This is our review of the Buddy Belt harness. This is a revolutionary harness that I think all Yorkie owners should consider when purchasing a new harness.
As the owner of a Yorkie, I learned very early on that harnesses are the only way to go when walking with a leash. Collars are unacceptable because of the pressure they put on the throat and the potential damage they can cause. Harnesses are best when walking a Yorkie, but they are not all created equal. Their designs have evolved over the years and in the late 1990’s the next revolution in harnesses emerged.
First, let me say that most harnesses look like two collars with some straps between them. This “typical” harness was always difficult for me to get to fit properly. The front strap would always ride up on Catherine’s neck and be just as dangerous as a collar alone. Her little chest doesn’t protrude enough and her body is so small that a regular harness just wasn’t safe. I generally used a harnessed piece of clothing when taking her on walks – in the winter it was a snowsuit with a D-ring to clip the leash to and during the warmer months it was a dress with a D-ring. While this solution worked, it became pretty annoying to have to dress my dog to take her outside. But, what could I do? Her odd, little body was just not safe in a typical harness.
A few months ago I started browsing around the internet for some sort of solution. I knew there must be some sort of harness that would fit Catherine; some inventive person must have run into the same problem as me – right? That’s when I stumbled upon Roxanne Pettipas and her miniature Dachshund, Buddy.
Roxanne had the same problem I did; Buddy was gagging and coughing when being walked. Roxanne decided she’d come up with a better way. In 1997, Roxanne cut up some tire rubber and made her own harness prototype. She then went to some leather workers and learned how to work with leather, invested in her own tools and refined her harness. She called her harness the Buddy Belt, after her dog, Buddy. The Buddy Belt made it’s debut at the PET Expo in Toronto in 2001. Since then the Buddy Belt has moved from Roxanne’s home to a factory in downtown Toronto, but Buddy Belts are still handcrafted.
So, what makes a Buddy Belt different? The design for sure. I had never seen anything like it. Laid out flat, they look like spectacles. The design ensures that there will be a snug fit and that the harness will not put any pressure on the structures of the neck – the pressure will remain at the chest. The harness is made of leather and is highly durable and strong. Also, since the adjustment is all at the top, in a belt design, they are not confusing at all. The Buddy Belt is very easy to step in and out of, making it easy to take on and off and use multiple times a day with no hassle.
For me, this harness has all of the features I have been looking for, so I had to buy one and see for myself. The result: Catherine and I both absolutely LOVE the Buddy Belt! It is so easy to take on and off – no more fumbling with typical harnesses and adjusting them over and over again. No more riding up on the neck. And, no more tangled, messy hair. Since we have been keeping Catherine’s hair long, the problem with clothing has been the tangled mess her hair is left in after a walk. With the Buddy Belt, her hair stays in place and doesn’t end up a tangled nightmare when we get home.
Here are some pics from Catherine’s first walk with the Buddy Belt.
I purchased a size 3 for Catherine, and I probably could have gotten her a size 2 because the 3 has to be buckled on the last hole to fit her properly. I have uploaded a page from Buddy Belts on how to measure for the proper size for your Yorkie’s Buddy Belt, which you can read to select the proper size.
So, what’s the ultimate evaluation of the Buddy Belt?
Win a Buddy Belt Harness Prize Package!
After I fell in love with the Buddy Belt, I contacted this amazing company and asked if they’d like to participate in my review of their harness. The awesome people over at Buddy Belt have generously donated a prize package to one of our readers! One lucky fan will receive a buddy belt of their choice, with liners (for added comfort), and a leather leash! The whole thing is worth about $100!
Enter to win using Rafflecopter below! Entries will be taken until July 15th, 2013. A winner will be selected by July 20th and the winner will be notified by email. The winner will select the color and size of their harness and leash, and the prize will be sent directly from Buddy Belts. To prepare for your victory, you can check out the styles of Buddy Belts available on their website!