Best Dog Lift Harnesses
Dog lift harnesses help senior pooches lead active, pain-free lives in their golden years. Read on to learn more about how lift harnesses for dogs work and which of them to choose for your pet.
Old age can be difficult for everyone, our pets included. As time goes on, many health issues can come with seniority, and what was once a simple task can become difficult and even painful. Senior dogs can especially feel the effects of their old age, as the movements become limited, arthritis appears, and daily tasks are just not as enticing as before. Pet owners can also experience the effects of their pet’s elderly afflictions, as all actions will require special care and attention. Playtime is less rowdy, the diet needs special attention, and sometimes even getting around the house will require your assistance and supervision. But luckily, your pet’s seniority does not have to be a burden for either of you! With the help of many cleverly-designed and nifty accessories available on the market, your four-legged friend can feel comfortable and more independent in his old age.
Why do I need a lift harness for my dog?
One of those ingenious accessories is dog lift harnesses. This specially designed aid is a fantastic way to alleviate some of that nasty pain of the joints, hips, and back that your old pupper might experience. It is no secret that everyday actions will become a great burden for your dog once the old age sets in. Going up the stairs will become an impossible task, getting in and out of your car will be difficult, and even your daily walks around the block or the park might be too much on your poor pupper’s joints. With a dog harness, you can actively help with all these issues. A harness is in the simplest terms – a sling. It wraps around your pet’s body and allows you to lift some of the pressure off from the joints or sensitive hips. With special carry handles you can decide just how much support you need to offer and just how much you should lift the sling. It helps with walking and all other activities, as the weight of their bodies won’t be completely carried by the joints.
Their clever design makes dog lift harnesses a beneficial tool that offers some much-needed help and comfort for a dog’s old age. Of course, there are several options to choose from, and that is why we went through all the choices to deliver you this list of the best dog harnesses on the market today! Old age doesn’t have to come with limited movement- read on to learn how to make sure your dog enjoys his golden years to the fullest.
1. Editor’s Choice: Walkin’ Lift Rear Dog Support Harness
This nifty little aid is specifically designed to support the rear end of your pet’s body, with an emphasis on the hips. It has a perfect design that is easy to attach and use, and fits perfectly to the anatomy of most dogs. Simply pull up the harness up your pet’s legs like you would if you were putting on a pair of pants on them and you’re all set. The open design will allow your pet to poop and pee even when in a sling, so convenience is guaranteed. It is made from durable canvas materials, with a soft fleece inner layer that offers comfort and ensures there’s no chafing at all. The whole design is extra durable, with a lot of double stitching and strengthening at key points. The handles are also adjustable for your convenience. Unique, affordable, and easy to use, this lift harness is a popular choice for good reason. This harness is available in 7 sizes ranging from XX-small to X-large.
2. Runner Up: LOOBANI Portable Dog Sling for Back Legs
Simple designs such as this one can also be surprisingly efficient in their intended role – Amazon’s Choice award with a rating of 4.6 stars from over 6,000 ratings for this dog sling proves it. The Loobani sling is designed as a simple way for you to lift the pressure from the pet’s rear. The sling is nothing more than a square piece made from durable nylon fabric and a pair of handless. It wraps under the abdomen and you can then lift accordingly. The sling has a soft, fluffy fleece lining that is warm and comfortable. But don’t be fooled by this simplistic design – the sling is a very efficient aide with hip dysplasia, surgery recovery, arthritis, and many other senior dog ailments. Your pet will be able to pee or poop when in the harness, and if there’s still some contamination, don’t worry – the sling can be folded in the included carry bag if you have to take it off, and it’s machine washable for easy maintenance.
3. Customer’s Choice: PetSafe CareLift Support Dog Harness
This is another unique design that takes off the pressure equally from both the front and back, but also takes pressure off of you. The included shoulder strap is designed to ensure you can easily lift your pet in and out of the car or help them up the stairs without feeling any strain on your back. It is made from very tough and double-stitched nylon fabric and features soft, breathable padding that eliminates discomfort and chafing that results from sweat and it is fully adjustable to ensure a snug fit. At first glance, it may seem that it lacks support features, but even though it has a simplified strap design, it is perfectly made to support the full body, all the while making potty breaks a breeze for dogs of both sexes. And that makes it a great way to help ease that nasty ache of arthritis and swollen joints.
4. Best Efficient: Outward Hound PupBoost Lift Harness
This is another very efficient sling design: it is wide enough to cover the entire rib cage and the abdomen, and the handles are centered perfectly to give you the best center of gravity and ease of carrying. It is made from durable nylon with stitched straps and features soft padding on the inside. The sling is closed with durable Velcro fittings. The only downside of this design is the lack of adjustable handles, so carrying might be a bit demanding. Still, it is a great product, especially for the price.
