Which service vests for dogs are best?

There’s no matching the amount of love and loyalty our dogs show us on a daily basis. For those who need them, a service dog is more than a family member — they’re partners in life who want to see us succeed. Service dogs come in all sizes, and when it comes to finding the right vest for that special canine member in your family, you don’t want to cut corners. Service dogs hold a crucial support role and have a very important job to do, and to do that job, they deserve the most functional vest possible. 

Chai’s Choice Premium Service Dog Harness is a highly ergonomic design focused on your best friend’s comfort with a water-resistant sponge inner lining. The lightweight buckle system is efficient and easy to use, and the polyester outer layer is scratch-resistant and highly reflective. 

What to know before you buy service vests for dogs

Finding the right size

An ill-fitting vest for your service dog is the last thing you need. If it’s too big, you run the risk of the vest coming loose and the dog slipping out, and if it’s too tight, you can cause your faithful companion discomfort. Some companies focus on either large or small animals, and knowing a little information about the company can go a long way. 

Use a cloth measuring tape and measure around the widest part of your dog’s chest to find their exact size. If you’re training a service puppy, you’re going to want an option for them to grow into. 

Quality 

There are no official regulations for service dog vests, but owners know the key to success is the quality of the vest itself. Non-breathable fabrics can irritate your dog at stress points around the shoulders and stomach. Low-quality stitching will fray over time, and some reflective coatings will fade more quickly than others. 

You also want something weather-resistant and made of a quick-drying material. Damp straps on a vest can cause irritation on furry friends and quick-drying material makes for an easier cleanup when it comes time to wash the harness. 

How does the human interact with the service dog vest?

Knowing what you’ll need from a vest is crucial. Do you need a handle? Where does the leash attach on the vest, and are those components plastic or metal? How accessible is it? The vest will be put on and taken off frequently, so that process needs to be as simple and secure as possible. Easy-to-use pockets can be a huge help for storing all your service dog’s essentials. Be careful, as some pockets on cheaper vests can be for decoration only. 

What to look for in quality service vests for dogs

Clear markings

It’s important when walking into a crowded public space that those around you know your service dog is not to be approached or distracted. The service dog lettering must be legible from a distance and reflect light. Reflective stitching and piping is a great addition for visibility at night, and some vests include a card kit for your dog’s credentials. 

Adjustable fitting

Service vests are not one-size-fits-all. Young service pups will grow, so having different adjustable functions is important. Different vests have different movable parts, but a couple of features you want to look for are an adjustable chest plate and a no-choking harness.

Sturdy build

Service vests go through a lot on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully, the right vest can last you for years. A great service vest should be made of a tough, quick-drying or waterproof material along with a breathable mesh lining underneath. It should have reliable, strong stitching and a metal D-ring for a leash attachment. On the top of the vest should be an easy-to-grip rubber or soft plastic handle. 

How much you can expect to spend on service vests for dogs

Service vests can range in price from $12-$75, but an affordable one that has all the basic features should only cost about $25. 

Service vests for dogs FAQ

Can you attach a backpack to a service vest for dogs?

A. Some models allow for backpack attachments. However, in most cases, the backpack is sold separately. 

How long does a service vest for dogs last? 

A. Because they’re meant to be tough and long-lasting, some customers have had their service dog vest for several years. A cheaper vest can begin to break down as quickly as a year. 

What are the best service vests for dogs to buy?

Top service vest for dogs

Chai’s Choice Premium Service Dog Harness

Chai’s Choice Premium Service Dog Harness 

What you need to know: This ergonomic, highly durable harness is well-built with your dog’s comfort in mind. 

What you’ll love: The buckle system is efficient for putting on and removing, and the harness is built to be lightweight and tough. 

What you should consider: The “Service Dog” patches are on the small side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top service vest for dogs for money

Fairwin Service Vest Dog Harness

Fairwin Service Vest Dog Harness

What you need to know: Customers give this vest great reviews because it’s reliable and flexible.

What you’ll love: This vest works for many different sizes of dogs, and it’s visible at night.

What you should consider: There are a variety of sizes available with this brand, so you’ll want to measure your dog before committing to a size. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Industrial Puppy Service Dog Vest with Matching Leash

Industrial Puppy Service Dog Vest with Matching Leash

What you need to know: This vest is most comfortable for larger dogs, although it has four sizes that can fit small dogs as well.

What you’ll love: It comes in three distinct colors with a matching leash for high visibility.

What you should consider: Saddle bags can be attached but must be purchased separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jed Murphy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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