Dog Rescue Harness (Search & Rescue / Injured Dogs / Rappelling)

Dog rescue harnesses come in many shapes and sizes for many purposes. In this blog post we’ll cover the most common types: search & rescue, harnesses to move injured dogs, and harnesses to rappel dogs off dangerous cliffs and perches down to safety.

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Best for Search and Rescue

The Dogline Unimax harness is best for search and rescue operations because of its durability. It’s built with thick straps designed to hold up against a lot of weight. Each strap is padded to provide comfort for the dog.

The harness is also made of water-resistant materials. You’ll want to dry the harness as soon as you can to extend its lifespan.

It also comes with Search and Rescue patches on each side. You can remove them if you intend to use the harness recreationally.

There’s a handle on top that makes lifting the dog easy. There’s also a reflective strip that goes across the chest that can make finding the dog in the dark easier.

Dogline Unimax Multi-Purpose Vest Harness for Dogs and 2 Removable Search and Rescue Patches, Large, Red
  • Made of durable, water resistant materials; lined with padded neoprene for comfort; assembled and ready to use
  • Removable/Interchangeable SEARCH & RESCUE patches included for both sides of the vest
  • Adjustable front and underbelly straps; removable chest plate; quick release buckle
  • Top of training vest contains a durable built in handle for extra control
  • Reflective front strap, trim and lettering on patches


  • Machine washable
  • Comes in various sizes to ensure the right fit
  • Straps are easy to adjust


  • Larger dogs may escape from it

Best Sling To Carry Injured Dogs

Whether your dog is injured or just needs help getting around the house, you should consider the sling from COODEO. This is the best sling to carry injured dogs because it can go over your shoulder.

It has a large and padded strap that is carried over your shoulder, making this sling durable and easy to use. The sling, itself, is also padded and comfortable for an injured or older dog to use.

Because it’s a thick sling, it can easily wrap around most of the dog’s belly. This ensures that their entire body is given support while being lifted.

Dog Carry Sling, Emergency Backpack Pet Legs Support & Rehabilitation Dog Lift Harness for Nail Trimming, Dog Carrier for Senior Dogs Joint Injuries, Arthritis, Up and Down Stairs (L, Blue)
  • 1. PROFESSIONAL - The sling designed for senior dog or dog with joint injuries, Arthritis, rheumatism dogs to help them walk, and go up and down stairs, get on and off cars, or hang up the dog and trim its nails.
  • 2. HIGH QUALITY - When you get our products, you will feel the excellent quality of our products, every detail of the product is strictly controlled. Our products are durable. Quality is everything.
  • 3. FULL BODY SUPPORT - Whether the front or rear legs need support, our products provide full body support, you don't have to worry about dogs falling down stairs. Our products provide comprehensive protection.
  • 4. Easy to Use - In case of emergency, you can quickly put our products on your dog and move the dog to a safe place.
  • 5. EXCELLENT REPUTATION- We strive for 100% customer satisfaction. If your are not completely satisfied, please contact us as soon as possible. We will try our best to answer your question and solve your problem immediately. We promise a refund without any reason.


  • Comfortable for dog and owner
  • Can be washed by hand
  • Great for dogs with front leg or rear leg injuries


  • May not be ideal for dogs that need to use it all day

Best for Rappelling Rescue

This harness from RUFFWEAR is ideal for rappelling rescue because it’s strength-tested. This harness is padded in the areas that matter. It gives plenty of stomach support while the dog is being lifted and lowered.

It uses anodized aluminum in its buckles for greater durability. This also ensures that the buckles don’t rust when exposed to water.

There are seven different areas where the straps can be adjusted. This ensures you can get the perfect fit for your dog.

It also has a main tie-in point at the center of the dog’s back for extra durability and comfort.

