Best Pet Harnesses

Walk this way to find the best pet harness for your furry BFF. You’ll find recommendations for every size and breed to reduce pulling, redirect lunging, and help train your pup (or other furry friend).
Written by | Updated January 7, 2020
Best for Large Dogs
Ruffwear pet harnessRuffwear Front Range
  • Durable and reflective
  • Small pocket
  • Durable and reflective
  • Small pocket
Best for Small Dogs
teal PetSafe pet harnessPet Safe 3-in-1
  • Front and back attachments
  • Doubles as pet car harness
  • Front and back attachments
  • Doubles as pet car harness
Best for Cats
Kitty Holster pet harnessKitty Holster
  • Lightweight, comfortable
  • No clips
  • Lightweight, comfortable
  • No clips

Ruffwear and PetSafe Dog Harnesses Have a Leg Up on the Competition 

Our best dog harness picks give both large and small breed dogs a comfortable, choke-free walking experience. Both of our top no-pull harness picks offer the versatility of both front or back leash attachment clips. They also come with extras like padded chests or thicker, adjustable straps to ensure a comfortable fit.

Ruffwear’s Front Range harness got top marks for large dogs. Its durable, reinforced materials help dog owners handle even the most headstrong puller. Easy to clean and use, Ruffwear’s no-pull dog harness piles on extras like reflective trim and a handy pocket. PetSafe 3-in-1 Dog Harness is great for owners of small dogs, who might appreciate the back handle for better control of little barkers. And Pet Safe’s 3-in-1 dog harness wins bonus points for doubling as a seat belt restraint in the car.

Don’t worry—we didn’t neglect our feline friends. The Kitty Holster cat holster deserves a nod, wrangling even the most experienced escape artist. With no leash clips or straps to catch on fluffy, delicate fur and skin, this harness is so comfy your cat might forget they’re wearing it.

Compare Best Pet Harnesses

List Price *
Front Leash Attachment
Back Leash Attachment
Seat Belt Restraint
Reflective
Washable
Best for Large Dogs
Best for Small Dogs
Best for Cats
Best for Puppies
Best Head Collar for Dogs
Best for Dogs that Pull
Best for Flat-Faced Breeds
Ruffwear Front Range PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness Kitty Holster Cat Harness
Puppia Authentic
RiteFit
PetSafe Gentle Leader Rabbitgoo No-Pull Gooby Perfect Fit X
Ruffwear pet harness teal PetSafe pet harness Kitty Holster pet harness Puppia pet harness PetSafe Gentle Lead Mouth Harness Rabbitgoo dog harness Gooby pet harness
$39.95 $26.95 $24.90 $19.19 $15.95 $14.52 $24.21

Yes

Yes
X
No
X
No

Yes

Yes
X
No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
X
No

Yes

Yes
X
No

Yes
X
No
X
No
X
No
X
No
X
No

Yes

Yes
X
No
X
No
X
No

Yes
X
No

Yes
X
No

Yes

Yes
X
No

Yes

Yes
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon

Amazon.com prices as of 12/30/19 03:32 pm MST.

Reviews: Best Pet Collars and Harnesses 

Ruffwear Front Range: Best Pet Harness for Large Dogs

Best for Large Dogs
Ruffwear pet harness

Designed with hiking in mind, you’ll get plenty of mileage out of Ruffwear’s Front Range no-pull dog harness. While we prefer Ruffwear as the best dog harness for large breeds, back and front leash clips mean it’s appropriate for any dog size. A padded chest plate and belly panel also make the Front Range comfortable for long walks and hikes. 

Ruffwear’s no-pull harness is hand-washable for those times when the muddy creek is just a little too tempting. Reflective trim on the Front Range Harness keeps your pooch visible on dark sidewalks. You’ll also enjoy the small pocket, perfect for slipping in a few treats, dog tags, or even a poop bag (hey, it pays to be prepared). The only real downside is the lack of seat belt restraint options.

