Every dog parent walks their dog from time to time. Not only is it great for the dog to get some exercise, but it’s also good for us to get exercise as well!
For all the benefits that walking offers, thousands of dogs are still overweight, and this can lead to a plethora of health problems. Dogs that are well-exercised are much happier and have a longer lifespan. You might find helping your dog lose weight and increase their energy level a bit challenging, and this is exactly why weighted vests for dogs are a perfect solution.
When you strengthen your dog with a weight vest, it isn’t as simple as just picking one out. You won’t necessarily find the sturdiest or most comfortable one by relying on reviews. Knowing your dog’s proper size is essential to picking out the right vest.
How do Weighted Dog Vests Work?
The short answer to whats a weighted dog vest is that it allows your dog to be calmer and more manageable, keeping your pet more loyal, easier to guide, and in better physical shape. A weighted dog vest can help an overweight pup lose weight, intensify their exercise rate up to 90%, burn excess energy, and keep the dog’s activity level down. Your preferences will make a difference in what you choose. After all, all dogs have different needs.
Benefits of a Weighted Vest
You’ll want to read all the way through to the end to learn more about the benefits of a weighted vest. You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but this is one of the more important purchases you’ll make for your dog. After some thorough testing the dog vest
Here are some of the reasons why this purchase is important:
- An Ideal Way to Protect Cardiovascular Health
Having a busy schedule doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to keep your dog healthy. Taking your dog on regular walks is good for cardiovascular health. You need to remember, though, that walking does not replace the need for other exercise. Using a dog weight vest improves your dog’s overall health and helps fight obesity.
- Losing Extra, Unhealthy Pounds
What seems like a leisurely walk for you can be stressful for an overweight dog. A weight dog vest can be one of the best ways to help keep your fuzzy buddy healthy. Your dog can burn excess energy and start losing weight within a couple of weeks.
A weighted vest can help bring your dog closer to an ideal weight. If you walk your dog for 20 to 30 minutes daily, you’ll likely start to see satisfactory results.
- Helping Your Dog Calm Down and Relax
Overactivity can be more harmful than helpful for your dog’s health. If your dog frequently gets out of control, extra energy will only cause more problems. Failing to rein in your dog’s energy will only contribute to hyperactivity.
When you use the right weighted vest that fits comfortably, you’ll likely be amazed at the difference that it makes. Playtime will be a time where your dog gets the workout they need to stay calm. A proper emotional balance will help your dog stay focused. The more balanced your dog is, the less likely they will end up triggered by the least little thing.
There is No Single Solution
You’ll need to use a bit of consideration when you’re shopping for most products on the market. Weighted dog vests, by contrast, are one of the easier pet items to shop for. If you aren’t sure where to start, the choices might seem a bit overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider the following:
- Do You Want Pockets?
A vest that has pockets can add to or reduce the weight. Sided pockets, in particular, play a role in adding weight. For the most even, balanced feel, weight distribution on the sides, bottom, and top evenly. Vests with more even weight distribution will feel more comfortable. Thorough research before you buy will always help.
- What About a Padded Vest?
A weighted vest with material that stretches out will aid your dog’s mobility. Another benefit is providing extra protection during exercise. This vest should fit well enough to allow your dog’s weight to be well-sustained. Although most dogs will initially feel a little uncomfortable, they will eventually get used to the vest.
- Measuring the Size
If you buy an adjustable vest, making sure that it fits your dog will be easier. You should measure the chest, neck, and dog’s length before buying the vest. Most brands have guidelines for which size will fit most dogs. For example, a 23 to 28″ vest comfortably fits 35 to 55 lb. dogs. Always make sure the vest allows for comfortable movement.
- Ideal Weight
Even though weighted vests give your dog extra weight to carry, they should never affect your dog’s posture. You don’t want your dog to end up tense or strained when wearing the vest. Consult with your vet about the maximum weight your dog can manage based on their breed, age, health, and build. In the case of a growing dog, increase the weight gradually.
Is Buying or Making a Vest Your Best Option?
Buying a weighted dog vest is easy with the number of retailers available. However, what if you prefer to skip shopping online and make one instead? The costs and your creative abilities are important considerations. Making a vest provides a little more flexibility in its design.
Sometimes, a more comfortable, flexible and secure fabric that allows an owner to make a vest is preferable. The price of fabric is another consideration, with the best options ranging from $60 to $100. Think about the dimensions, the durability, and how easy the fabric is to work with before making a final decision.
Backpack or zippered vests will usually be the best option when you decide to buy. When you take your dog on longer walks, backpack-style vests are hard to beat. Zippered vests allow for the easiest adjustments according o your dog’s size and weight.
