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.
Like most of us, pugs are happiest when they are out exploring. It is important to take your pug on regular walks to keep them fit. Because pug’s have such unique faces and, consequently, unique breathing problems, they have special needs to consider when choosing harnesses and collars to make sure they are comfortable and safe.
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.
Comparison Chart of the Best Pug Harnesses and Collars
Puppia Soft Vest Harness
PUPTECK Soft Mesh Dog Harness
ROGZ Utility Reflective Collar
PUPTECK Adjustable Dog Collar
How to Choose a New Harness or Collar for Your Pug
So how do you decide which model is best for your individual pug? There are a few key details to consider when you are in the market for a new harness or collar.
A quality harness will be made from a sturdy material that is also soft to the touch. It needs to be strong enough to properly support the pug when they tug on the leash, but still soft enough it won’t chafe or cut their skin. Many models made from mesh polyester fit both of these requirements, striking the perfect balance of durable and breathable. Nylon is also a great option because it is sturdy, lightweight, and odor resistant.
Look for harnesses that are specifically designed for wide-chested and flat-faced pugs. It is important to be able to adjust the harness to create a perfect fit. If a harness is too big, a pug can easily slip out of it or become tangled in the straps. If it is too tight, it can cut into their skin and will be very uncomfortable. Most models are available in multiple sizes, but it best to get one that includes lots of features to adjust the straps for an exact fit.
Ease of Use
Unlike collars, harnesses are not usually worn all the time. They only need to be put on for walks and outings, so it is important to get a model that is easy to put on and remove. Harnesses with quick-snap buckles make this process simple and straightforward. Models that also color-code the different straps make it even easier to keep track of everything and make sure you are putting the harness on correctly.
Size and width
Like with the harness straps, it is important to select a collar that is wide enough. This provides more support and prevents the collar from cutting into the pug’s neck when they pull on the leash.
Sturdy D Ring
The D Ring, where you attach dog tags and leashes, needs to be extremely durable and high quality. If it is too flimsy, it can easily break and let your pug loose.
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
The Puppy Soft Vest Harness is an affordable and versatile option. It is available in six sizes and fourteen colors, so there’s no shortage of choices. Made from 100% polyester with an air-mesh lining, it is designed for optimal comfort. It is a great choice if you live somewhere with warm weather because the air-mesh helps filter in air to keep the dog cooled down. Its straps are secured with Velcro, making it super easy to adjust and take on and off throughout the day.
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.
This lightweight and breathable design will keep your pug feeling comfortable and supported. While it runs big and the polyester may stretch out over time, it is designed to be adjustable so you can continue to alter the harness to make sure it stays the perfect fit for your pug.
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. .
The EcoBark is good for both your pug and the earth. It is designed using entirely environmentally friendly material, including straps made from recycled water bottles. Available in sizes ranging from X-Small to XX-Large, you’re sure to find the perfect fit. Its polyester mesh fabric is double-layered, making it durable while still being comfortable and breathable.
It is designed to be easy to alter for an exact fit with extra features like a reinforced anchor hook, an adjustable belt, and non-breakaway quick release clasps.
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.
Since the neck section of this harness is not adjustable, it is important to make sure to measure your pug and order the right size. As long as the part around the neck fits, the shoulder and chest straps are easy to adjust. With its no-pull and no choke design, this harness will keep your pug happy, comfortable, and safe from breathing issues.
3. PUPTECK Soft Mesh Dog Harness
Harnesses can be fun and fashionable too! The PUPTECK Soft Mesh Dog Harness comes in six colors with a cute plaid design. Its 100% polyester and breathable air-mesh material make it comfortable and perfect for walking, running, and hiking.
Both the back buckle and strap are tested to ensure the fastener strap is secure. The vest design provides support across the whole chest so it won’t put too much pressure in any one area, even when the dog is pulling on the leash.
Some users did report that their dog was able to move around in the harness and got stuck in the collar section. To prevent this, make sure you order the correct size and adjust the straps so your pug isn’t able to wiggle out of them.
4. ROGZ Utility Reflective Stitching Snake Dog Collar
Next is the ROGZ Utility Reflective Stitching Snake Dog Collar. It is available in ten colors with a cool and classic design. This collar is specifically made for smaller dog breeds, so it will fit perfectly for a pug. Keep in mind that if you want to also use it for another dog, it is not big or strong enough to support a dog weighing more than 30 pounds.
ROGZ also sells a matching leash and harness if you want the whole set.
This collar has a classic and simple design that provides comprehensive support. The reflective stitching will help keep your pug safe at night and the durable material will ensure it lasts for a long time.
5. PUPTECK Adjustable Dog Collar with Pattern Designed
This collar is also built to last. The D ring is extremely durable, so you never have to worry about it breaking or slipping. When measuring your pug, add 2-3 inches to the girth measurement when selecting a size. This will make sure the fit is comfortable and not too tight.
If you want a funky design, this collar is available in multiple colorful, geometric patterns. It only has three size options, but its adjustable strap still allows you to alter it for the perfect fit.
Sturdy and fashionable, the PUPTECK Adjustable Dog Collar is an excellent option if you’re looking for a collar that will last for a while and keep your pug comfy and safe.
Honorable Mention: 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.
What Size of Harness Should I Get My Pug?
Finding the correct size is essential to keeping your pug happy and secure. To find out your pug’s exact size, measure around their rib cage. This measurement will coordinate with the sizing guidelines on most harness packaging.
For puppies, the width of the harness strap should be half an inch. For adult pugs, it should be ¾-1 inch wide. You may need to adjust the size depending on your pug’s specific weight and size, but these measurements will work for most pugs and are wide enough to prevent the straps from pinching or cutting their skin.
The easiest way to check if a collar is the right fit is to make sure you can put two fingers between the dog’s neck and the collar when it is on. Continue to adjust or upgrade the collar to maintain this as your pug grows.
Harnesses vs. Collars - The Great Debate
Both harnesses and collars help keep your pug safe and close by on walks and outings. While harnesses are the general recommendation for pugs, both have their own pros and cons.
Collars are the more fashionable choice and most include a hook to attach dog tags with important health and contact information in case your pug ever gets lost. Collars are common with most dogs, but they are not usually the safest option for brachycephalic breeds like pugs. With short noses and flat faces, it is easy for pugs to have their airway obstructed. A collar can pull on their larynx and make breathing difficult, especially when they are excited and pull on the leash. Harnesses distribute the weight more evenly across the chest and shoulders, preventing potential breathing difficulties while walking.
- Spreads pressure around whole torso
- Minimal risk of neck injury
- Provides walker with more control and support
- More secure
- Easier to take on and off
- Less restricting for pug
- Can attach dog tags
- More fashionable/variety of choices
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.
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.
Both harnesses and collars can be good options as long as you do your research and ensure you are using models that are safe for brachycephalic breeds like pugs. Harnesses give you more control and support while also providing a more comfortable fit for your pug. The best harnesses will be both sturdy and breathable.
Making sure you have the right size and fit will keep your pug comfortable and safe, and happy to go on more walks!