If you’re looking for a better way to walk your pet down the block, a dog harness can make all of the difference. Unlike a dog collar, a harness won’t cause excessive strain on your dog’s neck or chest as you tug them along. Dog harnesses are objectively the best tool you can have to enjoy walks through nature with your faithful pooch.
But if you’re looking for the coolest-looking dog harness, then we highly recommend you take a look at tactical dog vests, also known as dog bulletproof vests. Continue reading if you’d like to learn more about body armor vests for your pet.
What is a bulletproof vest for dogs?
Bulletproof vests are vests made to absorb a bullet or cause them to ricochet off, leaving the user relatively okay after firefight. As you can imagine, a ballistic vest can be quite costly, and those made specifically to fit the form of a dog are even pricier. In fact, residential consumers might not be able to get their hands on a real bulletproof vest for dogs in the United States.
Do K9 dogs wear bulletproof vests?
Here’s the sad reality about K9s and military dogs. Although having a bulletproof vest would make their line of work a lot safer for them and their human partners, not every service dog is issued a bulletproof vest. Remember how we said these things can be costly? Well, that’s the main reason why K9s don’t wear them very often.
In fact, law enforcement departments are forced to reach out to nonprofit organizations in search of donations from kindhearted strangers. They need to hold all sorts of fundraising efforts in order to provide their K9s with bullet and stab protection.
If you’re feeling generous, try to help out however you can. Many nonprofit organizations like Little Blessings Inc. are have K9 fund support to help save lives by donating K9 vests to our servicemen. Though you might not know it, the dog’s handler will appreciate every little bit you can give.
Are bulletproof vests legal?
For law enforcement, yes, body armor bulletproof vests are legal. For the average customer, they are legal, provided that the owner has never been convicted of a felony. As for a K9, you might only be able to get your hands on a secondhand K9 bulletproof and bullet or stab-proof vest.
What to look for in a bulletproof vest
Even though we’re using the term bulletproof vest, all of the items mentioned in this guide will not actually make your dog bulletproof. The products down below are military in form, not function. That said, here’s what you should look for when shopping for a body armor vest for your dog.
Materials and durability
The single most important thing you want to consider in a bulletproof vest for your dog is the materials. The material should be lightweight, breathable, and not snap at the slightest tug. Most modern dog harnesses are made of a fabric composite that’s built to withstand pulling, chewing, and clawing.
Also, you should consider choosing a harness vest that comes has reinforced stitching and two-ply materials to prevent the fabric from coming apart at the seams. These are costlier but are well-worth the investment.
A reflective surface will reflect what little light there is at nighttime to as to alert passersby of the dog’s position. This is a crucial feature for those who plan on taking their K9s on late-evening strolls around the neighborhood.
Although you should size the dog vest properly, it never hurts to have an adjustable vest for your growing pup. The vest come with a series of buckles to make it conform to the body of small, medium, and large dog breeds. Take a look at the manufacturer’s size chart to determine whether the vest can be adjusted to fit your dog’s body shape.
Dog harnesses and vests can have three different clip styles: front, back, and dual clips. A front clip is great for handlers who want to train their pets not to pull. A back harness is better suited for trained pets who don’t need as much guidance or tugging to control, but it might release the inner sled-dog in them.
We highly recommend getting a dual clip style vest harness, solely because it offers the best of both front and back-clip worlds.
It goes without saying that the harness vest should be as comfortable for your dog as possible. Although you’ll need to pay attention to the design of the vest and how it’ll fit around your dog’s front, you should also make sure it won’t ride up and accidentally press against its neck during walks.
There are also several additional features you can get in a dog vest harness. For instance, they can have ID patches to help identify the dog and to whom it belongs. You can also find loop and hook handles on the vest to make your dog help carry some of your load during hiking trips.
Top 4 Best Dog Bulletproof Vests
Now, let’s move onto the crux of the matter. Below, you’ll find our top 4 picks of the best body vest for your dog. These vests will add much-needed protection while also offering a wide range of different benefits. Though they’re not made for police dogs, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the protection that these body armor vests have to offer.
1. WINSEE Adjustable Reflective Oxford Outdoor Dog Vest
The WINSEE outdoor dog vest is one of the best pieces of body armor equipment you can get for your physically active dog. This vest comes in six different sizes for small, medium, and large dog breeds. There are also 14 color and pattern options to choose from to best suit you and your dog’s personality.
This harness vest is made of polyester and comes with Oxford fabric lining, both of which enhance airflow and won’t rub your pet the wrong way. There’s also a thin layer of padding along the back portion of the vest to further enhance comfort and add durability to the overall design.
There’s a velcro patch that you can use to attach an identification patch. This is a dual clip design with rust-proof D-rings on the front and back, so those with trained pets or are just beginning to take them out for walks will appreciate the versatility that this harness vest has to offer.
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2. voopet Service Dog Harness
The voopet Service Dog Harness is a great dog harness vest for those that rely on a service or emotional support dog. It comes with four removable Velcro tags, but you can get custom-made identification patches to help others identify who your dog is.
Like the WINSEE, the voopet comes in six different sizes with the addition of 15 color and pattern choices. The harness vest is made almost entirely out of nylon but has an Oxford lining that promotes comfort and airflow to keep your dog from sweating too much. The stitching is a bit wonky in some places, such as the nylon handle, but it holds up well against the tugs of large dog breeds.
This is a back-clip dog harness that’s generally made for service pets. This vest should only be worn by pets who won’t tug on its leash but instead are trained to walk by your side. There’s also Velcro panels that lets you attach ID patches or use the provided emotional or service patches.
3. WALKTOFINE Adjustable Dog Harness
The WALTOFINE Adjustable Dog Harness is a lot cushiony than the two previous vests. Not only does it have padding on the back portion, but you’ll also find thick padding inside of the front section for maximum comfort. Being made of Oxford nylon, there’s very little reason to worry about whether the material is breathable or not, even for active dogs.
This harness vest comes with two zinc D-rings. You can attach a leash onto the back for casual walks or onto the front to train dogs not to jerk around. The plastic buckles are also incredibly durable and will withstand clawing and chewing from even the most stubborn dogs.
This harness vest comes in only four sizes and in five color options. The smallest vest is ideal for pups and toy breeds, whereas the largest will fit snugly around Great Danes and German Shepherds.
4. OneTigris Tactical K9 Vest
Last up, we have the OneTigris Tactical K9 Vest, a harness vest that arguably looks the most like a military-grade piece of equipment. This nylon vest has two D-rings for front and back leash control, giving dog owners the ability to both train dogs and take them for leisurely walks.
Instead of just relying on buckets and adjustable straps, on the spine of this K9 vest is nylon string that that will let you adjust the tightness to a snug, comfortable size. There’s also a ton of padding inside of the breathable nylon for extra comfort and protection against bumps.
Based on customer reports, as long as you correctly size the harness vest, the OneTigris will not chafe or rub too harshly against your dog’s coat. However, the weakest point of this harness is its nylon handle with inferior stitching. A 50-pound unruly 50-pound dog can easily tear away from the handle.