Our Favorite Dog Harnesses That Make Walks More Enjoyable for Both You and Your Pup
Taking walks is a big part of life with your canine companion, and a great way for both of you to get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise. Not only that, but walking with your dog can be a bonding experience and a fun way to spend quality time together. Lots of collars and harnesses are available for those walks, but how do you know which one is best for your dog?
Is a Dog Harness Better Than a Collar?
We talked to Katie Krebs, DVM and ABVP Resident, Canine/Feline Medicine with Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, to find out if a harness is a better option than traditional collars.
Krebs noted that many dog collars can cause respiratory issues—this is especially true of dogs that pull at the leash while walking. Collars can also make existing medical conditions worse because of the pressure they apply around your dog's neck. And, if the collar is too loose, your dog can more easily slip out of it.
A harness can prevent injury to a dog's neck, especially for a pooch that is likely to pull excessively on their leash. Combined with positive reinforcement training, a harness can help your dog to learn to walk without pulling on his leash, making walks more enjoyable for both of you. "The key to using a harness is to make sure that it fits well," stated Krebs. As long as you make sure the harness is fitted properly, she said they are good for dogs of all sizes.
A dog's harness should never impede their ability to move. "Be cautious when selecting front clip harnesses or just avoid any harness that compresses the shoulder blades, hindering a dog's natural gait and limiting their ability to fully extend their legs,"says Haylee Bergeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, RTB, editor of pet health and behavior at Daily Paws. "Harnesses that aim to control a dog's shoulders can cause injury and pain."
"No dog harness is a one-off solution for a dog that pulls on leash, but they can be really great tools to use to help a dog walk comfortably on leash, especially when combined with positive reinforcement," Bergeland says.
The Best Dog Harnesses For Any Pup
- Best Basic: Red Dingo Classic Nylon Back Clip Dog Harness
- Best Adjustable: Voyager Step-In Flex Dog Harness
- Best for Large Dogs: BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness
- Best for Small Dogs: Frisco Small & Medium Bred Soft Mesh Dog Harness
- Best No-Pull: Blue-9 Balance Harness
- Best Long-Lasting: Julius-K9 IDC Power Harness
- Best for Long Walks: Kurgo Journey Multi-Use Dog Harness
- Best Environmentally Friendly: EcoBark Mesh Eco-Friendly Harness
- Best for Hikes: Ruffwear Web Master Dog Harness with Handle
- Best High-Visibility: KONG Reflective Pocket Dog Harness
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Voyager Step-In Plush Dog Harness
- Best for Senior Dogs: PetSafe CareLift Support Harness
Best Basic Dog Harness: Red Dingo Classic Nylon Back Clip Dog Harness
When you just need a simple harness with no extras, go with the Red Dingo Classic Nylon Back Clip Dog Harness. This is a basic dog harness that will have you and Fido comfortably out on your walk and enjoying the sunshine in no time.
Shop now: Red Dingo Classic Nylon Back Clip Dog Harness, $17; chewy.com
Best Adjustable Dog Harness: Voyager Step-In Flex Dog Harness
It's important that any dog harness is comfortable for your pup. Voyager makes a harness that features adjustable neck and chest straps, ensuring the most comfortable fit for your dog. Choose from a variety of stylish colors, and your dog will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Shop now: Voyager Step-In Flex Dog Harness, $14; amazon.com
Best Harness for Large Dogs: BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness
Large dog breeds have different harness needs than smaller dogs. Finding a no-pull harness can also help if your big dog likes to try and take the lead during your walks. This harness caters to larger breeds with chest sizes measuring 22 to 32 inches. With its sturdy D-ring and handle, it's a great choice for those lovably large dogs in our lives.
Shop Now: BABYLTRL Big Dog Harness, $21; amazon.com
Best Harness for Small Dogs: Frisco Small & Medium Breed Soft Mesh Dog Harness
Smaller dogs will love this mesh harness from Frisco. Slip this harness over your pup's head and hook up the leash to the D-ring on back for a comfortable fit that's easy to take on and off. The strap under the stomach is adjustable to ensure the perfect fit.
Shop Now: Frisco Small & Medium Breed Soft Mesh Back Clip Dog Harness, $11; chewy.com
Best No-Pull Dog Harness: Blue-9 Balance Harness
Bergeland prefers this option from Blue-9 for those looking for a no-pull harness. (It's also her favorite overall harness option!) The balance harness doesn't restrict movement and allows dogs to have a full range of motion, and it has multiple leash attachment points to help curb pulling.
Shop Now: Blue-9 Balance Harness, $50; amazon.com
Long-Lasting Dog Harness: Julius-K9 IDC Power Harness
Investing in a harness is a smart choice, and you'll want something that lasts a long time. This multi-tasking harness from Julius-K9 boasts tough buckles that can stand up to harsh weather and freezing temperatures, and the harness repels water. Additional features like breathable materials make this a long-lasting and comfortable option for your pooch.
Shop Now: Julius-K9 IDC Power Harness, $60; chewy.com
Best Dog Harness for Long Walks: Kurgo Journey Multi-Use Dog Harness
Long walks are excellent exercise for humans and dogs alike. Good shoes are a must for humans, and comfortable harnesses are a must for pups. Look for something with a bit of padding and comfort features, such as Kurgo's multi-use dog harness. It has a v-neck style with padding, helping to keep your beloved canine a bit more comfortable on long walks.
Shop Now: Kurgo Journey Multi-Use Dog Harness, $48; amazon.com
Best Environment-Friendly Harness: EcoBark Mesh Eco-Friendly Harness
Having a useful yet eco-friendly harness aren't mutually exclusive qualities. This environmentally friendly harness incorporates recycled materials for the straps. The mesh material is designed for comfort, whether it's hot and sunny or cool and breezy. This is also an excellent option for puppies and smaller breeds.
Shop Now: EcoBark Mesh Eco-Friendly Harness, $8; amazon.com
Best Harness for Hikes: Ruffwear Web Master Dog Harness with Handle
Do you and your dog enjoy a rigorous hike? Then you'll want a harness that stands up to all your outdoor adventures! Ruffwear's Web Master harness features a handle on top so you can give your dog a lift over those large boulders during your next hike. It also features two connection options and comes with padding for more comfort.
Shop now: Ruffwear Web Master Dog Harness with Handle, $60; amazon.com
Best High-Visibility Harness: KONG Reflective Pocket Dog Harness
Walking your dog at night means you need something reflective and highly visible. That doesn't have to mean neon yellow, thanks to an array of high-visibility harness options from Kong. Their reflective harness also features a pocket for storing poop bags and features an easy slip-on style.
Shop Now: KONG Reflective Pocket Dog Harness, $36; petsmart.com
Best Harness for Sensitive Dogs: Voyager Step-in Plush Dog Harness
Does your dog have sensitive skin? If so, look for a harness crafted to be gentle on his skin. This option from Voyager is lined with a soft and warm plush fabric that can also keep dogs warm in chilly weather.
Shop Now: Voyager Step-in Plush Dog Harness, $13; amazon.com
Best Dog Harness for Senior Dogs: PetSafe CareLift Support Harness
As dogs get older and experience muscle pain or joint stiffness, they might need help getting in and out of the car or going up and down a few stairs. This harness allows you to safely pick give them assistance with dual handles and support across his entire body.
Shop Now: PetSafe CareLift Support Harness, $50; amazon.com