Dog Harness Disadvantages – Top Ones Overviewed

dog harness disadvantages

Dog harnesses are useful tools that can help your dog behave appropriately and stay as safe as possible. However, there are also risks associated with using one. Learn about the dog harness disadvantages and how to use one properly here. 

Dog Harness Disadvantages – Using a Dog Harness Correctly

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If you’ve got a new puppy or rescue dog recently, you’re probably thinking about the essentials: collar, leash, crate, doggy bed, and food bowl. You may also consider buying a dog harness as well. 

Dog harnesses are fantastic alternatives to a traditional collar/leash combo. They can be a great way to ensure your dog is well-behaved and safe when you’re out and about. However, there are also dangers of dog harnesses that result from using them incorrectly. Keep reading to find out more about dog harness cons and the ways you can avoid hurting your dog by using it correctly. 

Skin Irritation or Infection

One of the first things to consider when buying a dog harness is the fact that it could irritate your dog’s skin or even lead to a skin infection. Dog harnesses can be made from a range of different materials. While many people claim faux fur or fleece is the best fabric to use, many dog harnesses are manufactured from nylon synthetics or cotton composites. 

Choosing the best material for your furry friend isn’t as simple as “this is the best,” or “don’t use that, it’s terrible.” Every dog’s skin is unique, meaning your dog might react to one type of fabric that another dog wouldn’t. If you can, test fabrics before you commit to a specific dog harness. 

To ensure your dog doesn’t develop a rash or irritated skin, make sure the harness fits correctly in all the tough spots, such as the tops of their legs and the top of their neck. The best dog harnesses will have padding to deal with those problem areas and also be made from soft yet durable materials that will keep them comfortable and safe as they’re wearing them. 

Also, a wet harness is more likely to cause skin issues. Remove one quickly to prevent friction burns or rashes from developing. Check their skin regularly to see if they develop a reaction to the fabric as well. If not, you should be good to go!

Difficulty Breathing

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You must get a dog harness that fits your pet. Too often, dog owners buy a dog harness that their dog grows out of more quickly than they anticipated, and they wait to buy a new one. The neck hole might be too small, leading to difficulty breathing and heavy panting. Buy a new one if you have to!

Also, remember to take off your dog’s harness when you’re not taking them for a walk or keeping them outside. A dog harness can become uncomfortable for your pet if left on for a long time or even get caught on their crate or something else, restricting their breathing. 

This can also be a big issue when they’re sleeping, as they won’t be able to let you know that they’re experiencing discomfort. Always remove the dog harness as part of getting your dog ready for bed, so they can get used to the routine of having the harness taken on and off. 

Chest Injuries

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Another issue with a tight-fitting dog harness is that it can rub uncomfortably on your dog’s chest. In severe cases, a dog harness can injure your dog’s chest fairly seriously. This is especially common with dogs who tend to pull too hard on the leash, leading the harness to restrict their chest and throat even more than usual. 

While the type of material that the dog harness is made from is one factor, the most important thing is that you buy a harness that fits your pet. Make sure the neck hole is large enough for their head with a little wiggle room to accommodate tugging or additional growth. 

Another thing to note is that smaller dogs with short noses, like pugs or bulldogs, will usually benefit from a dog harness that has a back clip rather than a front clip. While most dog harnesses come with a back clip, dog trainers prefer front clips because they reduce the amount the dog can tug on the leash. For the average dog owner, however, back clips are almost always the best option to prevent potential chest injuries. 

Dog Harness Disadvantages – Neck Injuries

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Other issues relatively common with dog harnesses are neck injuries. While finding the right fit for your dog harness is the best way to prevent this from happening, there are still ways for your dog to injure their necks

Dog harnesses that also incorporate a muzzle into the design are often very uncomfortable for the dog, leading them to paw and yank their neck in an attempt to get free. When they yank too hard or run too fast against the harness, they can strain their muscles or spine, leading to a neck injury. 

Also, dog harnesses, especially loose-fitting ones, tend to get tangled with other objects. If you don’t notice in time, your dog could be thrashing against it in an attempt to get free, often resulting in a minor or major neck injury. Always keep track of your dog when they’re on their harness. 

Accidental Injury

Just because your dog is wearing a dog harness doesn’t mean they’re entirely secure. If the dog harness is loose-fitting, your pet might be able to wriggle free. If they’re not trained to avoid certain things like the road or other aggressive dogs, they might charge straight into danger once free from the harness. 

Always make sure that the dog harness is completely secure before heading out for your walk. Although this has to do with the size of the harness, you also need to make sure the clip isn’t damaged or malfunctioning. The leash needs to be able to resist constant tugging or sudden forceful pulls. These are the most common ways for dogs to get free. 

Further, make sure the material of the dog harness is up to the task. If you have a small dog, then you most likely won’t need the most durable material available. However, a large dog will need a harness that can stand up to its strength. The last thing you want is the harness breaking as you’re in the middle of a walk

One of the best ways to prevent accidental injury resulting from a dog harness is by training them. This way they can get used to the harness and not tug on the leash. Keeping your dog as calm as possible is the best possible way to prevent many of these dog harness disadvantages. 

Dog Harness Disadvantages – Conclusion

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Despite the dog harness disadvantages we’ve listed off in this article, don’t get scared away from buying a dog harness. They’re incredibly useful tools. You can use them to teach your dog how to behave correctly. And also keep them safe as you’re on walks or at the dog park. However, you need to keep everything we’ve discussed in mind to prevent injuries. Watch your dog carefully for the first few months of use to determine if it’s right for your furry friend

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