Now, let me preface by saying that I’ve noticed quite a few bloggers reviewing this harness, but it’s important that you know that I was not asked to review it. I received nothing in return for recommending it and that’s just fine by me.
I’m a firm believer that when a product is beneficial and can improve someone’s life, you have a duty to share that product with the world.
Comparing Dog Mobility Harnesses: Why the Help Em Up is the Best Dog Mobility Harness
We first sought out a mobility harness for Jet when he had his CCL repair surgery. Off the top of my head, I forget what year it was, but I think it was around 2007.
There are a few different types of mobility harness to choose from, all of which are designed to help dogs with limited mobility. Let’s begin by taking a quick look at the options that are on the market…
The Sling Harness
The sling harness like this one from Fur E. Frenz is similar to the “towel under the belly” approach.
While the sling harness does its job, I have multiple issues with it…
- You wind up carrying your dog like a tote bag.
- Pulling up at the stomach and chest is painful and can cause rubbing and chafing.
- This type of sling is extremely inconvenient for male dogs.
- This sling is uncomfortable to hold and strains your shoulder and arm when helping to hold up your dog.
- This harness is useless for helping your dog to get into the car.
- This dog mobility harness creates a sense of instability for your dog causing them to panic or fear the sling itself.
The Combination Sling Harness
The combination sling harness like this one from GingerLead combines the sling harness with a front harness section.
This dog mobility harness gets the job done (with a lot of difficulties), but again, there are a number of issues with it…
- Now you’re carrying your dog like a combination of a tote bag and a handbag.
- The sling will once again rub the belly and chest and impede urination for many males.
- Holding this sling is even more awkward and uncomfortable for you than the sling alone.
- Using this harness to get your dog into the car is difficult at best.
- The way this harness system fits provides more rear-end support and causes your dog to become “head heavy”. This makes your dog unsteady, anxious, and unhappy.
- The structure of the front section of this harness is not padded, it pulls, tugs, and chafes and causes rashes, cuts, and sores.
The Back End Only Dog Mobility Harness
The back end only dog mobility harness like this Walkabout Back End Mobility Harness is the most ridiculous harness I have ever seen. There are plenty of flaws with this one, but one obvious one…
- Consider getting down on all fours to walk but having someone supporting the weight of your back legs… In the very least, you are going to be constantly afraid that you are going to fall on your face.
- Again, this harness does not work for helping your dog into the car easily.
- This dog mobility harness chafes in the worst way – particularly if you have a male dog.
- Stairs with this harness are next to impossible and your dog will fall on their face.
- Holding this harness is also awkward for you, straining your arm and shoulder.
The Single Handle Harness
The single handle harness like this one from Ruffwear isn’t a bad choice as far as harnesses go…but it’s not ideal for mobility issues.
- You are now carrying your dog like a piece of luggage.
- There is no support for your dog’s hind end which is most often the part that needs most support!
- There is no easy way to assist your dog into the car with this harness.
- With one handle on the harness, any assistance you give your dog will strain that handle with your dog’s whole body weight.
- The back handle only harness means having to strain your arm and shoulder as you support your dog. Depending on your dog’s height, you may also strain your back leaning down to assist your pup.
The “Other” Two-Point Support Harness
The “other” two-point support harnesses out there like this one from Solvit, might look similar to the Help Em Up Harness, but it differs in a number of ways.
- The structure of this harness causes excessive strain on the hip joints when the handles are used for support.
- The back end of the harness (on the left of the picture) supports the back legs independently creating less stability and support.
- There is no accommodation for male dogs to urinate while in the harness.
- The “handles” are not reinforced creating a product that will have a short lifespan, especially when used for larger breed dogs.
- The structure of the back end straps creates two points of significant pressure close to the femoral artery. This can cause significant problems if your dog needs a lot of support. These straps can also cause a lot of chafing on the inner thighs.
- The front “step in” straps for the front legs have no padding or support to prevent rubbing and hair loss.
Allow me to show you a picture of a dog wearing this harness…
He looks pretty comfy…right?
Nope, it looks hideously uncomfortable and the added “handbag” strap just creates more pressure in those sensitive underarms and inner thigh areas!
Now, compare that picture to this one…
The Help Em Up Harness may look similar to “other” two-point support harnesses, but the difference is clearly visible when you look at how the harness works to support your pup.
There are plenty of great benefits to the Help Em Up Harness too…
- The harness is made from Neoprene so it doesn’t trap heat and can be used for hydrotherapy or swimming.
- Both handles are reinforced and feature supportive hand grips for your comfort.
- The back straps appear as two straps, but they join underneath with a pelvic support to provide more support and prevent the straps from sliding up against the inner thighs.
- The straps come with Neoprene sleeves that prevent chafing and add more cushion.
- The chest pad is fully padded.
- The rear straps are positioned and spaced to make bathroom time easy.
- The rear section of the harness comes in two options – one with a U attachment to fit around the male dog’s penis to prevent unpleasant chafing and one traditional attachment for females.
- The entire harness is fully adjustable so you can find the best fit for your dog’s shape.
- The reinforced sections of the harness create a lot of stability so your dog never feels off-balance.
- Additional leash options are available to make walking with smaller dogs easier on your back.
- The two-handled structure of the Help Em Up dog mobility harness also prevent excess strain on your arms and shoulders.
- The handle structure on this harness allows you to assist your dog with their backend without overcompensating and causing a faceplant!
The Help Em Up Harness comes in sizes XS to XL and can support a dog as heavy as 220 lbs. Prices on this harness range from $75 to $125.
Pricey? Yes, but worth it.
Our Help Em Up Harness withstood 5 years of use – 18 months of that use being extremely heavy use supporting a 70 – 80 lb Lab.