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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

54 Models Considered
20 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
84 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for shopping guide for best dog support harnesses

Sometimes dogs need a little extra help to move around, whether they're recovering from an injury or have a chronic complaint or disability. Dog support harnesses can aid your dog in doing some of the activities she loves, such as sniffing around in the backyard or hopping up onto the couch for snuggles with her humans.

You'll need to consider a range of factors when searching for the best dog support harness to suit the needs of your canine companion. Consider what kind of support she requires from a harness — is it her front end, rear end, or both than need to be supported? Choosing the correct fit is important, too, because a poorly fitting harness might not offer the correct degree of support and could rub. Other important factors include the harness' comfort, what material it's made of, and whether it has any degree of adjustability.

Check out our top five dog support harnesses or continue reading to learn more about them and how to choose the right one for your canine companion.

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Some dog support harnesses have separate models for male and female dogs. Each is cut slightly differently to accommodate their varying anatomies.

Key considerations

Type of dog support harness

You can find three main varieties of dog support harnesses on the market: front support harnesses, rear support harnesses, and full-body support harnesses. Before choosing a dog support harness, always consult your dog's veterinarian about the mobility issues he's suffering from.

  • Rear support harnesses usually look like slings, although some completely encircle your dog’s torso to avoid slipping. They're ideal for dogs suffering from injuries or weakness in the hind legs, and can help you lift them or support their back end while they walk outside or explore the house.

  • Front support harnesses can be sling-like, similar to rear support harnesses, or they can look more like vests. Like rear support harnesses, they can help dogs with their general mobility, but are designed for dogs suffering from issues with their front legs.

  • Full-body support harnesses may be vest-style or can look much like a regular dog harness that's extended to fit around the back legs, as well as the front. Full-body support harnesses are generally worn by dogs who have a small amount of weakness in or occasional issues with both front and back legs.

Size and fit

Choose a dog support harness that's the correct size and fit for your canine companion. An ill-fitting harness could not only be uncomfortable for your dog but it might not provide the correct kind of support. The majority of manufacturers will have a size guide, listing the correct measurements for each of their support harness sizes or which breeds should fit which sizes.

Material

Dog support harnesses should be made of a soft fabric that's also strong enough to support your dog's weight. Often, they feature a heavy-duty nylon or polyester outer layer, which provides structural integrity, and an inner lining of a softer material for comfort, such as cotton jersey or synthetic fleece.

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Did you know?
Many dog support harnesses are designed so that dogs can urinate and defecate while wearing them, so they can be used for short walks or bathroom breaks in the backyard.
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Features

Adjustable lifting straps

The straps that you use to lift your dog in her support harness may be adjustable. Dog support harnesses with adjustable straps can be adjusted so that you can stand upright without lifting your dog, no matter your height and their height. This decreases the chance that you'll injure yourself while lifting your canine companion and makes walks much more comfortable.

Chest straps and leash attachments

Some dog support harnesses feature chest straps that attach to a standard dog harness, or straps that attach to a leash. These can help keep the support harness in place while you use it, which is safer and more comfortable for your pup.

Padding

Dog support harnesses should feature ample padding so that they're comfortable for your canine companion, particularly if you'll be using the harness for longer sessions, such as walks and bathroom breaks, rather than just for quick lifts.

Dog support harness prices

Dog support harnesses can vary in price depending on the size, style and complexity of the harness.

Inexpensive: You can find some dog support harnesses that cost as little as $10 to $20. These tend to be basic sling type harnesses, often without a huge degree of padding. As such, they're better for short-term use, rather than extended use.

Mid-range: Expect to pay between $20 and $40 for a mid-range harness. You can find some great harnesses in this price range, so the majority of dog owners won't need to spend more.

Expensive: High-end dog support harnesses can cost between $40 and $70. These options tend to be carefully designed and have a range of features to provide optimal support and comfort for your canine companion.

Tips

  • Be sure that your chosen dog support harness is comfortable for your pooch. It should be made of soft material with plenty of padding. Watch out for any signs that the harness is rubbing.

  • Check for signs of wear and tear before each use. If your dog support harness were to fail, this could injure your canine companion. Do a visual inspection before each use to check for any tears or loose stitching in vital places, particularly around the handles.   

  • Think about how long your dog will need to use a support harness. Is your dog recovering from a temporary illness or injury, does he have a chronic complaint, or is he just getting old? If you'll only be using your dog support harness for a month or two, buying a top quality model is less important than it is if you'll be using the harness for the rest of your dog's life.

  • Consider the size of your dog. Support harnesses made specifically to help lift your dog up stairs, onto the couch, or into the car tend to be designed for larger dogs, since you can simply lift a small dog without a harness. However, you can find some models for smaller dogs, the majority of which are designed for support out on walks.
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Dog support harnesses need to be kept clean, so choosing one that's machine washable will make this task easier.

FAQ

Q. Why might a dog require a support harness?

A. Some dogs require a support harness temporarily for rehabilitation following an injury, such as a broken leg or surgery. Others may need long term assistance from a support harness due to chronic conditions, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, or simply as a result of old age.

Q. Are dog support harnesses designed for all-day use?

A. The majority of support harnesses are meant to be be put on your dog while you need to lift him or take him outside, then removed again right away. That said, some full body harnesses can be kept on all day, so they're there when your dog needs help. More often that not, the latter kind of support harnesses are meant for pooches who only need a little additional help, but are quite mobile for much of the time, so you can't be sure exactly when they'll need support.

Q. How do I find the right size of support harness for my dog?

A. Depending on the style of harness and the area that needs support, you may need to measure your dog around her body in front of her back legs, at her midsection, or behind the front legs.

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