Not all dog harnesses are created equal, and making sure that the one you choose is the right fit can do w-o-n-d-e-r-s for your walks. “There are plenty of harness styles, and the best choice will depend on your dog’s size, personality, body shape, and training level,” says PetSmart training expert Jodie Havens, CPDT-KSA. “You may opt for a harness instead of a collar to reduce the risk of injury to your dog’s neck or throat. Whether it’s a fashion, no-pull, or travel harness, it should suit the purpose of the pet parent and the comfort of the dog.”
According to Havens, here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop:
Make sure it fits properly
If fit properly, a harness should be comfortable for your dog and allow full range of motion. Ideally, a harness should offer multiple points of adjustment, which will allow you to get a customized fit for your pup.
Check out the material
Look for a harness that feels substantial and well made. Prioritize durability, washability, and reflective stitching or material for visibility. Fabric that’s breathable and soft is less likely to cause chafing under their legs. Likewise, harnesses with webbing may be more comfortable for dogs that run hot or are active in water/outdoors.
Look for extra perks
Consider a few extra qualities to improve your day-to-day experience with the harness, such as an attached poop bag dispenser or a handle on the back. Pockets are also helpful for carrying gear, water, and snacks for your dog (or you!). Customization with embroidery or patches can help communicate to others important info about your dog such as “anxious dog” or “don’t pet.” And ofc, multiple leash attachment points offer versatility (especially since a leash attached to the front of a harness can help decrease pulling).