Have you ever spotted dogs with funny looking jackets on them? What looks like a stylish jacket to give warmth to the dog’s body is actually a weight vest that carries additional weight in its pockets. It might seem a bit weird or even torturing initially, but the fact is that dog weight vests act as a perfect dog workout wear.
The extra weight that the dog needs to carry makes him burn the extra energy that keeps him overactive. In addition to this, the dog also gets to build its muscles naturally without spending any extra time on routine exercises.
Looking at the few but critical to health benefits, it is nowadays a trend among dog owners to make their pooches wear these stylish vests and carry extra weight with them.
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To get hold of the best weight vest for your dog, you will have to focus on four things – size, material, padding and pockets. To ensure that the size of the vest is perfect for your pooch, you will need to measure the girth of the widest part of the rib cage. A vest that would be too tight on the dog’s body will cause inconvenience for the dog while it moves it front limbs.
A vest that would be bigger in size will also cause discomfort as the weight in the vests would not stay balanced. The size of the vest should be such that it should not put any undue pressure on the spine while being worn by the dog.
The material of the vest is another important thing to watch out for. It needs to be durable, it needs to comfortable, and it needs to be less expensive. While the third point is for your convenience, the first two are most important for the dog’s comfort. If the dog does not feel comfortable with the weight vest, it would not agree to wear it and all your money would go down the drains.
Another important thing about weight vests for dogs is the padding. Unless a vest is well padded, it will not give a comfortable experience to the pooch. Good padding is also important for the safety of the dog. If the padding is not thick enough, the weights might injure the dog. If weights are lined on the vest, each of the weights should be padded so that the dog does not get hurt with any one of them.
Lastly, it is the number of pockets and their distribution which should be checked while buying the best weight vest for dogs. Not only the vest should have enough number of pockets of different sizes, but they should be evenly distributed all throughout the vest as well. That will give you the liberty of adding or removing weights from the vest as per the convenience and capability of the dog.
These factors are very important while buying a weight vest for your dog as that will ensure that vest gets accepted by your canine friend and he keeps it on his body as long as you, the owner want it.
There are so many brands manufacturing so many weight vests, that it could be really confusing at times. For the ease of the users, I have gone through the most popular ones basis the factors that are mentioned above, and put them under the scanner.
Given below are the reviews of the top 5 products which I think will be best suited for dogs that need that extra weight on their back while exercising or walking.
The K9 Fitvest is one the ideal dog workout gears for building dog muscle. The sporty-looking vest hugs the body of the dog and performs four functions at the same time. It not only increases the strength and builds muscles but the cooling vest also provides a cooling comfort to the dog by preventing overheating which is bound to happen during or after a workout.
Like any other weight vest, the K9 Fitvest also beings calming effect to the dog as well. What makes this one special among all other available weight vests is the unique reflective material of the vest, which increases the visibility of the dog even in poor light conditions and keeps it safe.
- Right fitting vest that does not cause sliding, shifting or chafing
- Boost calorie burning and muscle building
- Provides cooling comfort with means of cool gel packs
- Vest made of reflective material that increases visibility
- Available in 6 sizes
- Priced very competitively
- Cool gel packs not included in the price
The K9 Fitvest increases the intensity of any workout or even the general walk sessions. This helps in burning more calories and keeps the dog healthy and also helps in building muscles which is important for the dog.
The Weighted dog vests by Leerburg were designed to burn excess energy and increase the strength of the dogs. Looking at the performance of the vest, it can be called out that the manufacturers have done a decent job here.
I recommend this vest to be used in cold weather conditions, as the double-stitched heavy cordura denier backed fabric may be highly durable, but does not do a very good job in keeping the dog cool during workouts. As a matter of fact, the vest will tend to overheat the dog soon enough, so the users need to ensure that they keep on opening the vest during rest periods.
- Made with high quality materials which makes the vest highly durable
- Lead weights encased in heavy duty plastic
- Even distribution of zipped pockets
- Foam lining around weight pockets for reducing pressure at joints while the dog runs
- Gives a stylish appearance to the dog
- Available in 3 sizes
- The fabric is not breathable
- As the vest causes overheating, not recommended for hot climate
- Zipper quality not up to the mark
If the overheating part can be disregarded, the vest is otherwise pretty good. The zippered pockets will let you add more weight if required, which is a plus point and will not need you to invest on different vests with the increasing endurance of your furry friend.
The Approach full-day hiking pack for dogs is an amazing weight vest which is manufactured to deliver excellent performance. The light material of the hiking pack makes it highly comfortable and at the same time is very durable also.
The product is ideal for dogs who give company to their owners on day hiking trips or night adventures. The product has some amazing features which include coated zippers, external gear loops, and stash pockets which make this one get included in this list of best dog weight vests.
