How To Put On A Dog Vest On Your Dog

Did you just get a dog vest, and you have no idea how to put it on your dog? Then this guide is the right guide for you. We would be looking at how to put on a dog vest on your dog. If you follow this guide, you shouldn’t have problems putting on a dog vest on your dogs.

What’s a Dog Vest?

A manageable and calmer dog equals a fit, guided, and loyal friend. At times, an aggressive dog will be wired at some point. A dog vest helps by making her less active and burn excess energy—not to mention intensifying exercise time by 90%, plus reducing those extra pounds for overweight pals. Some dog vests work best than others. It all drips down to your preferences. Take note: not all dogs are the same.


Weighted vests are designed to add extra weight to put more force on the body during exercises or walking. Our piece on teaching your pooch to walk on a leash is a must-read for all.

At the first mention of a vest with weights for your dog, your first thought may be how your pet will hold up under the weight. But it would worth the while to go for the benefits that can be derived.

  • It calms an overactive dog

Like with some humans, dogs too display excessive energy and become excitable especially when in the company of others of its species. It will not keep still and is constantly agitated when in public. Dogs of this nature are difficult to handle and are not only a danger to themselves but also to others.

Dog owners will understand the pull a dog exerts as it runs before and strains against his leash to get ahead. This way, instead of you taking the dog for a walk, it takes you for a drag. Quoting Dog Whisperer Caesar Milan, dogs always want something to do, and the very moment you put a backpack on it, it starts to consider its function.

  • It reduces anxiety

Some dogs cannot bear seeing any of their species and so walking a dog may mean taking a path that is less trod, or lifting your companion past any provocation. The effort takes to do this will make you wonder if it is worth the exercise.

A dog may feel anxious to the point it barks and snarls non-stop. If you do not give it something to release all that pent-up energy, it will definitely find something to do. Such dogs will engage in other unhealthy behaviors including destroying items by chewing, rough play and unruliness, uncooperativeness, and scratching.

Training the dog can be especially difficult to do as it cannot focus on the activity with it being so exciting. Apart from restricting the activities of such energetic displays, the pressure of a weighted vest on your dog can provide a sensory feeling of comfort that calms the senses and reduces aggressive behaviors.

The dog now becomes agreeable, is easier to train, and even in situations where he would normally show anxiety, he will display calm.

  • It controls weight

Exercise is equally important to the health of dogs as it is to humans. The veterinarian may suggest that you give your dog 20 – 30 minutes of exercise each day. This may not be enough however if your dog is overweight and needs to lose some of those pounds.

Furthermore, you may not have enough time to give for your dog to lose weight in a reasonable time. One of the big advantages of a weighted vest is that it applies pressure on the movement of the dog slowing him, and as he puts greater effort into his activities the muscles burn the excess energy.

Humans are taking advantage of this weighted vest phenomenon, and in a study done in 2006, it was found that weights cause you to burn 7% more calories since it does increase the intensity of the exercise. You will get the same result with the dog as the vest makes the exercise more intense.

In a study of the impact of weighted vests on dogs in 2011, Rohrer, Kinlaw & Kinlaw found that canines lost four times more body weight when they wore a particular weighted vest than those who did not.

  • It builds muscles

As the dog sheds the excess fat its muscles become leaner and stronger. As with humans, this will provide greater protection for the dog’s joints and skeletal system. Older dogs also will benefit even more since improved muscles will help to deal with issues such as arthritis that generally affect them at this stage. The dog can now do more in terms of activities. He is now calmer, focused, and more yielding to training.

  • There’s more compliance for competition

Too fat dogs and too lean ones will be judged against their better counterparts that have well-toned muscles, shiny healthy coats, and strength and focus to follow and do the activities they are ordered. Quality foods and supplements may not be enough to set your dog to the competition. A dog vest can do the trick by developing the muscles and changing the dog’s physical appearance.

Standard Dog Dog vest

Different types of dog vests need to be put on in different ways. Let’s start with the steps for putting on a standard dog vest. A standard dog vest has one loop around the ribs, one loop around the neck, and a D-ring on the dog’s back to clip the leash to.

