For small dogs who need the occasional boost during walks to large dogs who need help getting around (for a variety of reasons), dog lift harnesses can be a lifesaver for many pets and owners.
That said, lift harnesses are specifically designed for dogs who are likely to have issues with traditional harnesses or collars. As a result, there’s a lot that can go wrong if you select the wrong lift harness for your dog, including:
- Injuries or the worsening of injuries to senior dogs.
- Smaller dogs can slip the harness and run away, into the street, etc.
- The wrong harness can break or fray quickly, making it both a hazard for your dog as well as a waste of money (lift harnesses are expensive!)
To help you navigate all of this, we asked our veterinarian advisor, Dr. Jennifer Coates, to review each of the top dog lift harnesses on the market and share her top picks.
After looking through a variety of styles and types, Dr. Coates chose the Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness (read our full review of the Ruffwear Web Master) as the best dog lift harness due to its solid structure and versatile uses.
For everyday wear when your dog may need an assist or two, this dog harness with a lift handle can help you hoist your dog up a step, help her over a log, or hold her close in a safe way.
While this was Dr. Coates’ top pick, we also asked her to go a step further and share specific tips for choosing the best lift harness, to help readers understand which dogs may not be a fit (literally and figuratively) for a dog lift harness, and to share her top choice in harness for a variety of specific use cases.
The 5 Best Dog Lift Harnesses
- Best Overall – Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness
- Best Budget – Pet Friendz Dog Lifting Harness for Rear Legs
- Best Full-Body – Doggie Stylz Multi-Functional Full-Body Lifting Dog Harness Vest
- Best Rear Lift – Walkabout Back End Harness
- Best for Large Dogs – Coodeo Dog Lift Harness
Dog Lift Harnesses Compared
This handy table features the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and key features of each lift harness to decide which one is best for your dog.
|Vet’s Picks||Model||Rating||Leash Attachment||Adjustable Handle Length||Front, Mid, Rear, or Whole Body|
|Best Overall||Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness||front|
|Best Budget||Pet Friendz Dog Lifting Harness for Rear Legs||mid|
|Best Full-Body Support||Doggie Stylz Multi-Functional Full-Body Lifting Dog Harness Vest||whole body|
|Best Rear Lift||Walkabout Back End Harness||rear|
|Best for Large Dogs||Coodeo Dog Lift Harness||mid|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy a Dog Lift Harness
- For active dogs who need extra support. Dog lift harnesses are good for dogs who are active and need the occasional helping paw on a hike or walk. Maybe your dog is an avid trekker but sometimes needs extra support for getting around obstacles, such as over boulders, logs, or up a steep hill. Or perhaps your Corgi needs help getting up or going down steps on your daily walk.
- For senior dogs. Dog lift harnesses are a great mobility tool to help your older dog get around. Whether because of arthritis or tired, shaky legs, a dog lift harness enables you to comfortably steady your dog on his legs, aid him in walking, or gently hoist him up the steps.
- For injured dogs. As this is not recommended for every scenario, you should consult with your veterinarian before using a dog lift harness for an injury. A dog lift harness could help an injured dog who isn’t on bed rest and still needs to get around safely, indoors or out.
- For handicapped dogs. Dog lift harness systems for handicapped pets help dogs who need full-time support. Whether your dog needs a front-end lift, back-end support, or a full-body wheelchair, dog lift harness systems for handicapped dogs are often available in matching attachable and detachable pieces that can be used together or separately, and also allow you to create an entire wheelchair-compatible harness system.
Who Should Not Buy a Dog Lift Harness
- Your dog is young, healthy, and does not require assistance. Dog lift harnesses are a pretty good idea for most dogs, even young, healthy, active dogs, but some dogs may not like a lift harness. If it’s not necessary, there’s no reason to stress your dog when there are plenty of other harnesses to choose from.
- If your dog won’t fit in one comfortably. Dog lift harnesses are typically bulky. They are, after all, designed to support your dog’s body and need to cover a wide area. They’re also designed to aid your dog, and if the harness isn’t comfortable or doesn’t fit well, it won’t help, it’ll hinder.