- Made from high quality material provides long-lasting durability
- Integrated harness makes it easy to control during leash walking
- Adjustable non-slip girth straps
- Sensitive areas are padded with soft cushions for added comfort
- Available in five different sizes for best fit on your dog’s body
- Available in four different colors which are easily noticeable
- The material is not waterproof
The padding that is done with this product needs special mentioning. The manufacturers have ensured that they make it a very comfortable experience for the dog that wears this hiking pack. The streamlined design of the product distributes the weight evenly and provides a comfortable fit and balanced weight distribution which keeps the dog safe as it burns the extra energy carrying the weight.
If you want your dog to burn some extra calories on the next hiking trip, you would need the Kurgo Wander Dog Backpack. This stylish looking backpack is featured with two saddlebags on either side of the body.
These saddlebag compartments are designed to carry a number of essential items like dog treats, first aid supplies, toys and much more. The material that is used to make this backpack is water resistant which makes this ideal for to be used outdoors. The strong built of the dog vest can sustain rugged outdoor conditions for a longer period of time.
- Good for dogs weighing from 30 to 85 pounds
- Ergonomic padding for added comfort
- Can contain all necessary equipment required for a day trip
- Highly durable materials being used
- Four trim strips made of reflective material gives added visibility
- Material is waterproof
- The backpack has a tendency to shift sideward if not buckled properly
The ergonomic padding of the Kurgo Wander Dog Backpack pulling vest provides support to the spine. The weight gets evenly distributed in the two saddlebags which ensure that the dog does not feel any undue pressure on any of the joints. The D-ring at the base of the backpack allows the leash to be clipped which is what you would want while a sessions of leash walking.
Whether you want to take your canine friend on a stroll around the town or take it along with on a hiking trail, the Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack would ensure that you dog get the right intensity training that is needed to build its muscles and keep it fit. The weight vest is designed with saddlebag compartments which can carry extra weight or food items that would be required on the hiking trip.
The vest contains dedicated space for water bottles and other small items which can be easily carried by the dog on the hiking trip. The best thing that I think about this vest is the removability of the pack which would give some relief to the poor animal while stop for a while to take some rest.
- Made from nylon material which is extra-durable
- Bright colors and reflective accents increases visibility
- Dedicated holder for water bottles and mesh pockets makes it easy to keep things inside
- Carrying food and water made easy with convenient pockets
- Removable packs can be taken off during rest periods
- Available in four different sizes and colors
- Not made of waterproof material
- The straps can cause discomfort as it would rub against the skin of dogs with short hair
The Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Backpack can be considered as a pitbull vest even as it is available for dogs that weigh up to 90 pounds. However, if you have a smaller sized pooch, I recommend opting for the small or medium size as that will ensure a snug fit on your dog’s body.
What are the benefits of weight vest in dogs?
There are many benefits actually. To begin with, the extra weight that is being put on the dog’s body calms the dogs down. A highly energetic dog would keep on barking relentlessly and would be too active when it is being taken for a walk.
In addition to calming the pooch down, weight vests also help in reducing anxiety in dogs. Finally, the extra weight in the vests acts as dog muscle building equipment that helps not only in building muscles, but also in controlling the weight of the dog.
How much weight should be put in the weight vests?
When you start adding weight to the dog’s vest, the best is to start with 5% of the original weight of the dog. As the animal gets used to carry the extra weight, you can increase the same. However, the maximum weight limit should not cross 20% of the dog’s original body weight.
Where to buy weight vest?
There are many places where you can buy dog vests from. You can try the local pet store or the office o f the veterinarian to get hold of a good dog vest. The online stores are also a great option for buying dog weight vests. You can also try to contact with the other dog owners to see if they have any spare weight vest which they would want to sell off at a discounted rate.
How to put weight on a dog?
You cannot do that overnight. First you will have to get the dog accustomed with the dog vest. TO do that, strap the vest on the dog’s body while taking it out for a stroll. Do not add any weight initially. Once it gets used to the extra piece on its body, you need to add very little weight in a balanced manner.
This means that the weight should be equally distributed on both sides of the body, or should be centered right above the shoulders. Once the dog starts getting used to a certain weight on its body, you can slowly increase the weight.
How to acquire a dog weight vest?
If you have the creativity in you, a dog weight vest can be made by you only. All you need to do is to choose a material that the dog would be comfortable with and ensure that you add proper and durable fillers to the vest. If you do not to take all this pain, the best option is to buy readymade dog vests.
Can I put weight on puppies as well?
Although there are special puppy weight vests available in the market but putting weight on puppies is not recommended. As a matter of fact, till the time the dog becomes 2 years old, extra weight can damage their joints and cause problems with their gait.
Putting on weight vests on dogs is a very smart way of getting the dog to burn some extra calories. However, the only thing that you need to watch out for is that you are not burdening the dog with more weight than it can handle. Additional weight would only cause joint problems in the dogs which are something that should be avoided at any cost.
I have tried to put up an unbiased review here to help you decide which product would be good for your pooch. If you are more into hiking, you may choose the hiking backpacks for your dog and if you are a general city-stroller, the weight vests from K9 or Leerburg is what would be suitable for your dog’s needs.
No matter which product you choose, you would need to remember that you should use it without compromising on the comfort of your dog. If the dog doesn’t get comfortable with its new attire, it could backfire and bring undesired results eventually.