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How to Choose the Right Dog Harness
How to Choose the Right Harness
By Holly Genser
for Your Dog
The Right Harness Gives You Peace of Mind and Safety for Your Dog
good harness protects your dog's delicate trachea from choking or damage. And
it's not just for small dogs. A harness is critical for safely walking dogs weighing less
than 20 pounds, dogs with flat noses, and dogs with delicate windpipes or
arthritis. For these reasons, older dogs of any size, even large dogs, benefit from using a
harness. You can choose
harnesses for different kinds of weather, and they come in many colors, patterns, and styles, but type
and fit are the your first decisions.
Types of Harnesses
You can find many different types of harnesses for different purposes. The three quality types of harnesses that we recommend are adjustable, step-in, and Easy-Go harnesses. All come in a variety of fabrics, colors,
and patterns to suit the season and your personality.
If your dog's proportions are not standard
or your dog is very small, you'll need an adjustable harness. An
example of a dog that needs an adjustable harness is the dachshund. It has a wide
chest combined with a relatively narrow, long body.
To put on an adjustable harness, you put it on over the dog's
head and place one leg into the opening. Then you close the other side around
the second leg with the hook and loop and buckle closures. The
leash clips to two D-rings in the back.
An excellent example of an adjustable harness is the Puppia Sappy
Dog Harness A at right. Notice the buckles on the straps. This view shows the part that goes under your dog's chest.
If your dog's shoulders and neck are in
proportion to the rest of him, and his measurements fit within a given size
range, you can choose a step-in harness. With a step-in harness, you place it on the floor, have your
dog step into the leg holes, and pull it closed in the back with the hook and loop closure. The leash clips to
the two D-rings at the back. When you pull on the leash, the harness will
See the Puppia Cosmic Dog
Harness B, below, right for an example of a step-in harness. It shows the back of the harness with the hook and loop tab closure and the double D-rings for the leash.
Ultra Choke Free Step-In Harnesses
Another example of an excellent step-in harness is the
American River Ultra Choke Free Harness. It is contoured for a better fit and has a patented Ultra Choke Free
feature. It pulls your dog only by the shoulders,
not by the neck. It fits dogs from one- to 50-pounds.
You can see some Ultra Choke-Free harnesses here.
EasyGo harnesses are quick to put on and
take off. You simply put the dog's legs in, attach the leash, then slide the
bar clip down toward the dog to tighten. The leash keeps the harness on. You must have a good fit, or the harness
can ride up or fall off. EasyGo harnesses, come in sizes up to XL.
Factors to Find Your Best Fit
To determine which type of harness is best for your dog, fit
Start by Measuring Your Dog
Measure your dog at the chest and take your dog's weight.
Then compare the measurements with the fit charts for the harnesses that
interest you. Your dog's chest size plus and her weight should fit
within the range given.
If both your chest and weight measurements don't fit a style's range, try a
different manufacturer or type of harness.
Other Important Factors
If you have a dog that's hard to fit, then your harness
needs to be adjustable.
If you have a small dog, you will want to have an Ultra
Choke Free harness to protect your pup's delicate trachea.
If you want the harness to be easy to put on and take off,
and your dog
has no special fitting needs, then you can choose an EasyGo
Now Choose Your Style, Fabric, Color, and Pattern
Whichever type of harness is best for you and your baby, you
can choose a harness for every season and mood.
For winter, choose a heavy fabric. For summer and warm
climates, choose mesh to keep your dog cool.
All styles come in dresses,
vests, florals, plaids, animal prints, and themes. Manufacturers of quality harnesses include Puppia, Pinkaholic (for
small dogs only), Doggie Design, Gooby, and Pooch Outfitters.
Click here to browse our complete selection of Dog Harnesses.
Who We Are
Patti Hasner is the owner of BowWowsBest.com.
For seven years, she's offered exceptional service and dog attire to
lavish your dog with love. Her miniature white poodle, Samantha, is the
store's mascot and proud product tester.
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