Watching your furry friend grow frail with age, work through an injury, or recover from surgery can be difficult, especially if they have trouble moving around like they used to. Dog lift harnesses make it easier for older, injured dogs to enjoy their lives with minimum pain and maximum comfort. These harnesses also present an amazing solution for worried dog parents who want to have the same kind of playful times with their pets without causing them additional pain.
So, if you have an injured or elderly dog, don't let them miss out on the fun. Invest in a harness for your pooch to boost their confidence and motivate them to get back to their normal routine. We’ve reviewed the top dog lift harnesses of 2023 to help you choose the right harness to meet your dog’s needs.
When your dog has difficulty getting up and walking, it’s extremely upsetting. The causes for this might be short-term or long-term. Regardless, a dog lift harness can help your dog move more easily and reduce their pain while moving. Below, we’ve put together a detailed buyer’s guide to answer all your lift harness questions so you can choose the right one to better your dog’s quality of life.
What Is a Dog Lift Harness?
A lifting harness is any tool that helps your dog move. Typically, they come in the design of a full-body harness or a sling that goes around your dog’s abdomen to help lift their back legs. While you could use a towel, commercial harnesses are far more comfortable for you and your dog, especially for long-term use.
Whether your dog is suffering from chronic degenerative discomfort, such as arthritis, or an injury, a lift harness will make it easier for them to move around. The most significant benefit of using a harness is that it reduces or eliminates your dog’s discomfort while moving from a standing to a sitting or lying down position.
How Can a Lift Harness Help Your Pet’s Well-Being?
We all feel the ache in our hearts when we see our dog struggling to get around because of old age. A dog lift harness can alleviate their discomfort and help them move around pain-free, allowing them to enjoy life more. When selecting a harness, it’s critical to know what issue you’re addressing.
Small dogs are more likely to suffer from neck and spinal problems that impair their front legs. Leashes can be attached to these harnesses, which resemble walking harnesses.
For both small and large dogs, back leg issues are a regular occurrence due to spinal and hip problems. These issues are often also seen in athletically eager young dogs with torn knee ligaments.
Middle-aged dogs that are just beginning to suffer from arthritis may require a little extra help getting up or down the stairs. Dogs who have undergone surgery and who need short-term assistance may also find a harness helpful.
Conditions That Might Require a Lift Harness
Hip dysplasia-induced discomfort
When a dog is born with a shallow hip socket (the traditional ball and socket joints), the femur bone moves too much inside the joint causing the cartilage to wear down. Attempting to stand or go up and down stairs is more difficult as a result of this hip discomfort.
Arthritis commonly develops in the joints of older dogs. Standing up and laying down requires a lot of effort and leg strength, which might cause your dog to be unable to participate in family activities.
Short-term injuries can cause your pup discomfort while they heal. The use of a lift harness may greatly improve your pup’s healing process by reducing their pain and making it easier for them to stand and go outside.
With most surgeries, dogs should usually be up and walking around within a few hours after their operation, provided they take the necessary precautions. A lift harness can make it easier to help your dog stand up while they’re recovering. It will also help you get your dog moving in a safe, controlled way.
Many elderly dogs struggle to get around because of a combination of ailments, such as arthritis and muscular weakness. The more regularly they can get up and walk, the less pain they’ll experience in their muscles and joints. A correctly suited harness can make a world of difference for these dogs.
How to Choose a Dog Lift Harness
When shopping for a dog lift harness, look for one that can securely and comfortably hold your dog’s weight. There are so many different types of slings to choose from that it may be hard to tell which ones truly do this. As a result, a decent lift harness must have certain features.
High-quality, comfortable material
The material should be sturdy, long-lasting, and adaptable all at the same time. This way it can support your dog’s weight and stay in place for a long period. Keep in mind that your dog will not want to use the harness if it isn’t comfortable. A sling that rubs against your dog’s skin might cause even more pain and suffering. The side of the sling closest to your dog’s body should be lined with a soft material such as sheepskin or a poly nylon mix.
Always look for cushioning on the sling, especially where it comes into contact with your dog’s tummy. The edges should also be examined as a rough edge could cause discomfort. Lastly, do not neglect your own comfort. Make sure the handles and straps are made of materials that won’t cause your hands any pain while you help your dog stand up.
