When it comes to finding the best dog weight vest (also known as anxiety jackets for dogs), you have to use a little common sense and buy a high quality product that is not only going to last but is also going to be the best fit and size for your breed.
Now to some this may seem like the strangest thing to do, why would you burden your best friend with a heavy weighted dog vest? To many this can seem cruel, but it's quite the opposite actually. Scroll down and you'll discover how a simple thing as a weighted dog vest can do wonders for your furry buddy.
The benefits of a weighted vest for dogs
There are lots of good reasons to use a dog weight training vest – from not only building up your dogs muscle and stamina but to helping to keep your pet calm. Down below you will find everything you need to know about weighted vests for dogs and where to buy them.
Weighted Dog Jackets Improves Muscle Tone And Controls Weight
If your pooch is overweight, then the product you choose can help your pet get back to a healthy weight. Having that extra energy can also make some dogs a little more aggressive, so the dog weight training vest can certainly help with some behavior issues.
As your dog sheds all the excess fat, muscles will become much more visible, leaner and stronger. As with humans, the extra muscle provides much greater protection for the joints and the skeletal system. If you own a slightly older dog it will also benefit from the use as improved muscles will help to deal with issues such as arthritis. Overall it enables your pet to do more in terms of activities.
Now it is probably true that the more muscled breeds like rottweilers, staffordshire bull terriers and pitbulls can benefit from using these dog weight vests, but so can many of the other breeds, such as gun dogs, retrievers and lurchers who can also gain extra stamina and fitness from using one of these also.
You do however have to be sensible and use common sense in your approach to using them, putting one on a puppy would possibly harm his or her development, while older dogs and dogs with serious joint problems may not be able to handle the weight. If you are unsure about how much weight your dog can handle, consider seeing a veterinarian for advice.
Using A Dog Weight Vest Can Have Calming Effects For Dogs With Anxiety
If you have a dog that is very active or that suffers from anxiety, a weight vest is certainly a good way to help burn off some of that extra energy and create some calming effects. This does not have to be a complicated process and can simply be achieved while they are running around in your back garden. Not only will they become much much calmer, they will also get more exercise and be way more manageable.
There are some great books on this subject that can give you advice on any dog behavior which you can check out here.
This in turn will tire them out a little more.The fundamental idea is to calm them in situations where they would normally be anxious or pretty stressed.
Many owners have reported that using a weighted vest for dogs have improved their best friends behavior drastically. If your dog get's terrified by fireworks for example, a dog anxiety jacket or weighted vest will help them.
These weighted vests actually have the same effect as it does for people with ADHD or autism. The weight of the vest enclasps the dog, giving the same sensation of a hug. If your dog is calm you will have a much easier time taking him or her for a walk, training and social activities will also be a breeze.
Introducing A Weight Vest To Your Dog
As you might expect, a dog will not be very fond of the idea at first. Why would they? That's why it is very important to take it slow and introduce it gradually. There's not set time for how long it takes for a dog to get used to weighted vest, but give it at least one to two weeks.
The first training sessions should be gentle, put it on the ground, let them smell it and get familiar with the vest. When the vest is no longer a strange item for your dog, it's time for him or her to wear it. It would be wise to start without any weights at first, so they can get used to just wearing it. If all goes well your dog shouldn't be too bothered by the vest, at that point it's time to add weights. But here you need to take it real slow. You don't want add all the weights at the same time, instead increase the weight in small increments. Having just an extra 1lbs on their back can be a real difference, the purpose here is to gently introduce your dog to something totally unfamiliar.
It's also very important for your dog to have the weight vest balanced. If the vest is not balanced properly it will create discomfort and might instead be associated with something negative rather than something positive.
Before You Buy A Weighted Vest For Dogs
Before you order a dog weight vest for your dog, please read some of our tips down below. Not only will these tips save you money, they can also prevent you from buying the wrong kind of weighted jacket for your dog.
Weighted backpack or weighted vest?
There are actually two types of weighted harnesses for dogs out there. One is a more like a jacket that goes around the chest, while the other is more like a backpack. Both work great as a dog weight vest, but depending on your lifestyle, one might be better than the other.
The weighted backpacks are usually great choices for people that love the outdoors. If you go hiking with your dog on a regular basis, getting a backpack with weights could be a great idea. Not only will your pet get the benefits from wearing weight, they will also help you carry your stuff up the trail. It's a win-win situation. The downside to this type of vest is that it requires careful attention so it doesn't slide around on your dogs back.
