6 Reasons Why Your Dog Should Walk On a Harness Instead of a Collar

6 Reasons Why Your Dog Should Walk On a Harness Instead of a Collar

By Ruby Smith @ PetSoFun.com

Do you often get caught in the dilemma of whether you ought to walk your pooch with a dog harness or with a collar? This question is crucial, and every dog owner should keep in mind the comfort, convenience, and safety of their dogs when seeking its answer.

I know that resisting limitless designs and colors of personalized collars is not easy. However, I always recommend a dog harness over a collar because it offers the best interests for your dog.

To choose between a dog harness and a collar, the right decision should not be based on style. Collars may provide an effective means of holding your dog’s registration and name tag for identification, but they might not be reliable at all times.

The majority of experienced dog owners, myself included, would recommend a dog harness over a collar for your daily dog walk.

Why so? Read on to find out.

1. A Dog Harness Offers Better Control

As you probably already know, not all dogs remain calm when on a retractable dog leash. Some are very hyperactive. A dog might be tempted to lunge toward other canines as you walk on the sidewalk, to dive after birds, or even make an effort to charge at your neighbor’s cat. It means your dog is having fun, and that is perfectly okay until such hyperactivity puts her in trouble.

With a dog harness, you get better control over your active dog as you hold the leash. As opposed to a collar which only steers the dog by pulling her neck, a harness gives you total control over her whole body (1).

Mainly, a big hyperactive dog is controlled with ease when on a dog harness. I love to use the harness on my rambunctious dog when taking a walk especially through busy locations where she is notoriously active.

2. A Dog Harness Minimizes Neck Strain

If your canine is fond of pulling, she is exposed to more significant injury if she is walking on a collar. By pulling, there is a considerable strain on her neck which could result in severe damage. Often, the injury sustained from collars on dog necks in not obvious or sudden, but rather a gradual deterioration which leads to severe injury.

When your dog is excited, she will keep pulling to achieve the moment’s satisfaction without realizing the actual hurt on her body. However, over time, your dog might exhibit subtle signs of discomfort which indicate a severe injury.

Is your dog small in size? If it a Miniature Pinscher or Chihuahua, for instance, it is at a higher risk of neck injuries if she has a collar around her neck. Small dogs have incredibly delicate neck bones.

Therefore, a single sharp pull on her leash could result in severe pain. A harness is essential as it distributes the strain over a large body area to protect your dog from possible injury (2).

3. A Dog Harness Discourages Pulling

The whole point of having a retractable dog leash on your dog is to be in control over the direction of movement. You are responsible for walking the dog, and not the dog walking you. Your dog could pull on the leash incessantly thereby making a walk down the sidewalk feel like an intense workout involving your upper body. If your dog successfully pulls you and you obligingly follow, then you’d have sent the message to your dog that pulling is a way of determining the direction you take during your walk.

With a collar, all you may seem to do is keep up the pace with a forward progressing canine. However, the dog harness discourages your dog from pulling and having her way during your walk. A dog harness effectively redirects your dog’s momentum. When the dog pulls, the harness automatically hauls her in the opposite direction. As a result, your dog stays safer under your direction of movement.

4. A Dog Harness Minimizes the Risk of Escape from Leash Restriction

Collars have the general rule of the ability to fit two fingers between your dog’s body and the collar material. Such space ensures that the collar is not too tight. It also minimizes injury on your dog.

However, if you have a determined canine, she will take advantage of such a comfortable collar. How? Well, you could be slightly distracted, and your dog will easily maneuver her head up the collar and sprint away. If your dog has a small but thick head or if she is wiggly, the chances are that she can artistically escape from her leash as you walk. The physical danger of a stray, leash-free dog is imminent.

On the other hand, a dog harness covers and securely fits your dog’s body in place. A harness goes around the dog’s chest, front legs, and the shoulders. Subsequently, your dog cannot escape artistically (3).

5. A Dog Harness Discourages Ocular Proptosis

Ocular proptosis is a condition where a dog protrudes her eyeballs out of the eye sockets. The disease can be diagnosed with ease: the dog’s eyes appear to bulge out of the head and extend beyond the eyelids. Blunt head trauma typically causes ocular proptosis. However, in some breeds of dogs, the condition is triggered by neck strain (4).

