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There are many advantages to using a dog harness. But there are also downsides. It’s important that you educate yourself on these downsides and potential dangers and know how to avoid them for the safety of your dog.
There are various types of harnesses available in today’s market. While some of these harnesses serve to make a fashion statement, others help in curbing the pulling habit that your dog might have taken up with his regular collar and leash.
Harness safety depends entirely on your dog’s activity levels, the type of harness, and your dog’s breed. Here are a few things you should keep in mind about harness safety.
What Are Some Of The Potential Risks Of Using A Harness?
A tight harness can be as dangerous as a noose around your neck. If your dog’s harness is too tight and your dog is still pulling at it, it might cause chest injuries that range from mild to fatal.
- For smaller breeds and breeds with tracheal collapse or issues relating to the trachea, you might want to opt for a halter with a back clip instead of a front clip. The harnesses with front clips tend to put too much pressure on the throat area.
- Front-hook harnesses can sometimes limit your dog’s shoulder moment and also affect his natural gait and stance. These type of harnesses are not ideal for dogs that are involved in sporting activities.
- The head halter, harnesses that go around your dog’s muzzle are a special case. While some dogs tend to get used to it rather quickly, others have difficulty. Most dogs hate the sensation of something completely covering their muzzle. They might try to fight this by rubbing it on the ground, rubbing against your leg, and even pawing at their nose. If your dog races ahead and you pull on the harness to bring him to a stop, he might be jerked back, which leads to neck injuries.
- Never let your dog sleep in his harness. If the harness gets caught on your dog’s crate, the harness becomes a choking hazard. Not only can it be dangerous, but it can also be uncomfortable.
- Wet harnesses left on your dog’s body for a long period of time causes skin infections. Remove the wet harness as soon as you get home and make sure it’s dry again before you put him back in it.
- Sometimes, harnesses tend to cause skin irritations under the chest and around the armpits. So monitor these places closely, at least twice a week to ensure that the harness sits comfortably and doesn’t harm the skin.
Make sure that when you buy a harness, you take your dog with you and ask for as much assistance as necessary. When it comes to harnesses, it’s never a ‘one size fits all’ situation.