Buying Guide: Research Tips From a Veterinarian
Talk to other pet parents to learn what types of dog lift harnesses have worked well for them. Your veterinarian can also point to any features that might be ideal based on your dog’s age, size, and health status. Do your research, read product descriptions carefully, and check out trusted reviews from pet parents. Here are some more tips and best practices to consider when choosing a dog lift harness.
- Look for a well-designed dog lift harness – To prevent injuries, dog lift harnesses need to be well-designed, durable, sized appropriately, and adjustable. Comfort is very important, too, since a lot of pressure can be put on a dog’s skin when the harness is in use.
- Consider whether the harness is for short-term or long-term use – Dog lift harnesses are used for mobility assistance. Sometimes the need is short-term, in which case a simple solution like the Pet Friendz Dog Lift Harness may be all that’s needed. For long-term situations, it makes sense to purchase a dog lift harness that is more precisely tailored to the dog’s particular needs. The right lift harness will not only increase a dog’s mobility but also ease the work of the person using it.
- Decide which style of lift harness your dog needs – With the many different types of dog lift harnesses there are to choose from, it’s important to know which type your dog needs or may need. If your dog needs help with his hind end, look for either a mid-section or rear lift harness. If you think your dog may need help with both his front and back legs at some point in the future, consider getting a full-body dog lift harness that can be used as either a front, mid or rear lift harness separately.
- Measure your dog accurately – Be sure to measure your dog according to whichever harness you have opted for. Front dog lift harnesses use a neck (just above the shoulders) and chest girth measurement, mid-section harnesses use chest and abdomen girth measurements, and rear dog lift harnesses use upper thigh and abdomen girth measurements.
Does your dog need help around the home, too? Things like dog stairs, steps, and ramps can help your pooch maneuver around the house easier. Mobility tools such as a pet ramp for the car, joint supplements for everyday walking, or a dog harness with a handle for lifting your dog go a long way to giving your dog the best life possible.
How Much Do They Cost?
Dog lift harnesses average about $50, though you can spend anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on how involved the harness is. With simple solutions like the sling, you’re more apt to spend less than $50. With more complex needs like a full-body harness, the price goes over $50 and is often more than $100.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily
The harnesses recommended here are all made from quality materials, have a wide range of sizes, and have good sizing guides, and most can be adjusted for a precise fit. They are also well-padded or have other measures to ensure a dog’s comfort. -Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
The Best Dog Lift Harness Reviews
1. Best Overall – Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness
The Ruffwear Web Master Multi-Use Support Dog Harness makes a great overall dog lift harness due to its versatility and quality construction. Available in sizes from extra, extra small to extra large, this lift harness is designed to help lift the front end of your dog. With five points of adjustment, this dog lift harness can be customized to fit most dogs comfortably. It can be worn for extended periods of time but is not recommended for overnight wear.
Use the padded and reinforced lift handle to help maneuver your pooch up and over obstacles. The chest and underside straps are foam padded for your dog’s comfort and also allow for moving around easily. There are two leash attachments on the lift harness – a solid, metal V-ring and a webbing loop, placed directly in front and back of the handle. The harness comes equipped with reflective trim and a loop to attach a safety light (beacon light sold separately.)
- 5 points of adjustment for a better fit
- The lift handle is padded and reinforced
- Can be worn for extended periods of time
- Available in multiple sizes
- Small chest piece
- No front leash attachment
2. Best Budget – Pet Friendz Dog Lifting Harness for Rear Legs
When you need a quick or simple solution, our budget pick is the Pet Friendz Dog Lifting Harness for Rear Legs. Not considered a walking harness, this dog lift harness is similar to a DIY dog lift harness – creating a sling that’s placed under the dog’s midsection, like using a large towel. Since it’s not a walking harness, this option does not feature a leash attachment, straps, or buckles. It is, however, ideal for short-term needs like recovering from surgery.