Pros

  • Front and back leash clips
  • Padded for comfort
  • Washable
  • Reflective trim
  • Small pocket

Cons

  • More expensive
  • No seat belt restraint options

PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness: Best Pet Harness for Small Dogs

Best for Small Dogs
teal PetSafe pet harness

Small and medium-sized breeds need a no-pull harness that offers the best of both worlds, and PetSafe 3-in-1 definitely fits the bill. With five-point adjustable straps made out of reflective nylon, you can get a comfy fit with added safety measures for any size of dog. 

A no-pull vertical martingale loop and front stainless steel leash D-ring mean easier control of your dog’s body while jogging. Note the extra handle on the top, which can function as a rudimentary dog lift harness system for handicapped pets.                                                                    

The PetSafe 3-in-1 is can also double as a pet vehicle safety harness for dogs who love to come along for the ride. While some customers do complain that the buckles on the harnesses break, PetSafe promises prompt customer service. One of the reasons this is a top pick for best dog harness is that if you’ve got a chewer who eats through straps, PetSafe offers replacements for a nominal fee.   

Pros

  • Front and back leash clips
  • Reflective nylon
  • Vehicle harness restraint
  • Replacements for chewers

Cons

  • Buckles may break
  • No padding

Kitty Holster Cat Harness: Best Pet Harness for Cats

Best for Cats
Kitty Holster pet harness

We’d be remiss if we didn’t offer at least one suggestion for handling our furry feline friends. Most of us don’t imagine taking cats out for walks, but some indoor pets who overindulge could definitely use more exercise. And your kitty friends will thank you for a breath of fresh air. While cats are notoriously difficult to keep tabs on, the Kitty Holster can provide some control for pet owners. 

Kitty Holster receives lots of positive Amazon reviews from cat owners. The lightweight, cotton-lined cat harness is also comfortable without straps or clips that can get caught on delicate hair or skin. The one downside is that the velcro closures don’t allow much adjustment and may not accommodate oversized-cats.

Pros

  • Comfortable cotton
  • No straps or clips
  • Only one clip point

Cons

  • May not fit oversized cats
  • Requires some encouragement

More Dog Harnesses That Are Worth a Look

These easy-walk, no-choke dog harnesses are also great options for specific problem behaviors in dogs besides pulling. That can include dogs who lunge, bark, or struggle with anxiety. We’re looking at you, Fido.

Puppia Authentic RiteFit 

If you’ve got a new little bundle of fur, this Puppia soft dog harness is for you. Puppia Authentic RiteFit is a step-in dog harness that adjusts at the neck and is perfect for growing puppies who fall in-between sizes. Two quick-release buckles mean you can get your wiggling puppy free quickly. The breathable mesh on the Puppia soft dog harness is also ideal for dogs who play hard and need to cool down fast.

PetSafe Gentle Leader

When you’re training a dog not to lunge or to stop sniffing every fire hydrant, PetSafe’s Gentle Leader can be a dog owner’s best friend. This head collar leads your doggo by the nose, literally. While it only has options for front clips and very few bells and whistles, this head collar flaunts the same comfortable straps as PetSafe’s other pet harnesses and won’t rub sensitive noses.

Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness

We highly recommend this pet harness from Rabbitgoo if you’ve got a serious puller who can knock you off your feet in a heartbeat. It has dual leash clips, adjustable straps, a top handle, and a quick-release buckle for ease of use and better pet control. Padded and made of breathable mesh, this harness has reflective strips that’ll keep you and your pooch safe on nighttime excursions.

Gooby Perfect Fit X Harness

Choke-free harnesses are especially crucial for flat-faced dogs like pugs whose nose structure can make breathing a struggle. This step-in harness has a deep V avoiding the neck area and a leash clip on the back for superior comfort and control. Your flat-faced furry friend will enjoy less choking and more sniffing when you ditch the collar in favor of a Gooby Perfect Fit X harness.

Things to Consider Before You Buy A Pet Harness

Before you jump paws first into buying a harness for your fur baby, it pays to consider the following. Evaluate the needs of both you and your favorite four-footed friend to choose a harness that’ll go the extra mile.