5. Best Rear Support: ROZKITCH Pet Rear Support Harness
Rozkitch offers another rear support harness that supports the hips and hind legs. This is a straightforward design that fits your pet much like a pair of pants would. The straps are extra soft with fully breathable padding and have adjustable and sufficiently long handles. This lift harness attaches in such a way that it won’t exert additional pressure on the hips. A proper orthopedic design, it is great for aching hips and after surgery recovery. There are 4 sizes to choose from starting with small all the way up to extra large.
6. Best Full Body: Coodeo Dog Lift Harness
If full-body support is what your pet needs, this harness is a good solution. Made from a durable nylon fabric material, it straps to both your pet’s abdomen and rear, and to the rib cage. There are handles coming from each end and that allows for equal weight distribution and it takes off the pressure equally. This lift harness is fully machine washable, and fully adjustable, too, so you’ll have all the convenience you need. It has powerful Velcro fittings for safe closure, and plastic quick-release clasps for ease of putting on. The harness is available in 4 sizes from small to X-large.
7. Best Adjustable: Kurgo Up and About Dog Lifter
If you are looking for a product from a well-known and respected brand, the Kurgo Up and About Dog Lifter is a great option to consider. The ergonomic design of this lift harness uses padding to reduce any pressure on your dog’s pain points, while the chest strap keeps the harness safely in place. On the back, you will find a comfortable handle grip that makes it easier to lift your dog up when helping them to get into vehicles or navigate stairs. The shell of the harness is made with a durable high-quality nylon fabric.
The Kurgo Up and About Dog Lifter is adjustable both on top and underneath, making it easier to ensure that it is properly fit and snug on a wide variety of different dog breeds. It is recommended for all dogs ranging from 40 to 80 lbs, and for those with chests up to 36” at the widest point. This product is backed by the Kurgo name and a lifetime warranty.
8. Best Basic: Labra Veterinarian Approved Dog Canine K9 Sling Lifts
Designed to lift weight off from aching joints, this sling will reduce stress to your pet’s joints, minimize pain, and increase mobility. The design is pretty straightforward: the sling goes on the dog’s midsection and the straps over your shoulder. The straps are fully adjustable, so no matter your height, you can make sure that there is no strain on your back while you’re supporting your pooch. The harness is made from durable, breathable 3-mm neoprene which will adapt to your pet’s body, ensuring comfort and support at the same time. This premium quality dog lifting harness is available in several sizes to suit small, medium, or large dogs.
9. Best Handles: Max and Neo Dog Lift Support and Rehab Harness
Here is another great sling design, but this time with some crucial advantages over competitors. And the main difference will be immediately clear – extra-long handles make it very easy to use. The sling is made from quality fabric, and its soft lining eliminates all possibility of chafing or discomfort. It has heavy-duty neoprene handles that give you that much-needed sense of security, and it also features a huge Velcro fitting for full closure. As an added bonus, the seller donates an identical harness to a rescue for every harness sold – how pawesome is that? This harness comes in several sizes, so finding the right fit will not be an issue.
10. Honorable Mention: GingerLead Dog Support Harness
This unique design successfully combines a rear support harness and frontal support. It gives you the option to attach your handles in the form of a leash to a chest harness and in that way to have full-body support. The integrated leash gives you much better control and a firmer grip. The harness is fully machine washable and dryable, and also fully adjustable. It is a clever way to combine full harness elements into a rear support harness. And for a tailored fit for every pooch, this harness comes in various sizes and options for female and male dogs.
11. Best for Small Dogs: AMZpets Dog Lift Harness
With long adjustable straps and a step-by-step guide on how to harness your furry friend, this easy to use harness takes the strain off of both you and your dog.
Intended for dogs weighing between 7 and 15 pounds, this extra small dog lift harness from AMZpets is a great option for dogs who are recovering from an injury, currently experiencing an injury, or those who suffer from arthritis or other orthopedic issues. What’s great about this harness is that it’s designed for your comfort as well as your dogs – it features adjustable straps and a detachable handle pad so you don’t have to strain to lift your pup!
Features to look for in dog lift harnesses
Since a lift harness is an orthopedic aid and an essential everyday accessory for elderly pets, it is really important to pay attention to some of its crucial features when purchasing. It ensures your choice will work with the particular needs your pet might have and that the harness you bought is durable and cost-effective. Depending on the condition that ails your furry senior, you will want to adapt your purchase accordingly. Some harnesses might be designed to offer support via the abdomen or the rear legs, while others will lift the weight off the entire body. Either way, you need to pay attention that a lift harness has all you want, otherwise, you will risk using a harness without it having any positive effect for your dog.
Choosing the appropriate size of the harness is one of the most important aspects to consider. There are different maximum weight capacities to think about, so it’s important to pick the right one to avoid any accidents due to the fabric ripping under too much weight. Luckily, most brands offer a variety of sizes that are designed to meet the needs of different dog breeds. Another reason why size is important is comfort. The harness can’t chafe the skin or be too tight, otherwise, it will cause even more problems. Sometimes finding the proper size can be a challenge, but with attention and careful measuring, you can find exactly the right lift harness to alleviate your dog’s issues. And if the harness can be adjusted – even better! That way you can adapt with utmost precision.
