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Reflective Dog Harnesses - How to Choose Reflective Dog Harnesses

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Buying a reflective dog harness for your dog is a simple way to assure his safety. Let's face it, walking the dog for most of us means walking along streets where cars travel, some at high rates of speed.

Maintaining control over your dog is critical whenever you are walking him in the presence of traffic, and the added visibility from a reflective dog harness helps to assure that drivers will notice you and your dog especially at night and in dark rainy weather conditions.

So, whether you have a toy dog that requires a harness, or a larger dog that is just easier to control with a harness, consider buying a reflective dog harness for that added measure of safety.

Features to Consider in a Reflective Dog Harness

Materials – Most reflective dog harnesses are made from nylon strap or leather with reflective strips sewn on in strategic places. Some are made from nylon strap that is reflective in and of itself. And for toy dogs there are reflective vests that double as a harness. Leather is elegant but expensive and difficult to properly care for. Nylon is probably the most practical material for your reflective dog harness as it is strong, easy to clean, low maintenance, and comes in a wide array of colors and designs.

Type – There are many different styles and types of reflective dog harnesses. Some are designed for training everything from teaching your dog to pull to teaching your dog NOT to pull or jump. You will also find the basic H- reflective dog harnesses and step-in reflective dog harnesses that are designed to be a collar substitute. And finally there are reflective dog harnesses designed to also be used with your car seatbelt.

Size and width of straps – The most important aspect of choosing a reflective dog harness is proper sizing. You will want your new reflective dog harness to be neither too small nor too large, proportioned correctly for your dog's unique shape, and have straps that are wide enough to distribute pressure without being so wide that they chafe in sensitive areas.

Adjustable – Since every dog has a unique shape and is likely to change shape over time, it is important that your reflective dog harness be adjustable. Avoid buying a reflective dog harness that is “close enough.” There are so many styles and sizes available; it is worth finding the reflective dog harness that is truly comfortable for your dog.

Safety and strength – The safety of your dog depends upon your reflective dog harness having the strength to remain in place in unexpected situations where even the calmest of dogs may jump and bolt out of fear or aggression. Test your reflective dog harness for more strength than you expect to need so that it won't unexpectedly break at the one moment when your dog's life may depend upon being restrained.

Comfort – Just like the clothing that you wear, a reflective dog harness looses much of it appeal if it is uncomfortable for the wearer. You want your dog happy to wear his reflective dog harness, and you don't want to have to treat sores from the chafing of an uncomfortable, ill-fitting reflective dog harness. Take time to find the reflective dog harness that fits well and is proportioned correctly for your dog.

Type of buckles – You will want to find the right balance between convenience and strength when choosing the right type of buckle on your reflective dog harness. Quick release buckles will make your reflective dog harness easier to use, but may not offer the strength and security that you need.

Ease of Use – Convenient buckles and easy care materials will increase the ease of use of your reflective dog harness, but the most important part will be helping your dog develop a happy, cooperative attitude about wearing a harness. Proper use of a comfortable, well fitted reflective dog harness will make any harness easy to use because your dog will want to wear it.

Desirable Features in a Reflective Dog Harness

Convenient and easy to use – Consider your needs and potential uses of a reflective dog harness. Look for a style that will be convenient to put on, easy to clean, and appeal to your eye.

Machine washable – For most of us, a reflective dog harness that is machine washable is the best choice. After all, dogs will be dogs, and that includes rolling in something rotten smelling and slimy just for fun.

Strong material and secure buckles – With the possible exception of toy dogs, a reflective dog harness must also be strong enough to restrain your dog in unexpected situations. However, beauty and style need not be sacrificed for security. Just be sure to keep your dog's safety in mind when shopping for your reflective dog harness.

Safe – Safety of your reflective dog harness includes proper fit as well as strong materials and secure buckles. A harness that slips off or gets caught on a fence will not provide your dog with the safety he deserves.

Durable – Materials that are durable will keep your reflective dog harness safe and good looking with time and use.

Guarantee - When selecting a reflective dog harness, you may want to consider whether or not a guarantee is offered.

Appealing – Choose a reflective dog harness that appeals to your eye. You will be more inclined to use it regularly if you like the look of it on your dog.

Performance – Ultimately, a reflective dog harness must perform. Dogs are rarely idle creatures, so a reflective dog harness must be able to move with your dog and provide you with the ability to restrain him whenever necessary.

Features to Avoid in a Reflective Dog Harness

Leather – While leather can be beautiful, elegant, and exceedingly durable, it is difficult and expensive to find high quality leather. Poor quality leather tends to be bulky, stiff, and difficult to clean.

Lack of adjustability – It may be cute, but if it isn't adjustable it is not a good choice for your reflective dog harness. Adjustability is a must to make your reflective dog harness safe and comfortable.

The Ideal Choice in a Reflective Dog Harness

  • The ideal choice in a reflective dog harness will be adjustable with secure buckles, durable, and machine washable.

  • For basic restraint the ideal choice in a reflective dog harness will be either the H-harness or step-in style based on your dog's size, temperament and body type.

  • For more specific training requirements seek the advice of a veterinarian or dog trainer to find the reflective dog harness that will serve your training needs as well as providing safety and visibility.

    Shopping and Safety Tips for Reflective Dog Harnesses

  • Check that the thickness of the harness straps is proportional for the size of your dog. Straps that are too narrow will apply uncomfortable pressure, while straps that are too wide will pinch and chafe.

  • Before you shop, take measurements of your dog's chest so you can determine the appropriate size. Keep in mind that each type of reflective dog harnesses may have different or additional measurement points to assure proper sizing.

  • The H-style and step-in reflective dog harnesses tend to be easier to put on.

  • Look for materials that are durable and machine washable. And remember that some materials may stretch or loosen with age, use, or washing. Be sure to check the fit of your reflective dog harness each and every time you use it.

  • Lastly, before taking your dog outside with his new reflective dog harness and leash, let him wear it around the house for awhile so that he becomes accustomed to it and you can be certain that it is adjusted properly.

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