Owning a dog comes with the responsibility of ensuring its safety and comfort, especially during walks. A dog harness is a tool that can significantly enhance both. However, it’s important to know the right ways to choose and use a harness. Here are some essential dos and don’ts.
Do: Know the Types
Different dogs have different needs, and there is a variety of harness types to cater to these needs. From back-clip to front-clip, and multi-clip harnesses, each serves a unique purpose. Back-clip harnesses are suitable for small, calm dogs, while front-clip harnesses are better for training purposes, especially for dogs that tend to pull. Understanding these types helps in selecting the most appropriate harness for your pet.
Do: Measure Your Dog
A harness that fits well is crucial for your dog’s comfort. Take the time to measure your dog’s chest and neck. A poorly fitting harness can lead to discomfort, escape, or even injury. When you have the measurements, choose a harness that can be adjusted to fit those dimensions.
Do: Ensure a Snug Fit
Once you have the right size, ensure that the harness fits snugly on your dog. You should be able to fit two fingers under any strap. A snug fit prevents your dog from slipping out of the harness while ensuring comfort.
Do: Monitor Your Dog’s Comfort
Regularly check if the harness is causing any irritation or discomfort to your dog. Look for any signs of rubbing, chafing, or restricted movement. A comfortable dog is a happy companion during walks.
Do: Use Positive Reinforcement
Introduce the harness positively. Use treats and praises when putting on the harness. This association makes the experience enjoyable for your dog and easier for you. Positive reinforcement encourages good behavior and helps in training sessions.
Don’t: Ignore Material and Quality
The material of the harness should be durable, comfortable, and suitable for your dog’s skin. Low-quality materials can cause irritation, wear out quickly, and fail to provide the needed control. Opt for harnesses with good padding, breathable fabric, and strong, secure buckles.
Don’t: Force It On
Never force the harness on your dog. This can lead to fear and anxiety, making future attempts to put on the harness difficult. Allow your dog to get used to the harness gradually.
While a snug fit is necessary, over-tightening the harness is harmful. It can cause discomfort, restrict breathing, and limit movement. Always follow the two-finger rule for a safe and comfortable fit.
Don’t: Neglect Maintenance
Inspect the harness regularly for any signs of wear and tear. Keep it clean as well, since a dirty harness can lead to skin problems for your dog. Proper maintenance ensures the harness remains safe and comfortable to use.