Pugs are friendly, silly dogs that love to play, cuddle, and eat. They also have a few common health conditions, including spine and joint problems. That why it’s so important to make sure that they get enough exercise.
If you have a pug, you know that walking them regularly is a way to help keep them active and maintain a healthy weight. But did you realize that pugs are one breed that shouldn’t be walked by attaching a leash to their collar? For pugs, a proper no-pull harness is necessary to reduce stress.
Why Not Use a Leash Attached to my Pug’s Collar?
Did you ever wonder why your pug or pug puppy snores and breathes so noisily? Pugs are what is known as a brachycephalic breed. This means that their face is flat and short, a characteristic that surely contributes to their cuteness but also which has major effects on their airway and breathing. Because pugs can have these issues, the pressure placed by pulling on a collar with a leash can cause even more problems making it really hard for your pug to breathe properly.
When the pug pulls on a leash attached to the collar, it can restrict the airway even more. Because pugs are also prone to problems with their spine and joints, too much tugging on a collar attached to a leash can also lead to problems with herniated discs or possible knee injuries. Leashes attached to collars just don’t provide enough stability for a pug. It’s not worth the risks, especially if you have a particularly feisty canine friend who likes to fight, tug, and pull.
What to Look For in a Harness
Unlike a dog leash and dog collar, a no-pull harness is the preferred way of walking a pug. It spreads out the pressure around the torso, and will reduce stress, leaving the airway unobstructed and the neck free from possible injury. When they do tug and pull, the harness provides more support and even gives you more control. Your pug may not like it at first, but don’t give up! Usually, your pup will just need a few days to get used to the idea.
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a harness for your pug:
- There are specific harnesses that have been designed for wide-chested, flat-faced breeds like pugs. For an adult pug, the straps should be around an inch wide, depending on the dog’s size. Make sure they are not too thin so they don’t cut into your pug’s skin. They should also be soft and not rub too much to avoid skin breakdown and discomfort.
- Measure around your dog’s ribcage and match the measurement against the sizing guidelines on the packaging. Shape and size is not necessarily the same across brands so it’s best to know the actual measurement.
- A back harness clip attachment for the leash is the best kind for pugs. These harnesses typically have a wide piece across the chest that absorbs most of the pressure and disperses it across the dog’s body. The leash is attached at the upper back so when the dog pulls, the pressure is primarily exerted across the dog’s chest.
- Make sure you can get it onto your pug quickly. They can easily get frustrated and upset if it takes too long to figure out how the straps work.
- Leather harnesses look great, but lightweight nylon is the way to go. It’s weather and odor-resistant while also being extremely durable.
- Take the harness off you pup when you’re not using it to help prevent any irritation or build-up underneath the straps.
Best Pug Harnesses Rated and Reviewed
If you’re in the market for a pug harness, here are some good ones to try:
1. Puppia Soft Vest Harness
This harness is made from a soft, spongy synthetic mesh. It works great for a pug because the straps are wide and secure, made for their compact, wide-chested little bodies. It’s very durable and machine washable, though it’s recommended that you let it air dry. It’s easy to get on your dog, just put their front legs through the arm holes, pull the velcro closure snug, and attach the leash.
It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, too, so you can find one that fits your dog’s personality. This is a back clip harness, meaning that the leash attaches to it at the top of the dog’s back which is a great style for dogs who like to kick and pull. A bonus is that the leash won’t get tangled up underneath your dog’s feet the walk goes on.
2. EcoBark Maximum Comfort & Control Dog Harness
EcoBark harnesses are made from recycled water bottles. They have soft, durable mesh straps which are made of a non-toxic, lightweight polyester that has comfortable padded webbing. This is another back clip harness so you can be extra sure there won’t be too much tension on your pug’s neck. This brand acknowledges that their sizing is unique so, as suggested earlier, it’s important to actually measure your pug to get the right size. This specific harness requires a measurement around the ribs and at the base of the neck for sizing.
3. Best Pet All Seasons Pet Harness
Rounding out our list is another back clip harness, this one from Best Pet. Back clips are the kind of harness that best suits a pug and, as you can see, there is a variety of them available. This mesh harness is easy to put on your pet. They just step in, you pull the velcro strap closed, attach the leash, and off you go. Again, you’ll need to know your pet’s chest size to get the proper fit with this harness. It’s available in eleven different colors to match to your pug’s crazy personality or calm demeanor.
Wrapping Things Up
Pugs need frequent exercise and taking them for walks it a great way to keep them slim and healthy. It cannot be stated enough how important it is to avoid using a collar and leash for your pug. The pressure placed on the pug’s airway could lead to a lot of serious problems. Stick with the variety of harness reviewed in this article—with a wide chest strap and back clip leash attachment. It’s the best kind of harness for your pug friends.