Slings and harnesses aren’t a substitute for lifting or sustaining a significant amount of weight. An ideal dog harness will distribute your dog’s weight evenly while also letting you hold them at a comfortable height. For this reason, the finest harnesses include a variety of carrying options, such as several straps and loops. Ensure that the sling does not displace the dog’s weight or put unnecessary stress and strain on other parts of the dog. Other muscles and joints might be damaged or worn out as a result of this.
A correctly fitting harness is a must-have. If the harness is too loose, your dog may slip out or the harness may fail to function properly and provide minimal support. The blood circulation to their limbs may be compromised if the sling is excessively tight, which might cause friction or inflammation. To guarantee that you get the correct size, consult the manufacturer’s size chart against your dog’s measurements. Before taking your dog out in the harness, it’s a good idea to try it out in a quiet, enclosed area of your home.
You’re going to love the support this lift harness by Coodeo provides your dog. If you’re looking for a harness that can stabilize your dog’s balance while supporting them, then this is the perfect choice. Made from high-quality breathable and soft materials, this harness won’t irritate your dog’s fur. You can leave this harness on your dog for a long period of time without worrying about your pup’s comfort.
What’s more, the belt is detachable and you can adjust the length according to your height for convenience. The harness is 100% user-friendly and doesn’t put much strain on your wrists. You can attach the strap to the front four buckles for pups suffering from front leg injuries or to the rear four buckles to support canines with hind leg injuries, making this harness our best pick overall.
If your dog is getting older they might need some extra support to help them move around, which is exactly what this lifting aid by PetSafe offers. It features super-durable support handles that allow you to lift and carry your dog with ease. Plus, it won’t strain your back as it has a lifting leash extender for your comfort. You don’t need to worry about the sizing with this lifting harness, just adjust the harness to your dog’s size and you’re good to go.
What’s more, this full-body harness makes it easy to take dogs for potty breaks or help them get in and out of the car. Featuring extra padding, this harness offers your pup added comfort.
Designed for elderly or injured dogs who only need support for their weak hind legs, this sling is an effective solution that offers large dogs the right amount of support. It is also ideal as a mobility aid for orthopedic injuries or other debilitating ailments like hip dysplasia or arthritis. The best part about this dog sling is its thick, comfortable design that won’t irritate your pooch. It features a soft lining and sheepskin-like covering that provides the ultimate care for senior dogs.
You can use it to help your pet stand up, go up and down the stairs, or get in and out of the car. This sling also boosts your canine’s confidence and reduces their pain as it takes the weight off their hip and back. With this sling, your pet will feel like they’re walking on their own.
This full-body lifting harness by Doggie Stylz is designed in an efficient way to offer your pooch maximum comfort. Plus, this harness vest works exceptionally well when helping dogs get in and out of vehicles.
As far as the functionality is concerned, you can use this multifaceted harness for a variety of purposes including combined full-body support, front-only support, and rear-only support depending on your dog’s needs. It lifts the dogs’ abdomen and hip together to distribute the pressure more evenly. Plus, it does not cause any discomfort or pain to your pooch. As an added bonus, you can also use the rear section separately.
This dog sling by HNYG offers maximum comfort for both you and your dog. It can easily lift dogs that weigh up to 120 pounds, so no matter how big your pup is, you don’t need to worry about this harness breaking. It also comes with a case for efficient storage and transportation, especially useful if you plan to take the harness on a weekend trip. Plus, thanks to this sling’s long handle, you don’t have to bend over while walking your dog.
This portable sling is medically designed to offer support to your dog’s back legs and provide them with added strength as they move throughout daily life. You can use it if your dog suffers from debilitating ailments like ACL tears, degenerative myelopathy, and hip dysplasia.
Includes a storage bag
Features an inner fleece lining
Medically designed to support back legs
May slide off
People Also Asked
Q: Can I use the lift harness to help my pup onto the couch?
A: Yes, you should be able to help your dog onto the sofa if the harness is appropriately fitted.
Q: Is it safe for a dog to wear the harness while he or she sleeps?
A: No. Some of the harnesses have no fastner and would simply slide off. While you may leave a harness on during the day, keep in mind that your dog may have trouble sleeping comfortably with it on for long periods. Always be on the lookout for rubbing and irritation. If you notice this, remove the harness immediately.
Q: How should I properly clean a lift harness?
A: In general, most harnesses are machine-washable. Some can be dried in a drier, but the majority should be air dried. Always follow the care recommendations provided by the manufacturer.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.