Well, just like any product, you have to be careful when choosing and weighted dog vest. Believe it or not, there are lots of options available when it comes to buying one. Ask your veterinarian for advice if you are a little apprehensive about what is best for your furry friend.
It is best to wait until your dog is at least 2 years old prior to adding a weighted vest to your normal walking or exercise routine. Here are a few things to consider when selecting the perfect vest for your dog:
Be sure to get a vest that can be adjusted to suit the size and weight of your dog. Use a tape measure and get a sense of your dog’s girth around the upper chest area. The vest should not only fit but be comfortable and allow for a full range of motion of your dogs front legs. No strain should be put on the dogs spine nor mid section and the vest should not tug at any parts of the body.
Consider purchasing enough weight that will challenge but not injure your dog. Ideally, you should begin with weights that equal 10-20% of your dogs total body weight. (i.e..- A 60lb Boxer could wear a 8-12lb weighted vest) A dog vest within this range will prevent any spinal curvature problems due to excess weight. The weights in the vest should be evenly distributed around the body of the dog. Increase the weight gradually as your dog grows in size, stamina and strength.
A good weighted vest will be made of padded material and should provide maximum comfort for your dog. Padding helps to keep the dog safe during exercise and helps to protect the dogs body. Good padding should wrap around much of the dogs torso while sustaining enough weight for maximum physical and therapeutic impact. Padding or not, your dog may resist the vest at first but it will grow to feel more comfortable with time. Be sure that the weights themselves are not making uncomfortable contact with the dogs body. A vest that is lined with many smaller weights will provide more flexibility and range of motion. Consider purchasing weights that have padding around them as well.
Look for a vest that has multiple areas to add or remove weight. These pocket or slots should be evenly distributed along the sides, top and sometimes bottom of the weighted dog vest. This allows for the weight to be distributed evenly which helps to ensure a balanced, comfortable feel and a more soothing effect on the dog.
Whatever vest you decide to go with, always consider the health and safety of your dog first. A dog weight vest can be a great addition to your daily exercise routine and your dogs overall health. Be sure to do your research and make the right choice for both you and your pooch. Check out Pitbull Supply.