It can be hard finding the perfect product for your dog when you are shopping for toys, food, beds, and equipment. Especially today when there are hundreds of different versions of basically same products. However, all those differences can have a huge impact on the quality of the product. Picking out a collar and lead is pretty much a straightforward job, but what about the harnesses? Picking out one of these can be tricky because there are a couple of things you should pay attention to. Today, we will talk about the importance of picking out a perfect harness for your dog.
Related: 10 Best Dog Harnesses: My Absolute Recommendations
Why Should You Use Harness?
Even though most dog owners use collars and leads when taking their dogs for a walk, it doesn’t mean that doing that is the best option for your dog. For him, the collar is that strange thing that slightly chokes him every time he pulls little more than he should. It can easily create an unpleasant feeling, and your dog can cough and briefly choke.
However, collars can cause more serious problems by afflicting damage to the spine and the neck as well as cause breathing problems. To demonstrate, place a hand in front of your neck and slightly lean your head and neck to the front. You will immediately feel the pressure. Same thing happens to your dog. It is like having an invisible Darth Vader force-choking you all the time.
This is where harness steps into the picture. When using a harness, that force is evenly spread across a much larger surface. It doesn’t even touch the neck of your dog. The harness is a much better, safer, and more comfortable alternative for you and your dog. Your dog will notice that there is no more pressure on his neck and he might even stop pulling you altogether.
Which Type Should You Get For Your Dog?
Now that you know why harness is a better option compared to the collar and lead let’s talk about how to pick the right harness for your dog. There are a few things you will need to take into consideration before buying a harness.
Your dog’s weight –
Dog’s weight is usually the most important factor when picking out a harness. To find out exactly how much your dog weighs, you need to weigh him. This can be tricky so you should first weigh yourself and after that pick up the dog and weigh yourself with him this time. The difference will indicate the real weight of your dog.
The size of the chest –
Take a flexible cloth tape measure and wrap it around your dog’s chest. Make sure to measure it at the widest point.
Neck size –
Repeat the same process you did while measuring the chest.
Once you have this information, you are ready to start your search for a perfect harness. Most of the harnesses come with product description which tells you the weight range support of that specific harness. You can get a pretty good idea which harness will be a good choice based on the suggested sizing.
Plastic Buckles VS Metal Buckles –
Plastic buckles will get the job done if you have calm, light dog. Harness with plastic buckle is pretty light duty so you can’t expect it to hold the size of a fully grown American Stafford. However, if you have a large dog breed, you should consider getting a harness with metal buckles because they are less likely to break.
The main goal of the harness is to generate a relaxing feeling for your dog during walks. The main benefit of the harness is that it is more adjustable than a collar. However, you can end up with a harness that isn’t quite adjustable as it should be. When buying a harness make sure that there are enough options for adjustment. Over-head harness might be a better option than a step-in harness because they are more adjustable.
Know What You Need
There are three different types of harnesses, and you should know which one you need the most for your dog.
Training and control –
Most dog owners claim that you can’t train your dog if he’s wearing a harness and they are for collars and leads. However, collars can potentially be harmful to your dog. Establishing dominance has more to do with the way you interact with your dog.
Restraint and walking –
If your dog loves to pull you during the walks, you will probably notice that he is lifting himself up when using a harness. This might prove effective for stopping him from pulling you but he will still push with his hind legs. If that keeps happening, you should consider hiring a professional to deal with that kind of behavior.
Assisting and lifting –
These types of harnesses are specifically designed for recovering or aging dogs. Comfort and support are the most vital aspect of harness for lifting and assisting. You should look for a harness that lifts the torso without stressing the joints.
Signs That Your Dog’s Harness Doesn’t Fit
If you buy a harness that doesn’t fit your dog, you will notice it pretty much instantly. There are a couple of things to pay attention to. First of all, your dog will have sore chest or armpits if the harness is a bad fit. Also, if your dog starts losing coat where straps are, if harness easily rotates around your dog, or if you notice that your dog moves strangely you probably have a poorly fitting harness.
So that would be it about the different types of dog harnesses and how to choose the right one for your dog. Make sure that you apply everything you have learned today if you wish to get the right harness on the first try!