Dog Harness Causing Hair Loss All you need to Know About

Dog Harness Causing Hair Loss

The dog harness you’ve been using to walk your pup may be the cause of hair loss. Harnesses apply pressure on your pet’s neck that can lead to inflammation and irritation.

In severe cases the pressure could break the skin, resulting in a raw wound. The harness will keep your dog from pulling on his leash but it won’t let him move freely as it needs to stop and sit down every few paces.

Dog Harness Causing Hair Loss; not only does this make walks very unpleasant for all involved parties (including any other dogs you walk), it can damage your pet’s coat.

Regular use of dog harnesses can cause hair loss even if the animal has short hair. The constant pressure from pulling and tension can irritate a pet’s skin.

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4 Reasons why Dog Harness Cause Hair Loss?

There are a few different reasons that your dog might have lost hair when you put on the harness.

1. Constant Pressure and Skin Sensitivity

One common problem caused by carrying your dog in a harness is pressure sores. Dog hair can be rubbed off on the areas that are coming in contact with the harness – causing injury to the skin, hair falls out, and you may see bald patches.

Avoid this by removing your dog’s harness when they’re not needed

2. A Misplaced or Undersized Harness

A harness that is too tight can cause hair to fall out. This may occur because it damages the skin, results in pressure on the follicles, or tangles hair when it is removed from the straps.

Also, if the harness is attached in such a way that there is a hard tug on your dog’s neck, it can lead to hair loss. This typically happens when your dog is pulling hard or running and trying to get out of the harness.

3. Breedground for Mites

Dogs with mange are often infested by mites. A harness that is worn all day may cause an infestation. The mites may try to collect under the harness. If the harness isn’t removed, then the mites can remain there and continue to breed.

4. Friction with thick bushes

Depending on the type of harness, dog’s travels through thick bushes and other terrains may lead to hair loss. The friction caused by the harness snagging in these spaces can cause irritation that leads to hair loss over time.

7 Solutions for Dog Harness Causing Hair Loss

The problem with the dog harness causing hair loss should be solved as soon as possible. Not only will it prevent discomfort for your dog but also helps reduce skin irritation that can lead to infection. There are ways to help your dog avoid hair loss from a harness.

1. Change the Type of Harness

If your pet is experiencing irritation from its current harness, then it may be time to try a different style or brand. A number of types are available that differ in how they tighten and hold on.

2. The -padded- Dog Harness

A dog harness that is padded can be used to help prevent hair loss. Padding on the straps and the harness itself helps to reduce irritation and inflammation caused by contact with the skin.

Be sure that you choose a lightweight harness to avoid pressure.

3. Harness with a Padded Chest Strap

This type of harness has straps that reach around the front and underneath the belly, attaching in the middle of the chest.

Such a harness helps to spread out the pressure that might otherwise be focused on one section of the dog.

4. The Harness Vest

A vest, or no-pull dog harness, is designed to help your pet learn not to pull when they’re on a walk. It also helps to reduce friction and irritation caused by rubbing against bushes and other obstacles you pass as you walk along your route.

It’s important to find a harness that works for your dog and your family. Talk with your veterinarian if you’re concerned about the possibility of hair loss from wearing a harness.

Find out what type of harness they recommend and why they think it would be better than

5. Fit the Harness properly

If your dog is losing hair on the back, then your harness may be too tight. Take it off and examine the fit around the rib cage to ensure that there are no hairs trapped under the straps.

If you notice a bald patch, stop using it until you can find one that fits better.

Be sure to remove all debris from beneath the straps before putting them back on your dog again.

Your dog’s harness should be loose enough for them to move comfortably (unless they’re pulling on the leash) yet snug and tight.

You should be able to fit two fingers between their skin and ring when they’re standing still.

6. Use Neosporin

Neosporin is safe to use on dogs for dog harnesses causing hair loss. Just make sure that your dog does not lick the ointment of a wound site, which can lead to infection.

Other options are pet bandages or antibiotic ointment for your dog.

7. Contact the vet if the dog harness is causing hair loss

If you’re concerned about your dog losing hair along its back from wearing a harness, contact your veterinarian. He or she can take a look and recommend ways to stop the problem before it gets worse.

If your pet is experiencing any pain or if there is an irritation that leads to sores or scabs, seeks veterinary attention immediately.

6 Remedies for Treating Wounds of Harness

1. Disinfect Immediately

In order to efficiently treat any wound caused by a dog harness, you must disinfect the area to prevent infection. You will need a clean piece of cloth and some hydrogen peroxide for this procedure.

Clean the skin with a damp cloth and immediately dry it. Disinfect with hydrogen peroxide, but do not overuse as this can irritate paws or skin.

You may choose to apply antibiotic ointment or Neosporin to normalize the healing process. However, dogs usually do not like the smell of ointment so we don’t recommend this unless it is absolutely necessary.

2. Make use of Bandages

Bandages can be used in case some fur has been lost near the area your pet wears their harness. This will prevent dirt and other irritants from entering the wound while stopping the infection from spreading throughout your pet’s body. Change these regularly until all signs have disappeared.

3. Use Coconut Oil

To help your pet stop losing fur around their harness when walking, rub coconut oil on their skin before putting the harness back on. This will act as a natural barrier against friction and irritation from rubbing against the fabric of the harness.

You can use coconut oil to relieve chafing. It will hydrate the skin by adding moisture and it’s safe for them to lick if you don’t want them to swallow it.

4. Mild use of Hydrocortisone

If your dog has frequent chafing while wearing its harness, you can apply Hydrocortisone cream to the area. Again, you want a small amount only or it could cause other negative side effects in your pet’s body.

Please note that if the hair loss is caused by an allergic reaction, putting ointment on the area will do little to help your dog. You should instead stop using the harness immediately and seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

5. Change their collar when they sleep

If you have noticed your dog is losing hair where their harness sits and they sleep in it, you should change the collar when they are asleep. Remove the old one and replace it with one that does not rub against their skin while preventing them from scratching at the area and creating more irritation.

6. Enjoy Relaxing Activities with your Dog

It is important to note that your dog needs a walk with grass or dirt to reduce friction where the harness sits. This will help avoid hair loss and improve comfort for your dog.

It is always a good idea to take your dog for a walk through the grass, off-leash if possible. This will help them enjoy themselves and let loose while they burn energy through playing with you – a great way to bond with your pet!

Things to Avoid

  • Do not use any kind of ointment or cream without a consult on the wound because this could potentially cause a negative reaction.
  • Avoid applying products to your dog’s fur that could potentially cause a negative reaction. If your dog’s condition does not improve within one or two weeks or if you notice any other symptoms, immediately consult a vet who can further advise you on how to proceed.
  • To prevent further hair loss, avoid the use of a harness for now. If you feel you need to make use of one, check the fit and always change your dog’s collar before they go to sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions


Hair loss is a serious issue and if left untreated, could cause a great deal of discomfort for your dog. Unfortunately, there are many things that can potentially cause hair loss in dogs including a dog harness.

Be sure to regularly check the fit of your dog’s harness, collar, or leash so no further damage is done. Remember: regular maintenance is key when trying to stop the effects of chaffing by preventing the build-up of bacteria on the skin and subsequent infection or irritation that can lead to mange in dogs if left untreated.  

Be safe, not sorry! If your dog is experiencing discomfort or has any sores or bald patches on its body that may be caused by a harness, don’t hesitate to consult with your veterinarian.

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