Essentials for walkies, dog collars and harnesses are both widely available and are needed for keeping your four-legged friend safe and secure. But which one is better? Whether you're bringing home your dog for the first time or you're an experienced owner hoping to better understand your options - we've got the answers for you!
Dog collars are easily available and come in lots of different styles and designs. There are lots of positives to using a collar to walk your dog, but there are also some negatives to consider. Here are all the positives;
They are convenient. Many people find a collar more convenient as they are often easier to put on and take off than a harness. Many people will leave a collar on their dog all the time, making this a convenient option.
They are easy to attach an ID tag onto. Though you can also attach an ID tag to a harness, it is usually easier to add one onto a dog collar. Members of the public are also more likely to look for an ID tag on a collar than they are a harness should your dog go missing.
They are better for dogs with lipomas. Lipomas are non-cancerous tumours that are made up of fat cells that are prevalent in senior dogs. Harnesses are more likely to rub against the tumours, making them inflamed and irritated.
They can be used post-surgery. If your dog has recently been through surgery, they likely will not be able to wear a harness until they are fully healed whereas a collar is much less likely to disturb any stitches or wounds.
These are all great advantages to a dog collar, so what are the negatives? Here are the main issues with your dog wearing a collar;
They can put pressure on your dog's windpipe. Dog collars can put pressure on your dog’s trachea. Avoid collars if your dog has or is prone to neck problems, a collapsing windpipe, or blocked airways.
They can cause skin problems. If you leave your dog's collar on all the time, this can lead to chafing and other skin problems. In rare cases, collars can even become embedded into your dog's skin if they are not fitted properly and regularly checked.
They can cause injuries. If your dog's collar is not fitted properly, it can catch onto things such as fences or branches and seriously injure your dog. Similarly, if the collar is too loose, your dog's tongue and teeth can get stuck in it whilst they are grooming, causing injuries.
Harnesses are a great option for nearly all dogs - no matter their age or breed! Here are some of the positives of using a dog harness;
They are more comfortable. Harnesses apply even pressure across your dog's body, giving you more control over them and enhancing your dog's comfort.
They take pressure off your dog's neck. Unlike collars, harnesses do not put pressure on your dog's neck and can even help prevent the development of certain neck problems.
They are safer than collars. Dog's can potentially wriggle free from a poor fitting collar, whereas a harness is far more secure as it is fastened around your dog's whole torso. They are also less likely to get caught on things which can cause injury.
There are, however, some negatives to wearing a harness that are important to consider. Here are the negatives;
They are less convenient. Dog collars easily slip off and on, but dog harnesses often have multiple buckles and straps that are more complicated to fasten.
They can be uncomfortable. Some harnesses won't work for all dogs. Smaller breeds will require a light-weight harness, whilst dogs with arthritis will find slip-on harnesses difficult to put on. Harnesses without padding can also cause chafing.