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Should Your Pet Wear a Harness or Collar?

It can be difficult to decide whether you want your pet to wear a harness or a collar. It usually depends on the breed, size, age and activity level of your pet.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of both options, and even try both options. You may find that your pet behaves differently when on a walk with either a collar on or when wearing a harness.

Pros of Wearing a Harness

Harnesses are an effective training tool, especially for puppies. They can each your pet not to pull on a lead in a more effective way than a collar.

They are also great for specific breeds, especially breeds like pugs and chihuahuas who risk their eyeballs protruding from the sockets if there is too much pressure around their neck.

They provide better control over your pet because it discourages pulling and jumping.

They’re great for dogs with short noses like Bulldogs, Boston terriers and Pekingese

Dogs with respiratory problems and neck injuries can benefit from a harness because pulling on a collar can provoke coughing.

Harness Cons

Your dog might just not like the feeling of a harness

Back-clip harnesses may not be 100% effective as they can have the tendency to train your dog to ignore you because when you pull on the lead, your pet’s attention is directed away from you rather than toward you.

Pros of Wearing a Collar

They’re good for pups who dislike the feeling of a harness around their body and crave comfort.

They provide visibility and function. It’s easy to put your dog’s tags on them and are easy to take off and put back on.

If your dog was to get free and run off, if they have a collar with tags on they are much more likely to be identified and returned home.

Collar Cons

They’re not ideal for training your pet.

Any slight pulling is likely to increase the risk of a neck injury and coughing

They create eye pressure, which can worsen any existing eye conditions such as glaucoma.

Outlines more severe problems such as thyroid issues (the collar could damage the gland), behaviour problems due to pain, and injury and eye and ear issues from neck pressure.

In summary, it is of course your own personal preference whether you choose for your pet to wear a collar or a harness. If your dog is already well trained and you are certain that they don’t pull while on a lead, then they might be more comfortable wearing a collar. If you have the concern over identity, your pet can always have a collar to wear about the house and have an additional harness to wear when you’re going on a walk.

Harnesses can also be tricky to put on your pet and you may not be certain if it fits the way it should do or whether your pet is comfortable when wearing it. Most pet shops that sell collars and harnesses can be very helpful in helping you choose what is best and can show you how to correctly fit a harness on your pet.


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