Using a Dog Harness During Drives
If you’re like most dog owners, chances are you use a collar on your dog rather than a harness. Although this is perfectly alright for day-to-day living, bringing your dog in car rides often demand the presence of a harness. This is because compared to a collar, a dog harness is infinitely safer for your pooch. Of course, that’s only true if the harness is properly fitted onto your pooch. That being said, here’s what you should keep in mind when using a dog seat belt or harness.
Find the Right Size
First things first, find the right harness size for your dog. Adjustability is important but if you currently have a puppy Golden Retriever, then you should buy one that’s specially made for that size. You can’t escape the fact that you’ll have to buy a bigger one after a few months or so as your Golden gets bigger since there’s no middle-ground that covers both instances.
Get Used to the Attachment Process
Collars are easy – they just go around the neck. A dog harness however, is a bit more challenging. It’s best to start attachment by putting the neck piece first. Beneath the neck area, the harness goes under the belly. Finally, you attach the two pairs of buckles to each other. This might take some getting used to.
As with collars, you’ll have to make sure that the harness fits snugly to your pooch. You can tell by inserting two fingers between the harness and the skin. If you can do this comfortably, the harness is tight enough. Note though that there shouldn’t be too much room for movement; otherwise, the harness would be too loose. Offer Movement, But Not Much Else No matter how much your dog seems to love looking out the window, the fact is that this can be dangerous for them. A harness helps you restrict movement in this direction, making sure that the pooch sits comfortably where they are. Around 6 inches of rope from where the harness is anchored to your pooch should be enough.
Don’t Push Too Fast
It’s also best not to fit your pooch with the harness too soon. Put the harness near the dog and allow them to sniff it first or play with it. This should decrease any amount of discomfort they feel when wearing the
material. Don’t wait for your first actual drive before using the harness. Instead, try to fit the pooch in the harness and sit with them for a few minutes, the car staying in place. Pat them or stroke their head to let them know that you’re happy with their reaction. Drive around the block where you know it’s safe and get your pooch used to the idea of being harnessed during drives.
Some types of dog harness for car can double as harness when walking your dog. If this is the case, there’s really no need to switch from collar to harness and back again as you take your dog through different activities. As it stands, a harness is actually a better choice for walks since it offers better control on the pooch. Remember: this is as much for your protection as for the dog. With a harnessed pooch, you’ll be able to fully concentrate on your drive and keep both of you safe on the road.