Wave Wheezing Goodbye!
Walking our dogs is ideally a relaxing, enjoyable pastime, essential for stimulation and exercise, exploring the great outdoors and allowing our pups to get their fill of smells.
However some dogs, instead of walking neatly for us, decide that they don’t want to amble along, they want to charge headfirst towards their desired destination!
If your dog is a puller and has their lead attached to their collar, you may have heard the frankly supernatural-sounding wheezing and hacking that can accompany the pulling. While not a sign of distress, this can cause irritation to the throat as they pull in excitement.
One way to combat this is by walking your dog on a harness. While not every dog will be comfortable with a harness, it is advisable to at least give it a try as they have a myriad of benefits.
There are many pros to using harnesses, one of which is the extra control they give us.
Dogs are less likely to pull as much on harnesses as opposed to collars. Harnesses, as previously mentioned, give us better control, as a harness covers more of your dog’s body surface area, spreading the pressure in a larger space.
This also helps to reduce the risk of injury to their neck in comparison to collars, which allow the pressure to be concentrated on one small area. It plays a part in decreasing stress on joints too, which can be a benefit as a dog ages. this in turn, can help to alleviate the severity of arthritis and lessen the discomfort.
One other perk of a harness is that it can help prevent jumping, due to it being secured closer to a dog’s center of gravity. This can help prevent the lead tangling as well, as it fastens to the back rather than the front, where big old paws are less likely to get caught up.
When choosing a harness, it is important to ensure a good fit. The harness should be snug, without being tight and should be comfortable. We do recommend the Ancol VIVA Padded Harness for maximum comfort as it has an extra soft padded layer that rests on your dog’s skin, helping to reduce any friction. This harness is ideal for dogs that have shorter coats and who may be a bit wiggly as the padded layer also acts as a buffer to help decrease the risk of a dog wriggling out of it.
For dogs that tend to overheat or have thicker coats, the Ancol VIVA Comfort Harness might be better suited, as the material is lighter and more breathable. This mesh-woven harness offers good support particularly for dogs with fluffy coats as it is not likely to slide over their fur.
Please be very aware when sizing up your fluffy dog, that the harness MUST be snug to their body, and not the top of their coat. On some dogs it can look like the harness is too tight due to their coats but this may not be the case.
When fitting your harness, make sure you can comfortably fit two fingers in between the strap and your dog’s body. Any looser and there is the risk of escape, any tighter and the harness may begin to rub or feel uncomfortable. It is advisable to choose a harness that fits well but can be adjusted. People can expect a puppy to grow, however adult dogs may also change in size and shape as they age. Some may gain or lose weight while others will grow broader and more muscular as they mature.
On a final note, it’s always great to be able to cut down on chores in these hectic times, and we would be doing a disservice if we didn’t tell you one of the absolute best features of the Ancol harness range- completely machine washable!
How’s that for a handy harness!
– By Peigí Conneff