Finding the right vest harness for your dog can be a challenge. You want to find something comfortable yet offers the security you and your dog need while out on daily walks and sports activities. It should also be convenient and functional if you want to get the most out of your training sessions and exercise. To make things easier, we’ve gathered a few tips to help you find the perfect dog vest harness.
First Priority: Get the Right Size
The most important thing to check before you click that “order now” button is the size of the harness. More than any other feature, size will make the difference between a safe and unsafe harness. To make sure you’re buying the right size, you need to take accurate measurements of three parts of your dog’s body:
- Neck. To get the neck measurement, take a flexible measuring tape (or piece of string) and hold it around the base of the dog’s neck. Don’t hold too tightly, or you’ll get an inaccurate measurement. If you use a piece of string, mark it with a pen and measure it against a ruler.
- Belly. Take your measuring tool and wrap it around your dog’s body an inch or so in front of the rear legs.
- Length. Hold the measuring tape from just behind the front leg to just behind the rear leg for your dog’s body length.
Once you have your three accurate measurements, compare them to our dog harness size chart and choose the correct size.
Tips for Achieving the Correct Fit
Even with accurate measurements, you may not be able to tell right away which size to purchase. If your dog has odd proportions that don’t fit neatly into any one size, here are a couple of tips to help:
#1: If your dog’s measurements land at the border between two sizes, choose the larger size. Remember to choose the size based on measurements and not your experience of what size your dog has worn before. Getting a measurement-based size will help prevent injury to your dog.
#2: To make sure the size is correct, you should be able to slip two fingers underneath any strap of the vest harness. If you cannot, it’s too small. Next, try pulling the harness over your dog’s head; if you can, it is too large.
Second Priority: Look for These Features
After measuring your dog and finding the correct size on our harness size chart, you should look for special features that will enhance the harness's comfort, security, and usability. Here’s what we recommend you pay attention to:
- Material. A good-quality vest harness will use materials that are soft to the touch, flexible, and breathable. Inferior materials tend to rub and irritate the sensitive skin of a dog’s belly and chest, leading to rashes and infection. They’ll also prevent movement that could result in sore joints and muscles.
- Functionality. If a vest harness isn’t easy to put on and intuitive to use, an owner is less likely to go through the hassle of using it every time and instead rely on just a collar. The harness should also offer versatile usability, like having multiple clip locations for a leash. This allows owners to choose the best place to clip the leash for the particular activity and their dog’s training. In addition, there should be multiple points of adjustment to get the perfect fit. More on that in just a moment.
- Safety. Safety is one of the primary goals of a great harness. Of course, material and functionality help contribute to a secure harness, but you can even find harnesses with reflective straps. This will help make you and your dog more visible to drivers, especially on those early-morning runs or evening strolls.
Pet&Cuddle specializes in offering top-quality dog harnesses with all of the above features. We know that your dog’s safety is your top priority, so we make sure that all of our harnesses help keep your pup secure while outdoors.
Third Priority: Ensure You’ve Achieved a Proper Fit
Now that you’ve chosen the correct size and selected the dog harness vest with all the great features listed above, it’s time to try it on! Don’t be surprised if the new harness doesn’t fit perfectly right away; after all, no two dogs are exactly alike! However, if you’ve chosen a harness with multiple points of adjustment, you should be able to achieve the proper fit. Here are some tips for how to put on a dog harness vest.
- Allow your dog to sniff the new harness before attempting to put it on him. Give him some time to have a look, so he doesn’t get frightened when you place it on.
- Once your dog looks comfortable, slip the neckpiece over the dog’s head. Once it’s on, adjust it so that it isn’t too tight around the neck.
- Pull the bottom straps down under his belly and the top strap across his back.
- Adjust the straps as needed so that they’re not too loose or too tight.
- Double-check the fit using the two-finger test mentioned above and make any adjustments as needed.
Why You Should Consider Using a Vest Harness
Vest harnesses are one of the most functional, comfortable, and secure harnesses made for dogs. Other harnesses and collars lack the safety features and soft material of a cozy vest style. Here are a few additional benefits you and your four-legged friend can take advantage of with a vest harness.
