Veterinarian Column: Reasons why harnesses are recommended over collars

by Alice's Dog & Cat獣医師

Which is better: a collar or a harness? If you ask me, the answer is a harness .

We will explain why we recommend harnesses.

The neck where the collar is attached contains important organs (trachea, cervical vertebrae, carotid artery and vein, etc.). Therefore, the traction of the collar puts strain on these organs. Tracheal collapse and spinal cord injuries are diseases that can be caused by collars.

Hakihana Harness: Why we recommend a harness over a collar

■What is tracheal collapse?

Tracheal collapse is a disease in which the cylindrical trachea collapses. The cause is unknown, but possible causes include genetic factors, obesity, high temperature and humidity, dogs that bark a lot, and external pressure caused by traction such as collars.

Tracheal collapse is a disease that is often diagnosed at veterinary hospitals. It often occurs in older toy breeds, but it can also occur in medium- to large-sized dogs and young puppies. Patients often come to the hospital with a chief complaint of coughing and are diagnosed through an examination, but mild tracheal collapse may also be discovered during a medical examination. Children diagnosed with tracheal collapse are advised to stop using collars.

Tracheal collapse is a progressive disease. It is a disease that is difficult to cure even with surgery. Even for dogs that have not developed the disease, we recommend using a harness instead of wearing a collar, which carries the risk of tracheal collapse.

■What is spine/spinal cord injury?

The cervical vertebrae are made up of seven bones, and the spinal cord (nerves) passes through these bones. Injury to the cervical vertebrae and ligaments can cause pain, and injury to the spinal cord can cause paralysis of the limbs and difficulty urinating.

Dogs who have been walking around with a collar may come to the veterinary hospital with complaints such as suddenly not being able to move their head and becoming stiff, or refusing to have their neck touched due to pain. This may be caused by the sudden impact of the collar. If symptoms are severe, surgery may be necessary.

As mentioned above, collars carry the risk of damaging important organs, so we recommend a harness that does not put strain on your dog's neck.

How to choose a harness

■Points when choosing a harness

・It has a structure that does not put strain on your neck. Y type harness.

Even with a harness, the figure-eight structure puts a strain on your neck. The Y-shaped harness has a structure that does not put pressure on your neck.

・It has a structure that prevents the harness from digging into the sides. H type harness.

If the harness digs into your armpits, it may rub against your skin during exercise and cause dermatitis. We recommend an H-shaped harness that does not dig into the armpits.

- Difficult to slip out.

Dogs move backwards when they are startled or scared and try to run away. At this time, the harness may slip out completely. For your safety, choose a harness that won't easily slip off.

-Easy to install.

Choose something that is easy to wear as you will be using it every day. For children who don't like having their front paws touched or who move around when wearing them, we recommend a type that allows them to wear them without touching their front paws.

Haqihana harness is a harness with Y-shaped and H-shaped characteristics. You can use it safely and securely without putting any strain on your dog.

◎Go to the Hakihana Harness product page