Oh, Fancy. My little Chihuahua. She’s a darling girl, but she’s easily spooked. Having spent most of her life in a cage before we rescued her, she was not familiar with, well, most things that exist outside of a cage. So, going for a walk with me for the very first time proved a challenge.
I thought she would be safe and secure, as she was wearing the cutest tropical-looking harness and matching leash that I purchased for her. Yes, she looked adorable, but the problem was, the harness had a Velcro enclosure. She slipped out of it in no time. I quit attempting to walk her for a year or two for fear that she would escape to danger. I had almost lost her once, and I wasn’t about to let that happen again. We have a large enclosed yard, and that would be just fine for her potty needs.
With the onset of the Coronavirus and me suddenly being home full-time, Fancy put on a few pounds. It could have something to do with mommy giving her too many treats throughout the day. So, I decided it was time to cut down on the treats and add some exercise in the form of daily walks. And so, my quest began for escape-free harnesses.
I spent hours, more like days, researching these things. After scouring through the reviews on Amazon, I finally chose two. Well, the first one was for safety. The second one, although seemingly safe, was more for its cuteness, with a pink checkered design and ruffled collar.
Turns out that the first one I chose was a winner. It’s padded, it’s soft, and it’s secure! We have been on several walks, and Fancy has not even tried to escape. In fact, she seems to enjoy – or rather, not mind – this particular harness, and I think it’s because it has minimal body contact and a comfortable, padded design. The reviews concur with my experience. So, I’m going to start my list with this one since I can personally attest to its efficacy.
Top Three Escape-Free Harnesses
1. Didog Soft Flannel Padded Dog Vest Harness – Fancy-approved!
This escape-proof harness by Didog is made of soft flannel and designed to help prevent your dog from pulling as you walk. We don’t usually go for walks after dark, but the harness has reflective straps for those who do. It’s lightweight, easy to put on your dog, and only has one buckle to fasten. So far, this is the best I have found for my little girl. I finally feel she is secure.
A key feature of this harness is the super-soft padding. It does not irritate or chafe a dog’s skin like some others. Another bonus, especially if your dog is small, is the handle that helps you control and lift your dog when needed. The two D rings, one in the front and one on the back, give you the choice of walking your dog in front, alongside, or in back of you. The harness comes in black, blue, hot pink, mixed blue, and mixed pink and is available in sizes XXS to Medium. Not recommended for large dogs. Currently priced at $16.99 – $18.99 on Amazon.
For extra security, you can purchase a two-way dog coupler, usually used to walk two dogs at a time. Instead, put a collar and a harness on your dog.
Clip one end of the coupler to the collar, and the other to the harness, and attach the coupler to a leash. If one gives way for whatever reason, you will still have your dog secured by the other. Here’s what I recently purchased from Amazon, though I haven’t needed it with our new Didog harness. Glad to have, though, just in case. FYI, they come in many different brands, colors, and lengths.
At the other end of the spectrum is The RUFFWEAR Web Master Pro, a heavy-duty dog harness for avalanche search and rescue, service dogs, snowboarding, and skiing, as well as everyday wear for the pup with a nose for adventure.
This professional-grade harness is durable and sturdy. Its all-metal hardware stands up to the toughest jobs and conditions (snow, ice, and dirt). It is also great for rough-and-tumble play. Other key features include four points of adjustment, two leash connection points, four foam-padded straps, and two low-profile zippered pockets for small gear and essentials. It has a handle, reflective trim, and a safety light loop, though the light is sold separately. Available in sizes from XS to XL, it comes in currant red. Currently priced at $99.95 on Amazon.
At a mid-range price-point, this harness is designed for cats or small dogs up to 35 pounds and consistently rates among the best in its class. The escape-free sport patented step-in Neoprene design has four points of adjustments.
In addition to its soft and comfortable Neoprene material, this patented design serves to reduce choking and prevents your dog from backing out of the harness, by reducing the space around the back. With four points of adjustment, two on the front and two on the chest, it fits your dog like a glove. It comes in black, blue, lime, pink, red and turquoise, and is available for chest sizes from chest sizes 1.35″ to 22.5″. Currently priced at $33.75 on Amazon.
NOTE: No matter your choice of harness, it is extremely important to follow the manufacturers sizing recommendations for a safe and secure fit.