust?
A. Most dog harnesses have adjuster straps that can be loosened or tightened by pulling. Adjusting a harness while your dog is wearing it is a good way to secure a custom fit.
Q. My dog weighs less than 10 pounds. Is a harness a good option?
A. Harnesses are perfect for small dogs because they are gentler than dog collars. Bib or vest harnesses are ideal for little canines.
Dog harnesses we recommend
Best of the best: Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness
Our take: This dog harness boasts comfort and quality that any dog or dog owner will appreciate.
What we like: It's made of durable materials, has padding for added comfort, and is easy to adjust.
What we dislike: This is an expensive harness, but it has a lot to offer for the price.
Best bang for your buck: Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness
Our take: Quirks aside, this dog harness offers more features and comfort than others in its price range.
What we like: The design reduces pulling. It's padded throughout for comfort. The clip is easy to secure and release.
What we dislike: Though it comes with a seatbelt tether, it's not ideal for car safety. The harness also tends to slip if not adjusted properly.
Choice 3: Puppia Soft Dog Harness
Our take: A soft, affordable dog harness that's a good pick for gentle, small, or older dogs and pet owners with tight budgets.
What we like: This harness is constructed of comfortable material that's well-made but not too heavy. It's inexpensive, too.
What we dislike: It may not provide a good fit for broad-chested dogs. It only offers limited control for active dogs prone to tugging.
Jennifer Manfrin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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