how do you put the pet harness on a dog?


How Do You Put the Pet Harness on a Dog?


Having a pet dog is an incredible and fulfilling experience. As responsible pet owners, it is essential to prioritize their safety and well-being. One way to ensure their safety is by using a pet harness. Unlike traditional collars, a pet harness offers more support, distributes pressure evenly across the body, and prevents the risk of choking. However, putting a pet harness on a dog may seem like a daunting task, especially for first-time pet owners. But fear not! In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of putting a pet harness on your furry friend, ensuring their comfort and safety.

Choosing the Right Harness

When it comes to choosing the right harness for your dog, it is crucial to consider factors such as size, material, and functionality. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Size: Determine the appropriate size of the harness based on your dog's measurements. Measure their neck circumference and chest girth to ensure a snug yet comfortable fit. Choosing a harness that is too tight may cause discomfort, while one that is too loose can easily slip off.

Material: Selecting the right material is crucial for your dog's comfort and durability. Common materials for pet harnesses include nylon, leather, and mesh. Nylon harnesses are popular due to their durability, affordability, and ease of cleaning. Leather harnesses provide a classic and stylish look but require more maintenance. Mesh harnesses are lightweight and suitable for smaller breeds.

Functionality: Consider the purpose of the pet harness. If you plan on taking your dog for walks or hikes, a standard harness will suffice. However, if you have an active or pulling dog, opt for a no-pull or front-clip harness that provides better control. Additionally, certain harnesses may have reflective features, making them ideal for night walks or low-light situations.

Once you have chosen the appropriate harness for your dog, let's move on to the step-by-step process of putting it on.

Putting on a Step-In Harness

Step-in harnesses are one of the most common types available and are relatively easy to put on. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Adjust the Straps

Start by adjusting the straps of the harness to fit your dog's size. Loosen the straps enough to slip the harness over their neck and front legs. Make sure the metal ring or D-ring is facing upwards, just behind the shoulder blades.

Step 2: Place the Harness on the Ground

Lay the harness flat on the ground, ensuring that the straps are untangled and not twisted.

Step 3: Guide Your Dog into the Harness

Hold the harness with both hands and guide your dog's front legs, one at a time, into the corresponding leg holes. Make sure the harness is snug around their body but not too tight. Avoid pulling the dog's legs forcefully or causing discomfort.

Step 4: Secure the Clasps

Once your dog's legs are through the leg holes, bring the two ends of the harness together. Secure the clasps by snapping them shut. Double-check if they are securely fastened. Some harnesses may have additional clasps around the chest area, in which case, fasten those as well.

Step 5: Adjust the Straps

After fastening the clasps, ensure that the straps are properly adjusted. The harness should fit snugly around your dog's body without being too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between the harness straps and your dog's body. Adjust any loose or tight straps accordingly.

Congratulations! Your dog is now ready to go for a walk or adventure with their brand-new harness.

Putting on an Over-the-Head Harness

Over-the-head harnesses are another popular choice, often used for small or medium-sized dogs. Follow these steps to put on this type of harness:

Step 1: Prepare the Harness

Before putting on the harness, loosen the straps to ensure it will fit over your dog's head without causing discomfort.

Step 2: Guide Your Dog's Head Through

Hold the harness by the sides and bring it up to your dog's head. Gently guide their head through the opening, ensuring that the D-ring or metal ring is positioned behind the shoulder blades.

Step 3: Position the Harness Properly

Once the harness is over your dog's head, adjust it so that it sits comfortably on their chest. The straps should lay flat on the sides of their body.

Step 4: Fasten the Buckle

Open the buckle on the harness strap and secure it by snapping it shut. Ensure that it is securely fastened, but not too tight. As with the step-in harness, make sure you can comfortably fit two fingers between the straps and your dog's body.

Step 5: Check for Comfort and Fit

After putting on the harness, check if it is adjusted correctly. The harness should fit snugly and comfortably on your dog's chest and back. Ensure that there are no loose straps that can get caught on anything or too tight straps that may cause discomfort.

Your dog is now ready to explore the world while wearing their over-the-head harness!

Additional Tips for Putting on a Harness

While the above steps outline the basic process of putting on a pet harness, here are some additional tips to ensure a smooth and comfortable experience for both you and your furry friend.

1. Familiarize Your Dog: Introduce the harness to your dog gradually to make them comfortable with it. Let them sniff and interact with it before attempting to put it on. Reward them with treats and praise to create a positive association.

2. Practice Patience: Putting on a harness may take time, especially if your dog is not used to it. Be patient, encouraging, and offer reassurance throughout the process. Remember, your dog can sense your energy, so maintaining a calm and upbeat demeanor will help them relax.

3. Training: Practice some training exercises with your dog while they wear the harness indoors before heading out for a walk. This will help them associate the harness with positive experiences and reinforce their walking manners.

4. Regular Checks: Always ensure that the harness is fitted correctly and hasn't loosened over time. Regularly check for signs of wear and tear, such as frayed straps or damaged buckles, and replace the harness if necessary.

5. Seek Professional Guidance: If you encounter difficulties or have concerns about putting on a harness, consult with a professional dog trainer or attend obedience classes. They can provide hands-on guidance and address any specific challenges you may be facing.


Putting a pet harness on a dog may initially seem challenging, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it becomes a simple and routine task. Remember to select the appropriate harness based on size, material, and functionality. Whether it's a step-in or over-the-head harness, follow the step-by-step instructions provided. Familiarize your dog with the harness, practice patience, and reinforce positive experiences. Regularly check the fit and condition of the harness for your dog's safety and comfort. By following these steps and tips, you can ensure a pleasant and secure experience for both you and your beloved furry friend.


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