Collars are associated with more neck strain. Use a dog harness to avoid possible ocular proptosis complications and pain.

6. A Dog Harness Discourages Respiratory Complications

Any neck strain on your dog can be painful. However, did you know that such tension could worsen your dog’s respiratory problems?

Excessive pressure on the neck means that the windpipe is squeezed. This makes it difficult for your dog to breathe. Such dogs are bound to experience coughing fits whenever they are led on a walk on a leash.

Tracheal collapse may be worsened, especially in small breeds. The collar could trigger the malformation or weakening of the cartilage making up the trachea. A dog harness serves to minimize the pressure exerted on their high-sensitivity necks during walks.

A Dog Harness Should Be Used Only to Walk Your Dog

Even with the above strengths of the dog harness over the collar, the harness should be used when walking your dog, and not every other time when you wish to restrict your dog. Unless you are taking your dog for a walk, avoid having the harness to minimize possible skin irritation around and under the armpits and chest.

Having the harness on at home could raise chances of tracheal collapse due to more extended periods of harness use.

Also, the harness should be taken off when your dog goes to bed. This will minimize chances of your dog getting chocked. The harness could thus be both uncomfortable and hazardous.

Lastly, the harness should be avoided at home to minimize the possibility of skin infection on your dog. The harness becomes wet when left on your dog for a long time, and this could promote disease (5).

Conclusion

In conclusion, a dog harness is a safer and more convenient option over a collar. When both are fitted to a retractable dog leash, the dog harness discourages respiratory complications, discourages ocular proptosis, minimizes the risk of escape from leash restriction, discourages pulling, minimizes neck strain, and offers better control.

Get a dog harness which fits your dog size, training level, and personality and keeps your dog safe and comfortable while on your walk.

Ruby @ Pet So FunAuthor Bio: Ruby Smith is the proud owner of Pet So Fun. She is also responsible for the abundant content creation on the website. She knows that there are millions of pet owners looking for the right kind of information online. And this is where her expertise lies. Smith writes about pet care health and fitness along with the best pet product recommendations. There is nothing on her blog that doesn’t encourage others to create a healthy and friendly environment for their pets. Visit the PetSoFun website, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 
Summer heat

Keep Your Pets Safe in the Summer Heat

Ahhh, summer: You can finally safely take your dog out for long walks and to the park. You can even let your cat (if he or she is an outside kitty) onto the deck or other outside space.

But just because the weather is warmer doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe for your animal. In fact, summertime can present real health challenges for your furry friends. For example, have you ever seen your dog pant—really really panting, almost seemingly without relief? That’s one of the signs that they may be overheating and need your help. In fact, overheating can be so extreme with pets that they can suffer seizures.

Of course, the very best way for you to help your pet stay out of the dangers that heat presents is to not get them stressed to that point at all. If it’s too hot for you outside, it’s too hot for your animals. And remember: They are wearing a fur coat. Here are some tips to use…

Keep-Pets-Cool-Infographic-by-John-Moore

 
Best Way to Get Rid of Wet Dog Smell

Best Way to Get Rid of Wet Dog Smell

By Jenny Nolan, CleanerPaws.com

We’re all familiar with it. Whether you’re a dog owner yourself or simply grew up around dogs at one time or another you will have experienced the brute force of wet dog smell.

Best Way to Get Rid of Wet Dog SmellThere is just something about the scent that a wet dog gives off that manages to polarize dog lovers. Of course, there’s nothing your lovable pooch can do about the smell they give off when wet, but are there steps you can be taking to prevent the smell from offending your sense of smell?

In this article we intend to look at exactly what causes wet dog smell and how you can combat it once and for all.

What causes wet dog smell?

You may or may not have noticed that “wet dog smell” is more prevalent in certain breeds of dogs. This is because it is caused by the oils contained in their coats. This means breeds who have oilier coats than other types of dog, such as the hound family, give off more of a smell when soaking wet.

The actual oil causing the stink is sebum, which actually protects a dog’s skin from dehydration. However, when this oil comes into contact with water, such as after a bath or when your pup gets caught in the rain, it creates a bacteria that causes the unpleasant odor.

How to prevent It?