Pet Size and Breed

The size of your pet determines whether you’ll want the dog leash to clip on the front or back of the harness. Front leads are better for a big dog who pulls from their chest, while smaller dogs do best with back leads that won’t get tangled under their little paws. Certain breeds also have special considerations, like pugs with flat faces who frequently choke. They need straps or vests cut lower to avoid any pressure near the neck or upper chest.

Climate and Comfort

Weather and seasonal temps may affect the kind of harness you’d prefer to invest in for your furry family member. Breathable mesh lining and lightweight cotton are best for warmer climates. Pet owners who live in locales where rain is frequent need something water-resistant and washable for traipsing through puddles and muddy grass.

Walking Habits

Walking habits will also help you determine what other safety gear for dogs you should consider. If you hit the trails with pups in tow, you’ll want a rugged harness with padding that’ll stand up to hours of trekking across uneven terrain. Joggers should look for harnesses that accommodate carabiners or offer clips with a broader range of motion. And if you’re a night walker or jogger, reflective material is an essential safety measure for both you and your four-legged companion.

Animal Training and Behavior

The behavior you’re trying to address dictates the kind of pet collar or harness you should use. While an easy walk harness will minimize pulling, dogs who lunge would benefit more from head collars or front leads. Additionally, many pet owners might scoff at the idea of cat harnesses, but they’re a great training tool for frisky felines.

Pet Harnesses FAQs

What Is the Easiest Dog Harness to Put On?

The easiest harness to put on is the one your pet will let you put on. If your pet has never worn a harness before, it may take a few tries to adjust it for fit and comfort. Look for a harness with easy-release buckles if you’ve got a squirmer and watch a few instructional videos online before you approach your dog or cat. When in doubt, bring treats for reinforcement.

Is It Better to Walk a Dog With a Harness or a Collar?

Pet experts agree that dog harnesses are particularly useful for dogs that pull or any flat-faced breeds that struggle with breathing problems. Generally, harnesses are safer for the following reasons:

  • Distribute force equally across your dog’s chest
  • Don’t choke at the neck
  • Are harder to wiggle out of

Are Harnesses Good for Puppies?

You might hesitate to buy a harness for a puppy because they’re going to grow out of it. But dog harnesses are useful for puppies for the same reasons they’re helpful for older dogs. Harnesses equally distribute force to avoid choking, and your pup is less likely to wriggle out of a collar and leash when it’s hooked to a harness. Buy an inexpensive, velcro-adjustable version to last you a few months until your puppy reaches full size.

What Is the Best Harness to Stop Dog Pulling?

Any harness will assist in curbing pulling behaviors, but if you’ve got a dog who really sweeps you off your feet (and not in a good way), you want a front lead to keep that chest in line. This is especially true for large breed dogs who can throw their weight forward and upset your center of balance easily. Getting a harness can keep your doggo from dragging you down the street and having your neighbors crack jokes about the dog walking you.

What’s the Difference Between a Head Collar and a Harness?

Both head collars and harnesses are alternative pet supplies to a traditional collar, but they work differently. Pet harnesses fasten with a chest strap, buckles, or velcro to distribute force and ensure easy, choke-free walking. Head collars or leads typically fasten at the front of the neck with straps around a dog’s muzzle. That way when the leash is pulled, it turns your pet’s head and redirects attention and behavior.

How We Picked the Best Harnesses 

We didn’t want to lead you astray, so we combed carefully through pet expert advice, customer reviews, and product specifications. As pet owners who consider our furry friends part of the family, we looked for the features that mattered to us like safety and comfort. The products that got our paw of approval had a pet-centric approach, a track record of positive feedback on Trustpilot and Amazon, and a commitment to safety. Dig into our full methodology here.

Sources:

  1. Trustpilot, “PetSafe Brand Reviews”; Amazon “Ruffwear,” “Puppia

*Amazon.com list price as of 12/30/19 04:05 MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Written by Kaz Weida

Kaz is a journalist who covers home security, parenting, and community and child safety. Her work and product testing in the security and safety field spans the past four years. You can find Kaz in HuffPost, SheKnows, Lifehack, and much more. Her degree in education and her background as a teacher and a parent make her uniquely suited to offer practical advice on creating safe environments for your family. Learn more

Share this article.