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Dog Hiking Harnesses – Which Features Do You Actually Need?

When it comes to getting the most out of any pet accessory, you need to know what you're looking for. It's even more important to pay attention to features when you're looking for a dog hiking harness. Because it's meant for use during hiking and other outdoor activities with your dog, it should be lightweight and made of breathable material, so your dog doesn't get overheated or exhausted. Even though the best dog harness for hiking will be comfortable to wear, it should only be used during extreme sports or if your dog has particular requirements. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about what features to look for in a new dog hiking harness

What is a Dog Hiking Harness?

A dog hiking harness is designed specifically for dogs that need additional control during extreme sports or in unfamiliar locations with rugged terrain. These extra-strong harnesses help you assist your dog in navigating uneven and rough surfaces. Made from high-quality, durable material, hiking harnesses are secure and lightweight to provide comfort to your pup during your adventures together. 

Though dog hiking harnesses are great for actual hiking, it's not really necessary for most dogs and most situations. These harnesses tend to be bulkier and less comfortable for smaller dogs or for regular daily walking. Plus, putting them on can be inconvenient, so they're best left for once-in-a-while use. 

Pros & Cons of Dog Hiking Harnesses

The best harness for hiking dogs will be one that is comfortable and as lightweight as possible. There are all sorts of super-tough and rugged hiking harnesses that can stand up to pulling and running along rough terrain, but when it comes to picking one, simplicity is best. Lots of harness options have tons of features and gadgets that seem great at first, but in the end, they only add weight and bulk and remove some of the fun for your dog. But if you and your dog love hiking together, it could be worth it to get a good hiking harness. Here are some specific pros and cons that will help you make the best choice.

Benefits: 

  • Durable materials used in hiking harnesses will stand up to heavy use in rough environments as long as it is used properly. 
  • Hiking harnesses are almost impossible to escape from when fitted correctly and worn according to the instructions. 
  • These harnesses are super effective in giving control to you so that you can protect your hiking companion from dangerous situations, even if your dog is extremely powerful or heavy. 

Drawbacks: 

  • The constraints of the harness could limit your dog's movements, depending on its size and shape. 
  • They're much heavier than a standard step in or vest harness. 
  • Hiking harnesses are not ideal for daily use since they can be heavy, rigid, and overall uncomfortable unless your dog is powerful and tends to pull while on the leash. 
  • They can also be too expensive, especially since you'll need a different harness for daily walks. 

When Do You Need a Dog Hiking Harness?

As we mentioned above, hiking harnesses aren't suitable for everyday walks and some dogs. Here's when you should consider getting a dog hiking harness

  • Dangerous Situations – dangerous running or hiking trails mean you need extra control over your dog. Likewise, extreme sports or walking near train tracks or cliffs are good times to use a hiking harness. 
  • Mountain Excursions – if you hike in the mountains, a hiking harness is a necessity. The harness will give extra support to help your dog climb easily. You'll also have more capacity to ensure your pet's safety. 
  • Extremely Powerful or Heavy Dogs – dogs over a hundred pounds, or ones that pull and lunge, could use the extra support of a hiking harness, especially if they tend to chase after wild animals while hiking. 

Pet & Cuddle's Harness is Safe, Comfortable & Affordable

If you're the adventurous type that loves to go hiking with your pet, you'll find a high-quality hiking harness at Pet & Cuddle. All of our harnesses are safe, reliable, secure, and strong enough for almost any dog and situation. Plus, they're affordable while still made of high-quality and durable materials that your dog won't find too cumbersome. Keep in mind that a dog hiking harness isn't necessary for everyday use; step in or vest harness styles will be much more appropriate for daily walks and less rigorous activities. 

Not convinced? Here are a few more benefits that all of our harnesses have to offer: 

  • Better comfort
  • Affordable price
  • More functionality
  • Ultra-safe and secure

Why Pet Parents Choose Us?

We take pride in our products at Pet & Cuddle. And our customers love us for the care that we put into creating and designing our dog hiking harnesses and other accessories. Just what makes Pet & Cuddle harnesses so popular? Have a look at the following features that we offer: 

  • Material is high-quality, breathable, and durable. 
  • Safety is ensured with quality clips and breathable fabric. 
  • Adjustability provides the perfect fit. 
  • Lightweight harnesses provide ultimate comfort for your pet. 
  • Ease of use means you can slip on a harness and get out the door in less than a minute. 
  • Reflective straps protect you and your pup from drivers and other pedestrians on your nighttime walks. 
  • Increased functionality makes our harnesses versatile enough to be used for training, walking, running, and, yes, even hiking. 
  • Dual clip locations mean you can train your dog not to pull on the leash while still having full control over his movements. 

Questions About Dog Hiking Harnesses

Still not sure if a hiking harness is right for you and your pup? Here are some common questions that pet parents like you have about this type of harness: 

Do dogs need a harness while hiking? 

Hiking can be hazardous for dogs, so keeping a harness on at all times is the best idea. You should always have a secure harness for hiking, preferably with a retractable leash for more control in unfamiliar locations. This will minimize the potential for injury to your dog. 

Should I get a dog hiking harness for daily walking?

A hiking harness isn't necessary for daily walking or less intense activities. Plus, because a dog hiking harness is bulkier, it could cause discomfort to your dog during daily walks when it isn't really needed. 

Can a dog wear a dog hiking harness all time?

Veterinarians recommend removing a dog hiking harness for short breaks during the activity and then again after the activity is over. This is to let your dog's skin and muscles rest and relax and prevents skin infections and hair matting. 

How to measure your dog for a dog hiking harness?

To get the best-fitting hiking harness – or any kind of dog harness – you need to take three individual measurements: neck, belly, and length. Take a flexible measuring tape and measure around the base of the dog's neck, around the widest part of his body (the belly/chest), and then along his back from behind the front legs to just behind the back legs. Then compare these numbers to our size chart and choose the best option. 

If your dog's measurements fall between sizes, choose the larger size. Once you have the harness, use the adjustable straps to ensure a perfect fit that is neither too loose nor too tight.