Harnesses are Far Safer Than Collars
Vest harnesses are a much safer option for walking and training than your dog’s everyday collar. Here’s why:
- They distribute the pressure of a guiding leash onto the whole of the dog’s body, which is much better for your dog’s neck and overall health.
- The comfort of a correctly sized harness means your dog will barely even feel it, so he won’t be distracted by it during training sessions or daily walks.
- Dog vest harnesses allow complete control of movement and eliminate uncomfortable rubbing and skin irritation caused by using just a collar and leash.
- The reflective straps of a dog vest harness make it much easier to keep an eye on Fluffy during evening walks and increase visibility to pedestrians and drivers.
- A properly fitting vest harness will prevent even the best escape artist from making a run for it.
Vest Harnesses Are More Comfortable Than Strap Harnesses
An excellent vest harness will be much more comfortable for your dog to wear and should make walking and training more accessible. Benefits offered by comfortable vest harnesses include:
- No more rubbing! Strap harnesses use rough materials for the straps that can easily irritate the soft and sensitive skin of your dog’s chest and underarms. Vest harnesses distribute pressure, so there’s no one point of tension and rubbing. A soft dog harness vest is much more comfortable than one made mostly of rough straps.
- That same pressure distribution reduces the risk for injury to your dog, especially around the neck and rib cage.
- A vest harness offers more physical coverage on a dog’s body, which is great as additional protection for small, vulnerable dogs.
- The material is ideal for all temperatures. Its breathability keeps your dog cool in summer, and the soft coverage makes it a great winter accessoryIs a Harness Right for You and Your Dog?
Dog vest harnesses are almost always the right option for any dog and its owner. They offer extreme comfort and safety for dogs of all sizes and breeds – and are convenient and intuitive for owners, too!
Pet&Cuddle dog vest harnesses have all the incredible features we’ve listed here to optimize your relationship with your furry friend because we believe you both deserve the best. Check out our latest collection of expertly designed and professionally crafted dog vest harnesses that will fit your pup like a glove.
Questions About Dog Vest Harnesses
If you still have a few questions about dog vest harnesses, we have you covered. Check out answers to some of the most common questions below.
Is it better to walk a dog with a harness or collar?
Harnesses are much more suitable for walking a dog than just a collar and leash. If your dog lunges suddenly or pulls to go faster, a vest harness will protect him by distributing pressure over the body. A collar is only at the neck, so a lunge means all of the pressure will be placed at the throat. If convenience is an issue, many vest harnesses come with a retractable leash for quick walks.
What are the main criteria of a good harness?
When you’re looking for a good harness, comfort and safety are key. The material should be soft, the fit should be adjustable, and there should be different leash clip locations.
What is the best harness for a dog that pulls?
If you have a strong dog or one that tends to get a little over-enthusiastic during walks, a no-pull harness with a front leash clip could help. When the dog pulls, the leash acts to squeeze and lift the dog’s shoulders. It doesn’t harm the dog, but it does make pulling uncomfortable for him. This is a safe way to help leash train your dog and teach him to walk properly.
Which material is best for a dog vest harness?
To get the most out of your dog vest harness, you want to find one with material that is both comfortable and durable. Nylon is an excellent option since it has a bit of stretch and can take the stress of continual use. Harnesses with additional padding could also enhance comfort.
Get the Perfect Vest Harness from Pet&Cuddle
If you’ve decided that a vest harness is right for your dog, look for one that is comfortable, functional, and secure. These features, along with the proper size, will ensure that you and your dog have the best harness possible.
Pet&Cuddle’s premium dog products are perfect for every breed, style, and purpose. So now that you know just what to look for in a dog harness vest, we’re positive that you’re ready to get started on your search for the best one for your needs.
At Pet&Cuddle, we know dogs, and it’s this knowledge and practical experience that have helped us design and create unique harness styles that will suit your pup perfectly. They’re comfortable, safe, and suitable for every activity you could do with your dog, from walking to hiking to training and more.
Ready to get started finding the vest harness you need? Check out our latest products right here!