The best service dog harness

The Best Service Dog Harness or Vest (Chosen By a Vet) (December 2022 Reviews)

If you or a loved one has (or is getting) a service dog, it can be a little confusing. The ADA has a great Q and A page that can answer a lot of the questions you have about service dogs in general. But what about the topic of vests and harnesses?

First off, a few key points via the ADA to be aware of before you look into purchasing a service harness for your dog:

  • The ADA does not require service animals to wear a vest, ID tag, or specific harness
  • In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.
  • Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not considered service animals under the ADA

Since getting the right harness for your service dog involves not only the functionality and fit of the harness (which is hard enough to navigate as you’re choosing a harness) but also how the vest or harness will display that your dog is a service dog.

For that reason, we asked our veterinary advisor Dr. Jennifer Coates to review the top service dog harnesses on the market and make her recommendation for the best models for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Best overall
  • Best budget
  • Best with handle
  • Best mobility harness
  • Best service dog in training harness

You’ll leave this post confident you can purchase the right service dog harness for you and your dog.

What’s The Best Service Dog Harness?

The short answer is that Dr. Coates chose the PETNANNY Tactical Dog Harness as the best overall service dog harness.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

PETNANNY Tactical Dog Harness

The PETNANNY tactical dog harness has reinforced stitching with multiple handles and heavy duty buckles.

Our Top 5 Service Dog Harnesses

Below are Dr. Coates’s top picks. Compare the ratings and key features of each of the harnesses to decide which one is the best car harness for your dog.

Vet’s Picks Model Rating Material Closure Type Notable Feature
Best Overall PETNANNY Tactical Dog Harness 4.5 Nylon Loop, Buckle 2 metal buckles, reinforced D ring, double sided stitching
Best Budget Cymiler Dog Harness 4.3 Nylon Buckle Reflective straps
Best With Handle Bolux Tactical Dog Harness 4.3 Mesh Buckle Double handles, removable patches
Best Mobility Activedogs Service Dog Pulling & Balance Mobility Harness 4.6 Sheepskin Buckle Front chest straps have double adjustments
Best Service Dog in Training Industrial Puppy Service Dog In Training Vest 4.7 Mesh Buckle Features pockets for food, bowls, medications, or extra supplies

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Service Dog Harness?

  • Obviously someone who has a disability for which they need assistance from a service dog would be the intended market for a service dog harness.
  • Some of these harnesses have patches rather than the service dog labels stitched in, so you might consider one if you’re just looking for a heavier duty harness with additional options even if you don’t require a service dog.

Who Should Not Buy One?

  • Obviously if you don’t need an actual service dog you shouldn’t be buying a harness with that emblazoned on the harness.
  • You may also want to consider other options if you have a service dog but don’t require a harness – you can use the best dog collar available and get a vest that doesn’t actually function as a harness, but can indicate to people that your dog is a service dog to avoid things like them asking to pet the dog and to make sure as you enter a retail store that people know the dog is a service dog.

There are a lot of great resources for service dog owners if you’re new to service harnesses or vests. Here’s a great video overview from professional trainer Emily Larlham on training a dog to put their own harness or vest on:

This is a walk-through (literally) of how a woman uses her service harness for balance and to be able to walk (she recommends the Bold Lead harness in the video – that’s a custom made harness so we didn’t include that for review in this post, but you may want to check it out):

This is a video overview of how a woman self-trained her dog to be a service dog:

And, if you are looking for a service dog harness, below are some additional tips for making the right call from our vet advisor Dr. Coates.

“Service dog harnesses need to be well-designed, sturdy, sized appropriately, adjustable, and comfortable. The harnesses recommended here are all made from quality materials, have a wide range of sizes and good sizing guides, and can be adjusted for a precise fit. They are also well-padded or have other measures to ensure a dog’s comfort since service dog harnesses may be worn for extended periods of time.

Comfort is especially important for dogs who help with owner mobility since a lot of pressure can be put on a dog’s body when the harness is in use.

Service dog harnesses should include a MOLLE or hook and loop system that allows service dog patches to be added and removed as the situation warrants.

