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Best Dog Lift Harnesses For Handicapped, Injured, Or Weak Back Legs

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Last Updated: April 10, 2024 | 10 min read | Leave a Comment

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Does your injured, or elderly pup have a hard time getting around the house or heading outside to use the restroom? Finding the best dog lift harness for your handicapped dog should be a priority if your pup’s back legs are too weak.  Lift harnesses can help your dog move around properly, and allow you to safely help their back end lift off the ground while they move around their house, up the stairs, or do their business.

When purchasing a lift harness, there are several things to think through.  You’ll want to make sure you evaluate your dog to find the appropriate size and level of quality that will allow you to keep your pup pain-free as they walk around.  You’ll also want to make sure that it lasts a while, especially if you are purchasing it for an elderly dog.

Below we’ve compiled a list of our favorites at a glance, as well as an in-depth buyer’s guide to help you make your pick.  We also give you a deep dive on each individual lift harness so you can be sure you are getting your pup the best care possible.  Let’s dive in.

At a Glance: Our Favorite Dog Lift Harnesses

Love Pets Vet Approved Harness
Our Rating

Best Harness

GingerLead

Loobani Portable Dog Sling
Our Rating

For Large Dogs

Love Pets Vet

GingerLead Dog Support & Rehabilitation Harness
Our Rating

Portable

Loobani

Buyer’s Guide

Getting the perfect lift harness for your handicapped dog is easy if you know what you’re looking for.  Usually at the top of the list of considerations is Quality, followed by cost, size, and a few other items you’ll want to think through before making a purchase. Not every dog is the same and different breeds may fit differently, but generally, if you size your dog correctly, you won’t go wrong when you buy.  Below are some of the aspects you’ll want to consider when purchasing a lift harness for your pup.

Quality

While cost will top the list for some (especially if you are buying because your dog is injured) quality should be your top concern.  Keep in mind if your dog has injured itself, there’s a good chance that they may need a lift harness later in life, especially if they’ve torn an ACL, or they are a breed with known health issues. Because of that, you’ll want to pick a lift harness that’s durable and built to last more than 6 months.  It’s usually best to spend a little more to ensure you have the best interest in your dog’s comfort as they recover or they age.

Cost

Cost and quality go hand in hand.  Generally speaking, there’s some good value that’s out there, even at lower price points.  But usually, the better quality lift harnesses will cost you a little bit more.  Most harnesses will rarely exceed $100, which is important if you are already shelling out cash for the unexpected vet bills you are likely dealing with.  We’d recommend you focus on quality because most lift harnesses fall into the same range when it comes to costs, minus the two top-end brands.

Sizing

No two harnesses fit alike.  You’ll want to make sure you follow the sizing instructions for each harness before you buy.  Your dog’s size will impact the size of the harness you purchase, and likely the type of purchase you’ll make. Bigger lifts will often attach to other harnesses so you’ll have an all-in-one solution when taking your dogs out for a walk.  Make sure you also look at the appropriate gender, as some lift harnesses will engineer their products specifically for a specific gender.

Uses

A proper lift harness has several uses.  Usually, it’s something a vet will recommend right after your dog has had surgery on their leg, or it could be used for conservative management if your pup has pulled a tendon or ligament (as long as it’s not a tear).  It’s also helpful for older dogs as they age, and can be used for bathroom breaks, or anywhere your dog needs help moving around the house.

Types

There are three different types of lift harnesses.  You can purchase just the lift (typically cheaper) a lift harness that connects to a regular harness or collar, and a fully equipped vest harness that encloses the entire body cavity of your dog.  There’s no right answer as to which is better for your dog, with the caveat that certain conditions may require a full vest harness instead of a basic lift.

Durability

Durability ties into quality.  Usually, cheaper harnesses will have lower durability levels and break down over time.  If you have a smaller dog, they likely need a less durable lift harness.  You may also want to pair a lift harness with a standard harness for small dogs. If you have a larger dog, it’s likely that your harness is going to take some abuse due to the size of your pup.  Plan accordingly, and if you have a larger dog, we’d recommend getting a more durable harness that can withstand the abuse a larger dog is going to bring.

When to Use Them

Lift harnesses can help your dog with a variety of different ailments and especially in old age.  There are a number of different breeds that are known to have hip issues as they age, like the Labrador Retriever and other large breeds like the Rottweiler.  Lift harnesses help by taking the pressure off the back legs of your dog, and giving them support as they move about your yard or home.  It’s also a great tool to use when your dog needs to move upstairs or downstairs if you have a two-level home.


