There are various reasons for choosing a dog harness over a collar, but the main ones are safety and comfort. Traditional collars could choke dogs when they pull, but harnesses put weight across the entire chest. A harness also has various attachment points, so your dog’s legs won’t get tangled in the material. Harnesses also give you more places to grab—handy for lifting older dogs or helping adventurous ones regain their footing when hiking.
Choosing the Right Size Harness
The first thing to do is find the harness size that suits your dog. You must get your dog’s weight and measure his chest and neck.
- When measuring the chest, use a piece of cloth tape and start at the bottom of the rib cage. Go up and over the back, and bring the cloth down to the start.
- When measuring the neck, you must wrap the tape around the thickest part, the part on top of his shoulders. Do not measure where the dog wears his collar.
- Harness companies also use weight to guide sizing. If you cannot get your furry friend to stand still on a scale, you can weigh yourself first, then pick up your dog and weigh yourself as you carry him. The difference would be your pet’s weight.
Harnesses typically have the suggested sizing on the box or package. Sometimes, ranges overlap. For example, medium harnesses can be 16 to 25 inches and large ones 18 to 30 inches. If your dog’s measurements fall within two ranges, opt for the bigger one.
Other Things to Consider
How often and how easy your dog is to walk will tell you the material suitable for your harness. For example, if you plan on using the harness for light duty, you can go for plastic buckles, which are easy to open and close. Meanwhile, long-haired and energetic dogs should get metal buckles. This type provides more security and doesn’t catch on the fur.
There are two types of dog harnesses—over-head and step-in. Some dogs might find it easier to put on a step-in harness. Meanwhile, an older or disabled dog would find an over-head harness more comfortable since it provides more padding and adjustment points. Harnesses need multiple points of adjustment since dogs have different proportions. Choose a harness with four to five adjustment points for maximum customization.
Setting up an Over-Head Harness
When putting a harness on your dog, you need to make sure it’s snug but not too tight. Check the fit of the harness by fitting your fingers between your dog and the harness. You should be able to fit only two fingers. Any more than two, and it’s too loose; one finger, meanwhile, means the harness is too tight. Here are the steps to set up this kind of harness.
- Slide the harness over your dog’s head and let it stay loose.
- Swing the chest piece up, so it touches the dog’s belly and chest.
- Bring the buckles on the chest piece up on either side, behind the front legs.
- Fasten the buckles to the back of the harness and adjust it for snugness.
- Adjust the fit on the belly and the neck to make it fit better if needed.
How Can You Tell If a Harness Is a Poor Fit?
If your dog is losing fur or chafing around the material, the harness isn’t a proper fit. When your dog wiggles free or resists walking, he might also not be comfortable. Finally, if the back piece rotates to one side when your dog walks, you could make the harness fit better.
Dog harnesses are safer and more comfortable than collars. There are many sizes available, so no matter what breed your furry friend is, you’ll surely find one that’s a perfect fit. Choosing suitable material and setting it up properly ensures that your dog can play and walk safely, indoors, outdoors, and in any weather!Get the best dog accessories for your furry friend at Pickles DXB. We have step-in dog harnesses and adjustable dog harnesses in vibrant colors for pets of all sizes. Check our catalog today or contact us for more details!