As a dog owner, I’ve researched the best dog harnesses and collars to prevent matting. Matting can cause discomfort and skin irritation for dogs.

The right harness or collar is key to avoiding this. I’ll highlight the top options to consider based on comfort, adjustability, and matting prevention.

These picks provide a secure fit without risking mats and tangles in your dog’s fur. Read on to learn which harnesses and collars help stop matting for a happier, healthier dog.

Best Dog Harness to Prevent Matting - Top 5
Factors to Consider Description
1. Size and Fit Choose a harness that fits your dog properly, ensuring it is neither too tight nor too loose. Measure your dog’s chest girth and refer to size charts provided by the manufacturer.
2. Material and Construction Opt for a harness made from high-quality materials that are durable and comfortable for your dog. Look for features such as soft padding and breathable fabric.
3. Easy to Put On and Take Off Consider a harness that is easy to put on and take off, as this will minimize stress for both you and your dog during grooming sessions.
4. Adjustable Straps Look for a harness with adjustable straps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit. This will allow you to customize the harness according to your dog’s size and shape.
5. No Pressure Points Ensure that the harness does not have any rough edges, excessive straps, or components that could cause discomfort or create pressure points on your dog’s skin.
6. Escape-Proof Design Choose a harness that has a secure closure system, such as buckles or clips, to prevent your dog from slipping out of the harness and potentially getting tangled or matted.
7. Easy to Clean Consider a harness that is easy to clean and maintain. Look for materials that are machine washable or can be wiped clean with ease.
8. Reviews and Recommendations Read reviews and seek recommendations from other dog owners or grooming professionals to ensure that the harness you choose is effective in preventing matting and has positive feedback.

In this guide, we’ll cover the top harnesses and collars for preventing matting in dogs of all sizes and coat types. We’ll also discuss:

  • The benefits of using a harness vs. a collar
  • How to measure your dog and find the proper fit
  • Key features that help reduce matting
  • Recommendations for the best anti-matting harnesses and collars

Why Use a Harness Instead of a Collar?

For long-haired dogs prone to matting, a harness is usually the better option over a traditional collar. Here’s why:

  • Prevents Choking – Collars can choke dogs when they pull on the leash. A harness disperses pressure over the chest/shoulders to reduce strain on the neck.
  • Avoids Neck Matting – Collars cause friction around the neck as the dog moves, leading to tangles and matted fur. A harness avoids this neck friction.
  • Even Distribution – Harnesses evenly distribute pressure across the body to prevent matting in one concentrated area.
  • More Control – Front-clip harnesses provide more control over pulling dogs compared to a collar alone.
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So a high-quality harness designed to limit matting is the top choice for most long-coated breeds like Golden Retrievers, Collies, Poodles, etc. Some dogs may benefit from using both a collar and an anti-mat harness.

How to Measure Your Dog for a Proper Fit

An ill-fitting harness that’s too loose or tight can cause rubbing, chafing, and ultimately matting. So it’s important to accurately measure your dog and follow size charts to find a well-fitted harness. Here’s how to measure your dog:

  • Use a soft measuring tape to wrap around the widest part of their chest/ribcage.
  • For the neck, measure at the base near the shoulders.
  • Refer to the specific harness size chart, and choose a size where your dog’s measurements fall in the middle of the range.
  • Factor in room for growth if your dog is young and may get larger.

Ideally, you want the harness to be snug enough not to slide around, but loose enough to easily slip two fingers between the strap and your dog’s fur. Try on the harness and make adjustments as needed to achieve the best fit.

Key Features of an Anti-Matting Dog Harness

To help prevent matting, look for these features in a dog harness:

  • Padded chest plate – Provides cushioning between the straps and your dog’s coat.
  • Adjustable straps – Let you customize the fit as your dog’s coat changes.
  • Quick-release buckles – Make it easy to get the harness on and off without pulling on the fur.
  • Breathable mesh material – Allows airflow to keep your dog cool and comfortable.
  • Multiple adjustment points – Give a more customized, secure fit across the chest and underbody.
  • Neoprene/soft lining – Prevents chafing and friction against the fur.

The Best Dog Harnesses to Prevent Matting

Here are our top picks for anti-matting harnesses:

Best Overall: Puppia Authentic RiteFit Harness

This adjustable vest-style harness is designed to avoid matting. The lightweight mesh material allows air circulation, while the quick-release buckles and adjustable straps provide a custom fit. It also has a padded chest plate for comfort.

Best for Small Dogs: RC Pet Products 1/2 inch Step in Mesh Dog Harness

The soft, stretchy mesh material prevents friction on your small dog’s coat. This harness is easy to step into and has adjustable straps for a secure fit. It comes in a wide range of sizes to fit dogs from teacup to large breeds.

