My senior chihuahua likes – no, sucks, Needs with an obsessive desire – to be warm. But the process of bending and squeezing his spindly, arthritic legs into the holes of his sweaters? Not Olive’s thing.
Due to her distaste for any temperature with just two digits – and her hostage resistance to my attempts to keep her warm – I jumped at the chance when K9 Wear offered to send me its jackets with no padding for one of my dogs to check out. But when I opened the package, I realized that I had the wrong dog in mind when I gave the brand the sizes I was looking for.
Don’t get me wrong – she looks good.
Like, damn good.
But K9 Wear’s real selling point is its harness ($55). And Olive — whose preference for being carried around like a Fabergé football is so strong that she hasn’t been on the other end of a leash in years — doesn’t particularly need it, no matter what. or the quality of its manufacture.
No, this bad boy was more made for . . . uh, my bad boys, Olive’s younger but considerably taller brothers: dogs who have strong opinions about where they go on a leash and need a comfortable, durable harness to meet their whims.
The K9 Wear team, which includes a veterinarian and an American Kennel Club judge, crafted the harness from soft, breathable mesh webbing, the same material the US military uses for their harnesses for dogs, according to the brand’s website. The fabric offers some flexibility, and instead of straps, a single piece of fabric wraps around your furry friend’s torso, so the harness redistributes pressure whenever their sense of independence gets strained. test your hand on a leash. And the thing comes in nine sizes, so you won’t have to squeeze your pet into a coat that’s too small or worry about it slipping out of a coat that’s a bit loose.
The harness can be worn alone, of course (see below), but also in the K9 Wear team, several New York designers have come up with a series of looks for your dog to play sports. Each outer shell can be easily attached to the harness and has a slot in the back for the harness leash ring to exit. Above, Olive wears the Quilted Puffer Jacket ($65) and Corduroy Jacket ($65) over her harness. The brand also sells a raincoat, vegan leather jacket, denim jacket, hooded denim jacket, and hoodie.
I can only find two cons, and neither applies to most dogs. The first is that the buckle that secures the harness around your dog’s neck is relatively heavy: 1.2 ounces, according to a numerical cooking scale. That might not seem like a lot, but with Olive weighing 6 pounds, that’s about the equivalent of me wearing a 3.25 pound loop around my neck all day (please don’t bother not to do the math on my weight, no one is forcing you), which doesn’t look particularly pleasant. It’s heavy for a reason — the brand claims the harness can withstand up to 500 pounds of pressure — but Olive doesn’t have the weight, speed, or motivation to put it through its paces.
The other counter strike is the cost. The harness itself costs $55 and the vests, which cost $65 each, won’t wrap around your dog without it. If you’re shopping for an Olive that just needs a hot shell that’s easy to put on and take off with velcro, there are much more affordable options online.
But if you’re looking for a high-end harness that fits perfectly with a smiley-faced series of interchangeable jackets and sweatshirts, browse K9 Wear’s offerings.
Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Bryan Brandom