You are welcome to this guide. We would be answering the question ‘what is a weighted dog vest?’. Dog enthusiasts who might not know, or have any idea of what a weighted dog vest is, should read through this guide. There’s so much you’d learn about weighted dog vests.
What is a Dog Weight Vest?
Dog weight vests are weighted vests that help your dog gain muscle and develop functional strength. Dog weight vests come in different sizes for different dogs, and the weight varies depending on how much your pet can hold. At the end of the day, these vests are not much different from those worn by humans.
As with humans, dogs also need to “vent”. Although they have been tamed in the past decade, dogs are actually hunters and shepherds, so they need to run this energy or be agitated as any dog owner tells you.
Before putting a weighted dog vest on your pup, be sure to discuss the benefits and any possible risks with your veterinarian. For example, a dog under two should not wear a weighted vest since it is still developing. And the weight and fit, and length of time it is worn all need to be carefully considered. The weight should not exceed 20% of the dog’s weight or be work for too long. Your vet will help you assess all of these factors.
Are They Safe to Use?
This is the main concern of dog owners who have never used a vest and who want to make sure they will not endanger their animals. In most cases and under normal use, the weighted dog vest should not pose a risk to the dog’s health but this means that it should be used properly.
Depending on the weight and height of the dog, the vest should be chosen in such a way that it will perfectly fit its body circumference and length. If chosen correctly, the vest will help you improve the muscular strength of your dog, solve several behavior problems, and turn your dog into a more obedient one.
Why use a weighted dog vest?
A fundamental purpose of the weighted vest is to help your dog build up his strength and endurance. Certain breeds need much more exercise than a daily run, and a vest can be another way to make his workout more intense, and you may end up with a dog that is not only more fit but also much calmer.
Just as people wear weighted clothing or hand and leg weights, a dog can benefit from the additional weight on his body.
Three reasons to buy a dog weight vest:
- Dog Extreme Activity
Some dog breeds, such as the Siberian husky, are shepherds by nature, and therefore sometimes over-active. When you take them out for an exercise, they can overwhelm you because their energy levels are very high. If you don’t have the time and energy to consume the dog’s reserves, the vest will be a useful addition to your training.
A vest is weighed on the pet and maximizes energy levels. A 30-minute workout usually doesn’t have a lot of impact on a husky, but adding a vest changes the game to feel like an hour of work.
- Weight Control
Probably consider the regular run you do every day. It makes loads for your heart rate and causes rapid weight loss. Now add a 10 lb load to this workout. It will be better for you as the first few days will be too much and you may need to cut half the time you run, strengthening the underlying muscles. Kill two birds with one stone by leaning and toning at the same time. The same logic applies to dogs.
- Making A Dog Weight Vest is Hard
Some dog owners make their own vests depending on the needs of their dogs, but we advocate purchasing. For starters, the vest should be the same material from purchasing a ready-made vest or from a certain material that is difficult to cost.
The vest comes with the right number of pockets to balance your weight while exercising. These pockets make it possible to lose weight as your dog’s durability increases over time.
How Heavy Should It Be?
If you’re just looking to reduce anxiety in your dog, it doesn’t need to be heavy at all. Rather, it should be a tight-fit without making your dog uncomfortable. This is also the same for weighted stuffed animals which generally only seek to provide the owner with a calming effect.
Thankfully, the vests above come in a huge range of different sizes and materials. Letting you choose a vest that’ll fit almost perfectly on your dog. Many also come with a size guide to make sure you pick the right one.
Want a vest to increase and strength and stamina of your dog? That’s when you want to start looking at the heavier vests.
Generally speaking, you’ll always want to start light if your dog has never worn a coat or other heavy vest before. Going too heavy at the beginning causes great pressure on joints and muscles, leading to potential injuries.
Start light, and increase the weight of the vest as your dog becomes stronger and more comfortable with wearing it.
There’s no real limit to how heavy your dog’s vest should be. Just keep increasing the weight until they reach a point where you want them to be.
Benefits Of Your Dog Wearing A Weighted Dog Vest
Some of the benefits of your dog wearing a weighted dog vest are:
- Strength training and endurance building. Just as humans add weight to a workout to push the muscles more and build endurance, a weight vest will do this for your pooch. It will help him in building muscle. Many breeds simply can’t get enough of a workout with a daily walk. Certain breeds such as Labradors, Siberian huskies, or Golden Retrievers can benefit from the additional workout.
- Cardiovascular Health. Experts recommend a dog have a minimum of 20-30 minutes of exercise daily. Your workout will be more effective when the vest is worn. It’s also useful in managing obesity in dogs.
- Stress Relief. Wearing a vest during his workout can help your dog work off lots of extra energy and produce extra endorphins. This can mean a calmer pup for you and better interactions with other dogs.
- Reduced aggression. If your dog is given to aggression, it can be beneficial to provide him with extra exercise. If he is worn out, his anxiety level may be lower, and he may be calmer around other dogs.
- Many dogs suffer from anxiety and the behavioral problems that do with it. This means they may be nervous during a thunderstorm or have a hard time around strangers. A properly fitting vest can give an anxious dog the feeling of being hugged, which will make them calmer in stressful situations. The extra weight also uses up some of the nervous energy.
- Against the Long-Term Effects of Obesity. Just like people who develop mobility problems to be overweight, dogs become weaker in the joints with too much pressure from the weight. Obesity crawls pretty quickly when a dog eats these fancy dog meals but lives a sedentary life. Bringing a tough workout plan will lower weight and build strong muscles for better mobility.
Training a dog with a weighted dog vest
- As with anything new to your pal, always start slowly. Let him get used to the feel of wearing the vest without additional weights to start. He may be tentative at first. Be patient and take it slow as he gets accustomed to it.
- Let your dog start wearing the vest for a short time, with just a short walk a few times until he is used to wearing the vest. Once he walks comfortably and confidently with the vest, you can add weight, a little at a time. You can also let him run a bit more freely and stay out longer. Never let the weight of the vest exceed 20% of his body weight.
- CAUTION: Remember, he will get tired more quickly. Don’t push him too hard, and be ready to shorten his usual workout, to begin with. Avoid intense exercise. Be sure the weight is properly balanced. And bring hydration.
Picking the right weighted vest size for your dog
Some decisions you’ll make when choosing a vest should be discussed with your veterinarian. There are two types of vests: those with a backpack and those with zippered pockets. Both allow you to add or subtract weight. The vests with pockets put most of the weight closer to the dog’s belly while the ones with a backpack put pressure on the dog’s shoulders.
The primary considerations are:
- Age of your dog. Just as young kids should not lift weights, your dog under two should not use a weighted vest. His muscles are still forming, and you should not rush this process. Once you start using a vest, be sure to introduce it slowly, starting with very light weights and short periods so he can get accustomed to the added weight.
- Dogs Size and Weight. You must be sure to avoid a vest that puts pressure on his spine or mid-section. You want to add a little weight but not overwhelm or hurt him! Start with no more than 10% of his buddy weight and do not exceed 20%. Be sure the vest weight is evenly distributed, and the fit is comfortable and allows for a little growth.
- A pocketed vest can put too much weight around the belly area, which could strain your dog’s spine. Be sure the pockets distribute the pressure around the shoulders, top and bottom, and the sides. This will help avoid strain.
- Be sure the padding is adequate to prevent rubbing or discomfort to the dog. Look for any signs of chafing or discomfort.
All in all, weighted vests for dogs can benefit our canine friends in more ways than one. Increased stamina and strength for those going heavy, or a calming and peaceful sensation for those keeping it on the lighter side.