Material and durability
Being an almost everyday accessory, dog lift harnesses need to have the toughness to withstand the unavoidable wear and tear, the regular cleaning and the possible nibble or two from your dog. The handles that are the crucial part of the harness also need to be especially durable and able to properly support your dog’s weight. Owners cannot risk the handless snapping under the pressure and their dog dropping to the ground – and brands know this. That is why almost all harnesses on the market today are made from tough and durable materials and highly resistant nylon fabrics. They are also often machine washable allowing you to clean them easily and regularly, and to avoid that nasty buildup of smells and dirt.
Some harnesses have adjustable straps and clasps that allow you to really “fine-tune” the whole layout and adapt to different situations and your dog’s condition. If you recognize that your dog’s hips are especially sensitive on a particular day, you can adjust the harness to take off even more pressure from the rear. This important feature is just an added bonus that accentuates the orthopedic aspects of the harness even more. Another adjustability aspect relates to the handles. Some non-adjustable harnesses will require you to often bend down in order to take the handless and carry your dog. With the option to adjust the handles to your stature, you can help with carrying and make it easier for your back as well. Adjustability can also be an important asset when you are lifting your dog in and out of the car – with the ability to shorten or lengthen the handles you can really make a world of difference.
Type of support
There are a couple of different types of dog lift harnesses, as we mentioned above, and each one has its own perks and importance. Their main differences are the way they help your pet and the areas they affect. You can opt for a full-body harness that straps both the rib cage and the abdomen and takes the pressure off from the entire body and legs. Then there is the standard smaller harness for the abdomen that specifically targets the hips and rear legs. The same goes for the front body harness. Either way, you have the option to adapt fully to the needs of your pet, regardless of what their issues are.
Importance and benefits of dog lift harnesses
Dog harnesses are more than just a handy accessory. Their orthopedic role and the multiple varieties and uses can really bring a crucial difference in the life of your senior pet. They become an everyday necessity and greatly ease the daily actions for both the pet and the owner. Old age does not have to limit the life of a senior pet. They can still enjoy all the activities they always did, only with a little more help from you. Snoozing on the couch is a favorite for any dog, but hoping down from it is a big deal for those sore and aching joints. You can supervise this and gently help them down with a harness. Daily walks are another favorite pastime, but it can be tough on the body, especially with arthritis. Utilize a dog harness to carry some of your dear pupper’s weight and alleviate the pressure on the ankles.
A harness can also be a great aid for non-senior pets, especially after certain surgeries or injuries. In such cases, your pet might not have the full use of his legs, hips, or back, and will require no pressure on them during the recovery process. But with a lift harness, you can help the active recovery while still maintaining the proper healing process. Another really important activity where a lift harness can come in handy is car travel. When old age comes up with your dog, the journeys to the vet will come often than they did before. And for an aching dog, getting inside a vehicle can be a real nightmare. You can raise them with a harness – it’s no effort for you, and makes all the difference to your furry companion! Alternatively, you can use dog ramps if your pet is more mobile and needs just a little bit of help to get in the vehicle.
It doesn’t take much to see that dog lift harnesses are a highly efficient, life-improving accessory for all owners of senior dogs. They are helpful for everybody involved and can make those final years of your friend’s life comfortable, happy, and pain-free, and that itself is priceless.
How do you lift an old dog?
When your pet reaches golden years, it’s highly likely that they’ll experience mobility issues – stiff aching joints might limit their movement or they can become completely immobile and it’s up to you to help them maintain a similar quality of life. When you’re picking up an old dog, consider their weight: some seniors can be picked up with one hand, and others are too heavy to lift. In case you are able to lift your pet, you should do so by placing your hand between their front legs, over the chest, and supporting their bottom with the other to avoid strain or injury. However, this is just a quick fix in unexpected situations – getting a lift harness will be a much easier and safer method of lifting an old dog.
Are shoulder harnesses bad for dogs?
Shoulder harnesses, when used properly, are not bad for dogs. These walking harnesses are sometimes called Norwegian harnesses and it’s very important to fit them correctly to avoid chafing, discomfort, and any problems with the shoulder region. The harness shouldn’t be too tight around the pet’s body, and when it’s adjusted correctly, it won’t cause any problems or feel uncomfy to wear.
How to get a rear lift harness under a big dog?
Big dogs can be a handful when they have mobility issues, more so than smaller breeds, simply because of their weight. However, with lift harnesses the method is the same regardless of your pet’s size – just put the harness on the same way you’d put pants on. Put your dog’s legs through holes and slide the harness up, fastening it across your dog’s rump when the harness is in position.
How to measure my dog’s harness?
The measurements you’ll need will vary depending on the type of harness, but luckily, most manufacturers clearly display the measurement for each of their harness sizes so you’ll know exactly what to measure. For example, sometimes you’ll have to get the dimensions of your pet’s midsize and in other cases, it’s their rump that will go into the harness, so there isn’t a universal measuring guide for lift harnesses you can use. Just follow the guidelines and use a measuring tape to get precise results without much hassle.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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