People with various disabilities often find that their lives are made easier and more enriching with the aid of their service dogs. Service dogs are working dogs and they usually wear some type of vest or harness to alert the public that they are more than just a pet. Service dogs are allowed in areas that pet dogs are not, such as in restaurants, airplanes, and doctor’s offices. If you have a service dog, you might be looking for a new service dog vest or harness.
We have reviewed dozens of service dog vests and harnesses to bring you the best of the best. We considered features such as visibility, fit, and how Amazon reviewers rated the devices.
The Industrial Puppy Service Dog Harness with Hook and Loop Straps and Handle was clearly the top choice. It is made from strong, durable materials, comes in a wide variety of sizes to accommodate service dogs from tiny to extra large, and is made to hold a backpack (sold separately).
The 5 Top-Rated Service Dog Vests and Harnesses
|Best Overall||Industrial Puppy Service Dog Harness with Hook and Loop Straps and Handle||4.5|
|Runner Up||Fairwin Service Vest Dog Harness||4.3|
|Best Budget Buy||FAYOGOO Dog Vest Harness for Service Dogs||4.2|
|Best Pulling Harness||YOGADOG – Heavy Duty Dog Harness||4.4|
|Best Cape Vest||PLUTUS PET Service Dog Vest
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Industrial Puppy Service Dog Harness with Hook and Loop Straps and Handle
The Industrial Puppy Service Dog Harness with Hook and Loop Straps and Handle was our top choice thanks to its many easy-to-use features. This heavy-duty, double-stitched nylon harness has removable patches, which means you can use the same harness for all of your outings, rather than switching depending on whether you are going to a grocery store, a doctor’s office, or an airport. It has a simple belly buckle, which makes putting the harness on quick and easy.
This harness can accommodate a backpack for food, bowls, or medication, and the top-mounted handle gives the handler control over the dog when there is an emergency situation. The straps are reflective to make nighttime outings safe, and the mesh is breathable to keep your dog comfortable in warm weather.
Industrial Puppy Service Dog Harness with Hook and Loop Straps and Handle Key Features:
- Made from breathable mesh and double-stitched nylon
- Reflective straps
- Removable patches
- Accommodates a backpack
- Easy to use belly buckle
- Top-mounted handle
Our Runner Up Pick: Fairwin Service Vest Dog Harness
The Fairwin Service Vest Dog Harness is our runner-up pick. It has a comfortable design, including a padded back, comfortable neck straps, and a breathable mesh lining. Made from sturdy nylon, the harness also features a stainless steel D-ring for a leash and ID tag. In addition, the “service dog” patches are removable.
The harness comes in several different sizes to fit a wide range of dogs an it includes a 20-month warranty and a 60-day hassle-free return policy.
Fairwin Service Vest Dog Harness Key Features:
- Padded back and neck straps
- Breathable mesh lining
- Sturdy nylon construction
- D-ring for leash
- Top-mounted standing handle
- Removable patches
Best Budget Pick: FAYOGOO Dog Vest Harness for Service Dogs
The FAYOGOO Dog Vest Harness for Service Dogs is our top pick for those on a budget. It comes in sizes for small, medium, and large dogs, and it also has adjustable neck and chest straps for a custom fit. Your companion will enjoy maximum comfort thanks to padded straps and a breathable mesh lining. The harness is made from a lightweight oxford material, so it won’t weigh your dog down.
The color is bright, and the wording is reflective to raise your safety level at night. The “service dog” patches are removable, and you’ll be able to attach your leash to the included D-ring.
FAYOGOOD Dog Vest Harness for Service Dogs Key Features:
- Padded back and neck straps
- Mesh lining for breathability
- Adjustable neck and chest straps
- Made from lightweight oxford material
- Removable patches
- Reflective lettering
- D-ring included
Best Pulling Harness: YOGADOG – Heavy Duty Dog Harness
The YOGADOG – Heavy Duty Dog Harness is our top pick for a pulling harness. This harness is great for service dogs who need to pull a wheelchair, and it’s also ideal for training service dogs. This one is for larger dogs with a 28- to 38-inch chest. The special elastic handle design ensures comfort and safety for the dog and the handler. It also has a comfortable padded breast and a ventilated back to keep your dog content.
The reflective stitching and weatherproof nylon webbing help with visibility and safety, and the attached D-ring provides good control and a place to attach a leash and ID tags.