Thing To Consider When Getting A Dog Vest

It’s No One Size Fits All

Shopping for most new products on the market needs quite a bit of consideration. However, it is fairly easy with the weighted dog vest. It is easy to choose the ideal jacket for your dog; however, it can be tough if you don’t know where to start. Don’t have a clue where to start?  Don’t worry.

  • Weight

It’s a “weighted” vest. A bulky one will alter your dog’s posture. The result isn’t that so good.  Try as much as possible not to strain and tense your pet. To perfect this, calculate their total body weight. To avoid all the mix-up, guess seeing a veterinarian is ideal. As the dog develops, it’s appropriate to increase the pressure for optimum strength and stamina.

  • Size

It is highly recommended to buy an adjustable vest for ease of use. Measure the length, neck, and chest before making a purchase. A 35 to 55 lbs. dog is cozy with a 23–28 inches vest. However, the garment should be comfortable for her to move with less effort.

  • Padded Vest

A stretch-out weighted vest provides maximal motion for your friend. Padded material protects the dog from injury during exercise. Wrap the dog well enough to sustain his weight. Worry less if it isn’t too comfortable for her at first as she will get used to it with time.

  • Pocketed Vest

A pocketed vest helps in reducing or adding weight in general. A good deal of it comes with sided pockets. The top, bottom, and sides should be evenly distributed for a balanced feel. Not only does it bring a soothing effect but also a comfortable feeling. Always do in-depth research before making an upright purchase.


  • Gradually introduce

Of course, your dog may not take kindly to a weighted vest on your first try with him. Give him credit to be wondering why you are saddling him with weight when he would like to run around freely. Pretty soon he will adjust and it will become a part of his workout routine.

So, introduce the vest slowly to your dog. In the first training sessions you may not want to engage him in a lot of exercises, but instead, get him used to the feel by walking him gently. It will not be wise also to start your dog with the full amount of weights. Increase gradually instead.

Stand, sit, or squat behind your dog and put him in a standing or sitting position. It is best to do this when your dog is calm.

Slip the dog vest over your dog’s head. Make sure the dog vest is positioned so the D-ring is on your dog’s back. The wider loop (the one with the buckle) goes on first, and the narrower loop goes on second.

Slip your dog’s leg through the first leg hole of the dog vest. The leg should now be in between the loop that goes around the ribs and the loop that goes around the neck.

Buckle the dog vest, so that your dog’s other leg is in the proper leg hole. If the buckle does not reach to allow you to close it, you need to loosen the strap.

Once the dog vest is buckled, adjust it so it fits properly. You should be able to slip two fingers underneath any strap. Try to pull the dog vest over your dog’s head to make sure that it is secure.

  • Balance the pack

Unbuckle the vest where needed and gently slide it over the dog’s head. Very importantly, ensure that material is centered over the shoulders and there is no imbalance. Remember that the pack is weighted and can be a source of discomfort as your dog goes through its exercises. Additionally, you do not want to cause pain or strain to the animal.

  • Add weight slowly

Whatever weighted materials you have to use, add them slowly to the pockets of the vest. Again, the purpose at this stage is to gently get your dog familiarized with something he is not used to. At this stage, you are in an observing position as you identify his response and plan the next move. Remove weights as needed especially if the dog gets exhausted after just a few minutes. Where there is no problem, increase the weight as you go along.

Points to Note When Starting out a Weighted Dog Vest

  • A weighted dog is a thirsty canine. Carry water in a bottle with you to quench her thirst.
  • In a scorching climate, exercise your pet when it’s cooler, such as in the evening or early in the morning.
  • Don’t strain him! Stopping and resting are vital for her overall health. When she’s panting excessively or generally weak, it’s time to take a break.
  • To avoid overheating, try to incorporate a swimming pool if possible.
  • Exercise your furry friend in moderation: a 20-minute walk each day is enough.
  • When on a weighted dog vest, avoid rocky places to prevent early exhaustion.


Regardless of all its benefits, fitting a vest to your dog will not get the healthy and fit dog that you desire. It will have to be done in conjunction with regular exercise, proper nutrition, and consistent training routines.  In the end, you will have a healthy, well-built, and socially competent dog.