Our Favorite Lift Harnesses

Now that you’ve taken the time to consider each item you’ll likely want to analyze before purchasing a lift harness, it’s time to go a little more in-depth on each of our favorites.  Below are the lift harnesses that we’d go to battle with.  Each one serves a different purpose.  Some will be more cost-effective, and some will be more well-thought-out solutions.  As long as you’ve taken our buying guide considerations into account, you’ll likely be just fine by choosing any of our favorite picks below.


GingerLead Dog Support & Rehabilitation Harness

Love Pets Vet Approved Harness
  • Padded for comfort.
  • Integrated leash.
  • Cutout for male dogs.
  • Adjustable for height.
  • Machine washable and drying.
  • Vet-approved.

The GingerLead support & rehabilitation harness gives you support and control in a single package.  This lift style harness integrates a leash attachment for both control and safety.  It allows you to use the lift harness while being attached to the front of your dog, giving you additional control over your pup’s movement.  The interior of the harness is soft and padded to help aid your dog with a comfortable feel.

We love that this harness has been tested and used by veterinarians and hospitals across the United States.  It can be used for rehabilitation due to injury, or help aid both senior pups or handicapped dogs.  It comes in a number of sizes, which means no matter what breed you have, you’ll have a lift harness that fits.  Even heavier dogs shouldn’t have a problem fitting into the tall sized harness.


Love Pets Vet Approved Harness

Loobani Portable Dog Sling
  • Recommended for canines with girth measuring between 24.5 – 28 inches (weight between 35-75 pounds).
  • Specifically designed for Larger breed dogs.
  • Straps have a soft and strong velcro to allow for a stronger handle.
  • Durable poly and nylon with fleece lining.
  • Rolls up for easy storage after use in just seconds.

The Love Pets love vet-approved dog lift support harness gets the basics done that a lift harness is engineered to do.  The large and X-Large sizes are recommended for medium up to XL sized dog breeds.  The brace itself is padded and can be put on your dog in minutes and the interior lining is a soft fleece material to keep your pup at optimal levels of comfort.

We love that this harness is budget friendly, but still manages to do exactly what it’s designed for.  It’s strong and durable, and will last quite a long time.  The poly/nylon build ensures that the structural integrity is kept intact through heavier abuse from large breeds.  It’s one of the ideal solutions for pups recovering from hip, leg and back injuries while not breaking your budget.


Loobani Portable Dog Sling

COODEO Dog Lift Harness
  • Thickening design and soft lining with sheepskin-like covering.
  • Handle equipped with removable padding for protecting your hand for easy comfortable carry.
  • A reflective nylon band.
  • Adjustable straps.
  • After using, just fold it and put it into the portable gift bag.
  • Machine washable.

The Loobani Portable Dog Sling is another budget-friendly option that comes in three sizes.  This support sling is ideal for Arthritis, TLPO, ACL and CCL surgery.  It helps relieve pain in seniours due to aging, and the strap is much thicker than some of the others on this list.  It has a reflective nylon strap and comes packaged in a small gift bag that can be used for carrying the sling after use.

We love that this lift harness is easy to use & carry and is stored easily when not in use.  It’s heavy-duty and the large can be used on some larger breeds, even big dogs like Mastiffs. The padding of the interior of the sling is a sheepskin like material, which will ensure the skin on your dog’s stomach won’t get irritated when in use. Rehabilitating from surgery or injury is no easy task, and the Loobani Portable lift harness gives you a viable option with both budget and quality.


COODEO Dog Lift Harness

Guardian Gear Lift Harness
  • Breathable and soft material.
  • The belt is detachable and the length can be adjusted to suit people of different heights.
  • User-friendly in design and takes good care of male dogs’ private parts.
  • Easy to clean and washable.
  • Come in multiple colors and sizes.

The COODEO Dog Lift Harness is a different harness from the rest of what we’ve seen so far because it actually covers your dog’s entire body.  This has advantages.  If you have a dog that gets excitable on walks, it’s important to be able to pick them up and control them if they get too excited.  If your dog is recovering from ACL surgery, the last thing you need is them racing away from you and re-injuring the leg they just had an operation on.  This lift harness solves that.