Best for Large Dogs: Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness

Made for outdoor adventures, this durable harness has four adjustment points for full control over the fit. The padded chest and belly panels ensure comfort without chafing or matting. It also includes reinforced webbing for security.

Best No-Pull: PetSafe 3in1 Harness

This 3-in-1 harness can be configured as a front-clip, back-clip, or car harness to stop pulling, prevent matting, and keep your dog safe. The adjustable straps and quick-snap buckles allow a custom fit.

Best Budget: Puppia Soft Dog Harness

Despite the lower price point, this harness doesn’t compromise on quality. The air mesh material is soft on fur, along with adjustable neck and chest straps to get the perfect fit for your dog.

Finding the Best Dog Collar to Prevent Matting

For some long-haired dogs, a properly fitted collar may work well for matting prevention. Here’s what to look for in an anti-mat dog collar:

  • Rolled or rounded edges to prevent fur snags
  • Wide design to disperse pressure on the neck
  • Smooth exterior without hooks or loops that can catch fur
  • Snug but not too tight around the dog’s neck
  • Quick-release clasp for easy on/off without pulling
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The best collars for preventing mats are typically made of nylon or soft, rolled leather. Some good options include the Coastal Pet Latigo Collar and the Perri’s Padded Leather Dog Collar.

Try pairing a matting-resistant collar with a harness for walks. And regularly check the fit to make sure it’s not irritating the neck as your dog’s coat grows and sheds.

Tips for Preventing Matting in Long-Haired Dogs

Along with choosing the right harness or collar, here are some tips to keep your dog’s coat tangle-free:

  • Brush frequently with an undercoat rake or dematting tool
  • Avoid keeping collar/harness on unsupervised
  • Check for rub points after walks
  • Keep fur trimmed around collar/harness areas
  • Bathe and condition the coat regularly
  • Use conditioning sprays or detangling products
  • Schedule professional deshedding treatments

With the right harness or collar and proper grooming, you can keep your long-haired dog comfortable and mat-free! Let us know if you have any other questions on choosing the best options.

PetSafe Easy Sport Dog Harness

PetSafe Easy Walk No-Pull Dog Harness - The Ultimate Harness to Help Stop Pulling - Take Control &...

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Description

The PetSafe Easy Sport Dog Harness is a lightweight and comfortable option for dogs of all sizes. It features a padded chest and belly panel for added comfort and support, and it is made from durable nylon material that can withstand regular use.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Lightweight, comfortable, and durable
  • Cons: Some customers have reported issues with the sizing being too small

Technical Aspects

  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: Small to Extra Large
  • Adjustability: Yes

Tested and Used Review

“I’ve been using the PetSafe EasySport Dog Harness for over a year now, and it has held up really well. My dog seems to be comfortable wearing it, and I haven’t noticed any matting around his neck since we switched from a collar.”

PetSafe Walk Along Dog Harness

PetSafe 3 in 1 Dog Harness - No Pull Solution for Dogs - Reflective Dog Harness - Front D-Ring Clip...

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Description

The PetSafe Walk Along Dog Harness is designed to provide maximum comfort and support for your dog. It features a padded chest and belly panel and adjustable straps for a customized fit. The harness also includes a front D-ring for easy leash attachment.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Provides excellent support and comfort, front D-ring for easy leash attachment
  • Cons: Some customers have reported issues with the sizing being too large

Technical Aspects

  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: Small to Extra Large
  • Adjustability: Yes

Tested and Used Review

“I love the PetSafe Walk Along Dog Harness! It is so comfortable for my dog and doesn’t put any pressure on his neck. I also appreciate the front D-ring for easy leash attachment.”

Gooby Choke Free Perfect Fit Dog Harness

Gooby Comfort X Head in Harness - Pink, Small Harness Patented Choke-Free X Frame - Perfect on The...

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Description

The Gooby Choke Free Perfect Fit Dog Harness prevents choking and matting around your dog’s neck. It features a soft and breathable mesh fabric that provides maximum comfort and adjustable straps for a customized fit.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Prevents choking and matting, soft and breathable mesh fabric, adjustable straps
  • Cons: Some customers have reported issues with the sizing being too small

Technical Aspects

  • Material: Mesh fabric
  • Size: X-Small to Large
  • Adjustability: Yes

Tested and Used Review

“The Gooby Choke Free Perfect Fit Dog Harness is a game changer! My dog used to get so many mats around his neck with his old collar, but this harness has completely eliminated that problem.”

