Pros And Cons Of Weighted Dog Vests

It can be hard to find someone who doesn’t love dogs. They are considered one of the most loyal animals due to their history with us humans. These canines are said to be the first animals that were domesticated and bred in captivity. You can still see their distant cousins, the wolves, running around in forests and tundras.

However, they are similar enough to see why they are the perfect pet for many people as you may see here:

However, we are now in a world wherein dogs are the most versatile pets around. There are many reasons why they are still the number one choice for families and individuals. For one, their loyalty to their masters or owners is still outstanding.

As long as you treat them right and with respect, they would quickly return the favor. You may have already seen or heard of many stories about their heroism. There was even one instance that a dog received the highest military honors in the United States.

The Evolution of Domesticated Dogs

The term “domestic dog” refers to any of the hundreds of dog breeds in the world today. Although these animals vary greatly in appearance, all dogs, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, are members of the same species, Canis familiaris. This distinguishes domestic dogs from wild dogs such as coyotes, foxes, and wolves. Domestic dogs are primarily kept as pets, but many breeds can survive independently in the woods and the city. According to a 2016 Consumer Insights study, one-third of all households worldwide own a dog. This study shows domestic dogs are the most popular pets in the world. 

jack russel terrier playing with his toys

Domesticated dogs have evolved from gray wolves into over 400 different breeds. Humans have played an important role in creating dogs that meet diverse social needs. Through the most rudimentary forms of genetic engineering, dogs were bred to emphasize the instincts evident in their first encounter with humans. The details of dog evolution are uncertain, but the first dogs were hunters with a keen sense of sight and smell. Genetic evidence suggests that dogs are direct descendants of wolves (Canis) and that the now-extinct wolf lineage that gave rise to dogs was traced back to modern living wolves sometime between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago. 

A study suggests that it diverged from the lineage that produced different breeds. The origin of the time and place of the domestication of dogs is quite still being determined. However, there is strong evidence suggesting that the first domestication event occurred somewhere in northern Eurasia, between 14,000 and 29,000 years ago.

Many dogs you know and love today result from selective breeding between individuals with desirable physical or behavioral traits. For example, about 9,500 years ago, ancient people survived the cold and started breeding dogs that could work. These dogs became a family of sled dogs that included breeds such as huskies and malamutes and have remained relatively unchanged. Similarly, people shaped German shepherds for their ability to herd livestock, Labrador retrievers for helping hunters gather ducks and other prey they cut down, and sausages for their ability to chase badgers. Humans evolved these instincts and created new races when a need or desire arose. 

In modern times, different parts of the world view dogs differently. Loyalty, friendship, protection, and affection have earned dogs an important place in society. Dogs are also used in nursing homes and hospitals to help patients recover. Humans have bred a variety of dogs adapted to perform different roles. Certain breeds were also created to make dogs more desirable as companions. For example, the Labradoodle, which combines traits of retriever and poodle, was invented to create a hypoallergenic guide dog. Dog grooming and feeding have become a multi-billion-dollar business in the United States and Europe. 

Pet Care & Development

On the other hand, many of these animals are kept by families and individuals for various reasons. Some of them stay as family dogs and become a part of the family. It is like another toddler in the house; they can be quite rowdy and active. Meanwhile, some still get these animals for their ability on the field. These working dogs are a staple in many industries worldwide that they are not just an asset; they are already a necessity.

As an owner, you have to make sure that they stay healthy as much as possible. Whether they are just staying at home or doing work outside, it is crucial to get them the best care. Good food choices are just the start; these furballs also need to have a lot of exercises.

This means that you would need to invest in a lot of physical activity as well. However, if they are already working, how will more exercise help? What can you do to improve these processes?

If you want to push for your canine’s potential, you can go for a weighted vest. You can read about the vests here if you want an in-depth explanation as to how they work. As its most basic form, these vests are like workout weights for your furry friend to wear while they are exercising. It is the same concept as weightlifting and bodybuilding for us humans, and it can assist them with their physical form.

The Best & Worst

swimming dog

One of the best things about these weighted vests are their adjustments. It can be fit into any dog between medium and large sizes. These are like those rings in barbells, and it can measure just how far your running pal can go the heavier they get. However, weighted vests also have limits so that it would not end up harming the user. You will notice it quickly if the dog cannot take in the weight anymore as most of them would not move.

As for safety, most of the world’s best brands for weighted vests have a lot of security measures. Aside from the limiters, some parts keep the vest on the dog no matter what they do. It is not just for their safety, though; no one wants to get hit anywhere by these weights. Another thing that keeps the animal safe is the fit of the vest. As they are adjustable, it minimizes the material’s chances of being too loose or tight for the canine.

For their health, many pet owners are still skeptical about these weighted vests. For one, they seem to be harming the animal because of the added padding. With more burden to carry, some fear that it would damage their bones. One of the more problematic injuries involves the spine, where most of the weight would reside. This is why most of them would not opt to let their pet wear this contraption.

On the other hand, the vests have been used for police and army dogs for a long time. It keeps them in top shape as they try to follow the orders of their masters. It improves their speed and stamina as the more massive load promotes these attributes. It is similar to how the army personnel and police officers do their training. The extra weight reminds them that there might be instances wherein they need to run without feeling the tiredness all that much.

If you want your dog to wear weighted vests, it is essential to choose one that would adequately fit their bodies. Smaller breeds can still wear them, but there would be some difficulty in finding one for them. Remember, these vests were for training, and most of the smaller ones tend not to need the extra burden. After all, they are acquired for their adorable quirks, not for their physical skill.

Also, it is essential to visit your vet first regarding this wearable lifting equipment. As we have mentioned, some breeds might not need them in their line of work. For example, therapy dogs do need more effort to do their jobs properly. As long as they can be mental health support, they do not require more exercise. The standard exercise is usually enough, as well as the effort put into it.

However, weighted vests can also be fantastic for support animals who are losing weight. As you know, some breeds and pet owners can get complacent and eat whatever they want. If food planning is not a viable solution anymore, adding more weights would make them more effort. Also, it would break their habit of asking for more treats.

On the other hand, check on your pet and see if it still does like it. Some dogs would express their dislike right away, and you would have difficulty in controlling their activities. The best way to go around this is to see whether they would acclimatize themselves to the new thing. Otherwise, it would be best to leave them alone and move on from the vest and look for something else.