We love that this harness is in the middle of the road on cost, and comes in six different sizes.  Depending on the weight or size of your dog, you’ll be able to scale up or down.  If you live in hotter climates, you’ll need to use in moderation, especially if your dog has long hair.  This harness is easy to clean and wash, and the harness leaves plenty of room for male dogs to do their business while rehabilitating their injured hip or leg.


Guardian Gear Lift Harness

TheraCool Lift Harness
  • Unique design allows the harness to convert into a walking or car harness and the carrying strap can be used as a lead.
  • Made of 600-denier nylon with contoured chest and back supports.
  • Keeps dogs comfy with a fleece-lined interior for maximum softness.
  • Sizes range from small (great for dogs under 15 pounds) all the way up to XXX-large (designed to support dogs up to 110 pounds).

The Guardian Gear lift harness enters the market as both a standard harness as well as a lift harness.  You actually get the gear to use one, or both when training your dog.  The versatility of the standard harness allows you to convert the setup to a car harness or walking harness.  The lift sling can connect to the front of the regular harness, so you can actually use them in tandem without purchasing a standard harness with your sling.

We love that this lift setup is cost-effective, but hasn’t scraped by on quality.  The fact that you can convert this into multiple uses makes it a slick buy if you plan to harness train your dogs for normal walking times in the morning or evening.  The Nylon construction is both soft and durable, and both the lift as well as the chest piece are fleece-lined, so they don’t irritate your dog’s skin while in use. It comes in multiple sizes as well, giving you several options.


TheraCool Lift Harness

  • Adjustable length straps.
  • An anti-slip design.
  • Made for larger dogs.
  • Machine washable.
  • Premium quality and USA-tested to ensure satisfaction.

The Fur E Frenz lift harness is another budget-friendly pick that’s quite popular.  It’s similar to other models on this list, but only comes in two different sizes.  It has adjustable length straps, and the handle has anti-slip fabric as well as a strong velcro grip attachment to ensure you have maximum control of your dog when in use. This harness is actually machine washable as well, making it a great choice for busy families.

We love the price point on this lift harness, but also the adjustable length straps and rear sling sizing.  This ensures that your large or Extra large dog gets the right fit while you are rehabilitating your dog.  This lift also has a guarantee which gives you 100% of your money back if you aren’t satisfied.  This lift-harness is perfect for old dogs and handicapped dogs alike.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are dog lift harnesses good for handicapped pets?

Yes, lift harnesses are great for handicapped pets.  As mentioned earlier, they can also be used for injured pets, or pets recovering from some type of surgery.

What kind of disabilities does a lift harness help?

Dogs that come down with hip dysplasia, broken legs, amputated legs and a whole host of disabilities that may prevent your dog from walking correctly.

Can you use dog lift harnesses with stairs?

While we never recommend that a senior dog take a flight of stairs, a lift harness can help them navigate flights of stairs easier than if they were to do them alone.

Can you use a dog lift harness for grooming or cutting nails?

Yep! Lift harnesses are great to pull a pup off the ground and clip either their front or back nails.  This also includes using a nail grinder to grind their nails.

Should I get a lift harness with a handle?

All of the lift harnesses on our list have some form of a handle.  We recommend using a handled lift harness to make it easier to control an anxious dog.

Is it better to just get a sling?

A sling is basically the same thing, but just usually thinner.  A sling can do the job, but we recommend a lift harness for comfort.

What if my dog is completely disabled?

If your dog is completely disabled, there are different ways they can get around depending on the extent of their disability.  Some dogs even use carts to support their hind legs if they don’t have the mobility in their back end due to hip dysplasia.  We recommend a lift harness if your dog has most of the control left.  If not, you’ll need to look at other alternatives.


Final Thoughts

If your dog is handicapped, injured, lame or has severely restricted use of their back legs, you should absolutely be leveraging the use of a lift harness for daily activities.  Any of the brands we’ve mentioned in this guide will help your pup lead a happier and more fulfilled life.  It will also reduce their pain and get them through rehabilitation quicker.  If you have a senior dog, this is an excellent tool to help relieve the pressure on their back legs, extending their overall lifetime mobility.

Our favorite lift harness happens to be the GingerLead lift harness with leach attachments, but you can’t go wrong with the AMZ pets sling/harness either, especially if you are on a budget.  Any of the harnesses we’ve looked at here will ensure that your dog’s recovery or assistance will be planned for well in advance. While there are always the options to try to make a sling “homemade,” we would advise against that and stick to what’s been reviewed here.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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