Collars are indispensable accessories for dog owners, especially when it comes to all-day use and the attachment of an identification tag. However, they’re not always the most suitable choice when it comes to taking your dog out for a walk or run. Because collars are fastened around a dog’s neck, dogs can accidentally choke or experience trouble breathing from the pressure of a collar. This can result in the development of certain health problems or worsen existing conditions.
For their pets’ safety, many pet parents are starting to switch to using dog harnesses for when they go on trips with their canines. Of course, owners must note that choosing between a collar and harness is dependent on their dog’s breed, behavior, and health conditions. However, harnesses are generally safer and more comfortable than certain types of collars, and they come in a variety of styles that cater to different needs.
Although attaching a harness to your dog can be tricky at first, it’s quite easy to get the hang of it. You can even consider purchasing a harness that’s designed for easier attachment, such as a customizable step-in dog harness that simply requires your dog to step into it. For canines who aren’t accustomed to wearing a harness yet, it’s best to slowly ease them into it. For example, you can gently pet them with the harness before putting it on them so that they create a positive association with the new accessory.
If you’re thinking about replacing your furry companion’s usual collar with a harness and need just a bit more convincing, here are four reasons why you should make the switch.
Keep Your Canine Comfortable
Harnesses are more comfortable for dogs to wear compared to collars, especially if you’re doing a lot of physical activities like running. Since collars wrap around your dog’s neck, a firm pull or tug can cause a lot of discomfort due to the pressure on that small area. Harnesses, on the other hand, wrap around your dog’s upper body, which evenly distributes pressure to a larger area. This way, you won’t have to worry about causing any discomfort for your dog while you pull on the leash.
However, an ill-fitting harness can still be very uncomfortable for your dog. It’s crucial to ensure that your canine’s harness isn’t too tight or loose. You can also opt to purchase a harness with thick mesh padding for added comfort during long trips.
Avoid Injuries and Alleviate Health Conditions
When used together with a leash, a collar limits the dog’s movements by acting as a restraint. However, this can place a lot of pressure on your dog’s neck, which can actually worsen or cause a number of health conditions. This is particularly true for smaller dog breeds that are more susceptible to neck injuries. Dogs who are prone to certain conditions like tracheal collapse—especially flat-faced breeds like pugs and English bulldogs—should be using a harness. Harnesses can also benefit older dogs or breeds that are prone to spinal problems, as these accessories remove pressure from the neck and back.
A harness is usually the safest option for most types of dogs, as it helps ensure that they get to have fun outside without restraints that are potentially bad for their health.
Prevent Your Pup from Escaping
It’s hard to have fun on a walk when your dog wriggles out of its collar and runs into a busy street. While some dog collars are designed to prevent dogs from escaping without any pressure or pain, most harnesses ensure that mischievous pups won’t be able to shrug the restraints off. Since harnesses securely wrap around your dog’s chest and back, it’s nearly impossible for them to slip out.
However, it’s still important to purchase a well-fitted harness, as a loose one can still allow your pup to escape. Start with a small harness while your dog is still a puppy and get a larger size as the pup grows. It’s also necessary to train your dog on how to behave during walks. Even if they manage to slip out of their collar or harness, they should know not to run off without your permission.
Have Better Control over Your Dog
Your furry companion might enjoy jumping on strangers to give a slobbery kiss or chasing after other dogs while dragging you along. Big dogs who like to pull on their leashes tend to make it feel like they’re the ones giving you a walk. If your dog is the excitable type or isn’t well-trained yet, using a collar can make it harder for you to pull them away from their shenanigans because you are worried about choking them. Fortunately, a harness gives you more control over your pooch while still prioritizing their safety.
A back-clip harness, which clips a leash onto your dog’s back area, is perfect for maneuvering smaller breeds who are more sensitive to pressure. It’s also very useful for dogs who like to bite or chew leashes because they’re harder to reach. If your dog is rambunctious, many trainers recommend using a front-clip harness. This harness connects the leash to the chest area, preventing your canine from excessively tugging and giving you more control over their movements.
Harnesses are versatile accessories that can be used by almost any dog, with a lot of amazing benefits to keep things fun and convenient during your adventures together. When choosing the perfect harness for your beloved pup, it’s always best to consider their specific needs and behavior. While you can still put a collar for your dog’s identification details, the right harness will always make sure that your furry companion gets the security, safety, and comfort that they deserve.
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