If you're not the outdoorsy type a regular weighted harness will probably suit you better. While they also have pockets, they're not very big and will only fit the included weights. These vests fits a lot better too, so you won't have to worry about causing discomfort for your dog.
Quality and durability
Have you ever heard of the saying "You get what you pay for"? While it might always hold true, it certainly does for weighted dog jackets and vests. It's highly recommended to buy a vest from a known manufacturer, don't skimp on the price as cheaper vests and jackets tend to be sewn poorly. They might save you some money at first, but in the long run you'll be buying new vests each month. Remember that the vest is worn by a dog, you never know what they might come up with. Slide through mud or ice, chew at it, you get my point.
How easy is the vest to use?
A good dog weight vest is a vest that can be fastened in no time. Sadly there's no way to properly tell if a weight jacket will be easily fastened or not, you'll just have to rely on reviews. Check what we have written down below, maybe you'll find something that fits your dog.
The best vests, jackets and harnesses for dogs
If you've decided to purchase a dog weight vest for your dog, we have made a little top list of our favorites. These are products that have gotten a lot of positive feedback from dog owners all over the world.
Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack
One of the latest products is the Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack.
These dog backpacks feature some really unique ideas. With various bright colors and reflective strips for increased visibility, large pockets for food and water storage, and an elastic water bottle holder really make them an ideal backpack overall.
Loved by many hikers and campers, the Kyjen Dog Backpack is guaranteed to be a favorite if you spend time in the outdoors. It also works great for calming your pooch down or to give them some well needed exercise.
Outward Hound's backpack has gotten over 1,500 positive reviews on Amazon, 55% of these are 5 star ratings. Sizes go from small to extra large, by small we're talking about the size of a french bulldog or a beagle.
- Removable pack takes weight off the dog during rest stops
- Reflective accents and bright colors for high visiblity
- Convenient pockets for carrying food and water
- Interior water bottle holder and mesh pockets
- Adjustable straps with breathable mesh harness giving maximum comfort & fit
The K9 Fitvest is a lightweight weighted vest for dogs of all sizes (which are sold separately, just search for the K9 Fitvest on Amazon). It will not hold as much weight as a backpack styled harness, but it will have a better calming effect.
Another interesting feature of this weighted dog harness is the ability to use cool packs to get the temperature down. You have to remember that our furry friends get pretty hot in the summer, a tight vest will only make things hotter. Do note that the cool packs are sold separately.
If you're looking for a dog weight vest with sensory abilities, this is definitely the vest to get.
While not as popular as the weighted backpack above, this K9 fitvest is a great budget choice. It will cost you less than $50 and will keep your dog calm and relaxed.
- Vest allows for full range of motion
- Conforms to your dogs body with out restriction
- Doesn't slide or shift during exercise
- Ability to hold cold gel packs
- Reflective material to help visibility at night
If you want to get yourself a weighted backpack for your dog but don't fancy spending over $100, the Ruffwear hiking pack is just the thing you need.
It's ergonomic design will let your dog carry different objects without sacrificing comfortability. Some interesting features are the leash walking ring and the lifting handle. This makes it a good choice for all-around activities and as well handling your dog if he decides to make some trouble. Sizes go from XX-small to X-large so most dogs will be able to wear this without any issues.
It has a near perfect 5 star rating on Amazon, a whopping 81% are positive 5 star reviews. All breeds seem to enjoy this dog backpack, no matter their size or weight. The only complaint people have are about the straps lacking any padding. Luckily it seems like most dogs do not suffer from this.
- Fits all kinds of dogs, from very small to very large
- Distributes the load evenly across your dogs body
- It's comfortable, even for longer periods of time
- Made from durable materials
Wrapping it up
There are many dogs that simply don't get enough exercise,and this can lead to the same weight problems as people have. This can be in the form of joint pains, diabetes and liver trouble. A weighted vest for dogs is a simple solution that has tons of great benefits.
Increasing physical activity through regular exercise helps your dog burn more calories,achieve a healthy body weight, increases the metabolism and builds lean muscle.
This is highly recommended and is a must for all dog owners who want the best quality dog weight vest to help keep there pet in tip top condition.