Whenever you buy a product for your dog, you need to consider their needs carefully and how it is going to benefit their life. And this is especially important if you have an older pet or one who is suffering from a physical injury or ailment of some type. Of course, you want to make their lives as easy as possible, and this is where a dog lift harness comes in.
Essentially, the harness wraps around your dog and allows you to take some of the weight off their legs, hips, and spine. Using a dog sling, you can give your dog a major helping hand getting up the stairs, into the car, and around your home and garden.
However, not all dog lift harnesses are created equal, and you should look closer at the fabrics, designs, and other features to settle on which one is best for your four-legged friend. To make your life easier, we have chosen 10 of the best dog lift harnesses on the market to discuss in more detail. So, let’s get started.
The Best Dog Lift Harness
Made in a dog-friendly design, you can easily slip this harness onto your hound. Once it is on, you have the choice of two leash attachment points towards the middle or back depending on how much control you need over your dog.
The padded straps are comfortable, and your dog will be comfortable wearing it for an extended period of time. And since there are five separate adjustment points, your four-legged friend is not going to wriggle their way out of the vest. A range of different sizes are available to suit all types of dog, and it also features a reflective trim which makes your dog more visible in the dark.
Fully adjustable fit with five points of connection
Padded chest and belly straps
Two reinforced leash attachment points
Reflective trim and padded handle
- Weight1 lb
Designed for larger breeds of dog, you can put this lift support harness onto your dog in just a matter of seconds. If you have an older dog or a pooch suffering from arthritis or a similar condition, the harness allows you to help them to walk and climb.
The straps feature strong and soft Velcro, which helps to make the handle tough and hard-wearing too. Once you are finished using the best, you simply need to roll it up and you can store it easily wherever you have room.
Easy way to support your dog’s torso
Durable poly and nylon with fleece lining
Specially designed for larger breeds
Rolls up for storage in seconds
- BrandLove Pets Love
- Weight4 oz
Available in four different sizes, you should weigh your dog before settling on which one is right for your furry friend. Once you choose the best one, you can be assured that the sling is heavy-duty enough to hold the weight of any breed of dog.
The interior of the sling lift is made from a soft fleece lining to improve your dog’s comfort, while the straps are adjustable for your own comfort. This means that you can avoid bending over unnecessarily and causing an injury to yourself too.
Different sizes available to suit all breeds
Comfortable fleece lining
Adjustable straps for your own comfort
Heavy-duty and long-lasting
- Weight5.6 oz
This harness has three different support options: front only, rear only, or full-body support. This flexibility allows you to give your old, injured or disabled dog the support that they require in day-to-day movement. The design lifts both the hips and abdomen together rather than putting pressure on a single area.
When you need to clean the harness, you can simply throw it in the washing machine with some mild detergent.
Front and rear sections can be used independently or together
Lifts the hips and abdomen together to reduce stress
Rubberized handle for lifting
- Weight2 lbs
The padded design of this dog support harness is lined with soft corduroy and will not bunch up around your dog’s body, ensuring that they feel comfortable. Included is an integrated leash which offers increased control and safety, whether you want to attach it to your dog’s chest or their collar.
The harness has been tested and used by veterinarians to ensure that it works with dogs who have trouble moving for some reason. Check the sizing chart to ensure that you select the right one for your furry friend.
Integrated leash for control and safety
Tested and used by vets
Padded for additional comfort
- Weight5.4 oz
It is sad to see your dog lose some of their movement and mobility, but you can give it back to them with this dog sling harness from AMZpets. The handles on the harness are fully adjustable to work with you and your dog, regardless of your individual heights. It comes along with a step-by-step instruction manual but should be easy enough to put on in seconds.
When you want to clean the harness, you can simply put it in the washing machine and then allow it to air dry. And you can simply roll it up for storage or if you want to throw it in a bag and bring along with you.
Straightforward to use with instructions on how to put it on and look after it
Easy to adjust handle straps for comfort
Durable design lasts for years
- Weight1.6 oz
A different type of product to the ones which we have discussed so far, this one allows you to safely and comfortably boost your dog when they are in the car with you. Featuring a large padded torso band for your dog’s comfort, it also has a high surface area which enables easy lifting.
The hook and loop closure is designed to fit both medium and large dogs, whether you have an old hound, one who is recovering from surgery, or something else which is impacting their ability to get in and out of the car.
Simple to install
Padded back and bottom for comfort
Specifically designed for assistance getting in and out for cars
Suitable for medium and large dogs
- BrandOutward Hound
- Weight9.3 oz
Four areas of this tactical dog harness are fully adjustable to fit your dog perfectly, and once you have put it on your furry friend, you are safe in the knowledge that it is escape-proof. If you would like to train your dog to walk alongside you, this is the perfect product to accomplish this task, and there is also another attachment at the back which affords them more freedom.
If you need your furry friend to carry things on your next walk, 1″ Strips of MOLLE sewn onto both sides allow you to load them up with toys, water bottles etc.
