5 Best Step-In Dog Harnesses (2021 Reviews)

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Do you have a nervous dog who refuses to have a harness put on over their head?

And you are looking for an easy to use vest?

If so, then you’ve come to the right page!

We’ve compiled a list of the best dog harnesses that come on and off in a snap.

Here are our top 5 picks for step-in dog harnesses.

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1. Best Overall - Blueberry Padded Dog Harness

Blueberry Harness
Photo Credit : Blueberry Pet

The Blueberry Padded Dog Harness is one of the most popular step-in harnesses on the market, made of polyester webbing with neoprene padding to prevent it from rubbing against your dog’s skin.

It is soft and comfortable for dogs to put on, featuring eco-friendly tri-glide buckles that allow you to adjust the length for a proper fit and durable D-rings for attaching the leash. Plus, it has 3M reflective threads in part of the harness for added visibility.

We also like that this step in harness has a loop tied to the logo, giving you the ability to attach things like dog charms, tags, pendants, or other pet accessories.

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2. Best for Escape Artists - Gooby Escape Free Step-In Small Dog Harness

Gooby Escape Free Easy Fit Harness
Photo Credit : Gooby

The Gooby Escape Free Step-In Small Dog Harness is one of the most picked step-in style dog harnesses among small dog owners and is suitable for small-sized dogs who weigh up to 35 pounds.

Unlike the traditional harnesses, it has an escape-proof design, in which the back-clip is strategically placed so that your pooch won’t be able to free themselves through the gap created by pulling towards the back against the leash.

It is lightweight and comfortable, made of neoprene that contours to your dog’s body shape, with padding in the shoulder area to prevent chafing. And thanks to the material used, it is water-resistant and can provide insulation against the cold. The straps are also adjustable, with rubber tabs on the side that allow you to adjust the firmness around your canine’s chest.

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3. Best for Heavy Pullers - 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness for Easy Walking

2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness for Easy Walking
Photo Credit : 2 Hounds Design

Does your dog pull a lot on walks? If so, then consider the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness.

It is a step-in style dog harness designed for aggressive pullers who weigh up to 250 pounds, made of stainless steel hardware and super strong nylon webbing for durability, with four adjustment points and Swiss Velvet lining for your dog’s comfort.

It includes a patented martingale loop on the back with a minimal tightening action that will distribute pressure evenly and make it more difficult for your pup to escape when they pull. Also, it has a leash attachment on the chest that allows you to steer and redirect your canine.

What’s more, 2 Hounds Design offers chewing replacement!

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4. Most Comfortable - Gooby Trekking Harness

Gooby Trekking Harness
Photo Credit : Gooby

Are you looking for a harness that is comfortable for your small dog to wear? Check out the Gooby Trekking Harness, designed for tiny dogs weighing up to 35 pounds.

It is lightweight, made of a fleece-lined frame to protect your dog from cold weather and reduce abrasion around the armpit and the neck area, combined with its unique X-shape patented design to avoid choking. Plus, it has a memory foam padding to create maximum comfort and minimize the strain when your dog pulls.

The dog harness consists of POM plastic hardware, which is the same material used in seat belt fasteners, meaning it is lightweight yet high-strength. It also has four adjustment points to allow for a snug fit.

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5. Best Budget Buy - Voyager Step-in Air Vest Dog Harness

Voyager Step-in Air Dog Harness
Photo Credit : Voyager

On a budget? Then you would probably want to consider the Voyager Step-in Air Vest Dog Harness, one of the top-rated harnesses available at less than $15!

One glance at it, you know it has good breathability. It is suitable for walks all year round, made of soft and breathable air mesh to keep your dog cool on a hot summer day, as well as to provide insulation in chilly weather. It features three layers of security, the hook and loop fastener, buckle, and the heavy-duty double D-rings on the back to ensure your pooch won’t be able to wriggle out of it.

This dog harness also comes with two reflective bands on the sides for safe late evening walks and has many different colors available.

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What is a Step In Dog Harness?

We understand that it can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to picking a harness for your dog as there are so many different types of them with different purposes. So, we will explain what exactly is a step-in harness. Like most dog harnesses you can find on the market, a step-in dog harness can help restrain your canine so that they can’t dart off to other animals they see, ultimately keeping them safe.

What makes a step-in harness stands out is that it is easier to put on than many others, which is why it has become more and more popular in recent years. All you need to do is to unbuckle it and lay it flat on the ground, then get your dog to step in just like its name indicates, pull it over, buckle up, and your pup is good to go.

Benefits of Using Step In Dog Harnesses?

Beagle Resisting Over Head Harness
Caption : Beagle Resisting Over The Head Harness

There are many benefits of using a step-in harness. It allows you to secure your dog to keep them from running off and get themselves in trouble, and more importantly, it can prevent or reduce the risk of choking and avoid damaging your dog’s windpipe when your dog tugs. Its design can also spread the strain across the chest and shoulders, which is more comfortable for dogs.

And as mentioned earlier, this type of harness is also easier to put on. Plus, it is perfect for pooches who are afraid of having a harness slide over their head, like how you would put a traditional harness on dogs. And if you have a small breed or puppy, step-in harnesses are a great choice as they are non-restrictive.

Best Step In Dog Harness Buyers’ Guide

You notice there are many step-in harnesses with different designs and features. To pick what is best for your dog, below are some of the things you need to consider.

1. Pick the right size

The very first thing that you need to get right is the size. If the harness is too large, your dog can easily slip out of it, and if it is too tight, it can cause chafing and lots of discomfort to them. So, make sure you measure your dog’s size correctly. 

2. Consider dog harnesses with adjustable straps and padding

Keep in mind that your four-legged friend can gain or lose weight over time. So, it’s a good idea to consider a step-in harness with adjustable straps so that you can easily adjust it to fit your dog’s body shape without having to buy a new vest if they become bigger or smaller. Dog harnesses that have padding are also a good option as they can prevent chafing and sores.

3. Does your dog pull?

If your dog lunges at other dogs, people, and other animals, you would be better off using a step-in dog harness specially designed to stop that unwanted pulling behavior like the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness. Otherwise, you can also choose the ones with memory foam inside, like the Gooby Trekking Harness, as it can minimize the pressure put on them when they pull.

4. Do you walk your dog at night?

If you also walk your dog at night, you would want to look for those with reflective materials to help keep your pup visible to motorists, such as the Blueberry Padded Dog Harness and Voyager Step-in Air Vest Dog Harness.

5. Is your dog an escape artist?

One of the main reasons for using a dog harness is to keep dogs under control and keep them safe, and you certainly don’t want your furkid to wriggle out of the vest. So, it’s probably a good idea to consider harnesses designed to be harder to escape from like the Gooby Escape Free, especially if you have an escape artist.

Easy to Use Dog Harness FAQ

Is step-in dog harnesses the best dog harness?

No, not necessarily. However, step-in harnesses are relatively easy to use. This type of vest only requires your pup to step both their paws into it, which are particularly suitable for nervous and skittish dogs who hate wearing those that need to go over their head.

Is there a step-in no-pull harness?

While many step-in dog harnesses aren’t designed to prevent dogs from pulling, you can still find one that has a no-pull feature. The 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Dog Harness is an example of this.