RUFFWEAR, Doubleback, Strength-Rated Belay Dog Harness, Rock Climbing & Backpacking, Strength-Rated to 2,000 lbf/8.9 kN, Cloudburst Gray, Large/X-Large
  • Rock climb ready: Designed to safely bring your dog's adventures to great heights; Ideal for difficult to access outdoor areas, rough terrain, scrambles, hikes, and backpacking
  • Strength-rated: A tried-and-true piece of adventuring equipment, the Doubleback is designed to lift and lower your canine climbers in exposed areas
  • Built for the lift: Primary tie-in point at center-back of harness for easy rope attachment; Additional loops along the length of the harness for increased stability; Carabiner friendly
  • Safe and secure: Anodized aluminum buckles for increased durability; 7 points of adjustment for a customizable, secure fit; Reinforced lift-and-assist handle
  • Comfortable construction: Padded belly support and leg loops provide equal load distribution and stability; Leg loops are stowable for increased mobility


  • Tested up to 2,000 lbs
  • Built from high-quality materials and durable
  • Leg straps can be removed and stored away


  • Doesn’t have a traditional leash tie

Best Compact Kit

If an injury occurs on the trail, then you need a guaranteed way to bring your dog to safety. The Fido Pro can help with that. This sling-style harness is extremely light at just under 9 ounces. It can also be folded up into a small sack for easy storage.

The kit also comes with a harness that can be attached to a rescue sling. Both are built with durable materials and feature high-quality craftsmanship.

To top it off, you’ll also want to grab their Remi Runner leash. It uses two bungee cords and two handles for ultimate control over your dog.

This kit can ensure you’re able to keep your dog safe while outdoors.

Check Pictures and current prices at the Fido Pro website.


  • Supportive sling and comfortable
  • Easily fits in your emergency kit
  • Created with canine anatomy in mind


  • May not be ideal for owners who are unable to carry their dogs on their backs

DIY Emergency Dog Rescue Harness

How Do You Carry an Injured Dog on a Hike?

The best way to carry an injured dog on a hike is on your back. Using a supportive sling, it’s easy to carry your dog on your back. The dog is supported by the sling and not at risk of injuring themselves further.

You’re able to use the strength of your body to safely carry them to safety.

How Do You Carry a Large Dog in an Emergency?

Because large dogs are heavy, you’ll need to use a durable sling or harness that’s built for emergencies and large dogs. These slings have thick and padded straps that can support their weight.

You’ll want to use both straps over your shoulders to carry them to safety. Only using one shoulder to carry your large dog can result in an injury for yourself.

How Do You Carry a Dog in Pain?

Most injuries happen to a dog’s legs. If they’re in pain, then their weight needs to be taken off of the injury. Using a sling or harness can help. It supports them around their middle. When you carry them with a sling, they no longer use weight against their injured limb.

How Do You Calm Down an Injured Dog?

The last thing you want to do is touch your dog. According to the American Kennel Club, touching or petting your dog stimulates them which can make their pain worse. You need to handle them as little as possible. Instead, you should just focus on placing them in the sling and bringing them to safety.

You should speak to your dog in a slow, calm, and soothing voice. You also need to stay calm. If you’re panicking, then your dog is going to be more anxious.

How Do You Lift a Dog With a Towel?

Take a standard towel and fold it in half. Then fold it again. While your dog is laying down, slowly move the towel underneath them. You may need to lift them ever so slightly in order to get the towel through.

Once the towel is under them, take both ends of the towel and lift upwards. Your dog is now in a sling made from the towel.

How Do You Lift a Dog With a Back Injury?

The best way to lift a dog with a back injury is to keep its spine aligned. A few types of harnesses and splints allow you to do this. They come with a strap that goes behind their front legs and before their rear legs. You can lift both those straps upwards to keep your dog’s back aligned.

Another way is to lift your dog yourself. You’ll want to wrap your arm around their chest and use your other arm to lift in front of their rear legs. This will keep their spine aligned.

Finally, you may also want to consider using a stretcher. This allows your dog to lay on its side while you carry it with someone else to a vet.