Two-Minute Pet Tip: Selecting Pet Leashes, Collars and Harnesses

When it comes to leashes, it's not a one-size-fits-all affair. You can choose which type suits your needs, while focusing on safety and control, while also making a fashionable pick. Get tips for selecting pet leashes, collars and harnesses, below.

  • Pick the right material: leather is strong and flexible. After time it becomes soft and supple in the hand, but it's a little more expensive. Nylon is great because its virtually indestructible. It's impervious to water and comes in many colors. This is great for those with especially strong animals and has no give so it is a fine choice for training animals. 
  • Leash length: always use a six-foot lead, be it leather or nylon, because it gives one the most control and is the trainer's first choice. Here's an inside: to keep your animal from chewing, rub a little clove oil into the leash or collar.
  • Options for smaller breeds: for smaller dogs, consider a halter or harness - these combine the leash with a collar.  Smaller dogs tend to slip out of neck collars and, because of their size they, can be hurt if tugged too hard. A harness or halter allows them to step into a cage of containment that restrains their whole body instead of just one area. 
  • When to use flexible or hands-free options: maybe some of you have seen the latest rage - hands free or bungee cord leashes. They come in long sizes that will attach to your bike and have a little give for those days when you want to tour without peddling. Be warned, your animal needs to be well-trained before you attach yourself to a larger dog at the hip, as it may be prone to dragging you across a park in pursuit of a target whose sent they have just picked up. 

All of these designs come in a variety of styles and embellishments, from real jewels to colors that will match your jogging outfit.

Okay, there you have it -- all the information you need to arm yourself with the tools of travel for you and your favorite exercise companion.

By Wendy Nan Rees, author and radio personality

See other topics covered by Wendy Nan Rees and listen to audio files of her radio show, "The Wild Life".

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