No-pull front clip and back attachments
MOLLE attachment for hands-free carrying
Metal buckle on dog’s shoulder position
- Weight1.2 lbs
While some dog harnesses can dig into your pet’s skin, this one is designed with both comfort and convenience firmly in mind. Since it stays in place, there is no need for constant adjustments during walks. Once you have slipped it over your dog’s head, you can then fit the straps securely.
Durable nylon webbing ensures that the vest has a high level of durability. At the top is a sturdy handle which gives you the freedom to hold, lift or guide your dog in any way that you would like.
Front and back leash attachments
Easy to buckle on and off
Utilizes premium fabrics for comfort and durability
Handle provides additional control
- BrandMy Busy Dog
- Weight0.48 oz
Suitable for larger dogs who are suffering difficulty walking or climbing, this dog lift harness sling allows you to assist in their movement. The straps are adjustable to ensure that you don’t have to bend over whenever you are using it.
This sling has been tested in the USA to ensure its quality, and cleaning it is straightforward as you can simply throw it in the washing machine. However, you need to hang it out to dry rather than putting it in the tumble dryer.
Strong and durable design
Adjustable straps for your comfort
Suitable for larger dogs
- BrandFur E. Frenz
- Weight5.6 oz
Best Dog Lift Harnesses Buying Guide
Things to Look for in a Lift Harness
Most lift harnesses are relatively simple products with a few key features. But since this is a product which can make such a big difference to your pet’s life, it is worth choosing the best option. So, here are a few of the things that you need to look for.
Type of Lift Harness
There are three main types of lift harness which we have talked about in this blog post. The most common is the sling variety which simply loops around your dog’s belly area. Generally, this is best for specific tasks like helping your dog up the stairs or outside to go to the bathroom. It may be more challenging to take them out on a long walk while wearing it.
Next, you have the full body lifting harnesses. These include more straps to give a higher level of support when you put them on your dog. You can get a similar model which just comes as a rear-lift harness which is particularly suited to dogs with mobility problems in their hips and/or hind legs.
On the other hand, you also have the vest-style harnesses, which are better suited to outdoor pursuits for hounds with a decent level of mobility or those who are on the road to recovery. Bear in mind that they usually take longer to put on your dog, adjust the straps etc.
The variety you select depends on your dog’s condition and lifestyle. Consult with your vet if you feel like you need any further guidance on this issue.
- Comfortable Materials
Strong and flexible fabric is the optimum material for a lift harness. Superior grades of cotton or other fabrics which will not irritate your dog’s skin are usually best. Some slings come with fleece linings which feel comfortable around your dog’s abdomen, and many have adjustable straps which ensure a tight fit to your furry friend. Remember that you need to consider the handles too. After all, your own comfort is important when you are using the lift harness, and a padded handle can help to prevent pain and strain around your hands and wrists.
- Ergonomic Design
Whichever lift harness you choose, you need it to support your dog’s body without putting a huge amount of stress on their joints and muscles. So, you should look for straps which are adjustable to fit your dog’s body and your height. Also, the handle design is highly important – particularly if you have a large or heavy dog. If you choose a vest-style harness, you want the handle to be padded and suited to regular lifting. As for sling harnesses, you should be able to use the product while standing up straight to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on your back.
For the lift harness to work effectively, you need to ensure that you choose one which is the right size. Most of the products come in several different sizes, so you should make sure to weight and measure your pooch accurately to choose the right one. The wrong size can end up exacerbating your dog’s condition, so follow the manufacturer’s sizing guide closely.
Benefits of Using Dog Lift Harnesses
There are a number of benefits directly associated with using a dog lift harness. Let’s examine some of these in more detail so that you can fully understand what sort of advantages your dog will get.
- More mobility
Whether your dog has limited mobility due to a specific injury or they are simply getting old, a harness helps to give them a higher quality of life with your support. You can help them move up and down stairs, into and out of the car, or outside to relieve themselves. Essentially, it helps you to give your dog back freedoms which they would have otherwise lost.
- Prevents further injuries
If your dog is suffering from a medical condition which affects their bones and/or joints, you need to make sure that they are protected and not at risk of causing themselves further injury. Actions like going up and down the stairs, or getting in and out of the car, can put a lot of pressure on these areas, and so a lift harness can help to prevent further damage occurring. You need to make sure that you are consistent with using a dog sling as you never really know when an injury could happen. If your dog is recovering from surgery or a serious injury, you can use it as part of a treatment plan. A full-body harness allows you to choose between offering front-only support, rear-only support or full body support depending on the individual needs of your dog.
- Helps your dog more comfortably
It can be tough lifting your dog up onto higher surfaces – particularly if you have a large breed. All that lifting can put the strain on your joints and your back, and there is even a chance that you could do yourself an injury as well. A dog sling harness helps to take some of the pressure away from you. And if you choose one which has an adjustable harness, there is no need to continually bend down to give your furry friend support. A dog harness is for your own comfort as well as the comfort of your pooch.