Talk to pet parents to learn what types of service dog harnesses have worked well for them. Your veterinarian or dog trainer can also point to any features that might be ideal based on your dog’s age, size, and working status. Closely read product descriptions to avoid unpleasant surprises. Looking at customer reviews posted on trusted sources can give you an idea of how satisfied pet parents are with their purchase.”

How Much Does a Service Dog Harness Cost?

Between $15 and $70

Service dog harnesses cost roughly $15 to $70, which is the widest range by far across the many types of dog harnesses we’ve reviewed, but most tend to run closer to the $15-30 range, depending on the style of harness, the size harness you’re buying, and what material they’re made from.

Again it’s not a focus of this post, but if you have specialized needs you can also consider a custom service dog harness, which will tend to be much higher (in the hundreds of dollars per harness in some cases).

Budget-friendly harnesses are a less-frills option that are typically still effective. A more expensive dog harness option often features tougher materials, additional points of adjustment for a more customized fit, or may have extra attachment options (the handles particularly are a focal point for service dog harnesses).

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily

“Comfort and security are the most important features to look for in a step-in dog harness. When we test products we look for comfort and security, even in selecting the best budget options. If you have questions beyond what’s covered in this post, I suggest speaking to your veterinarian, other dog owners, and reading the product reviews for guidance.” – Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM.

The Best Service Dog Harnesses: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

PETNANNY Tactical Dog Harness

A heavy duty tactical harness with heavy stitching and heavy-duty metal buckles.
Pros
  • Comes in small, medium, large, and X-large sizes
  • Excellent sizing guide available online
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Top handle for giving assistance
  • Mesh liner and padded for comfort
  • Has heavy-duty metal buckles where most forces are applied
  • Multiple adjustable straps
  • 2 leash attachments including on front of chest for no-pull training
  • Good video showing how to fit your pup
  • Easy on and off
  • Powerful MOLLE system for service dog badges and other attachments
Cons
  • The negative reviewers almost all mentioned the plastic attaching the clip that you’d attach the leash to being lower quality and ripping off after strong pulls from dogs that are big pullers.

The PETNANNY Tactical Dog Harness is the best overall service harness according to Dr. Coates.

The tactical harness feels very substantial when I pick it up – it’s made from nylon but the material is thick and there are multiple reinforcements throughout the harness to make it feel much sturdier than some other service dog harnesses we tested.

Here is an unboxing and hands-on review of the harness:

Overall the harness gets relatively strong reviews (though not the best reviews on this list – that’s the Industrial service dog vest):

Screenshot of Petnanny tactical service dog harness reviews

The negative reviewers almost all mentioned the plastic attaching the clip that you’d attach the leash to being lower quality and ripping off after strong pulls from dogs that are big pullers.

That said many customers are very happy with the quality of materials and the harness as a whole, and we’d recommend this harness even more highly than the standard reviews.

Best Budget

Cymiler Dog Harness

A padded harness with a top handle and multiple sizes with adjustable straps.
Pros
  • Available in 6 sizes and many colors
  • Excellent sizing guide available online
  • Adjustable neck and chest straps
  • Top handle
  • Padded and mesh-lined chest panel for comfort
  • Includes removable service dog patches
  • Reflective
Cons
  • Some customers complained about the fit of the harness (the size chart not being accurate)
  • Multiple customers complained about the quality and durability of the harness (this was the most common review)

The Cymiler Dog Harness is our best budget pick.

The harness feels very light weight and less substantial and durable than the PETNANNY tactical harness. It has a vest shape and does have service dog patches you can add and remove if you wanted to use the harness for a dog that’s not a service dog.

Overall the harness gets (tied for) the worst reviews of the harnesses featured in this post, but in comparison with other harnesses we’ve tested the reviews are decent for the price:

Screenshot of Cymiler service dog harness reviews

The negative reviews tend to center around two core issues:

  • Some customers complained about the fit of the harness (the size chart not being accurate)
  • Multiple customers complained about the quality and durability of the harness (this was the most common review)

That said these are the most common complaints about harnesses we’ve seen reviewing tons of negative customer reviews. All in all this is a good option for budget-conscious customers looking for a service dog harness.

