Tips for using the harness to benefit your dog most

The Help ‘Em Up® Harness is made to be comfortable for your dog. But proper fit is key. If the harness is not fitting properly, or you have chosen the wrong size, chaffing and discomfort may occur.

Blue Dog Designs, makers of the Help ‘Em Up Harness, offers these helpful tips for choosing the right harness to support your aging dog and for a comfortable fit.

DO: Your homework before ordering – Determine the weight of your dog and take its measurements. The Help ‘Em Up Harness comes in five different sizes (XS, S, M, L and XL) based on the weight of your dog and also its measurements. Determining the correct size of the Help ‘Em Up Harness will make for a good, comfortable fit. Click here to help in selecting the right size harness and watch the video for tips on measuring your dog.

DON’T: Just put it on – Just as important as choosing the right harness, it’s just as important to adjust the harness for a proper fit, function and comfort. The Help ‘Em Up Harness is a 10-point harness system that is adjusted with straps and clips. It should be properly adjusted to fit each dog’s unique dimensions. It should fit as snug as a collar would be, but can be loosened for comfort when the dog lies down in it. Watch for early signs of hot spots and chaffing as it is a full-body harness and older dogs have sensitive skin. Refer to the fitting diagram and watch the helpful fitting demonstration video for step-by-step instructions.

Also keep in mind that aging dogs or those recovering from surgery can be sore and sensitive – if your dog is not responding well to the harness, or does not like you putting it on, don’t force it. There could be other health issues going on. Seek consultation from your veterinarian.

DO: Choose the correct Hip Lift – The harness is a full-body lifting device that comes with a front shoulder harness that connects to the back rear-half of the harness called the Hip-lift. There are two different versions of the Hip-lift to choose from. The conventional Hip-lift fits all female dogs and about 80% of male dogs whose penis is positioned farther forward (approx. 1 ½ – 2”) in front of the hind legs. For those few male dogs whose penis is positioned farther back — behind the front of his hind legs or right at his hind legs — the U-band Hip-lift would be the likely choice in order to provide urination clearance for those male dogs. Here are tips on choosing the correct Hip Lift and a video that takes you through the process one step at a time.

DON’T: Leave it on for excessive amounts of time – The Help ‘Em Up Harness is cushioned and comfortable to wear and can often be worn for extended periods (8-10 hours), but you should always keep close watch on those areas of friction where hot spots can occur: between the legs and torso, under the belly and pelvic area. Unlike slings or towels that need to be rigged with each use, the Help ‘Em Up Harness can stay on your dog during the day, but we do recommend you take it off at night. And if your dog is lying down in it, loosen or unclip the straps especially on the Hip-lift to prevent hot spots or chaffing.

DO: Keep it clean – The harness is machine-washable; let it air dry if possible. Clean it regularly, especially if it gets soiled. Having another Hip-lift on hand is always another option.

The Help ‘Em Up Harness can provide hours of comfort for your pet and ease for you when you have to lift your dog. But like any gear, it needs to be monitored and readjusted as your dog’s conditions change.

For questions or more information, call us at 720-237-6852.

Download a PDF of these Dos and Dont’s