Available in two sizes, the Pet Friendz sling harness features a cushioned lifting pad with long handles. The padding is softly lined, and the holding straps are adjustable in length to fit your height and reach. The sling harness is intended to support mostly your dog’s hind legs but can be used with a second sling to support the whole body.
- Easy to use
- Adjustable handle length
- Soft cushioned padding
- Does not secure the dog’s body
- Not a walking harness
- Not meant for long-term use
3. Best Full-Body – Doggie Stylz Multi-Functional Full-Body Lifting Dog Harness Vest
Our veterinarian advisor chose the Doggie Stylz Multi-Functional Full-Body Lifting Dog Harness Vest as the best full-body dog lift harness due to its versatility and coverage area. This full-body lift system can be used as a front harness only, rear harness only, or combined to make a full-body dog lift harness. The front harness and rear lift harness connect together via adjustable buckle straps, while the front and back handle help spread out pressure when lifting your dog.
Available in four sizes, the Doggie Stylz full-body harness features a padded chest piece that connects adjustable straps for the front of the harness. The rear lift harness has a padded underbelly strap to support the hind legs. With multiple points of adjustment throughout the full-body lift system, you can customize the fit to your dog. The harness features a top leash attachment so this dog lift harness can be used on walks.
- 3-in-1 lift harness system
- Padded chest piece and straps
- Adjustable for a snug fit
- The rear harness goes underbelly
- No front leash attachment
4. Best Rear Lift – Walkabout Back End Harness
If your dog only needs help with his hind end, a good dog lift harness for back legs offers full hind end support by gently lifting the hips to aid your dog in putting weight on the back legs. Our vet chose the Walkabout Back End Harness as the best dog rear lift harness, which features soft cushioned leg straps to safely, effectively, and comfortably hoist and support your dog’s hind quarters. Made with soft neoprene and extra padding for comfort, this dog rear lift harness is okay for extended wear but not for overnight.
Easy to put on and take off, the Walkabout rear lift harness features both Velcro and buckle closures to give your dog a snug fit. This rear lift harness is available in seven sizes and allows both males and females to urinate freely. The harness is, however, machine washable for when it needs to be cleaned. The long handles are also adjustable so you can match them to your preferred holding height.
- Soft padded leg support made from neoprene
- Two safety closures
- Adjustable handle length
- Machine washable
- Size is not adjustable
- May not be easy to put on all dogs
5. Best for Large Dogs – Coodeo Dog Lift Harness
When you need to help your large dog get around, you need a dog lift harness that can support a lot of weight. Our vet chose the Coodeo Dog Lift Harness as the best large dog lift harness because it supports the majority of the body at one time. This lifting harness is available in six sizes all the way up to extra and extra large for dogs weighing over 111 pounds. The handles are detachable, adjustable in length, and can be attached to a few different points on the harness, depending on what type of support your dog needs.
The Coodeo lift harness is made from a soft polyester material that’s breathable and comfortable for your dog. It’s okay for extended wear, but not recommended for overnight use. This body lift harness allows both females and males to urinate freely, but the harness is also hand-washable for when it needs cleaning. This harness also makes a good small dog lift harness, especially for long-bodied dogs like Corgis.
- Wrap-around body support
- Handles are adjustable and detachable
- Soft breathable material
- May not fit all dogs
- Could be too hot for some dogs
Frequently Asked Questions
Additional Sources & Resources
- The best dog lift harness
- The best no-pull dog harness
- The best harnesses for huskies
- The best front clip dog harnesses
- The best puppy harnesses
- The best dog car harnesses
- The best step-in dog harness
- The Best Service Dog Harness
And our individual harness reviews:
- The Ruffwear Webmaster Dog Harness review
- The Icefang Tactical Dog Harness review
- The Gooby Dog Harness (escape free sport) review
- The Ruffwear front-range dog harness review
- The Rabbitgoo Escape Proof Dog Harness review
And our breed-specific harness guides: