Most dog owners use standard leashes on their dogs. These work well for walks and visits to the veterinarian, as well as entering places where handlers must have control over their pets. Dog leashes are sturdy, flexible and easy to handle or stow quickly in a bag or purse, and work best on large breed dogs. However, smaller breeds which are easier to control, may find dog harnesses better suited to their needs and more comfortable.
.BENEFITS OF USING A HARNESS
- Helps to relieve the pressure and stress put on the neck from leashes, because they distribute the pulling and control evenly over the whole body of the animal rather than just the neck area.
- Reduces the risk of neck or body injuries to your pet when he pulls away from you on a walk or jerks suddenly to one side or another, trying to chase something that has caught his attention.
- Reduces and eliminates sores that collars cause when they rub back and forth on the skin beneath them.
- Is more comfortable than dog collars when fitted properly. A dog that is comfortable may be easier to control. Dog harnesses may also help make smaller more nervous breeds feel calmer, since their fit is more swaddling and comfortable than just a small pressure around the neck area.
- Allows handlers better control over their pet, because it allows more of the animal to be controlled, rather than just the head area.
- Is adjustable as your pet grows, so always comfortable while still allowing the owner adequate control for walks and other activities requiring the pet to be leashed.
- Can be hooked to the seatbelt in your car to help secure your dog when traveling.
- Lasts for years when taken care of properly.
- Comes in a variety of colors, sizes and materials to fit almost any dog and their unique personalities.
- Comes in different types to meet your pets special needs, such as padded versions for dogs that do not like leashes and squirm or struggle constantly when they are utilized.
- Comes in different materials. Mesh styles work well on dogs with sensitive skin, as the soft material won’t rub or irritate the skin. Lighter materials are great for dogs that spend a lot of time in moist climates or near water, as they dry quicker and are generally machine washable.
- Comes in every price range, so no matter what your budget, there are harnesses that are affordable and reliable.
HOW TO CHOOSE A HARNESS
Fit – When selecting a harness, make sure it fits your dog properly. It should not move back and forth or rub against the fur or skin, no matter how the dog is moving. It should stay in place, but be easy to slip your finger underneath it at any point it contacts your dog’s body. A harness that is too large can slip off and even strangle your pet if he attempts to free himself. A harness that is too small will cause discomfort and breathing difficulty by reducing airflow. Measure your dog before purchasing a harness, so you have an idea what size to search for.
Durability – Make sure you purchase a harness made from quality materials. Examine the workmanship thoroughly. Test the strength of the harness by pulling and attempting to stretch it in your hands. Lift the harness to get a feel for the weight of it, which will be an important factor when considering your pet’s comfort.
Comfort – With all the styles and materials available, make sure you choose one that best suits your pet. Select a style that is soft, yet strong and made from a material that won’t irritate your pet’s skin. Fine mesh, nylon or suede dog harnesses are the most comfortable materials.
Care and Cleaning – Try to purchase a fabric that is easy to clean or that can safely be placed in the washing machine without affecting the safety or durability of the harness. When you purchase the harness, this information will appear on the label.
Do you prefer using a leash or a harness for your dog? Let us know in the comments!