Are you trying to find a safe way to keep your dog under control when out on a walk? This article will discuss whether or not a no-pull harness is safe for your dog to wear.
Are No-Pull Harnesses Safe?
In short, harnesses can be safe provided that you find a harness that fits your dog well. It’s also important that you handle your dog carefully when using a harness.
For athletic dogs, it might be worth it to give them a massage after their run to ensure their muscles are relaxed instead of cramped. Or you might want to use a back clip for the harness.
The Harness Debate
As a dog owner, you want to take your beloved pet outside for a walk. It’s a requirement for their health and happiness.
Yet you have a few options in terms of equipment that you use to keep them at your side when out on the walk. The most popular are dog collars and harnesses.
A collar is a simple band of sturdy cloth or some other tough material that wraps around the dog’s neck. Most owners use a collar to hang the dog’s license and name on.
Collars also typically come with a small hook where you can easily attach a leash. Besides functionality, dog owners buy collars because they come in an array of colors and patterns for customization.
Harnesses, on the other hand, wrap around the entire dog in some fashion. Depending on what kind of harness it is, it either wraps around the front of their body, the middle, or the entire body.
Harnesses are also made of sturdy materials and can sometimes come with an array of rings for the leash attachment. They do not have very many colors or patterns to select from for customization.
Which is better? This is a question that plagues many owners.
Collar or Harness?
The collar, while easy to use, is also easy to get out of. Dogs have been learning how to escape from their collars for generations.
Perhaps you’ve even experienced a jolting moment of fear when your dog suddenly pops its head out from the collar. Before you know it, you’re running after your dog as it chases another animal or a car.
A collar also can choke your dog. If you wrap it too tight around their throat, it can choke them when you need to pull on the collar with the leash to get them to stop.
Harnesses, on the other hand, may have some sort of wrap around the throat, but they are designed in such a way that the bulk of the restraint is at their back or chest. This limits the chance of a choking hazard.
When it comes to whether you should get a collar or harness for safety reasons, the better option is the harness. However, a harness can have its problems as well.
The biggest issue that some dog owners and dog health experts notice is that the harness, itself, can restrict the full movement of the dog. In regards to the no-pull harness, for example, it can get in the way of how they walk forward.
It forces them to put their weight and on the legs that aren’t typically used to carry their weight. It may also restrain their muscles and cause injuries.
This isn’t the case for all dogs that use a no-pull harness. However, it is a problem that some dog experts have noticed in those dogs that perform as athletes and use a no-pull harness.
Clip Location Matters
When it comes to a no-pull harness, if you want to be on the safer side, then your best option might be with a harness that has a clip on the back rather than the front. While a front clip can help you keep your dog from pulling you, it can also cause tracheal issues.
This is especially true in smaller dogs where the pressure from the harness can choke them and cause them a chest injury. Those with smaller dogs are better suited for a no-pull harness that offers a clip on the back.
This allows you to restrain your dog without applying pressure on the tracheal area.
In addition, if your dog is an athlete, then it’s also a good idea to get a harness with a clip on the back. This is because the hook on the front can disrupt their natural gait.
It can even hinder the movement of their shoulders.
What Makes for a Good Harness for Your Dog?
How can you make a no-pull harness safe for your dog? The simplest way to ensure that your harness is safe for your dog is to measure your dog first.
A good-fitting harness is the safest harness for your pet. There shouldn’t be any gaps when the harness rests on your dog.
Nor should it be cutting into their skin. When a harness is wet, for example, and left on your dog, it can cause skin irritation.
It can also cause chafing.
The general rule of thumb for ensuring that your harness fits your dog is to be able to stick two fingers between the harness and your dog and find it snug. Those with barrel-chested dogs like bulldogs and pugs might find it more difficult to find a harness that fits the shape of their dog.
However, there are harnesses out there. You should opt for one that is specifically made for barrel-chested dogs rather than a general ‘one size fits all’ harness.
What does the no-pull harness do?
The no-pull harness is a harness that is made in such a way that it keeps the dog’s legs from moving when they pull. It’s designed to keep them from pulling on the leash.
Are step-in harnesses the safest?
Many regard the step-in harness as the safest kind of harness for your dog. It doesn’t restrain the dog’s body and typically rests comfortably on them without causing discomfort.