Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
Indoor pets often need their nails trimmed as they don’t go out enough to trim them naturally. So, you may be wondering about getting a dog nail clipping harness – what is it and do you need one? Is it safe for your dog or is it cruel? Is it worth it buying one or can you improvise something at home? Let’s answer all those questions and more below.
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What Is A Dog Nail Clipping Harness?
It’s pretty much what it sounds like – it’s a harness, similar to a leash harness but usually bulkier and with more support of the abdomen area. The purpose of this harness is to help you pick up your dog and hang it up somewhere for a few minutes. This will give you the freedom to clip or trim your dog’s nails and maybe do a bit of grooming.
If the whole notion of hanging your dog up in a harness seems weird or unimaginable, here’s a short and fun video of a professional groomer doing just that. Most groomers would do that for dogs that are misbehaving or are too afraid to let the groomer handle their paws. Of course, you don’t need a whole grooming table to do that at home – all you need is a stable cornice to hang the harness from.
When Would You Need A Dog Nail Clipping Harness?
As the name suggests, the main purpose of using a dog grooming suspension harness is to clip your dog’s nails or groom other areas of the dog’s body. This will usually involve the paws and the legs as the harness will cover most of the torse. Many dogs just don’t like having their paws touched, no matter how much they trust you.
The paw pads area is especially annoying to trim as most dogs will instinctively pull their paws away. Another key area we sometimes have to trim is the intimate area. That’s not the most pleasant place to groom dogs – neither for them nor for us – but it’s sometimes necessary, especially if the dog is long-haired and some matting has started to form near its nether regions.
Is A dog Nail Clipping Harness Safe To Use For Any Dog Breed?
Generally speaking, a good dog harness should be safe for any dog breed. If you have a dog with Brachycephalic Syndrome you may be worried about breathing difficulties. Theoretically, a crappy harness can indeed push into your dog’s chest a bit too much. However, if the harness is good and redistributes your dog’s weight adequately, there should be no such problems.
Another thing that may worry some owners is the size of the harness. And that’s obviously something to consider – if you try to push a Labrador Retriever in a Chihuahua’s harness you’re going to encounter some difficulties. Most dog harnesses will be adjustable but still have some size restrictions.
Lastly, if you have an especially short-haired dog with some skin allergies or irritability, some harnesses made out of synthetic materials can cause skin issues.
Different dog grooming harness models
Most dog suspension grooming harnesses differentiate based on their size and materials. Some will also come with additional accessories such as a grooming table, scissors and brushes, nail clippers, a muzzle, and more. The hanging mechanisms can be a bit different too so that’s something to pay attention to before you make your pick. Aside from that, dog nail clipping harnesses tend to work on more or less the same principle.
Can you use a leash harness for that?
Hypothetically, yes, but there are two very important notes to consider:
- Does the leash harness offer enough abdomen support for your dog to be safe and comfortable while it’s being pulled up?
- Can the harness be hanged somewhere? If your dog is small you can have a partner hold the harness up but for most medium-sized or large dogs, you’d want to hang the harness somewhere.
So, there are leash harnesses that meet those requirements. After all, some are specially made to allow for the dog to be picked up – those tend to be made for small or senior dogs. However, a standard strapped leash harness isn’t good enough to work as a suspension harness.
How to use a dog grooming sling?
It really is as simple as it looks. As long as the sling harness is secure and comfortable enough for your dog, all you’d need to do is hang it somewhere safe. We’d generally recommend hanging the harness in the bathroom as cleaning is easier there. However, most people’s bathrooms don’t have a safe enough spot to hang a heavy canine.
Of course, you can always just pin two hooks in the bathroom’s ceiling although that can feel like a bit too much work sometimes. Ideally, the bathroom curtain’s cornice will just be stable enough for your dog.
Good dog nail clipping harness models to check out
The perfect dog nail suspension harness will vary based on your and your dog’s preferences. Size, materials, suspension method, and comfort are mostly subjective factors and vary from one dog to another. However, first and foremost, you need a harness you know is durable and of high enough quality. So, to get you started with your research, here are three harnesses we feel are worth giving a try.
Can you make your own dog grooming harness?
Indeed you can. Take a look at this ingenious idea from Twitter user Kendal Peifer. All they needed was a used purse, a scissor to cut a few holes in it, and that’s it – a safe, comfortable, and effective suspension dog nail clipping harness.
Of course, the purse needs to be of the right size as well as to be sturdy and secure enough. Additionally, if your dog is on the larger side, a simple shoulder purse won’t be large enough. However, the principle can be applied with any larger bag.