Halti No Pull Training Dog Harness

HALTI No Pull Harness Size Medium, Bestselling Professional Dog Harness to Stop Pulling on The Lead,...

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Description

The Halti No Pull Training Dog Harness is designed to provide better control when walking your dog. It features a front D-ring for easy leash attachment and a padded chest and belly panel for added support and comfort.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Provides better control, front D-ring for easy leash attachment, padded chest and belly panel
  • Cons: Some customers have reported issues with the sizing being too large
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Technical Aspects

  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: Small to Extra Large
  • Adjustability: Yes

Tested and Used Review

“The Halti No Pull Training Dog Harness is great for dogs who pull on their leash. It provides excellent control and support and hasn’t caused any matting around my dog’s neck.”

Gooby Step-In Comfort Dog Harness

Gooby Escape Free Sport Harness - Turquoise, Small - No Choke Step-in Patented Neoprene Small Dog...

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Description

The Gooby Step-In Comfort Dog Harness is designed for maximum comfort and convenience. It features a step-in design that makes it easy to put on and take off and a soft and breathable mesh fabric that provides all-day comfort.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Easy to put on and take off, soft and breathable mesh fabric, comfortable
  • Cons: Some customers have reported issues with the sizing being too small

Technical Aspects

  • Material: Mesh fabric
  • Size: X-Small to Large
  • Adjustability: Yes

Tested and Used Review

“The Gooby Step-In Comfort Dog Harness is perfect for my small dog. It is so easy to put on and take off and doesn’t cause any matting around her neck.”

Conclusion

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Dog Harness to Prevent Matting

Preventing matting in your dog’s fur is essential for their overall health and comfort. Choosing the right harness can make a significant difference in keeping their coat in good condition. Consider factors such as material, comfort, ease of use, design, and size when selecting the best dog harness to prevent matting for your furry friend.

Our top five picks for dog harnesses that prevent matting include the PetSafe EasySport Dog Harness, PetSafe Walk Along Dog Harness, Gooby Choke Free Perfect Fit Dog Harness, Halti No Pull Training Dog Harness, and Gooby Step-In Comfort Dog Harness. Each of these options offers unique benefits and features, so be sure to select the one that best suits your dog’s needs and preferences.

5. Dog HarnessDog harnesses are designed to prevent matting by restricting the movements of the dog’s torso. The harness prevents the dog from pulling against the leash while walking and keeps the dog’s coat from getting tangled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use a collar or harness for my long-haired dog?

For most long-coated breeds, a high-quality harness designed to prevent matting is best. But some dogs do well with just a properly-fitted, matting-resistant collar. Using both a collar and an anti-mat harness is also an option.

How tight should a harness be for a long-haired dog?

The harness should be snug enough not to slide around on your dog’s body, but loose enough that you can easily slip two fingers between the strap and your dog’s fur/skin. Adjust and recheck the fit regularly.

What’s the best harness for a matted dog?

Look for a harness with padding, adjustable straps, breathable mesh, and quick-release buckles. The Puppia Authentic RiteFit Harness has all of these anti-matting features.

Should I shave my long-haired dog to prevent matting?

Trimming the hair around collar and harness areas can help. But shaving the entire coat is not recommended, as the fur protects against sunburn and temperature extremes. Regular brushing and proper harness fit are better than shaving.

How do I detangle ### How do I detangle my dog’s matted fur?

  • Use a dematting tool or undercoat rake to gently work apart tangles and loosen matted sections. Always brush outwards from the skin to avoid discomfort.
  • Apply detangling spray or conditioning products to help slick down the coat and make brushing easier.
  • Work in small sections and hold fur above mats to brush them out slowly. Never pull or tug on tightly matted areas.
  • For severely matted coats, schedule a professional deshedding or dematting grooming. Removing large mats at home risks hurting or irritating your dog’s skin.
  • Prevent future matting by brushing frequently, using conditioning sprays, and ensuring collars/harnesses fit properly without catching fur.

What’s the most comfortable collar or harness for a matted dog?

For a dog with pre-existing mats, look for wider designs with extra padding and adjustable straps to minimize contact against any tangled areas. Soft mesh or neoprene materials are also more comfortable. Make sure to properly fit and frequently recheck the size.

How can I stop my dog’s collar or harness from causing mats?

  • Choose a collar or harness designed specifically to prevent matting.
  • Properly measure your dog and follow size guides for a good fit.
  • Check for rubbing and adjust fit as needed after walks.
  • Avoid leaving collar/harness on when unsupervised.
  • Frequently brush and groom your dog’s coat.
  • Keep fur around neck and chest trimmed shorter.

With the right preventative steps, you can keep your long-haired dog comfortable and mat-free! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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