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  • Pet Waggin' Pet Care Team

Dog Collars & Harnesses We Love and Recommend (& The Ones We Don’t)

Whether or not you love to shop ‘til you drop, you have to admit it’s pretty fun to spoil your pets! And if you’re welcoming a new furry friend into the family, then shopping for your pet can be extra exciting. Who doesn’t love picking out beds, mats, treats, and toys to make their dogs feel loved and comfy?


Two of the most important items you’ll pick out for your dog are his collar and harness. As pet sitters and dog walkers, Pet Waggin’ has plenty of experience wranglin’ up the pups of Long Beach! And we’ve used many different kinds of tools to do so. That’s why we wanted to share our favorite kinds of collars and harnesses—not just as recommendations, but as safety precautions, too, because we know how important it is to put your dog’s health and safety first.



Here are the tools that Pet Waggin’ loves most, and why!:


Standard Dog Collars and Safety

Every pet parent knows that collars are an essential part of a dog’s life: not only are they necessary for dog walking, but your pup needs his ID and vaccination tags on display! Back in the day, dog collars seemed pretty cut and dry (collar, strap, and go!), and they also served different training functions.


Thanks to modern technology and education, we now understand that a lot of outdated practices are harmful to dogs. At Pet Waggin’, we know there are better ways to train dogs than to use collars meant to force pups into obedience like choke chains or shock collars. 


We love martingale collars. If you’re in the market, try the Country Brook Petz - Martingale Heavy Duty Nylon Dog Collar! With so many different color options, you’ll be sure to find the one that suits your pup’s personality. But more importantly, martingale collars like Country Brook Petz have become increasingly popular for the active pup: Martingale collars are also known as “limited-slip” collars, meant to prevent your pooch from breaking loose without choking him. 

If you do opt for the flat, standard dog collar, it can be hard to discern what’s too tight and what’s too loose—what will choke him or what will slip off. Our rule of thumb? Check to see if you can fit two fingers under his collar—no more, no less—for a proper and comfortable fit.



Pet Waggin’s Favorite Headcollars

If your dog still has some learnin’ to do, we recommend the PetSafe Gentle Leader Headcollar, No-Pull Dog Collar. Not only is the PetSafe Gentle Leader trainer and veterinarian recommended, but we’ve found it to be one of the gentlest solutions for behavioral issues like pulling and jumping. PetSafe also offers enough sizes to fit your petite pooch or big buddy!


Another great option is the Halti Headcollar: a popular option for strong dogs in particular. After all, headcollars were initially inspired by horse halters! If your dog has a different sized nose or head than most dogs, then the Halti Head Collar is the one for you. Unlike other headcollars, Halti Head has adjustable straps for the muzzle and the neck, as well as a reflective strip for visibility at night!


We also love the Bold Lead Designs Perfect Pace Halter, another no-pull tool to gently control your overactive pup. Perfect Pace is lightweight to guarantee your dog’s comfort, but offers enough control that you can really walk your dog without him walking you!  And we gotta say, we love that this small business is American made and woman-owned! How can Pet Waggin’ Pet Care not love small businesses!? 



Why You Should Use a Dog Harness

Regardless of what kind of collar you purchase, we need to talk about the importance of using a dog harness. One of the most obvious reasons is that properly fitted harnesses are less likely to slip off. In a dog harness, your pup will feel and be more secure, especially if you have a dog who just can’t stand the restraint of collars. 


If your dog is yanking or pulling (or if the handler is accidentally too rough), neck and trachea injuries can occur from choking. When you attach his leash to the harness instead, it takes stress off the neck and transfers his weight and strength to muscles more equipped: between their shoulders. This is especially important if you are working on loose-leash training! 


We also recommend using a dog harness because of another safety concern: tangling. We love your excited pooch as much as you do, but tangling is dangerous for the dog and walker. Sometimes pups don’t know their own strength, which means getting tangled up may pull you down with him. Additionally, retractable leashes might seem like a convenient and fun option as far as leads are concerned, as they offer more freedom than your standard lead. However, we now know that flexible and retractable leashes offer more room for human and animal error: pups are less controllable from 30 feet away; dog fights and other injuries are more likely to occur. 


Overall, dog harnesses are one of the best tools for training. For that reason, we recommend trying out the Freedom No-Pull Harness. Leashes are easy to attach to your dog’s back and chest, making the Freedom harness an ideal choice for simple and effective control. We’ve even seen the Freedom harness being used for the mightiest of dogs, from pit bulls to boxers! It’s the sure-fire way to train and communicate with your dog humanely, no pulling or yanking necessary. 


At Pet Waggin’, pet safety is our number one priority. But the safety of pet owners and our own walkers and trainers are important, too! That’s why we want to make sure you know all you need to know about the tools we love most when handling your dogs.


We also spend a lot of resources on training our staff, too, making sure we have a team that is as committed to your pet as you are! Learn more about the services we provide and get in touch with us to find out how we can fulfill your pet care needs, from dog walking and pet sitting to dog training here in Long Beach!