The Harness and the Collar: Pros and Cons

April 15, 2023by PetPal0

When going out with your pet, it’s crucial that you keep them restrained. Doing so will prevent them from getting into trouble with other animals, people, or cars. It’ll also keep them from running away and getting lost. 

Putting them on a leash can benefit everyone, but many pet owners are torn between two popular restraining options. Should you put a harness or a collar on your pet? They both have a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. If you’re wondering which one is more suitable for your best pal, read on to learn more!

Pros of Using a Harness

Image source: Pexels

Harnesses are restraining devices with two straps that wrap around your pet’s torso. Some benefits of harnesses include:

Reducing the Stress of Pulling

If your pet tends to pull a lot, harnesses may be an excellent option. Because harnesses cover the dog’s chest, upper back, and shoulder, the force of pulling disperses over a larger surface area. This helps reduce the stress and tension on your pet’s neck.

Because they’re better for your pet’s neck, harnesses can help prevent issues like restricted airways and a collapsing trachea. 


Because harnesses are more complex pieces of equipment, they offer more security when walking your pet. They fasten more securely around your furry pal, so they give you peace of mind that your buddy is less likely to slip out of the harness and run away.

Cons of Using a Harness

Here are some disadvantages of using harnesses for your pet:

Potential Discomfort

Harnesses are bulkier than collars, so they may not be comfortable for your pets. Some dogs and cats will refuse to wear them, so it’ll take a while until you can get them used to the feeling.


Because harnesses are more complex than collars, it may be harder to put them on your pet. It’ll take a little more time to get them to wear harnesses, especially if they’re not comfortable walking with them.

Pros of Using a Collar

Image source: Pexels

Collars only have one strap that goes around your pet’s neck. Here are some of their advantages:


Unlike harnesses, you can leave your pet’s collar on them at all times. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and easy to slip on when you’re going for a walk.

ID Tags

Identification tags are crucial if your pet runs away or becomes lost. Most collars have rings wherein you can hang these tags, while many harnesses don’t have such attachments.

Cons of Using a Collar

Collars also have their fair share of drawbacks. These include:

Less Security

Although collars are easy to put on your pet, it may also be easy for some pets to slip away from collars. This is particularly common if their neck is roughly as wide as their head.

More Prone to Injury and Neck Tension

Collars only distribute the stress on the neck, which may not be safe for pets that pull during walks. Pulling may place pressure on their neck bones and airways, and they may be prone to injuries.

For this reason, collars are also not recommended for brachycephalic (short-snouted) and toy breeds. These include Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boxers, Yorkshire Terriers, Toy Poodles, and Chihuahuas.

The Takeaway

Harnesses and collars have their pros and cons. Before you get one of these options, make sure to consider if it’s right for your pet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Petpal. All Rights Reserved