Consider these features when buying a vest for your dog:
- Easily washable fabric
- Reflective material for night use
- Properly ventilated material
- Useful for getting and keeping the dog in shape
- High-quality, durable material
- Non-slip straps that are easy to adjust
- Affordable price without sacrificing quality
- Additional attachment for resistance
- Allows adjustment for weight size used
Point to Put in Mind before Making a Vest Purchase
A point to put in mind before making a vest purchase is that every product has faults, and weighted dog vests are no exception. Here are some of the problems found with different vests:
- Some of the vests are difficult to fit on bigger dogs
- Smaller sizes might be even smaller in real life
- Vests from some manufacturers only come in one color
- There is considerable variation in prices that might impact affordability for the best option
- Some varieties are not well-suited to small breeds
- Buyers have reported some vests breaking after relatively few uses
- Vest straps can rub to the point of irritation
Even though it’s often easier said than done, this is a time when you want to be picky. Each vest has different features and different construction. Always choose the option best-suited to your dog, which will lead to a healthier posture.
Introducing the Weight Vest to Your Canine
Introducing the weight vest to your canine can be difficult if your dog doesn’t tend to be very submissive, which impacts how they might accept vests and harnesses. You want to ensure your dog is calm so the vest can go on as safely as possible. Here are some tips that can help:
- Add Additional Weight Proportionately
Regardless of the weight size you start with, additional weights should be added gradually. Adding the extra weight is a process your dog needs to get used to so they know what to expect. Watch your dog to see what their response is like. Remove the extra weight if your dog is showing signs of getting too exhausted. Only resume adding more weight once your dog is comfortable with the current amount.
- Make Sure the Vest is Properly Centered
Always make sure you put the vest on gently, taking care around the neck and leg areas. Use the straps to provide the proper adjustments. Make sure everything is evenly adjusted and balanced.
- Reward Your Dog for Accepting the Vest
Remember, getting your dog used to the vest will likely take multiple attempts. Wearing something like a vest is foreign to a dog, after all. Keep the sessions with the vest as low-key as possible, and praise your dog for their acceptance. Take short walks at first, and only gradually increase the weight. Your dog is less likely to get injured if you increase things slowly.
A Warning About Weighted Dog Vests
If you strain yourself trying to lift one of the weights, it’s too heavy for your dog. Avoid putting the vest on you dog during exceptionally hot weather. In the warmer months, confine the workout times to early morning and early evening. Taking this step will help avoid heat exhaustion, as well as protect your dog from joint injury.
How much do weight vests for dogs actually weigh?
Most dog vests are lightweight before adding weights. You will add weights or bags of sand to the vest’s pockets to get the desired weight.
Are any weighted dog vests waterproof?
There are many dog vests with waterproof features, including vests perfect for winter weather and rain. You will find these waterproof options in different styles and colors. Be careful around high water, because you don’t want your dog sinking.
How do I find out what size fits my dog?
Measure your dog’s girth with a tape measure. Sample sizes based on breed might include:
Toy 13″ – 16″ “Teacup” Yorkies and Chihuahuas
Extra Small 16″ – 23″ Maltese, Miniature Poodle
Small 23″ – 29″ Dachshund, Rat Terrier
Medium 29″ – 30″ Doberman Pinscher, Weimaraner
Large 35″ – 39″ Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd
Giant 39″ – 45″ Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard
Points to Note When Starting out a Weighted Dog Vest
There are a few important points to note when starting out a weighted dog vest:
- Avoid rocky or steep areas that can wear your dog out too quickly
- Use moderating by keeping your walks to 20 minutes daily
- Regular stopping and resting is necessary to avoid strain, so stop for a rest if your dog is visibly exhausted
- Always carry water with you to keep your dog hydrate
Consider the following before buying a vest:
Are Metal Parts Rust-Resistant?
Look for rust-resistant metal surfaces, even if you don’t walk your dog in wet conditions. Taking an umbrella during rainy weather is always a good idea. Moisture barrier products that are pet-safe can also help protect the metal.
Backpack vs. Vest
You’ll need to consider your overall lifestyle when making this choice. Backpacks are a good choice for dogs and owners with active lifestyles, but you will need to take care to avoid the vest slipping when it is worn. Conventional vests usually adjust more easily.
Quality and Durability
Even if your dog isn’t a chewer, many are likely to react to something new like a vest by chewing on it. You’ll also need to think about things like mud that might require more frequent washing.
When you buy a vest from a well-known manufacturer, you can be more sure of getting a quality product. Remember, if you buy a quality product, you won’t need to replace it as quickly.
Wrapping It All Up
You might discover that finding the right vest requires more work than you realized. Don’t be afraid to check out different brands to find the right option.
You should never rush into a purchase that is as important is a weighted dog vest. Since these vests are best for dogs two or older, you will have the best assurance of a vest that fits properly if you buy one once your dog has finished growing.