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