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For pet parents who live in the areas of the country where snow is falling, bitter winds are blowing and gray skies abound, getting out to talk your dog for a walk may not be as enjoyable experience as it is in the summer. However, even if you only take your dog out-of-doors for a brief walk safety should always be front of mind.

Our dogs love, and thrive, when they get exercise. Whether you walk your dog outdoors or exercise him inside the house, exercise is crucial for his mental and well as physical health; and hey, you benefit too when you’re up and moving – it’s a win-win.

As pet insurance providers, we know that neck injuries can occur if your dog is tugging at his leash when you’re out for a walk. A harness can protect your dog’s neck and spine from injury and there are other benefits to using a harness when you walk your dog.

Four Reasons to Use a Harness when Walking your Dog

  • Neck and Spine health. If you have a dog who is exuberant on his walks, he will be tugging on the leash which will, in turn, tug on his collar and his neck. A dog can injure his larynx and/or his neck and spine if he is tugging too hard on the leash.
  • It’s harder to escape. A dog in a collar can easily wiggle out of it and run into danger or get lost. A dog in a well-fitted harness is safer from escape because it’s harder to get out of a harness. Also, if your dog is trying to get out of her harness while you’re on a walk, you will notice it, unlike if she gets out of her collar, it’s a simple matter of her backing out of it and then she’s gone.
  • A harness can help an older dog stand. If you have an older dog who is finding it harder and harder to get up or navigate steps, a harness will help you with leverage to help lift her to her feet or help her up and down the stairs. There are even harnesses you can buy that have handles on them to help you with an older dog or one struggling with mobility issues.
  • Walking made easier. When you walk a dog on a leash and with a collar who loves to tug and turns the walk into a “drag” for both of you, a harness is an ideal option. When your dog is in a harness his tugging forward isn’t as much of a strain on you and your arm. You can more easily train your dog to “heel” or “walk nicely” when he is in a harness.

We love to see happy, healthy dogs and taking a walk is a way to keep your dog healthy. Dogs who love walks are also happier and a tired dog is a happy dog! Try a harness for your dog the next time you take him for a walk to keep him safe, and a dog insurance policy to keep your pockets happy and your dog healthy!  

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.