For the safety and comfort of your dog it is essential to measure your dog accurately to ensure harnesses are fitted correctly. The harness should be snug but not too tight. A wrong sized harness, or an incorrectly fitted harness, can cause injury and discomfort to your dog.
Measuring Your Dog
You will need to measure you dog’s chest circumference to know which size of harness you need.
Step 1) Pace four fingers behind the dog’s front legs for harnesses sized 0 to 4, and two fingers for harnesses sized Baby 1 and Baby 2. Roughly for small dogs there should be 1 inch behind front leg and for medium and large dogs there shoulld be 2 inches.
Step 2) The finger furthest away from the front legs is where you will be measuring the circumference of the dog’s chest.
Step 3) Use a fabric tape measure to wrap around the dog’s chest. The tape measure should be snug, without being too tight or baggy.
Step 4) The dog’s chest size is where the end of the tape measure and the remaining portion meet.
Fitting The Harness
The harness should be snug, but not too tight. There are three checks to do that make sure the harness is fitted correctly. An incorrectly fitted harness can cause discomfort and injury
Check 1 - Tightness
A well fitted harness should l allow enough room for you to fit your fingers between the dog’s back and the harness.
Check 2 – Bottom Strap Location
The bottom belly strap should be four fingers width away from the front legs for harnesses sized 0 to 4, and two fingers for harnesses sized Baby 1 and Baby 2.
Check 3 – Top Strap Location
The front chest strap should fit comfortably against the chest without drooping toward the legs or riding up toward the neck.
High Front Strap: If the harness is too small (above image), the front strap will sit too high and put pressure on the dog’s neck.
Low Front Strap: If the harness is too big, the strap will drop too low and not distribute pressure to the chest area as intended.
The dog can also back out or escape from the harness if the front strap is too high or low.