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What's Better For Dogs: Collar Or Harness?

What's Better For Dogs: Collar Or Harness?

If you are a dog lover, you understand the need to walk your dog regularly. It not only ensures that you have a great bond but is also a great way to get them to exercise. What's more, as the dog owner, you get a chance to clear your head every morning or evening when you go on those precious walks. However, for the walks to be enjoyable and even meaningful, the dog has to be well protected and secured if it gets too excited and runs off towards danger when walking.  

Therefore, it is essential to know how best to restrain the dog safely. Fortunately, there are different ways to do this, including using a collar or a harness. Understanding which of these two techniques works best is essential. Read on to know if your dog will benefit more from the harness or collar. 

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When To Use a Collar  

Anyone who gets a dog for the first time will definitely go for a collar when considering taking the pet for a walk. While there is no special reason for this preference, it is easy to say that collars are more popular and common in the market, so many people go for them. In addition, they come in different varieties, making them even more convenient, cheaper, and easy to find. But are collars perfect? To answer this, one has to look at the pros and cons before concluding if they need them. 

Pros of Using Dog Collars 

  1. Convenience: One of the biggest reasons many dog owners go for collars instead of dog harnesses would be convenience. They are easy to snap on and safely left on the dog without any safety concerns. This cannot be said for harnesses. 
  2. They have ID tags: It is easier to tag the dog and include address information useful when the dog wanders off. It is easy for someone to trace the dog back to its home or get in touch with you because of the tag containing the dog's address and owner. This can come in handy when the dog is lost and scared as well. 

Cons of Using Dog Collars 

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While the advantages of using a collar are significant, it is also essential to consider the downside before drawing your conclusion. These include: 

  1. Safety and medical concerns: There is a high likelihood that the vet will not approve or recommend the regular use of collars on dogs for their safety. Usually, many string dogs tag at the collar and may even choke or seriously bruise themselves as they pull hard. It has caused spinal issues, eye injuries, neck injuries, and conditions such as glaucoma in severe cases. According to experts, it is best to check with your vet first before using a collar on your dog. 
  2. Not suitable for dogs that pull: Depending on your dog's behavior, avoid using dog collars if it keeps pulling. Constantly doing this affects the airflow as it presses on the trachea and neck vertebrae. In such a case, you need to consider alternatives such as harnesses. 
  3. Not suited for certain dog breeds: You need to understand the type of dog you are dealing with when deciding on the kind of restraint to use. For example, never use collars for Italian greyhounds, bulldogs, boxers, pugs, Chihuahuas, toy poodles, and Maltese, just to mention a few. Collars are not suitable for brachycephalic breeds and toy breeds. 

When are Collars Great? 

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With the above information, it is evident that collars should not be used all the time, if at all. Collars are great for short-term use, such as when walking your dog for a few minutes. They are also great when resistance training. Only go for longer walks if the vet clears you to do so. Even at that, make sure to find a good collar for your dog. 

When to Use Dog Harnesses 

Before rushing to shop dog harnesses available in the market, make sure it works. It is not just enough to choose harnesses because they are considered durable. It would be best if you had more motivation to do so. Consider the pros and cons below before making your choice. 

Pros of Dog Harnesses 

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  1. They minimize pulling: If your dog pulls regularly, you are better off with a harness. These disperse the pressure over a large area, thus giving you more coverage to control the dog better. You can even go for the no-pull harness to help deal with the pulling issue. 
  2. Safe: One of the most significant benefits of using a harness for your dog is that it puts no pressure on the neck; hence, it is medically safe for most dogs. It is fastened on the chest hence perfect for dogs that may struggle with air passage restriction. 
  3. Are Secure: Even as you pick durable dog harnesses, you also know that the dog is likely to be better secured with a harness than when it uses a collar. The dog is less likely to break free from a harness than it would from a collar. 

Cons of Sing Dog Harnesses 

  1. Harnesses are not very convenient. They take time to fasten and need to be removed after the walk since they can be uncomfortable for the dog, hindering flexibility. 
  2. They may not have ID tags: Thus, making it difficult for one to find their lost dog if it wanders off. 
  3. Are Bulkier and Uncomfortable: Your dog will not enjoy having the harness on because it is heavier than the collar. It may be a while before your dog agrees to walk in a harness because it is not the most convenient. 

Harnesses are the best for dogs in certain situations, including: 

  1. Brachycephalic breed since they tend to have respiratory issues due to the flat face 
  2. Dogs with a history of tracheal collapse 
  3. Dog breeds with spinal risk factors 
  4. Dog with orthopedic condition history 

Final Thoughts 

Choosing between a harness or collar for your dog may not be a matter of preference, especially if your dog has a particular condition. If you are unsure about the correct restraint when walking your dog, check and confirm with the vet that attends to your dog to ensure that you are not making a mistake that will cost you more to rectify. Fortunately, different styles and types of collars and harnesses will work perfectly for your dog, depending on what the vet advises. Just be sure to find out first. 

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  • Himanshu Sapra
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