Best with a Handle

Bolux Tactical Dog Harness

Harness includes multiple patches including service dog and service dog in training, and comes with 2 top handles.
Pros
  • Comes in small, medium, large, and X-large sizes
  • 3 points of adjustment for good fit
  • Has 2 top handles for close-in control
  • MOLLE system includes 7 patches including service dog and service dog in training
  • Padded and lined with mesh for dog’s comfort
  • Reflective
Cons
  • The patches not being delivered (multiple customers had this complaint)
  • Difficult fit (it was difficult to size when we tested the harness)
  • The harness being too heavy, even for a large dog, particularly with the patches on

The best top handle harness is the Bolux Tactical Dog Harness.

This mesh harness felt very substantial and heavy when I pick it up – it has a different shape than some of the other harnesses with thick straps underneath and a thick strap across the chest and close to the neck (if you’re looking for open chest space in your harness this isn’t the right harness for you). It also comes with several patches and is the only harness we tested with two handles on the top of the harness, making it our top pick for top handle harnesses.

Here is a video showing you the harness on a dog, as well as an in-depth review of the harness:


The Bolux harness is tied for the lowest rated harness among those listed here:

Screenshot of the Bolux tactical dog harness reviews

Complaints from customers who had issues with the harness included:

  • The patches not being delivered (multiple customers had this complaint)
  • Difficult fit (it was difficult to size when we tested the harness)
  • The harness being too heavy, even for a large dog, particularly with the patches on

All of that said, a number of people were happy with the harness and if you’re prioritizing top handles on your harness this is the one we’d recommend.

Pros
  • Ideal for dogs who help with owner mobility
  • Harness takes stress away from the dog’s neck and has a stand-up handle
  • Softly padded for dog comfort
  • Available in 2 sizes to fit larger dogs who can help with owner mobility
  • Adjustable for good fit
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Comes with 2 removable service dog patches
  • Easy on/off
Cons
  • Only two fairly broad sizing options
  • The most expensive option of those we tested

The best service mobility harness is the Activedogs Service Dog Pulling & Balance Mobility Harness.

This is a light-feeling harness that feels a bit oddly-shaped when you pick it up and put it on your dog due to the sheepskin material.

We’d recommend ignoring the reviews for this product at the moment as as of the date of publish the harness only had 7 total reviews (all 4 or 5 stars), which is not enough to really weigh those either way.

All in all if you’re looking for a mobility harness this is a great option.

Best for Service Dog in Training

Industrial Puppy Service Dog In Training Vest

This service dog vest features 8 sizes, multiple removable patches, and a top handle.
Pros
  • Comes in 8 sizes to fit puppies of all sizes as they grow and go through their training
  • Includes 2 removable “service dog in training” patches
  • Top handle for extra control
  • Durable
  • Cushioned for comfort
  • Easy on/off
  • Reflective
Cons

The Industrial Puppy Service Dog In Training Vest is our top pick for service dogs in training.

The harness feels a lot thicker than some of the other harnesses when I pick it up, and the fit is a little strange as there’s a strap underneath and a strap that goes somewhat loosely across the chest (almost how a kid carries a backpack on one shoulder). It’s marketed as a service vest but it does have a top handle and ring to attach a leash, so it’s functionally a harness.

This is actually the best reviewed of the harnesses we tested by a good margin:

Screenshot of industrial service dog in training vest reviews.

The biggest complaints among customers who had issues with the harness included:

  • Issues with the harness being an awkward fit (this was my experience as well)
  • Issues with durability and the harness breaking with use

That said again those are the two most common complaints people have about harnesses in general, and the reviews for this harness are overwhelmingly positive. If you have a growing puppy and need a service dog in training vest, this is definitely your best bet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conclusion: The Best Dog Car Harnesses

If you’re looking for a service dog harness for your dog, here are our top picks (chosen by a vet):

For more on dog harnesses, including everything from how to measure your dog for a harness and how a dog harness should fit to the best escape proof dog harnesses, check out or series of posts:

And our individual harness reviews:

And our breed-specific harness guides:

Thomas Demers
Tom is a managing partner with Pet News Daily. He has been writing and researching on the web for over 10 years. He owns 3 dogs, 3 cats, and is a huge animal lover. His current obsession is working on training his (currently very good but very poorly behaved) 87 pound, 1 year old Bernedoodle named Pinecone.