Are you thinking about buying a dog harness? Whether you're a seasoned dog owner or a first-time pup parent, choosing the right harness for your furry friend is a crucial decision. From ensuring a comfortable fit to picking a design that suits your needs, this checklist will help you make an informed choice. Never miss a detail again when buying a dog harness!
#1 Determine Your Dog's Size
The first and most critical step in choosing a dog harness is to determine the right size and shape for your four-legged companion. Measure your dog's chest girth and neck circumference accurately, as harnesses come in various sizes to cater to different breeds. Keep in mind that an ill-fitting harness can lead to discomfort and even injury, so precision is key.
#2 Material Matters
Consider the material of the harness. Nylon webbing harnesses are durable, affordable, and easy to clean– but they aren’t the most comfortable for your dog and can abrade their sensitive armpits and tummies. Leather harnesses might look cool, but require more maintenance and can stretch out of shape over time. There are also padded and mesh options for added comfort and breathability, which is especially important during hot weather.
#3 Adjustable Straps for a Custom Fit
Ensure that the harness has adjustable straps, allowing you to customize the fit for your dog's comfort. A snug fit is essential to prevent your dog from slipping out or chafing. Check for secure buckles or fasteners that won't accidentally come undone.
#4 Easy-to-Put-On Design
Opt for a harness with a design that is easy to put on and take off. This is especially important for gear-shy dogs who may experience stress during harnessing. Older dogs, dogs with short legs, and dogs with mobility issues may also struggle with step-in style harnesses, so make sure to consider those needs when buying a harness.
#5 Critical Safety Features
Safety should be a top priority when buying a harness. Look for reflective strips or stitching if you plan on walking your dog at night or in low-light conditions. A harness with a handle on the back can also be useful for maintaining control in unexpected situations.
#6 Leash Attachment Points
Consider where the leash attachment point is located. Front and side-clip harnesses are effective for discouraging pulling, while back-clip harnesses offer more freedom. Some harnesses even have dual attachment points, giving you versatility in training and walking styles.
#7 Ease of Cleaning
Dogs can get messy, so choose a harness that is easy to clean. Most nylon harnesses can be wiped clean, while some are machine washable. Consider your lifestyle and how much maintenance you're willing to commit to– many pet parents prefer a machine-washable harness.
#8 Budget Considerations
Set a budget for your dog harness purchase. You don’t want to break the bank, but cheap harnesses will often be of poor quality, poor fit, and poor comfort for your dog. Compare prices and features to find the best value for your money.
#9 Reviews and Recommendations
Before making your final decision, read reviews and seek recommendations from other dog owners. Their experiences can provide valuable insights into the harness's durability, comfort, and functionality.
#10 Trial Run
Once you've chosen a harness that meets all your criteria, do a trial run at home before hitting the streets. Allow your dog to wear the harness indoors for short periods to ensure they are comfortable and that it fits correctly. If your dog is new to harnesses, you may want to consider a harness with a money-back guarantee and generous return policy– just in case they (or you!) don’t love the harness.
#11 Seek Professional Advice
If you're uncertain about the right harness for your dog, don't hesitate to seek advice from a professional dog trainer or veterinarian. They can offer guidance based on your dog's breed, size, and behavior. Choosing a vet-approved harness is always a good idea– that way, you can rest assured that the product you want to buy has been vetted by dog healthcare professionals!
#12 Measure Twice, Buy Once
Remember that a well-fitted harness not only ensures your dog's comfort but also enhances your control during walks and can prevent escapes, injury, and other unpleasant or even dangerous experiences. Don't rush the selection process. Measure twice, buy once, and prioritize your dog's well-being.
Choosing the perfect dog harness involves careful consideration of size, type, material, adjustability, safety features, and more. By following this comprehensive checklist, you can make an informed decision that ensures your dog's comfort and safety while adding ease and enjoyment to your walks together. Never overlook these essential details when buying a dog harness, and both you and your furry friend will reap the rewards of a comfortable and secure walking experience.
Ready to find a harness that ticks all the boxes? Try the Joyride Harness today! You can see what our have to say here, and you can follow us on Instagram @joyrideharness to see the Joyride Harness in action!