YOGADOG – Heavy Duty Dog Harness Key Features:
- Special elastic handle design
- Padded handle with elastic material
- Comfortable breast padding
- Easy-click buckles
- Adjustable straps
- Reflective stitching
Best Cape Vest: PLUTUS PET Service Dog Vest
The PLUTUS PET Service Dog Vest was our top pick in the best cape vest category. This vest will quickly tell everyone at a glance that your dog is a service animal thanks to the two “SERVICE DOG” patches on either side of the vest. If, for whatever reason, you wish to remove the patches, you can easily do so.
It comes in a wide range of sizes as well as a choice of red or blue. It goes on and off easily thanks to its fully adjustable chest and belly straps with a quick-release buckle. One major benefit this vest has over many other options is that it features a breathable mesh along the sides of it. This means your dog can remain cool and comfortable even when it’s hot out.
PLUTUS PET Service Dog Vest Key Features:
- Comes in two colors and a range of sizes
- Mesh sides
- Includes two removable “SERVICE DOG” patches
- Easy on-off
- Reflective stripes
Who Should Buy a Service Dog Vest or Harness
If you have a service dog, then you will want to purchase a vest or harness that identifies him as such. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that when your dog is wearing the item, he will know that he is working. Working time is not a time to play, to run around, or to do the other things that dogs like to do. When the vest or harness is off, your dog will understand that this is the time for a game of fetch or a solo ramble around your back yard. Because your service dog goes with you most places you go, it’s a good idea to keep a dog travel water bottle on hand so you can be sure your faithful companion stays hydrated throughout the day.
Another reason to use a service harness or vest is so other people will understand that your dog is working. This can help prevent unwanted attention in the form of petting and treats from people who might love to fawn over other people’s dogs. Most people know that if a dog is wearing a service vest, he (and his owner) should not be disturbed. If nothing else, you can point to the vest and say, “please don’t pet my dog; he is working.” The harness or vest can also discourage questioning by store and restaurant managers who don’t normally allow dogs in their places of business. A service dog is allowed where his owner is allowed, and while you might still be asked about it, the vest gives the manager a heads up that what you are doing is legal.
Important Features to Consider
A service vest or harness should have a few important features. Here are some to consider as you look for the right product to buy for your service dog.
- Fit. You will want to be sure that your dog’s vest or harness is not too loose to the point where it can slip off and not too tight to the point that it will preclude easy sitting, trotting, and laying down.
- Comfort features. Padded straps, breathable mesh lining, and other features will help your hardworking dog stay comfortable during the long hours on the job.
- Easy to put on and remove. You will be putting on and taking off the vest or harness frequently, so make sure it is one that you can easily maneuver on and off of your dog.
- Easy to attach a leash to. You might need a specific type of handle if your service dog will be pulling your wheelchair or supporting you as you walk. Or you might need a D-ring that will make it simple to attach a leash. Make sure that you have a way to secure your dog when you are out and about.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a service dog vest and how does it work?
A service dog vest, sometimes called a service dog harness, is a special piece of equipment that a service dog wears. The purpose of this equipment is twofold: First, it tells the dog that he is working. Secondly, it tells people that you encounter that your dog is a service dog. This means that others should not pet your dog or feed it a treat without your express permission.
Service dog vests have labels that say “service dog.” Depending on the situation, your service dog might have additional or different labels on his vest. Some vests or harnesses include pockets for you to keep necessary items. Others work with a backpack. The specifics depend on your needs and the needs of your dog.
What are the different types of service dogs?
There are many different types of service dogs. Service dogs provide a necessary service for someone who has some type of disability or physical or mental condition that the person would have difficulty completing on their own.
Some of the types of service dogs include Visual Assistance Dogs, who guide the blind and visually impaired; Hearing Dogs for the Deaf; Wheelchair Assistance Dogs, who might pull a wheelchair; Seizure Assistance Dogs, who can alert their handlers that a seizure is about to happen and also provide assistance or get help for the handler; and Psychiatric Service Dogs, who work with owners who have psychiatric conditions.
Does my service dog need a vest?
There is no legal requirement that a service dog must wear a vest. It is a matter of preference and the owner’s needs. Some service dogs need to carry items for their owner; in these cases, a vest with pockets or that is compatible with a backpack makes it simpler. But if you prefer that your service dog does not wear a vest, that is fine, too.
Can an emotional support dog wear a service dog vest?
No, an emotional support dog should not wear a service dog vest. An emotional support dog is allowed certain benefits, such as the ability to live with their owner even in pet-free housing and the ability to fly with their owner in the cabin of an airplane. Stores and restaurants, however, do not have to allow emotional support dogs to enter; in fact, in many areas, it is against local health codes to allow emotional support dogs to enter. You do have the option of getting a support dog vest, but it is important not to confuse it with a service dog vest.