OK, so now you have some insight into the science that causes wet dog smell, and now it’s time to see how you can go about preventing this odor in the first place.

When it comes to tackling wet dog smell then you need to start by drying your dog properly, either after they have got wet on a long walk or after you have bathed them.

This may sound straightforward enough but there are actually a number of steps to carry out in order to dry your pup effectively.

Best Way to Get Rid of Wet Dog SmellFirst, start by hand drying your pet from head to paw. Use enough pressure to dry up as much moisture from your dog’s coat as possible. Your dog may not enjoy being rubbed in this way, but if possible keep them still for as long as possible and reward them afterward with their favorite treat.

Once you feel like you have dried your dog’s coat as much as you can by hand, it is time to use a dog hair dryer to finish the job. Drying your dog’s coat with a hair dryer will allow you to use cool air to completely remove any excess moisture from your pet’s fur. As laid out above, this will prevent the oils in your dog’s coat from producing the bacteria that gives off that unpleasant smell when wet, so carrying out this step is hugely important.

Last but not least, it is time to brush your dog. This can actually be carried out while you’re drying your pet and will leave your dog’s coat in the best health possible. Focus on damp areas of your dog to effectively fluff them up, leaving your dog looking and smelling great. (This stage of the grooming process is also a great time to clip your dog’s nails… go here to check out the best dog nail clippers reviews.)

So there you have a real quick guide on what causes wet dog smell and how to prevent it. Just remember your pet isn’t to blame that they give off an unpleasant odor when wet, so show patience when grooming them and you will reap the rewards.

Winter Grooming Tips for Long-Haired Dogs

Winter Grooming Tips for Long-Haired Dogs

Winter is just around the corner. But are your dogs prepared to embrace the cold?

While it’s common to think that your furry pal’s coat is enough for them to stay comfortable in the winter, other dog breeds have more difficulty in adjusting to low temperatures. Dealing with a dog during winter time can be sometimes messy, especially if it’s long-haired. Be sure to prepare the appropriate gear and adjust your grooming routines. Here are a few winter tips for grooming hairy dogs.

1. Protect those furry paws.

As explained in a past article here on DogPerDay, your dog needs to wear boots before going out into the snow. This is because winter conditions increase the risk of your dog’s paws in terms of developing dryness, frostbite, and cracking. If your pooch has particularly hairy paws, the fur may collect snow as well. The purpose of the boots is mainly to keep the dog comfortable while out in the snow. They also help it tread on ice.

Keep in mind that your canine buddy may need time to adjust to the shoes. Let it walk around the house for a while until its legs are able to move naturally.

2. Brush your dog regularly.

The last thing your dog wants in the middle of winter is a full body shave due to clumps of matted fur. So be sure to brush down excess fur from time to time. Shelley Williams suggests on Animal Behavior College that keeping the coat in a breathable condition allows it to properly insulate the dog. Matted fur creates gaps in the coat, letting more cold air get to the dog’s body. To avoid this, a daily brushing session is recommended. Although, a weekly routine works fine, too.

3. Get your pooch a new haircut. Winter Grooming Tips for Long-Haired Dogs

Most owners are hesitant to give their dogs a haircut in the winter, because the fur is supposed to keep them warm. While that may be true, you should also consider the fact that the pup would normally spend most of its time indoors. This means giving it a winter haircut isn’t entirely a terrible idea, particularly since long coats can get clumped like mentioned in the previous tip.

Do note, however, to take time in choosing the best groomer for the job. A groomer that handles your neighbor’s dog perfectly may not necessarily be able to do the same for your pooch. A blog post by Go Fetch shares several tips on choosing the right dog groomer. The first step is to ask around, get input from friends and family, and create a list of potential options. Call each one or visit their clinics prior to the grooming session. The latter is ideal so you can already gauge their handiwork by observing the other customers.

You might also consider a do it yourself approach, as there are now many professional dog grooming clippers out there to choose from that make it easier than it used to be.

4. Give your furry pal warm baths.

Since the dog will be staying indoors most of the season, its odor might fill up the place. To keep the smell at a minimum, give your dog a nice, warm bath. There’s no need to worry, as there is no harm in giving it a bath during winter. However, the Petcha blog warns that you should never let a wet dog step on snow because it will only worsen the dog’s body temperature.