Dog Collars vs. Harnesses- What You Should Know

When it comes to the products that you use to take your dog on walks, you probably immediately think of a leash and collar. But there are also plenty of high quality harnesses available that you can use. What are the pros and cons of using a collar, and what are the pros and cons of choosing to use a harness instead? Keep reading to learn the facts about both of these products so that you can make the very best decision for your beloved furry friend.

First, the Pros of Dog Harnesses

Dog harnesses have become extremely popular in recent years, with more and more pet parents searching out the best dog harnesses in lieu of the top dog collars. Why is this the case? Well, harnesses provide a host of benefits to both dogs and their owners.

Owners who are worried about causing injuries to their dog’s neck and spine will often opt for a harness that fits comfortably around the dog’s chest and back. Rather than tugging at your dog’s neck, particularly while he is being trained and he is more prone to pulling away from you, a harness can effectively train your dog, including your puppy, with less risk of an injury occurring. So, if your dog tends to pull on the leash, a harness will not only be less risky, but could also give you more control.

On top of that, harnesses work better for certain breeds of dogs, such as pugs. This is because pugs have eyeballs that protrude more than other dogs’ eyes, and applying too much pressure to the neck could even cause injuries to the structures of the face, such as the eyes.

Dogs who have respiratory problems or who have previously suffered from neck injuries will also greatly benefit from a harness rather than a collar. Again, you don’t want your dog to be pulling and tugging on the leash to the point that he puts a lot of extra pressure and stress on his own windpipe.

Next, the Cons of Dog Harnesses

As you can see, there are a host of benefits that can be derived by switching from a dog collar to a dog harness. But even though a harness will be the ideal choice for many dogs of all ages, from puppies to senior dogs, there are some cons that you should consider. In the end, a harness may not be the best choice for your particular dog after all.

For example, some dog trainers prefer using a collar, particularly during the training period in a dog’s life. If you are finding it difficult to train your dog by using a harness, switching to a collar, even temporarily, may offer a solution. Also, some dogs may not really feel comfortable in a harness, and they may very well prefer to be fitted with a comfortable collar instead. If your dog refuses to get into a harness, you may not have a choice.

Now, the Pros of a Dog Collar

Collars are often the better option for canines that will be wearing the collar all day long. This makes it easy for you to clip on the leash and head outside at a moment’s notice. Harnesses, on the other hand, probably will not be as comfortable for an extended amount of time, so you will have to take the extra time to put the harness on and then clip the leash on before heading out the door with your dog. This can be inconvenient for you and your pooch. Collars could also be a better option for dogs that have long hair because harnesses could catch the hairs and hurt them. So, again, a dog’s breed could play a role in whether or not a collar would be appropriate.

A collar is also a good way to ensure your dog’s ID tags are always on him, whether he is indoors or outside. A harness that needs to be removed may force you to remove your dog’s ID tags. But what happens if your dog escapes from the house without his ID tags? It could make it harder for someone to find your dog and contact you, the owner. Collars also make ID tags more visible and easier to access.

Finally, the Cons of a Dog Collar

Again, the main problems with dog collars include the health problems that they could potentially cause. These include neck injuries, particularly because dogs like to pull on their leash, but they also include eye problems that could result from eye pressure. Increased eye pressure could lead to the progression of an eye disease like glaucoma, as well as worsen symptoms of existing eye conditions.

Other health problems that could potentially be caused by a collar include thyroid ailments. This is because the collar might end up damaging the thyroid gland within the neck. Behavioral issues could also ensue as a result of a dog that is uncomfortable wearing a collar, especially if he feels any pain.

So Which One Is Right for Your Pooch?

Basically, it is up to you, as the pet owner, to determine whether you want your dog to wear a collar or a harness. Both products are popular on the pet market, and there are a variety of each to choose from so that you can find the ideal item for your particular pooch. But you can also work with your vet and receive customized, personalized advice regarding whether a collar or harness would be the right choice for your pet. Keeping your pet’s needs, preferences, breed, coat type, and body type in mind will help you come to the best conclusion.

Ultimately, if you want to reduce the risk of injuries, especially to your dog’s neck, or if your pet has suffered from neck injuries in the past, a harness is definitely the way to go. But if your dog is healthy and seems to prefer a collar, which can be an effective training tool when used gently and appropriately, you can purchase a stylish collar and leash instead.

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