How to Choose the Correct Size
As we have already mentioned, choosing the right fit is essential when you are buying the best dog harness. Every dog sling harness is different, and the sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. All should have a sizing guide or table which helps to make your choice easier. There are two parts which you will need to measure.
- Strap length
You should start measuring from the point your hand will comfortably rest while holding the sling handle as if you were standing upright. You should continue measuring underneath your dog’s stomach and back around the other side until reaching the handle to form a complete length. Read the figure and refer to the sizing table. Remember that while some handles are fixed, others are adjustable for your comfort.
- Support pad width
To check the width of the support pad, you should start measuring at the front of your dog’s hind legs and continue to the base of the rib cage. You need to make sure that you choose a harness which comfortably supports their body and spreads their weight evenly.
You should also check your dog’s weight to choose a harness which is appropriate for them. You don’t want to risk the dog sling breaking or not providing the necessary level of support. Many of these products come in different sizes, so there is always one suitable no matter how big your pooch happens to be.
- How to Use a Dog Lift Harness
There are several different situations in which a dog harness with handle can prove to be useful. Generally, you just need to hold the strap or handle to take some off the weight off their hips, shoulders, and legs. Here are some of the situations you can use a dog lift.
- Going up and down stairs
Many elderly, injured or disabled dogs have trouble when they are going up and down the stairs, so you can use a harness to give them a helping hand. All you will need to do is lift gently on the harness while walking alongside them. There is no need to raise them off the ground completely; just taking some of the weight off their hips and legs is usually all they need. Make sure that you do slowly to avoid losing your balance and getting into an accident yourself.
- Helping your dog into the car
Sometimes, you need to take your dog on a road trip or just make a visit to the vet. A dog harness can help you to take a lot of the weight off their joints when your pet is trying to make the leap up to the car. It even allows you to lift your dog completely if he or she is unable to jump up anymore. The action of jumping is one which can put serious pressure on your dog’s joints, which is why it provides the ideal opportunity to give them the helping hand that they need.
- Take Your Dog on a Walk
All dogs need to get regular exercise to maintain their health, and if your dog only has minor physical limitations, a dog rear lift harness can prove to be highly useful. Also, if you choose a harness with an adjustable strap, you don’t have to bend down to use it, ensuring comfort for both you and your hound. The vest-like harnesses, as opposed to the slings, are particularly useful for this task as they include padded straps for your dog’s comfort and ensure a tight fit which your four-legged friend is not going to simply wriggle free of.
Best Dog Lift Harnesses FAQ:
Q: What is a lift harness?
A: A lift harness essentially acts as support which wraps around your dog’s body, and a handle which allows you to take some of their body weight. Many come in a sling format with a long, adjustable handle, while others come in a full-body or rear-only design. Some also come in a vest format which is suitable for dog training as well. Once you have put the lift harness on your dog, you can then pull on the handle gently to take the weight off their legs, hips or spine. They are generally used by dog owners who have mobility-limited pooches. Different materials and designs are used depending on the individual manufacturer. Many are built using flexible fabrics which wrap around your dog’s belly areas, as well as adjustable or reinforced handles to take their body weight.
Q: How long can I leave a lift harness on my dog?
A: Most lift harnesses are only needed in specific situations such as helping your dog up and down the stairs, so he or she doesn’t need to wear it for a long time. However, there are some which come in a vest format and can be worn for longer such as on walks etc. Whenever you are putting a lift harness on your dog, you should double check that all the straps have been adjusted properly and that they feel entirely comfortable.
Q: Is it possible for my dog to urinate and defecate wearing a dog lift harness?
A: Dogs with physical limitations often need help going to the bathroom, but it is a balancing act between offering them enough support and not interfering with their ability to go. While a harness with a handle can prove to be useful, you need to make sure that it is not one which covers up their private parts. Otherwise, you will have to take it off which defeats the purpose of having it in the first place.
Q: Is my dog lifting harness washable?
A: Most of the harnesses which we have discussed are machine washable, and it is a good idea to keep them clean for your furry friend’s usage. However, some are only meant to be washed by hand, so make sure you check the instructions before risking any damage. As for drying, the majority need to be air dried rather than put in the tumble dryer. Again, the individual instructions of the harness that you buy will give you more guidance on this.
Our Top Pick
Ruffwear Web Master Harness
Our pick of the bunch is this master harness from Ruffwear. When you take your four-legged friend out for a walk, you can attach their leash to either of the points. The one in the middle gives you more control, whereas the one at the back gives your dog the freedom to roam. The connection point is strong thanks to the reinforced aluminum attachment ring.
The vest has been specifically designed to provide balanced lifting with a decent level of load dispersion, and the handle is padded for your own comfort. Five points of adjustment are included to provide a secure fit, making it ideal for exercising. And the stylish design and reflective trim ensure that your furry friend will be visible wherever they go.