Which Petsmart dog harness is best?

A dog harness is a vital accessory for most pet owners, useful when training, traveling or simply going on walks. The best dog harness offers comfort and security as well as far more control than a basic collar. One of the leading dog accessory retailers is PetSmart, which offers an array of quality harnesses suited for a variety of needs, including the impressive Kong Max Neoprene Reflective Harness. 

What to know before you buy a PetSmart dog harness

Who needs a dog harness?

A dog harness serves a few purposes, including for use while on walks. Harnesses offer control and maneuverability, especially useful when walking puppies or training young dogs to walk properly out in the world. They also offer more protection and security for dogs that react to, or be easily spooked by, their surroundings as they are harder to escape from than a simple dog collar. What’s more, a collar may hurt a dog that pulls while on walks while a harness evenly distributes pressure along the chest instead of the neck.

Dog harnesses are also strongly recommended for use when traveling in a car. As the harness more evenly distributes pressure, it’s a safer and more secure alternative to a collar.

Size

Dog harnesses come in standard sizes, from extra small up to extra large. They should fit snugly and securely; similar to a dog collar, you should be able to fit two fingers between a strap of the harness and the skin of the dog. Every harness should come with a sizing guide instructing you where to measure your dog; this can be done with a flexible tape measure or a piece of string that can then be stretched alongside a ruler for an accurate reading.

Material

Like dog collars, most harnesses are made of nylon, polyester or neoprene. Nylon and polyester are fairly inexpensive and breathable, though nylon tends to hold water and odors more than polyester. Some harnesses are made of or reinforced with neoprene, which offers more durability and water resistance, but comes at a higher price.

Clip

Dog harnesses feature one or two stainless steel D-rings to which a leash or seatbelt can attach. The ring may be around the chest portion of the harness; this is known as a front-clip harness. The alternative is a back-clip harness, where the point of connection ends up along the dog’s back. Some harnesses offer both a front and a back clip.

Generally, back clips are useful when walking well trained, easygoing dogs. They are also the best point of connection when used in a car. Front clips better serve dogs in training. 

What to look for in a quality PetSmart dog harness

Color and designs

Dog harnesses come in any number of colors, including red, blue and pink. Color won’t influence how safe or effective the harness is, but some owners may want to match or complement a collar or fur shade. Some options feature different patterns as well.

Padding

Some harnesses have a front chest piece that offers padding and helps to evenly distribute weight when pulling back on the leash. These harnesses are better for walks with determined dogs or those in training, and for traveling in a car. They may be used with bigger or small dogs too: they can provide more control over big pups, while smaller dogs can be lifted up safely if needed.

Handle

Some harnesses feature a handle along the back that adds increased control and versatility. They may be useful for dogs in training or those who are taking rides in the car. The handle typically pairs with a chest pad, so owners can lift dogs up or pull them back without fear of pain or discomfort.

Reflection

Some harnesses include reflector strips or linings that offer some visibility when walking at night along busy streets. While lights from cars or bikes will hit the harness and make it somewhat visible, LED collars will prove more useful and stand out more significantly.

How much you can expect to spend on a PetSmart dog harness

Most dog harnesses cost between $15-$35 depending on features and size.

PetSmart dog harness FAQ

Are harnesses useful for training?

A. A front-clip harness is often used for training dogs to walk patiently and obediently. When a dog pulls while the leash is attached to the front of the harness, the dog is gently turned back toward the owner. This repeated action does not hurt the dog, but it should over time limit their trying to pull ahead since they are not rewarded for this action. Harnesses are also suited to reactive dogs that may try to back out of a collar if scared or nervous when walking.

How do I clean my dog harness?

A. Most dog harnesses can and should be spot-cleaned with regularity, especially if your dog takes to adventures frequently. Nylon harnesses may need to be washed more frequently, as they are less breathable than those made of polyester or neoprene. 

What are the best PetSmart dog harnesses to buy?

Top PetSmart dog harness

Kong Max Neoprene Reflective Harness

Kong Max Neoprene Reflective Harness

What you need to know: This is a popular harness by a trusted brand that offers comfort, longevity and safety.

What you’ll love: This high-quality padded harness is made of durable, comfy neoprene. It’s available in four sizes and four colors, and it includes reflective strips for increased visibility.

What you should consider: It’s on the expensive side.

Where to buy: Sold by PetSmart

Top PetSmart dog harness for money

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness

What you need to know: This is a simple yet long-lasting harness ideal for casual walks and adventures.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive, durable nylon harness features two snap buckles and four adjustable points for easy fitting. It includes reflective strips.

What you should consider: It lacks chest padding.

Where to buy: Sold by PetSmart

Worth checking out

Top Paw Ultra Reflective Dog Harness

Top Paw Ultra Reflective Dog Harness

What you need to know: This is a strong, comfortable padded harness ideal for versatile and safe usage.

What you’ll love: This thick, padded harness is useful on walks or in the car and disperses pressure comfortably. It features a front and back clip and includes a back handle for increased control. It’s available in gray and purple.

What you should consider: It slips on over the head.

Where to buy: Sold by PetSmart

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.