When you envision a pet harness, images of sled dogs or assistance animals may come to mind, and your personal experience with either could be nil.
The battle between a leash and a pet harness is not a new one, but many new harnesses now available for your active pet effectively remove strain or choking, and support the smaller necks of some breeds and those with respiratory issues. In short, a good pet harness provides more control during walks – and might just become your second best friend if your pet is prone to pulling or yanking on the leash.
The Harmless Harness
A properly fitted pet harness discourages pulling or jumping and may benefit your pet if:
- You are trying to train him or her walk with you, especially around other people, pets, or on busy roads or paths
- He or she is especially young (risking getting tangled in a regular leash) or easily distracted (leading to injury)
- He or she is a brachycephalic breed, like a pug or boston terrier
- Your pet has a medical condition, such as collapsing trachea
- You walk more than one animal at a time
- He or she is a senior or suffering from pain, a harness can offer more support without discomfort
Pet Harness Specs
There are a few different types of pet harness to choose from depending on your pet’s size, behavior, breed, and medical predispositions.
- The Body Harness – Ideal for larger dogs with a stronger pull, the body harness removes pressure off the throat, effectively eliminating choking. We recommend designs that allow for your leash to attach to the front of the harness for larger pets, and ones that attach to the back for toy breeds.
- Control Harness – Versions of control harnesses are great to prevent pulling, but sometimes cause shoulder soreness. Also, some control harnesses work by making a pet lift up the front paws when pulling (not ideal if you’re trying to curb jumping up).
There are also a variety of harnesses for outdoorsy dogs, or even ones that support dogs with back pain or spinal injuries.
Walk Your Cat!
Going for a stroll outside isn’t just for canines. While many cats embrace the feel of a specifically-designed cat harness right away, others may require your time and patience to get used to it prior to going outside. Start slowly and after incrementally building up the time he or she wears the harness at home, you can begin to introduce the idea of going outside with your cat.
Even still, walking your cat is less about walking somewhere with your cat at your side, and more about following your feline wherever he or she deems worthy. Over time, however, you may both be able to enjoy longer strides with more confidence and enjoyment.
Enjoying Walks Again
Part of your pet’s wellness includes training and addressing any behavioral problems, and learning the right way to take walks is paramount to each of your comfort levels and enjoyment. Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding the right type of pet harness for your four-legged friend.
Clairmont Animal Hospital wishes you and your pet the best in walks this year. Good luck!