If you have decided that harness is the way to go, it is essential that the harness fits your fur pal properly. We learnt through a heart-stopping incident that one size does not fit all.
In our eagerness to quickly switch our little brown furball to a harness upon the advice of our vet, we bought a simple harness widely available in regular pet stores. Although the harness was adjustable, our furry was in between sizes. It was a bit of a challenge to find one that fit her at the right places.
However, we thought that as long as the harness fits generally, it should be alright.
We were wrong.
During one of her walks, our Little Miss Fiesty got riled up by another barking dog. She struggled and tugged at her leash and to our horror, she somehow managed to slip out of her harness.
We were lucky no harm came to her but the shock and panic taught us the importance of having a well-fitting harness.
We don’t often realise it but according to an interview by iHeartDogs.com with Dr Julia Georgesen, the co-owner and practicing veterinarian at Blum Animal Hospital, the largest general practice hospital in Chicago, Illinois:
Ill-fitting harnesses can cause problems for several reasons. Harnesses that don’t fit properly can either cause discomfort if they are too tight or cause rubbing if they are loose and not fitted properly to the dog. When harnesses don’t fit correctly, dogs can manoeuvre out of their harness, which causes an increased risk of the dog either running off or getting into an accident.
Then, the question would be: How do we find a fitting harness?
We found that there is no hard and fast rule. It all depends on the make and the characteristics of each harness design. However, it generally boils down to noting:
- The weight of your furry;
- The girth size (i.e. chest circumference around the ribcage area); and
- For some designs, the neck circumference.
Armed with the above general measurements, you should be in a good position to shortlist a few harnesses.
A good harness maker would provide a detailed explanation as to how to measure your dog out for that perfect fit, giving you the exact points to take those measurements.
We would suggest doing a second round of measurements according to the instructions found on your shortlisted harnesses in order to determine which would be the best fit for your furry.
We learnt a lesson (thankfully, a one that wasn’t too harsh!) that a good harness is well-worth the investment of time and money just to give us a peace of mind!